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Slow-Cooker Chili Chicken Tacos

Hearty meats such as chicken thighs become fall-apart sumptuous after a long, gentle simmer in the slow cooker -- the results are ideal for shredding into tacos or sandwich fillings.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Slow-Cooker Chili Chicken Tacos

Source: Everyday Food, October 2008

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 hard corn taco shells
  • Cilantro, shredded cheese, lime wedges, and sour cream, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, chiles, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 8 hours).

  2. Transfer chicken to a serving bowl, and shred, using two forks; moisten with cooking juices. Serve in taco shells, with toppings, if desired.

Cook's Note

Oven method: preheat oven to 350 degrees. In step 1, use a 5-quart Dutch oven or ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid; add 2 cups water. Cover; bake until chicken is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Proceed with step 2.

Reviews (42)

  • galaxyrodeo 14 Apr, 2014

    This recipe is awesome. It's super fast, super easy, and tastes like home made Mexican food. I use salsa with no preservatives or additives and usually add vegetables like potatoes, squash, peppers, carrots, and onions. Throw some quinoa on the side and you have a pretty healthy Mexican chicken stew.

  • Diane Robertson 30 Jul, 2013

    I haven't made these yet, but I always buy rotisserie chicken on sale and then freeze. I would use the chicken and seasonings, then put in crockpot just to heat up. Would save a bit of time.

  • amylah 28 Jul, 2013

    this recipe is crazy easy and delicious. IMO it makes more than 4 servings... more like 6 or even 8 depending on how full you make your tacos. I recently experimented with frozen chicken tenders instead of the chicken thighs (cooked for the same amount of time) and it came out just as good - presumably with less fat/calories as well. I love findings crock pot recipes like this one that can actually be easily assembled in the morning.

  • Raspy10 1 Apr, 2013

    This recipe worked out perfectly. I ended up adding sliced green and red peppers (1 each) and sliced up 1 whole yellow onion and added a can of black beans. I also added a tsp of cumin and a sprinkling of salt for extra seasoning and cooked in high for 4 hours and low for another 2 hours. It came out perfectly. This will definitely be one of my go-to recipes for my crock pot!

  • Sarah Miller Cummins 1 Mar, 2013

    These are amazing and so easy to prepare! When all three of my boys like something, I consider it a huge hit! Love the kick these have!

  • Slightly 13 Feb, 2013

    I made this with chicken tenders instead of dark meat (my husband and I prefer white meat). I used a little extra salsa and only a dollop of the adobo sauce (taste it first - it's very spicy, so use what you think everyone will like).

    I was worried that the white meat would dry out, but it didn't. I cooked it on low for 8 hours and when I took it out to shred, it was delicious and moist. I often make ground turkey or beef tacos, but this is definitely a nice spin that I will be making again.

  • MariaCristinaL 20 Jan, 2013

    This recipe is amazing!!! The meat was so juicy and had tons of flavor. I used chicken breasts so it had almost zero fat and it was fantastic.

  • recipesbycarla 4 Dec, 2012

    Great idea for chicken that becomes too soft for other uses. This is a fantastic meal that the kids will love.

    Thanks,

    Carla, author of:
    31 Healthy Kids Lunch Recipes
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AA8G2UY

  • Josie Seymour 6 Nov, 2012

    Love, love, love. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs (because I'm picky) and it still turned out so tender and yummy. I've never used chipotle chiles for anything and it really made the flavor wonderful. I also added fresh cilantro to the pot. I love this recipe and will make it again for sure!

  • MrsStudo19 24 Jul, 2012

    After scrambling for something to throw in the crock pot real quick before work, I found this recipe. So easy, fast, and so tasty! The only thing I wish is if they would give exact portion sizes instead of servings. That way it's easier to know how much to eat while on a diet but making the recipe large enough for a family.

  • Machadomom76 28 Feb, 2012

    An amazing and easy recipe my entire family loved! I didn't have chili powder on hand but substituted chili seasoning from a mix and it was great. Will for sure make again!

  • ahughes 16 Aug, 2011

    This is SERIOUSLY my favourite taco recipe - so much flavour and so easy to make! Definitely a staple for us!

  • queenzookie 13 Jul, 2011

    Insanely easy recipe. I used a 3-qt slow cooker and probably could have fit 3 lbs of chicken (rather than just 2). I minced the garlic instead of slicing it. I used hot salsa plus 2 Tbsp. chipotle and it was plenty spicy. The sauce was kind of greasy from the chicken but not enough to deter me from making this again.

  • jkot 23 May, 2011

    This recipe is SO good and very easy to make. Very tasty. Everyone raves about how good the chicken is. We use soft tortilla shells instead of hard. THIS IS A MUST TRY RECIPE!!!!

  • DexNAda 20 Mar, 2011

    This recipe is super quick and easy! I had everything pulled out and in the pot in 11 mins. I set my cooker to low and it was still done in 4.5 hrs. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fresh pico de gallo and since we are dairy free I used Daiya Cheddar Cheese. My husband and I had a fabulous meal! Can't wait to find more gems like this one.

  • mss4038 10 Mar, 2011

    This was awesome! And so easy. A hit with my husband, probably too spicy for my kiddos though (could be made without, however). Made a couple modifications: used 1 lb chicken, halved the seasonings, used 7 oz canned salsa, and kept the chipotle chili at 1 Tbsp for extra spice. Served with cilantro lime rice. Delicious!

  • MittenFoodie 28 Feb, 2011

    Really delicious and couldn't be more simple! This would be perfect for feeding a crowd.

  • dhaliadhalia 27 Jan, 2011

    I love this recipe. I use boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs. I add a bit more salsa and a tbsp of oil and cook on low for 5hrs. It is fantastic!!

  • MrsHyland 2 Jan, 2011

    Delish, esp with sour cream. I went a little crazy with the adobos... Next time, I'll stick to the recommended amount. This was so very easy!

  • AmyPDX 6 Nov, 2010

    So yummy. I cooked it on low for 6 hours and the chicken thighs were perfect. Any longer and they would have been overdone.

  • katielaine 20 Oct, 2010

    This was delicious! And so easy! I let the chicken marinate in the mixture overnight, and it was very moist. Hubby rated it 9.5 out of 10 (and he's a super-picky eater)!

  • Coleman Boys Mama 18 Sep, 2010

    Made this tonight and they were delicious! Nothing like having dinner ready when you get home on a Friday! Next time, I would add some more liquid...either more salsa, a little water or maybe some chicken broth. They weren't as moist as I had expected, but had great flavor! Will definitely be making these again!

  • robynbmwz3 20 Jan, 2010

    So good and so easy. Great for soft tacos or chicken nachos too!

  • jkot 12 Aug, 2009

    All I can say is FABULOUS!!!

  • mustardseed33 2 Jun, 2009

    The simplest recipe I have ever made and one of the tastiest! Prep time is literally 5 minutes. Sooooo Delicious!

  • Niconomicon 2 May, 2009

    This recipe was so good and so easy. I added the full 2 tablespoons of the chipotles and it gave it a nice kick.

  • Elizsafox 3 Mar, 2009

    I added one yellow onion in with the chicken when I initially put it all into the slow cooker and I think it made it even better! But be careful with the adobo chilis, I went overboard (I added more than the recipe called for).

  • vickibug 21 Jan, 2009

    These are absolutely incredible. My husband is allergic to tomatoes so I subbed salsa verde for tomato salsa and it was excellent. I was a little worried about the heat since I have a 4 year old, but they weren't spicy at all (just flavorful) and she just loved them. We did soft tacos and topped with lettuce, monterey jack cheese and corn. The corn added a nice sweetness to it. So easy, it has been added to my family's favorites.

  • detroiterchick 16 Dec, 2008

    This is a yummy recipe. However, I seeded the chipotle peppers and added slightly less than what was called for to tone down the heat. Enjoy!

  • FutureDoc 18 Oct, 2008

    I am known as the girl who can't cook but - this recipe proved them all wrong! Everybody loved it and was raving about it. I used Jalapenos instead of chipotle chiles and poured in a taco seasoning packet instead of chili powder. This is a great recipe!

  • FutureDoc 18 Oct, 2008

    I am known as the girl who can't cook but - this recipe proved them all wrong! Everybody loved it and was raving about it. I used Jalapenos instead of chipotle chiles and poured in a taco seasoning packet instead of chili powder. This is a great recipe!

  • valuesavvy 15 Oct, 2008

    We had some leftover, so we put in on tostadas with fried eggs

  • valuesavvy 15 Oct, 2008

    FABULOUS chicken! Absolutely WONDERFUL! HIghly recommend! Delicious with sliced avocado

  • dinomom 7 Oct, 2008

    sorry the submit button wasn't working for me either. I actually only hit it twice!

  • dinomom 7 Oct, 2008

    VERY GOOD! The chicken is so tender and very flavorful. I subsituted 1T of taco seasoning for the chili powder bc my husband only likes chili powder in CHILI, ugh. Even a hit with the kids, who usually only like beef tacos.

  • dinomom 7 Oct, 2008

    VERY GOOD! The chicken is so tender and very flavorful. I subsituted 1T of taco seasoning for the chili powder bc my husband only likes chili powder in CHILI, ugh. Even a hit with the kids, who usually only like beef tacos.

  • sweetie23 7 Oct, 2008

    I'm so sorry the submit button wasn't working!

  • sweetie23 7 Oct, 2008

    Has anyone used chicken breasts instead of the chicken thighs? I'm wondering if they would get too dried out.

  • sweetie23 7 Oct, 2008

    Has anyone used chicken breasts instead of the chicken thighs? I'm wondering if they would get too dried out.

  • sweetie23 7 Oct, 2008

    Has anyone used chicken breasts instead of the chicken thighs? I'm wondering if they would get too dried out.

  • michabarno 7 Oct, 2008

    We've already made this twice, and my husband and I agree it's a weekly must-have. I've got some in the freezer too, for emergencies! Chipotle is an addictive flavor like chocolate! Usually these recipes are on the mild-side of spicy, so I urge you to use a full 2 Tablespoons of chipotles in adobo. This will NOT be overwhelming if you subdue the tacos then with lime, cheese, and sour cream. I also serve these with a warm corn-and-black-bean salsa. The garlic is key, so don't skimp! FIVE STARS

  • jennyferd 4 Oct, 2008

    Thi s is the tastiest chicken you will ever make! I used a chipolte salsa to go with the chipolte chilis. I used regular corn tortillas heated up on the stove and it was fabulous! Super easy too! :)

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