Easy crockpot chicken tacos are made with boneless chicken that cooks slowly with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and jalapeno peppers for super flavorful chicken taco meat. They are an easy dinner idea that the whole family love and just perfect for taco night.
This recipe was originally published in 2019, it's been updated for content and photos.
Slow cooker recipes make dinner time so easy, especially when it's a dump-and-go recipe like these tacos or our chipotle chicken stew recipe.
Why this recipe works
- It's an easy recipe to make with a few simple ingredients and very little prep time.
- Crockpot chicken tacos are perfect for meal prep. Cook a double batch, and freeze leftovers for later.
Here is what you will need to make crock pot chicken tacos
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This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe, scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.
- boneless skinless chicken breasts, boneless chicken thighs or tenders
- fresh garlic
- jalapeno pepper
- taco seasoning (here is my recipe for homemade taco seasoning)
- taco shells, corn tortillas or flour tortillas
- your favorite taco toppings such as: chopped lettuce, cabbage, diced onions, avocado, cilantro, shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese, salsa, lime wedges, greek yogurt, salsa.
Here's How to make this crockpot chicken tacos recipe
Prepare the ingredients: chop the onions and garlic and peppers. Measure the tomatoes and taco seasoning.
Step 1. Add the chicken
Place the chicken into the crockpot and top it with half of the taco seasoning.
Step 2. Add the remaining ingredients
Top the chicken with the onions, tomatoes and peppers. Sprinkle on the remaining seasoning mixture and give it a quick stir. Cover and cook for 4 ½ hours on low heat.
Step 3. Shred the chicken
Use two forks to shred the taco meat. Cover the crockpot and set it to warm heat.
Short cut tip! If you have a good quality salsa or homemade salsa, you can use that in this recipe instead of crushed tomatoes.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
The full list of ingredients to make this easy slow cooker chicken tacos recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients along with ideas for substitutes.
Chicken - I like to use chicken tenders because they shred nicely, but you can use any boneless cut of chicken.
Check out ButcherBox for high-quality, humanely raised meat.
Tomatoes - When tomatoes are in season, I like to use fresh tomatoes for a fresh flavor. When they aren't in season, I use organic, low sodium tomatoes and add salt to taste.
Jalapeno pepper - My preference is fresh jalapeno peppers, if you don't have fresh jalapenos, about 2 tablespoons of chopped pickled jalapenos will work too. If you don't like hot food, you can leave the jalapeno pepper out.
Fresh garlic - You can substitute ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder for one clove of garlic.
Taco seasoning can be substituted with 2 teaspoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.
If you are in a hurry, try these quick and easy beef tacos!
Serve this flavorful shredded chicken taco meat stuffed into lettuce wraps, taco shells or flour tortillas or corn tortilla topped with your favorite toppings such as homemade guacamole. garden salsa, salsa verde, shredded cheese, chopped onions, a squeeze of lime juice, sour cream, or Greek yogurt, and don't forget the sangria!
Chicken taco meat also tastes great in quesadillas, salads and enchiladas.
How to store leftover chicken taco meat
Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Freeze leftover chicken in an airtight container or a stasher bag in the freezer for up to three months.
Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight and re-heat it on top of the stove over low heat or in the microwave.
Chicken Taco Recipe Variations
Chicken and veggie tacos - Add one to two diced carrots or zucchini (or both) to the crockpot. This is an easy way to add more vegetables.
Slow cooker pork tacos - Instead of boneless chicken breasts, use boneless pork chops.
Slow cooker chicken taco salad - Top your favorite salad greens with shredded chicken taco meat, green onions, add some cheese and crumbled tortilla chips.
Add beans - Add a can of black beans just after shredding the chicken to stretch out the meat.
Recipe tips and questions
Yes, you can! Place all of the ingredients into a dutch oven, cover and simmer on low heat until the chicken is cooked through (about 2 to 3 hours) - shred the chicken and enjoy!
Yes, you can. Even though the chicken will stay moist in the tomato mixture in this recipe, if you leave the chicken in the crock pot for more than 6 hours at low heat, the chicken may dry out and become dry. You can, however, set the slow cooker to the warm setting once its cooked to keep the chicken warm until it is time to serve it.
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