shredded salsa chicken in a bowl with fresh chopped parsley, lime and tortilla chips

SALSA CHICKEN (CROCKPOT RECIPE)

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This 3 ingredient Crockpot Salsa Chicken is so easy to make and cooks up in just a few hours. It’s perfect on its own or as a flavourful addition to things like salads, bowls, tacos, nachos, burritos and more!

Sign. Me. Up. for an easy (AND delicious) crockpot meal any night of the week! I know you don’t need me to tell you that there is just something SO damn magical when it comes to putting food in the crock pot only to return to it several hours later to find dinner ready to be served. With minimal effort from you. Yeah, I know we can both agree that it really doesn’t get much better than that!

Annnnd, I also know that you likely don’t need me to tell you the other perks that come along with crock pot cooking. Buuut, in classic Andrea fashion… I will anyway! I mean, it’s hard to talk about a crockpot meal without mentioning one of the absolute best parts. THE SMELL. It truly doesn’t matter what you’re cooking (or should I say what your crockpot is cooking for you….), the smell that fills your house is always irresistible.

bowl of shredded chicken with fresh chopped parsley and sliced lime, bowl of rice and salsa in the background with 2 tortilla chips

Not only are crockpot meals magical, fit for a king or queen, require minimal effort and make the house smell amazing but they produce some of the most tender meats I have ever put into my piehole. The low and slow process of cooking is like a match made in Heaven for any kind of meat from chicken and pork to beef and even fish. If fall apart, tender, fall off the bone and juicy are part of your vocabulary when it comes to food you want to eat… then I hope you own a crockpot.

But more importantly, I hope you’ll make this salsa chicken recipe. It’s all of those things… and more! Packed full of flavour and the perfect addition to all of your favourite Mexican inspired dishes, this crockpot salsa chicken is further proof that nothing beats crockpot cooking. Esssspecially on busy weeknights.

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS SALSA CHICKEN RECIPE

ingredients for salsa chicken crockpot - chicken breasts, salsa, taco seasoning
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Yup, that’s right. You’re really not seeing things here! All it takes is 3 of the most simplest ingredients to make salsa chicken in the crockpot. The chicken becomes tender and infused with the flavours of the salsa and taco seasoning, resulting in a mouthwatering meal that’s sure to please! It’s as simple as can be! Let’s discuss each ingredient in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Chicken Breasts: The star of the show and protein source for our salsa chicken. I love using boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, which are particularly lean and tender. They’re a popular choice for slow cooking because they remain moist and absorb flavours well. However, you can use thighs instead, if you prefer.
  • Salsa: A flavourful sauce or condiment that originated in Latin American cuisine. It typically consists of tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro, lime juice and various spices. Salsas can range from mild to spicy, depending on the type of peppers used. They’re often used as a dip for tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos, burritos and other Mexican dishes. In this recipe, salsa adds moisture, acidity and a burst of flavour to the chicken. You can try making your own salsa from scratch or you can use your favourite store-bought variety.
  • Taco Seasoning: A blend of spices commonly used to flavour Mexican-inspired dishes such as tacos, burritos, and fajitas. The exact ingredients in taco seasoning can vary. But it typically includes a combination of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, and sometimes red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for heat. Taco seasoning adds depth, warmth, and a hint of spice to the dish, enhancing its overall flavour profile. Try making your own at home by following this easy recipe.
hands holding a bowl of shredded chicken with fresh chopped parsley and sliced limes, tortilla chips in the background

HOW TO MAKE SALSA CHICKEN IN CROCKPOT (KEY TIPS)

hand holding a tortilla chip with shredded chicken on it, over a bowl of more and salsa

You can find full instructions for how to make this easy crock pot salsa chicken in the recipe card down below. But here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Properly season the chicken. Season the chicken with taco seasoning mix evenly on all sides before adding the salsa. This ensures that the chicken absorbs the flavours throughout the cooking process. I like using my hands to ensure that every inch and crevice of the chicken is nicely coated in the seasoning.
  • Use enough salsa. Make sure to use enough salsa to cover the chicken adequately. This helps to keep the chicken moist and prevents it from drying out during cooking. You can adjust the amount of salsa based on personal preference. But aim for at least enough to cover all of the chicken breasts. RECIPE NOTE: Depending on the brand or kind of salsa you use, it can appear quite watery at first. That’s a-ok! After you shred the chicken, it will absorb most of the liquid and flavours.
  • Cook on the right temperature and time. Cook the salsa chicken on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, depending on your schedule and the cut of chicken you’re using. Cooking it low and slow allows the ingredients to meld together and ensures that the chicken becomes tender and flavourful. EXTRA TIP: Be mindful not to overcook the chicken, as it can become dry and tough. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C) before shredding.
  • Shred the chicken properly. Once the chicken is ready, use two forks to shred it directly in the crockpot. This allows the chicken to soak up the flavourful salsa sauce and ensures that each bite is packed with flavour.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste. Taste the salsa chicken before serving and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add more taco seasoning, salt or pepper according to your preference.
  • Serve the salsa chicken hot, either on its own, with rice, in tacos, with tortilla chips, or however you prefer. Garnish with your favorite toppings! Shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream or Greek yogurt and sliced avocado are great for added flavour and texture.
bowl of shredded salsa chicken with fresh chopped parsley, lime and tortilla chips
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS IT OK TO PUT RAW CHICKEN IN SLOW COOKER?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to put raw chicken in a slow cooker. In fact, slow cookers are designed to cook raw meats, including chicken, thoroughly and safely. When using a slow cooker, raw chicken can be added directly to the cooker along with other ingredients such as sauces, vegetables, and seasonings.

As the slow cooker heats up over several hours, it gradually cooks the chicken to a safe internal temperature, killing any harmful bacteria present. It’s important to follow food safety guidelines and ensure that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C) to guarantee it’s safe to eat. Additionally, make sure the slow cooker is set to the appropriate temperature setting (low or high). And cook the chicken for the recommended amount of time specified in the recipe to achieve tender and flavorful results.

With proper cooking techniques and food safety practices, cooking raw chicken in a slow cooker can result in delicious and convenient meals with minimal effort.

IS IT BETTER TO COOK CHICKEN IN THE CROCKPOT ON LOW OR HIGH?

Whether to cook chicken in the crockpot on low or high depends on your schedule and the texture you’re aiming for. Cooking on low heat typically takes longer, about 6-8 hours, but results in more tender and flavourful chicken. The low temperature allows the chicken to slowly cook, giving the connective tissues time to break down and resulting in juicy, fork-tender meat.

On the other hand, cooking on high heat can expedite the process, taking about 3-4 hours. But the chicken may not be as tender and may have a firmer texture. However, cooking on high heat can still yield delicious results, especially if you’re short on time. Regardless of the setting, it’s crucial to ensure that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C) to guarantee it’s safe to eat.

WHY IS MY CROCKPOT SHREDDED CHICKEN TOUGH?

If your crockpot shredded chicken is turning out tough, there could be a few reasons for this outcome.

One common reason is overcooking. Slow cookers vary in temperature, and cooking times can vary based on factors such as the size and thickness of the chicken pieces, as well as the specific model of the slow cooker. Overcooking chicken in the crockpot can cause it to become dry and tough, as the prolonged cooking time can lead to the proteins in the meat contracting excessively and squeezing out moisture. To avoid this, it’s essential to follow the recommended cooking times in the recipe and use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C) without cooking it beyond that point.

Additionally, using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which are leaner, can sometimes result in drier meat compared to cuts with more fat or connective tissue. Using chicken thighs or adding a small amount of chicken broth or other liquid to the crockpot can help keep the chicken moist during cooking.

Lastly, make sure to shred the chicken properly after cooking, as large chunks of meat can seem tougher when compared to smaller, shredded pieces. Adjusting cooking times, using different cuts of chicken, and ensuring proper shredding techniques can help you achieve tender and juicy shredded chicken in the crockpot.

bowl of shredded salsa chicken with fresh chopped parsley and sliced limes, tortilla chips, salsa and rice in the background
shredded salsa chicken in a bowl with fresh chopped parsley, lime and tortilla chips

SALSA CHICKEN CROCKPOT

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes

This 3 ingredient Crockpot Salsa Chicken is so easy to make and cooks up in just a few hours. It's perfect on its own or as a flavourful addition to things like salads, bowls, tacos, nachos, burritos and more!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot. Add the taco seasoning on top then use your hands or a spoon to toss to coat evenly.
    three seasoned chicken breasts in the bottom of a crockpot
  2. Pour the salsa over the chicken, making sure to cover all pieces nicely.
    salsa chicken in crockpot
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Shred the chicken using two forks directly in the crockpot, mixing it with the salsa sauce.Serve the salsa chicken hot, either on its own, with rice, in tacos, or however you prefer!
    salsa chicken in a crockpot
    hands with two forks shredding salsa chicken in a crockpot
    shredded salsa chicken with a fork in a crockpot
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 126mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 53g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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EASY PORK LOIN ROAST

FALL APART BEEF BRISKET

FAMILY STYLE CHICKEN FAJITAS

ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

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