Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos Recipe

Delicious tacos are within your grasp, and you can whip them up with very, very little work on your end when you try this slow cooker chicken tacos recipe. This slow cooker staple was created by recipe developer and registered dietician Kristen Carli of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness. "This is a very simple recipe that is great for those [who] are struggling to find time to cook home-cooked meals," she says. "This makes the whole family happy!"

You will need a sharp knife (This requires only a small amount of chopping and cutting, but it still helps to have a good knife.) and, of course, a slow cooker. If you have a standing mixer, that's also a helpful tool to have on hand when it comes time to shred the chicken. It certainly isn't necessary, though. 

Continue reading for detailed suggestions on making these slow cooker chicken tacos and pleasing all the avid taco lovers in your life. Taco Tuesday never looked this tasty.

Gather the ingredients to make these delicious slow cooker tacos

We suggest assembling all of your ingredients before you plug that slow cooker in, to double check you absolutely have everything you need and didn't forget to pick up anything at the store.

This recipe calls for three boneless skinless chicken breasts, one 24-ounce jar of salsa, one yellow onion (which you'll be dicing), 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of ground chili powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 16 corn tortillas, and, for serving, ¼ cup of shredded cheddar cheese and ¼ cup of shredded cabbage.

Dice the onion

That onion you got out earlier? Now you have to chop it so you've got a nice pile of diced onions to put in the slow cooker. Make sure you have a proper cutting board and a very sharp knife. Use a food processor to pulse the onion if you want to make your life easier. Just don't get too crazy with the pulses — it will go from diced onion to pureed onion mush real quick.

Another no-tears tip for chopping onions is to coat your hands and the onion with salt prior to dicing.

Add the chicken, onion, salsa, and spices to the slow cooker

Here's the thing about slow cooker recipes: They are very, very simple and just require ... well, putting stuff in a slow cooker, which is just one very magical pot.

So, for the next step, all you have to do is place the chicken breasts, diced onion, salsa, and spices into a large (6-quart) slow cooker. Turn the chicken breasts over a few times to ensure that they are thoroughly coated with the other ingredients. As the photo demonstrates, you should be able to nestle the breasts in next to each other and easily cover them with the spices and other marinade ingredients. 

Cook for four hours, then shred the chicken

Cook everything on the high setting for four hours. At the end of four hours, remove the chicken and shred it. You can do this step using two forks, or you can place the cooked chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer and shred it with the paddle attachment. 

Is using forks to tear the chicken more labor-intensive than cleaning the paddle attachment and bowl of the standing mixer that does the shredding for you? That's your call, dear recipe follower. Carli says, "I love using the stand mixer for shredding chicken, because it takes about one minute and requires no arm strength." It's definitely something to contemplate.

Serve the slow cooker chicken tacos with cheese and cabbage

As we're sure you can imagine, the sky is sort of the limit when it comes to taco toppings. While Carli recommends serving these particular slow cooker chicken tacos with shredded cabbage and cheese, you might also enjoy them with guacamole, shredded lettuce, hot sauce, sour cream, and/or more salsa. Get imaginative with your taco toppings.

Also, no sweat if you prefer flour to corn tortillas. Flour ones are fair game and will taste just as good. Carli confirms, "I used corn tortillas when I cook for some family members since they have celiac disease and have to avoid gluten. I personally eat it all!"

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos Recipe
4.9 from 15 ratings
Delicious tacos are within your grasp, and you can whip them up with very, very little work on your end when you try this slow cooker chicken tacos recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
slow cooker chicken tacos
Total time: 4 hours, 5 minutes
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar salsa
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
  • ¼ cup shredded cabbage, for serving
  • ¼ cup salsa, for serving
  • ¼ cup sour cream, for serving
  1. In a large 6-quart slow cooker, add the chicken, onion, salsa, and spices. Turn the chicken over a few times to make sure that they are coated.
  2. Set on high for 4 hours. Once cooked, remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred with two forks, or place chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, shred chicken.
  3. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker, and stir to combine.
  4. Serve on corn tortillas with cheese, cabbage, salsa, and/or sour cream.
Calories per Serving 292
Total Fat 7.0 g
Saturated Fat 2.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 81.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 30.1 g
Dietary Fiber 5.2 g
Total Sugars 5.1 g
Sodium 761.8 mg
Protein 28.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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