This amazingly flavorful Crockpot Mexican Chicken is cooked low and slow for 4-6 hours with green chilies, salsa, and Mexican spices. Prep takes just 15 minutes, and you can freeze it for later or stick it in the slow cooker straight away! It’s perfect for burritos, salads, and tacos!
I love slow cooker Mexican recipes that are effortless and taste amazing! Try my Beef Barbacoa for the ultimate fall-apart-tender beef recipe, and my Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers have a Mexican flair you will just love!
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Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
Set it and forget it – what’s not to love about a crockpot? It is the best meal prep hack for me, especially on busy days! Because the food is cooked slowly over a longer period of time, it allows all of the flavors to develop much more than a 30-minute stovetop recipe. Even better, Crockpot Mexican Chicken is the perfect recipe to make at the beginning of the week because we always have leftovers! I can usually get 2 meals out of most slow cooker recipes, and it’s so easy to double up the ingredients!
Crockpot Mexican Chicken is packed full of flavor and one of my all-time favorite Mexican chicken recipes. It’s so versatile! I like to add this Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken to burritos bowls, quesadillas, tacos, or alongside rice and beans. You can use it in so many ways and the recipe makes a lot! I made this chicken in my favorite crockpot. It’s what I use for all of my slow cooker recipes. All you need is about 10 minutes of prep time to throw this recipe together! Here’s what you’ll need:
Ingredients for Crockpot Mexican Chicken
- Chicken thighs: I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe. Chicken thighs are super juicy and don’t dry out as chicken breasts do. You can substitute bone-in chicken or boneless chicken breast in this recipe, just make sure to adjust the cooking time. I would cook it for no more than 4 hours on low so that it stays nice and juicy.
- Salsa: Use your favorite kind of salsa! I like my chicken spicy so I usually use a hotter salsa, however, a fire-roasted salsa would add an amazing charred flavor, and for something a little sweeter, mango habanero would be delicious!
- Diced green chilies: You can find these canned chilies in the International Isle in the supermarket next to the enchilada sauce! If you can’t find any feel free to dice up one or two regular green chili peppers and add them in.
- Diced tomatoes: Pro tip: make sure to drain the tomatoes before adding them to the slow cooker. The chicken will already give off plenty of liquid as it cooks and if you add more liquid it will become soupy!
- Chipotle peppers: I add in two chipotle peppers for a little kick. You can always add more or less depending on your preferred spice level. They add a nice smokiness to the dish.
- Spices: I add in chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano for a ton of flavor! These are all standard spices in Mexican cuisine, so it tastes authentic!
How to make Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
This Crockpot Mexican Chicken could not be any easier to make. Simply add the chicken thighs, seasonings, green chilies, chipotle peppers, salsa, and diced tomatoes to the slow cooker. Stir then cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily. (You can shred the chicken in the slow cooker or take it out and shred on a cutting board and add it back to the slow cooker). Tip: Use a hand mixer to shred the chicken. Sounds crazy but works like magic! Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with fresh chopped cilantro if desired.
Storage & Reheating Instructions
- Store Crockpot Mexican Chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheat this dish in a pot on the stove, in the microwave, or in the oven until it is piping hot.
Can I freeze this?
Yes! Simply add all of your ingredients (cooked or raw) to a large ziplock bag freezer bag or airtight container and pop it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat this thaw overnight in the refrigerator and cook this Mexican Chicken in the crockpot as directed. This chicken can also be cooked frozen in the slow cooker. Just make sure to add an extra hour or two on for cooking time! You can also heat this up from frozen in the Instant Pot. Select the high-pressure setting on the Instant pot and cook for 20 minutes then allow the steam to naturally release!
What to make with this Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
Side dishes to serve with these Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Thighs
Whether you’re making tacos, burritos, or salad, this crockpot Mexican chicken goes so well with the following:
- Refried Black Beans
- Pico de gallo
- Spanish Rice
- Homemade tortilla chips
- Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- Creamy Mexican Corn Salad
- Mexican Kale Salad
- Avocado Corn and Black Bean Salsa
- Chipotle Corn Salsa
Tips for Success
- Make sure to drain the canned tomatoes before adding them to the crockpot. This Crockpot Mexican Chicken needs no extra liquid, in fact, leaving it in will turn this recipe into Mexican Chicken soup!
- Use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs if that’s what you have on hand. Just reduce the cooking time to 4 hours on low so that the chicken doesn’t dry out.
- Can’t find canned diced green chilis? Make your own or add a regular diced green pepper to the crockpot.
frequently asked questions
Can you put raw chicken pieces in a slow cooker?
Absolutely! Cooking the chicken from a raw state allows it to absorb the other flavors while it cooks. It is delicious! Also, I wouldn’t recommend adding cooked chicken to a slow cooker as it may become quite dry.
How long should you cook chicken in a crockpot?
Cook chicken on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. I always do the minimum time for chicken breasts as they tend to cook quicker, and a little longer for chicken thighs as they are tougher.
Can you slow cook chicken without liquid?
Yes! Raw chicken already has a lot of liquid retained in it so when it cooks the juices are released. As this is cooked in a sealed slow cooker, instead of the juices evaporating as they would in an open pan on the stove, they remain in the slow cooker so there is no need to add extra liquid to many chicken dishes, including this Crockpot Mexican Chicken.
Here are more Easy Slow Cooker Recipes to try!
- Slow Cooker Firecracker Chicken Meatballs
- Easy Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
- Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
- Crockpot Beef and Broccoli
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1-2 chipotle peppers, depending on how spicy you would like it
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cilantro for serving, if desired
- Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker except for the salt, pepper and cilantro. Stir to combine.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours or until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily. (You can shred the chicken in the slow cooker or take it out and shred on a cutting board and add it back to the slow cooker)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with cilantro if desired.