Looking for simple dinner ideas? This Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken is so simple, budget-friendly and can be used in many different ways!

{Do you struggle with the feeling that there is nothing to cook? Try this huge list of over 50 easy family dinner recipes!}

Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken Recipe

The following is a guest post by Danielle Miller of BorrowedBites.com:

You may remember me from my first post where I wrote all about my deep love for the Sunday Dinner Tradition that we have with family, but that’s not all I have a deep love for. I also like quick dinners. I mean, I do enjoy cooking for hours in the kitchen, but only when I want to. haha!

How do you make Mexican shredded chicken in the slow cooker?

Enter this quick and easy, inexpensive Mexican chicken recipe that can be used in many different ways. It’s the kind you pop into the slow cooker and use all week. Or you can make a large batch and freeze the leftovers in smaller portions for a quick meal whenever you want.

The best part? Only 4 ingredients and a slow cooker are needed. The perfect answer when you need something simple and fast. Can I have an “AMEN?

First a few tips!

Before we pull out the slow cooker, let’s discuss a few tricks for getting perfectly tender and juicy chicken breasts every time.

First brush the chicken breasts with a little oil. My favorite is olive oil, but your favorite cooking oil will work just fine too. Chicken breasts are very lean and therefore can dry out easily. The oil keeps them from drying out during the cooking process. Second, once the chicken breasts are shredded, let them soak up the juices that are in the slow cooker for an hour. Then the inside is just as tasty and juicy as the outside!

ingredients for slow cooker chicken

Simple ingredients you need

As I said you only need a few ingredients for this super simple Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken! You need this:

4 chicken breastsA jar of your favorite green salsa. Herdez is my go-to, but I also love the Walmart brand and Trader Joes makes a delicious one too. Chipotle Chili Powder*: This ingredient is the real secret to the flavor in this recipe, so don’t skip it! In case you’re not familiar with this ingredient, it’s made from smoked jalapeños ground into a powder. It adds smokiness and a hint of spice. Each brand has a different heat level so I would start with a little less and increase until the desired heat level is reached. I usually get mine at Smith’s (a Kroger store) when they do BOGO sales. I love it so much and put it in many different recipes – including this White Chicken Chili and this Skillet Chicken Fajitas. Brown Sugar: For just a touch of sweetness. Feel free to substitute with honey if you want a more natural option. Oil, salt, and pepper: These are traditionally considered “free” in a recipe.

*If you really don’t want any heat in your Mexican Chicken, you can replace it with smoked paprika (not regular), but the taste won’t be quite the same. Delicious but not that developed.

ingredients in the slow cooker

Add everything to the slow cooker

Start by coating every inch of the chicken breasts in oil, then place them in the slow cooker. In a bowl or measuring cup, pour the salsa, chipotle chili powder, and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Pour that mixture over the chicken breasts and set the slow cooker on low for 3-4 hours.

After three hours, check if the breasts can be shredded. If not, leave it in the slow cooker for another hour. When they are ready to shred, use two forks to pull them apart. Leave them in the slow cooker on low for an extra hour to soak up all the flavorful juice. After this point, they can be kept on “keep warm” for up to two hours.

(Scroll to the bottom of this post for more detailed directions and a printable recipe!)

shredded chicken in the slow cooker

Creative Ways to Use Mexican Chicken

After you cook your Mexican Shredded Chicken in the slow cooker, there are endless possibilities to use it. Here are just a few ideas:

As part of a homemade burrito bowl or taco bar. Everyone gets exactly what they want in their own bowl or taco. Options include cilantro rice, black beans, lettuce, cheese, salsa, avocado, cilantro, etc. (You can also use this in place of the ground beef in these Build-Your-Own Haystacks!) Add to any Southwestern bagged salad mix for a quick and easy protein choice. It’s such an easy way to spice up a salad and add some variety! Put enchilada burritos (also known as wet burritos) in it. Add it to these 15-minute corn tortilla quesadillas. A great way to use up tortillas and any melty cheese. Use as a filling in enchiladas, burritos, tacos or taquitos.

Mexican salad with shredded chicken

Print this

Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken Recipe


4 whole chicken breasts, trimmed 1 16 ounces green salsa, Herdez, or similar 3 tablespoons chipotle chili powder (Use less if you’re concerned about the heat.) 2 tablespoons brown sugarOil Salt and pepper


Step 1: Brush the trimmed chicken breasts with oil and salt and pepper. Place them in the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.

Step 2: Combine salsa, chipotle chili powder, and brown sugar in a bowl until combined. Pour evenly over the chicken breasts, making sure they are completely covered.

Step 3: Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Once the chicken falls apart easily, pull it apart with two forks and let it sit on low for another hour. After this, the chicken will stay well on “keep warm” for a few hours.


Brush the chicken breasts with oil and salt and pepper. Once the chicken breasts are shredded, leave them in the slow cooker for another hour to absorb all the flavor and moisture in the sauce.


If you’re making a large batch, make sure your slow cooker is big enough and keep in mind that it may take longer to cook. If you don’t want to use chipotle chili powder, you can replace it with smoked paprika. It won’t have the same depth of flavor, but it’s still tasty.

Looking for other super easy recipes? Try this one!

Recipes with just a few ingredients can be a life saver when it’s busy or when the pantry and fridge seem a little empty. Here are a few other favorite dinner ideas that are super easy:

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup – This recipe is so easy to make and it’s a fun twist on traditional chicken noodle soup. Plus, it can be made ahead of time in the crockpot! Super Simple Sheet Pan Dinner – This recipe is so versatile, comforting, filling and easy. Plus, you can easily switch it up depending on the ingredients you have on hand.Crockpot Taco Soup — This one is super easy to make and really versatile! 4-ingredient potato soup — A firm favorite on the blog. It’s a recipe that I passed on from my grandmother and that is easy on the wallet and delicious on the stomach! 4 Ingredients White Chocolate Churro Popcorn – This is great for your movie night snacks, but it’s also great for taking to a party. Plus, it’s easily customizable; just throw in a few sprinkles to match the holiday or team you’re celebrating! 4-ingredient chicken marinade — Perfect for filling the freezer for grilling season. This chicken is great on its own or chopped up and tossed into a salad for lunch. Over 50 Cheap and Easy Dinner Ideas – If it seems like there’s nothing to cook, check your pantry and see if you have any of these simple ideas! 20 Quick & Easy Pre-Made Dinners – These freezer-friendly dinner recipes are SO easy to make ahead of time and ready when you need them! So many delicious options! †

Have you ever tried to make Mexican Shredded Chicken in the Slow Cooker? Any other great ideas? Let’s hear it!

This post Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken

was original published at “https://moneysavingmom.com/easy-slow-cooker-mexican-shredded-chicken-recipe/”