Salsa Chicken Crockpot Recipe


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Crockpot Salsa Chicken is one of the best dump and go slow cooker recipes! This flavorful and tender shredded chicken is infused with Mexican spices, which makes it perfect for tacos, enchiladas, nachos, or burritos.

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

This shredded salsa chicken is juicy, loaded with flavor, and so incredibly delicious! It makes absolutely amazing tacos. I love that it has the perfect amount of taco seasoning flavors mixed in with the salsa.

I like making a batch because I always end up having super tasty leftovers. The leftovers make such a nice quick meal. Just add a little sour cream, a bit of shredded cheese, and serve it in corn taco shells or on a bed of lettuce.

The leftovers also make a great freezer meal. Just keep some of this shredded Mexican chicken on hand in the freezer to thaw and add to dinner on a busy night.

This is definitely an easy salsa chicken recipe you can quickly throw together any day of the week.


Chicken: I prefer using boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe because I think they absorb the flavor of the salsa and the spices better than chicken thighs do. If chicken thighs are all you have on hand though, feel free to use those!

I do recommend using air chilled chicken. It will release less moisture while it cooks, and you’ll end up with juicier shredded chicken at the end.

Salsa: Use your favorite salsa for this recipe. If you like mild flavors, be sure to use a mild one, but if you love spice, feel free to amp it up with a really spicy salsa.

Spices: We’re using some classic taco seasoning spices in this recipe. Cumin, oregano, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt are the ones that I really think bring this dish to the next level.

Feel free to replace them with about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of store bought taco seasoning, but I think the homemade spice blends really taste so much better because there are no fillers.

The labeled ingredients for Crockpot salsa chicken.

How To Make Salsa Chicken In The Crockpot

Start by placing the chicken breasts in the bottom of the Crockpot. Then evenly sprinkle the different spices over the chicken. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Adding chicken breasts to a slow cooker, then sprinkling spices on top.

Spread most of the salsa over the chicken, then cover the Crockpot and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.

Spreading salsa over raw chicken breast in a slow cooker.

Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Drain the excess liquid out of the slow cooker, then return the chicken back to the Crockpot.

Draining the cooking liquid from the slow cooker, then returning the chicken breasts back to the slow cooker.

Use two forks to shred the chicken, then mix in the remaining salsa. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

Shredding cooked chicken in a slow cooker, then mixing in salsa.

Can You Overcook Pulled Chicken In The Slow Cooker?

Yes! You can definitely overcook chicken in the slow cooker, especially if you’re cooking it on HIGH (like this recipe calls for). That’s why it’s best to follow the cooking times in the recipe card. If you cook the chicken on HIGH for too long, the meat will dry out.

If you need the times to be more forgiving, then I’d recommend cooking the chicken on LOW. It’s so much less likely to overcook, and because there’s plenty of liquid in the Crockpot, it will stay juicy.

Can I Use Frozen Chicken?

Yes! Just make sure not to use chicken that’s noticeably freezer burnt, because it won’t have the best taste. To use frozen chicken, I’d recommend cooking it on HIGH for about 4 hours, or on LOW for about 8 hours (or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F).

A bowl of shredded salsa chicken next to taco shells and taco toppings.

Is It Better To Cook Chicken On High Or Low In The Crockpot?

Even though cooking chicken on LOW is the easiest way to get great juicy results, I like the practicality of cooking chicken on HIGH. I don’t always have time to wait for my chicken to cook for hours and hours, so I love being able to cook it quickly and still get amazing results.

If you’re going to cook it on HIGH, it’s important to check the chicken for doneness a bit before you think it’s finished cooking to make sure that it doesn’t overcook.

Five hard shell shredded chicken tacos on a platter.

Should I Brown Chicken Before Slow Cooking?

For most recipes, yes, it’s totally worth it to brown the chicken before slow cooking it. Shredded chicken is one of the few exceptions to this rule though, so it’s really not necessary with this recipe.

A close up image of a bowl of shredded slow cooker salsa chicken.

What To Serve Salsa Chicken With

The classic ways to serve this chicken that come to mind are in tacos, in enchiladas, in burritos (or burrito bowls), or on Fajita Nachos. You can also serve it with a side of beans and rice, some yellow rice, or with a side of Jiffy Creamed Corn Cornbread.

I also love adding some of this chicken to my favorite White Queso Dip to make a really filling and crowd-pleasing appetizer. I especially love serving it alongside some homemade pico de gallo.

Shredded salsa chicken tacos on a platter, surrounded by bowls of taco toppings.

Optional Adaptations

The simplest adaptation is to make 2 ingredient slow cooker salsa chicken by omitting the spices and just using the salsa and the chicken.

You could also add black beans and corn in if you’d like to bulk up your meal and make the protein stretch further.

Try different salsas! Red salsa is my favorite, but all the different kinds taste great. Depending on which flavors you like, you could try using salsa verde, pineapple salsa, or mango salsa.

Squeeze in some fresh lime juice after it’s finished cooking at the same time as when you add the remaining salsa. It gives it a lovely fresh note! A little fresh cilantro tastes great, too.

Add in some cubed cream cheese while it’s cooking to make a creamy sauce. If you do this, you probably won’t want to drain the extra juices because there will tons of flavor in the creamy sauce.

If you love ranch, you could also add in a packet of ranch seasoning. Just sprinkle it over the chicken at the same time as the other spices.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

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A Pinterest pin image of slow cooker salsa chicken, with two pictures and title text at the top.

Crockpot Chicken Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our slow cooker recipes! Some reader favorites are:

Yield: 6 servings

BEST Salsa Chicken Crockpot Recipe

The best salsa chicken Crockpot recipe.

Crockpot Salsa Chicken is one of the best dump and go slow cooker recipes! This flavorful shredded chicken is infused with Mexican spices.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa (divided)


  1. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker, and sprinkle the spices evenly over top. Spread 1 cup of the salsa over the chicken.
  2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken reads an internal temperature of 165 F on an instant read meat thermometer. 
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, set it aside and drain the juices from the crockpot.
  4. Return the chicken back to the slow cooker and shred it to your desired size using two forks.
  5. Mix in the 1/2 cup of remaining salsa.
  6. Serve with tacos, on a bed of rice, or on a salad!


*This is a spice blend sold in the US and Canada that’s much more mild than the pure chili powder sold in the UK and other parts of the world.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 4.3gCarbohydrates: 5.1gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 2.7gProtein: 35.2g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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This salsa chicken made in the Crockpot is one of the best dump recipes! Your family will love this easy shredded Mexican chicken.

The best salsa chicken Crockpot recipe.

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