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Crock Pot Mexican Chicken

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken is the perfect shredded chicken recipe for your next Mexican recipe. Packed with flavor and super tender thanks to hours in the crock pot, this recipe is sure to please!

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken

We have tacos in some variation or another a couple times a month.

It’s something easy that all the kids like and I can make it relatively healthy with the different toppings that I offer.

It’s a pretty great thing that I’m consistently finding more and more meals, and then variations of those meals, that all 4 kids like to eat.

The kids usually like all of the Mexican chicken recipes I make, and taco night is a favorite. We recently had tacos with this Crock Pot Mexican Chicken.

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For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

This blog post, photos, and recipe for Crock Pot Mexican Chicken were originally published September of 2010.

YIKES. At that time, I had only had a decent camera for a few months.

When you look at a side by side it is clear that I have learned so much about photography since 2010.

Click here if you’d like to see a screen shot of what the photos used to look like. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!

Shredded Mexican Chicken is so easy to cook in a crock pot (or a pressure cooker if you have one).

It’s a great basic recipe to have on hand in your freezer for use in burrito, QuesadillasSoft TacosChicken EnchiladasChicken Tortilla Soup, or Chimichangas.

It is even great to add on top of a quick salad for lunch.

Really, you can put this Crock Pot Mexican Chicken in any recipe that you want to have a little Mexican or Tex-Mex flair.

I love that on busy days dinner is always well on its way to being ready thanks to this Crock Pot Mexican Chicken that’s been cooking away – especially when we are out of the house on the weekend and can come home to this.

I definitely like that there isn’t a big mess to clean up.

I seriously wish I had more crock pot chicken recipes.

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken photos

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You could totally take this recipe and cook it in the oven, stove top, or even on the grill.

I much prefer cooking this type of chicken in the crock pot than any other way because I don’t have to coordinate my schedule with the oven’s time-line.

I usually get it started early in the day so it’s ready before I actually need it. That way there’s no last minute anything.

Recipes like Crock Pot Mexican Chicken really save the day when I’m feeling like I need an extra 8 hours in my day to get everything done.

It just takes a little organization up front to get things cooking in time.

This recipe is easily doubled, or even tripled if you have a larger crock pot. The chicken can be frozen in portions for later use (stored frozen for up to 2 months).

On days that are a little busier, I have even opted to make Crock Pot Mexican Chicken in the pressure cooker instead of the crock pot.

Add all the ingredients just as described, I’ve even added frozen chicken when I don’t have time to thaw it, and bring it to a boil.

After the mixture comes to a boil, put the lid on and cook at high pressure for about 30 minutes, more along the lines of 45 if the chicken is frozen.

After the cooking time is up, turn the heat off and let sit until the pressure has released before opening the cooker.

Sadly, the handle broke off of my stove top pressure cooker during our move so I had to toss it.

I haven’t yet tried the recently popular Instant Pot (or equivalent). So, if you have one of those, I’d love to hear how it goes making this recipe.

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken picture

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Another great thing about slow cookers or pressure cookers is that the chicken becomes so tender it is really easy to shred.

I have a few tips and a couple of different methods for How to Shred Chicken.

You’ll want to try some of those techniques after you prepare this Crock Pot Mexican Chicken for nice, tender shredded pieces of chicken.

Once you shred the chicken, you can use it in any recipe you like.

To freeze the chicken, cool it first and then divide it into your desired portions in freezer safe containers or freezer safe zip top bags.

You’ll have a little stash of prepped chicken in the freezer to rescue you on busy days. Crock pot chicken recipes for the win!

When we ate this Crock Pot Mexican Chicken in tacos the other week, we used small flour tortillas.

For our veggie toppings, I had some Cilantro Lime Broccoli Slaw and 5 Minute Basic Guacamole.

On the side I served some seasoned black beans. Super simple but everyone ate it up.

You can keep it basic with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, guac, and cheddar cheese for a simple chicken taco.

Or, if you want to get fancy, check these 7 Ways to Up Your Taco Tuesday Game.

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken IMAGE

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Use Crock Pot Mexican Chicken in These Recipes

Looking for recipes to use this Crock Pot Mexican Chicken? Check out some of these favorite recipes that taste great with shredded chicken. Or, browse the recipe index archives for even more great recipe ideas:

Don’t have ground chicken? No problem! Sub this shredded Crock Pot Mexican Chicken for ground chicken in these tasty and nutritious Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

I love Mexican Chicken recipes like these Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Chile Gravy Enchilada Sauce.

It was a classic for me growing up in the Houston area. I always use this chicken recipe to make these amazing enchiladas.

For a lighter enchilada recipe, try these Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Enchiladas.

We’ve combined two of our recent dinner time favorites – Chicken Enchiladas and Chili – into this new recipe for Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Chili.

Using shredded chicken makes it really quick to make.

Easy Baked Wonton Chicken Taquitos just got a whole lot easier by cooking the Mexican chicken in the crock pot first.

If you want to add meat to this Ultimate Easy Nachos Recipe, Crock Pot Mexican Chicken would go perfectly!

Garlic Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Quesadillas are super fast and easy to whip up if you use this Crock Pot Mexican Chicken in the recipe.

Another one of my favorite Mexican Chicken recipes is this Chicken Tortilla Soup.

It will warm you up on any cold night thanks both to the spicy broth as well as a steaming bowl of soup.

Another great Mexican chicken soup recipe is this White Bean Chicken Chili Verde.

Or try a make your own night with these Spanish Rice Taco Salad Bowls. Everyone can add their favorite ingredients to their own bowl.

Have you ever made Crock Pot Mexican Chicken before?

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This recipe  was originally published September 21, 2010. It has been updated with new photos and the instructions have been improved for clarity and a quicker, easier process. The Mexican Crock Pot Chicken still tastes great!

shredded mexican chicken in a white bowl

Shredded Tex-Mex Crock-Pot Chicken

Yield: serves 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken is the perfect shredded chicken recipe for your next Mexican recipe. Packed with flavor and super tender thanks to hours in the crock pot, this recipe is sure to please!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (about 2.5 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup Chicken Broth or Water
  • 2 Limes
  • 1/3 cup (packed) cilantro leaves
  • 1 large Onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 Jalapeño, sliced
  • optional garnish: sliced Green Onion and chopped Cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, coriander, salt and black pepper.
  2. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Place the chicken inside the insert of your crock pot.
  4. Sprinkle the top of the chicken breasts with half of the seasoning.
  5. Then, flip the chicken and sprinkle the other side with the remaining seasoning mixture.
  6. Add the chicken broth or water to the crock pot.
  7. Squeeze the juice from the limes over the top of the seasoned chicken.
  8. Add the cilantro leaves, onion wedges, and jalapeño slices to the crock pot, arranging them in and around the seasoned chicken breasts.
  9. Cook on low for 3-5 hours, or until cooked through (different crock-pots cook at varying heats) and tender.
  10. Remove chicken breasts from the crock pot, shred and place in a bowl. Set aside.
  11. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids.
  12. Add all of the juices back to the shredded chicken.
  13. Stir to distribute them all over the meat.
  14. Garnish, if desired, with chopped cilantro and sliced green onions.

Notes

RECIPE TIPS

  • You could also prepare this recipe in a pressure cooker. Cook for about 30-45 minutes on high pressure. Make sure you add the required amount of liquid according to the pressure cooker instructions and follow the proper pressure release protocol.
  • Depending on your heat preferences, leave the seeds in the jalapeño (for spicier) or remove them (for milder) flavor.

Where is the Original Recipe?


For those Asking about the "Original" Recipe (pre 2017) here is the original recipe. A commenter on this post was able to help me locate an archive of it.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup (packed) cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 limes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the oil in a medium sized sauté pan. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika and garlic and sauté two more minutes. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth making sure to scrape up any browned bits. Turn off and set aside.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to crock pot. Squeeze the lime on top, add the cilantro, jalapeno, and pour the onion and garlic mixture over top.

Cook on low for 3-5 hours, or until cooked through (different crock-pots cook at varying heats) and tender. Remove chicken breasts from the crock pot, shred and place in a bowl. Scoop out the onions and add to the chicken. Depending on the amount of juices produced, you may want to add some or all of the juice back to the shredded chicken.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 122Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 51mgSodium 512mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 19g

Did you make this recipe?

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Favorite Taco Tuesday Recipes

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Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it by leaving a comment below.

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Darrin Mitzel

Sunday 31st of March 2019

After trying a few different crock pot chicken recipes, this one is the one I’ll go back to again and again. The flavors in this are perfect! Chicken came out very tender and juicy! It was perfect for our large family gathering. Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe. 

Katie

Monday 1st of April 2019

So glad to hear you love it! Thanks for stopping by :)

Adrienne

Friday 28th of December 2018

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! This recipe is heaven sent! I omitted the jalapeno, onion, & coriander just because I didn't have them on hand but my husband LOVED IT! This is a big deal for my extra-picky eater! He even made suggestions on ways we could incorporate the chicken into other dishes! This is a miracle in our household. The fact that all I had to do was mix some spices and drop it in the crockpot is a bonus!

Katie

Wednesday 2nd of January 2019

So glad you liked it! Thank you for stopping by and letting me know. I appreciate each and every comment. Happy New Year!

Nicole

Tuesday 6th of November 2018

Do you leave the lime slices in the pot to cook with the chicken after squeezing the juice over it? 

Katie

Tuesday 6th of November 2018

I do sometimes, and sometimes I don't - it just depends on how much lime you want in the flavor. Either way is great though!

Michele

Tuesday 24th of July 2018

Did this recipe change? I thought I was crazy looking for the one where you heat up a paste first but I think it'd this one still..

Katie

Tuesday 15th of October 2019

here is the original recipe. I recent commenter on this post was able to help me locate an archive of it.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1 tablespoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon coriander 1/4 teaspoon paprika 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 tsp black pepper 1/3 cup chicken broth 1/3 cup (packed) cilantro leaves, chopped 2 limes 1 large onion, chopped 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil

DIRECTIONS: Heat the oil in a medium sized sauté pan. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika and garlic and sauté two more minutes. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth making sure to scrape up any browned bits. Turn off and set aside.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Add to crock pot. Squeeze the lime on top, add the cilantro, jalapeno, and pour the onion and garlic mixture over top.

Cook on low for 3-5 hours, or until cooked through (different crock-pots cook at varying heats) and tender. Remove chicken breasts from the crock pot, shred and place in a bowl. Scoop out the onions and add to the chicken. Depending on the amount of juices produced, you may want to add some or all of the juice back to the shredded chicken.

Katie

Tuesday 24th of July 2018

Yes, I did edit the recipe to reflect the way that I've been making it for the last few years. If you like, you can sauce the onion and add the seasonings and then the broth to it (what you are referring to about heating up a paste first) like the old recipe stated.

Jessi

Sunday 6th of May 2018

Greetings! I am on the hunt for a delish Mexican chicken recip for my little family! I want lots of flavor and this one seems to be just what I’m looking for!  But I have a question on discarding the solids... I was thinking about adding a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and a can of drained and rinsed black beans, maybe a can of diced green chilis and omitting the broth (since the diced tomatoes have liquid)... by adding these things to the crock pot, I really wouldn’t want to discard the solids! I just wanted to see what you thought about this. Is that discarding step really imperative?

Katie

Tuesday 8th of May 2018

You can discard them if you like or not, totally up to you. I probably wouldn't add the beans until the end, however. The tomatoes and the green chiles are fine to add at the beginning.