This shredded Crock Pot chicken tacos is the best way to make chicken tacos and is loaded with tons of flavor. Perfectly shredded chicken, slowly cooked in salsa and spices makes the best filling for your next taco night. Finish off with your favorite toppings and rice. This easy chicken taco recipe is one you are sure to enjoy!
If there was one thing we are sure to make in our house over and over again, It's tacos! Tacos just never get old and there are so many different ways you can prepare them.
Beef, chicken, fish, pork, and even just sweet potato tacos. You can turn just about anything into a taco.
These crock pot chicken tacos are super easy to make and cook all day. Once done, you can use the reserved juices to make a side dish of rice.
Finally, finish them off with your favorite taco toppings.
This chicken taco meat can also be served with cilantro lime rice, pineapple mango salsa, homemade enchilada sauce, or a roasted tomatillo salsa. The options are endless! It's a family favorite because everyone can prepare it in their favorite way.
Chicken: This recipe calls for chicken breast but thighs can also be used.
Spices: What gives this chicken such great flavor is the combination of spices. If you do not have any of these on hand, a taco seasoning packet will do but will not give the same flavors.
Salsa: This is a personal choice. Either a restaurant-style or more chunky salsa can be used.
Toppings: Consider fresh toppings to serve with this chicken. A few ideas are; cilantro, avocado, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, sour cream, and Cotija cheese.
Rice: Save the juice from the chicken and use it in place of water to make rice.
See full information on ingredients and quantities in the recipe card.
🥘How to Make
This recipe uses either fresh or frozen chicken. If frozen, it will take a little longer to cook. Thawed chicken will take around 6 hours in total. Frozen will take closer to 8 hours.
Step 1: Place chicken in the crock pot and brush on the olive oil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper all over and allow to sit while you prepare the other ingredients. (Image 1).
Step 2: Add in the diced onions, garlic, and diced tomatoes. (Image 2).
Step 3: Add in the salsa, all the spices, liquid smoke, and brown sugar. (Image 3).
Step 4: Use a spatula and mix it all together. Cover with the lid and set on low for 6-8 hours. (Image 4).
Step 5: The chicken is done when it can easily be shredded with two forks. Shred chicken inside the crock pot, and allow it to cook for 30 more minutes inside all the juices. (Images 5 & 6).
Step 6: Drain the juice from the chicken mixture. Place a strainer over a bowl and drain all the juices. Press down on the chicken to make sure it's dry. (Image 7).
💡Pro Tip: If there is too much moisture, it will make a soggy taco. Make sure to get as much juice and moisture out of the chicken as possible.
Take the reserved juices to make rice.
Step 7: Add two cups of the liquid from the crock pot to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil.
Step 8: Add 1 cup of uncooked rice and bring to a boil.
Step 9: Stir, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes.
Step 10: When done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. (Image 8).
If there is not enough juice to make the rice just add water or chicken broth until you have 2 total cups.
Serve on warm tortillas with some sour cream and your favorite taco toppings.
🌮Ways to Serve
There are endless ways to build a taco and lots of different taco toppings. Here are just some ideas:
- Cheese: Cheddar, pepper jack, cotija
- Black beans
- Refried Beans
- Fresh Cilantro
Your chicken may be too tough to shred because it is either under or overcooked. The chicken will begin to shred at 165 degrees or higher, but if left too long and is overcooked it will also make it difficult to shred.
Yes, frozen chicken will work great in a crock pot but may take longer to cook than thawed chicken.
There are so many toppings and side dishes that can go with chicken tacos. Things such as guacamole, salsa, refried beans, tomatoes, cheese, rice, and so much more.
🍽Other Dinner Ideas
Shredded Crock Pot Chicken Tacos
- Crock Pot
- 2 lbs Chicken Breasts - About 2-3
- 1 Large Onion Diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic Minced or Pressed
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- 2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- 1 Cup Salsa
- 1 10oz Can Rotel Tomatoes
- 2 Cups Juice from Chicken Mix - Add water or chicken stock if needed.
- 1 Cup Rice
- Cheese (Cheddar,Pepper Jack, or Cortija)
- Diced Tomatoes
For the Shredded Chicken
- Place chicken in the crock pot and brush on the olive oil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper all over and allow to sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Add in the diced onions, garlic and diced tomatoes.
- Add in the salsa, all the spices, liquid smoke and brown sugar.
- Use a spatula and mix it all together. Cover with the lid and set on low for 6-8 hours.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. *see nots on frozen vs. fresh chicken.
- 30 minutes before serving: The chicken is done when it can easily be shredded with two forks.
- Shred chicken inside the crock pot, and allow it to cook for 30 more minutes inside all the juices.
- Drain the juice from the chicken mixture. If making rice follow the instructions below.
To Prepare the Rice
- Place a strainer over a bowl and drain all the juices. Press down on the chicken to make sure it's dry.
- Add two cups of the liquid from the crock pot to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. If you do not have enough add water or chicken broth until you have exactly 2 cups.
- Add in 1 cup of uncooked rice and bring to a boil.
- Stir, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes.
- When done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
- Serve on warm tortillas with some sour cream and your favorite taco toppings.
Recipe adapted from Carls Bad Cravings. Jen is where I learned to always save my liquids to make rice. If you don't follow her I strongly suggest you do so. Many of her recipes are regulars in our house.