What makes this chicken so tender and flavorful is starting with salsa as a base for the chicken’s cooking sauce.   By incorporating traditional Mexican spices with the salsa, you can easily create delicious shredded taco meat that everyone will enjoy.  

The result will be tender and juicy chicken with a burst of bold flavors that will make great tacos every time. 

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A bowl of crock pot chicken tacos with sauce made out of salsa smothered on it

This taco meat recipe is sure to become a family staple for easy freezer meals or quick party planning.  Perfect for soft flour tortillas and hard or soft corn taco shells.

 The Easiest Way To Get Perfect Chicken Taco Meat Every Time!

  • Tender Juicy Chicken Taco Meat: For perfect chicken taco meat, use a crockpot to slowly cook a mixture of chicken thighs and chicken breasts.  Slow cooking blends flavors, tenderizes, and moistens the meat, with the dark meat bringing richness and moisture and the white meat providing a lighter flavor. This combination guarantees a well-rounded taste and texture for your shredded chicken tacos.
  • Great Chicken Taco Sauce: Using salsa as a base for your cooking sauce with traditional Mexican spices infuses the meat with a rich, savory flavor, making it a delicious and foolproof way to prepare chicken for tacos.

This combination assures great-tasting shredded chicken tacos every time.

 If you are looking for more easy shredded chicken recipes, be sure to try my Juicy Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast Recipe, 5-Minute Prep, Juicy Slow Cooker Chicken Shredded and Juicy and Tender Crock Pot Whole Chicken Recipe.

Chicken Taco Recipe Grocery List

The ingredients to make Crock-Pot chicken including white meat thighs salsa lime pepper salt Cayenne coriander cumin and chili powder
  • Chicken: Using a combination of boneless skinless chicken thighs and white chicken meat (breasts) creates juicy and flavorful shredded chicken tacos.
  • Salsa: This is where you can get creative and make this your own recipe. Use your favorite salsa as the base for the sauce. 

Here are a few of my favorite salsa recipes. Green Salsa, pico de galloI’ve Got A Million Cherry Tomatoes Salsa Recipe, Fermented Salsa, and Simple Authentic Mexican Restaurant Style salsa.

  • Lime: Use freshly squeezed lime juice, not bottled, for the best flavor
  • Taco seasoning: Traditional Mexican spices blend well with salsa to make a great cooking sauce for these chicken tacos.  I suggest using smoked paprika for a subtle smoky flavor, but you could use sweet paprika if you prefer. 

Step By Step Cooking Instructions

  1. In your crock pot,  add the salsa, lime juice, and all your seasonings. Give it a good stir to mix everything together.
  1. Next, gently place the chicken into the salsa mixture, using a large spoon to coat the chicken. Make sure it is completely covered and then submerged into the salsa mixture.
raw chicken in salsa and seasonings ready too cook in a crock pot
  1. After placing the lid on your crock pot, cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6. 

It’s important to note that according to the USDA poultry cooking guidelines, chicken must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees to be thoroughly cooked. 

  1. After the cooking time is over, take off the lid. Then, using two forks, gently pull the chicken into shredded pieces. Give the shredded chicken a final stir to coat well with the cooking sauce. 
  1. At this point, you can serve the shredded taco chicken meat or keep it warm for an hour or so when you are ready to serve.  If it looks a bit dry, just add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of chicken broth to keep it moist until it’s time to serve. 

Easy Way To Shred A Big Batch Of Chicken Taco Meat

If you are double or tripling this recipe to serve at a party, you can use your stand mixer to shred the meat. Place the cooked chicken in a stand mixer bowl and use the paddle attachment on low speed to shred the chicken. Return the chicken to the crock pot and stir it into the seasoned cooking sauce.

Need to make a big batch? I can help. In the recipe card below, all you have to do is tap 2X to double or 3x to triple this recipe. The amounts for each ingredient will change, then hit the print button. Here is another tip: slide over the sleep mode tab in the recipe card to prevent your phone screen from going dark while you are making the recipe. It’s that easy!

Slow cooker chicken tacos in a bowl sitting next to a soft taco shell stuffed with meat cheese and other toppings

Leftover Chicken Taco Meat

The slow cooker chicken tacos meat is versatile and can be used to make multiple meals with the leftovers.

Refrigerate

To store leftover chicken taco meat, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3-4 days. 

Meal Prep To Freezer

This recipe is perfect for meal prep because it produces a large batch of delicious shredded taco chicken meat that you can use for easy weeknight dinners.  

  1. After cooking and shredding the chicken, allow it to cool to room temperature.  
  2. Portion it into serving-size bags or containers. When meal-prepping shredded chicken, a good rule of thumb is to allocate about 4-5 ounces of chicken per person when you freeze it. 
  3. Place the bags into the freezer on a flat surface for easy stacking. 
  4. You can store the chicken taco meat in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. 
  5. When you’re ready to use it, simply transfer a portion from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before to let it thaw. If you are in a hurry, you could use the defrost button on your microwave. 

You’ll have flavorful shredded chicken ready to go for quick and easy meals, like tacos, burrito bowls, or enchiladas.

Chicken Taco Tuesday Dinner Party 

Preparing a taco buffet for a Taco Tuesday party when hosting guests in your home is an excellent idea. It allows your guests to personalize their tacos according to their taste, making it a fun and interactive dining experience for everyone. Moreover, it is easy for you to prepare ahead of time, which means you get to relax and enjoy the party too. Also, a taco bar will cater to different dietary preferences and restrictions for your guests. Everyone will have a great celebration on Taco Tuesday! 

  1. Start by placing the slow cooker with the shredded taco chicken meat on the “keep warm” setting at the front of the buffet line. 
  2. Next, pop over to my How To Heat Corn Tortillas and Keep Them Warm For A Party post. These methods also work great for soft taco shells made out of flour.  Decide the best method for our buffet line. 
  3. Arrange the following Chicken taco toppings in bowls or baskets, making sure they are easily accessible for guests. Be sure to have plenty of serving spoons and tongs set out. 

Here are some of my favorite topping ideas for a taco bar to help get you started. 

How much chicken do I need for tacos?

🔑 Using a traditional 6-inch tortilla or hard taco shell, the average person eats 3 chicken tacos stuffed with 4 ounces of cooked meat per meal.

  • 5 people eat 15 tacos = 1. 7 pounds of boneless skinless chicken meat needed
  • 10 people eat 30 tacos = 3.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken meat needed
  • 25 people eat 75 tacos = 8.6 pounds of boneless skinless chicken meat needed
  • 50 people eat 150 tacos = 17.2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken meat needed

Pin This Chicken Tacos Party Chart For Later

chart showing how much chicken meat is needed for different size parties

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Do you have a question about this recipe❓ I will answer in the comment form below👇🏼 the recipe card. Did you make this recipe? If so, could you be a gem and leave a comment and rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below? This helps others find yummy 😋 recipes to make for their family and friends.

A bowl of Crock-Pot chicken tacos sitting next to a taco shell stuffed with meat cheese and sour cream and a Sprinkle of salsa
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Mexican Crockpot Chicken Tacos Recipe (5 Min. Prep)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Spice up your taco dinner with this authentic Mexican crockpot chicken tacos recipe. With simple ingredients and minimal prep time, these tacos are not only delicious but also easy to prep in under 5 minutes. 

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice , freshly squeezed, not bottled
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound chicken thighs , boneless, skinless
  • 1 pound chicken breast , boneless, skinless

Instructions
 

  • In the crock pot, add salsa, lime juice, and seasonings. Stir to combine.
    2 cups salsa, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Place the chicken into the salsa mixture, using a large spoon to coat the chicken. Be sure it is completely covered and then submerged into the salsa mixture.
    1 pound chicken thighs, 1 pound chicken breast
  • Cover with the lid. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6.  Note that chicken must reach an internal temperature of 165 to be thoroughly cooked.
  • After the cooking time is over, remove the lid. Using two forks, gently pull the chicken into shredded pieces. Give the shredded chicken a final stir to coat well with cooking sauce.
  • At this point, you can serve the chicken or keep it warm for an hour or so. If it seems to dry out, add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of chicken broth to keep it moist until it’s time to serve.what tUSDA poultry cooking guidelines,

Equipment

Notes

Large Batch Tip: If you are double or tripling this recipe to serve at a party, you can use your stand mixer to shred the meat. Place the cooked chicken in a stand mixer bowl and use the paddle attachment on low speed to shred the chicken. Return the chicken to the crock pot and stir it into the seasoned cooking sauce.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 211kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 92mg, Sodium: 686mg, Potassium: 514mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 575IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina Dickson

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