This easy recipe for Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Tacos is the ultimate way to make taco night a breeze! Just add the ingredients to a slow cooker, walk away, and come back to a flavorful and juicy shredded chicken taco filling.
Serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings for an easy and delicious weeknight meal, OR switch it up and add it to taco salad, burrito bowls, nachos, etc.
After I shared my recipe for slow cooker salsa chicken, I knew I had to share this variation for crock pot chicken tacos!
This is my favorite way to make tacos on busy weeknights because the recipe uses just a handful of ingredients, and can be customized to your personal tastes or whatever you have on hand.
But best of all? It's healthy too!
Why You'll Love It:
- So easy! All you have to do is add a jar of salsa and chicken breasts to a slow cooker, then shred and serve with your favorite fixin's.
- Perfect for taco night. With just 5 minutes of prep work, this is the perfect way to enjoy tacos any night of the week.
- Versatile. This recipe isn't just for tacos! Burrito bowls, salad, nachos, and tostadas are all delicious options.
- Uses simple ingredients. The base recipe calls for just salsa and chicken. I like to add some taco seasoning, but it's totally optional.
- Chicken - You'll need 4 large chicken breasts (about 2 pounds) that are both boneless and skinless.
- Salsa - Use a brand or type of salsa that you love the flavor of. My favorites are the fresh salsas available from Garden Fresh Gourmet, but homemade is great too!
- Taco seasoning (OPTIONAL) - This is just an optional ingredient, but it's a nice addition. If you prefer, you can use your favorite seasonings instead (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, etc).
Your Favorite Toppings
The following topping suggestions are only optional, and are meant to give you some ideas for what you'd like to serve with your salsa chicken tacos.
- Sour cream (or crema)
- Salsa (or pico de gallo)
- Lime wedges
- Shredded cabbage
- Chopped onions
- Black beans
- Hot sauce
- Corn tortillas
- Flour tortillas
- Taco shells
Step one: Add the chicken breasts, taco seasoning (if using), and salsa to the bottom of a large slow cooker. Cook on "low" for 4-5 hours.
Step two: Remove the chicken breasts and shred it with two forks or meat shredders.
Step three: Return the shredded chicken to the crock pot.
Step four: Stir to combine the chicken and salsa.
Step five: Use a pair of tongs to serve the shredded salsa chicken with tortillas and your favorite taco toppings.
Fun tip: If serving a crowd, prepare a taco bar with corn and flour tortillas, taco shells, sour cream, cheese, and a variety of toppings.
More Ways to Serve It
- Burrito bowls. Serve on a bed of cooked rice (or cauliflower rice) and top with your favorite burrito toppings (like black beans, cilantro, salsa, lime, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream).
- Taco salad. Serve on a bed of lettuce, along with your favorite toppings and dressing (I like salsa ranch).
- Tostadas. Serve with refried beans and cheese on a crispy fried tortilla.
- Nachos. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, green onions, peppers, onions, and a side of sour cream and salsa.
- Side dish options. Mexican rice, corn, chips and salsa, cilantro lime rice, etc.
Low carb: Use low carb tortillas and choose low carb options for toppings.
Gluten free: Use gluten-free tortillas (or certified gluten free corn tortillas) for serving.
Salsa: If you don't have any salsa on hand you can use homemade salsa, pico de gallo, or salsa verde.
Taco seasoning: This is an optional ingredient, and can be left out if you prefer, or you can make homemade taco seasoning to use instead.
The USDA does not recommend using frozen chicken in a slow cooker, as it can spend a longer amount of time at the "unsafe" temperatures than if you were to use thawed chicken instead. For the best results, thaw your chicken before adding it to a slow cooker recipe.
If you don't have salsa on hand, you can use 1 can of Rotel for every 1 cup of salsa for *most* recipes. Be sure to taste and adjust the flavor to your liking (I add a little cilantro and lime juice).
If you want to use chicken thighs in place of breasts, make sure to use the boneless and skinless type, and be sure to check the internal temperature. Dark meat may take a little longer to come to temperature, so you may need some extra cooking time.
Instant Pot Instructions
Follow the recipe as directed, but add ½ cup of water to prevent getting a burn notice in the Instant Pot.
Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, then do a natural pressure release for 5 minutes before flipping the valve to "venting" to release all of the remaining pressure. Then shred, stir, and serve!
If you loved this recipe for Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Tacos, let me know by leaving a 5-star review in the recipe card or comment below! You can also tag me on Instagram @dashfordinner.
Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Tacos
- 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
- 2 cups salsa good quality*
- 1 package taco seasoning about 2 tablespoons (optional)
- Flour tortillas or corn tortillas
- Salsa (optional)
- Sour cream (optional)
- Favorite taco toppings cilantro, lime wedges, shredded lettuce, cabbage, chopped onions, etc.
- Combine the salsa and chicken. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in the bottom of a slow cooker, sprinkle on the taco seasoning (if using), and pour the salsa on top of the chicken in an even layer.
- Cook. Set the slow cooker to “low” and cook for 4-5 hours, or until it easily shreds with a fork and the thickest portion of each piece reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC).
- Shred. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred it using two forks (or a meat shredder).
- Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and mix it with the salsa.
- Serve the shredded chicken with tortillas and your favorite taco fixings. Salsa, sour cream, cilantro, chopped onion, and lime wedges are a few popular options.
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