3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos

~ With just 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep, these EASY and delicious Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos are an absolute lifesaver on busy nights! Enjoy them very simply, just rolled in tortillas … or create a festive taco bar featuring your family’s favorite toppings! (Originally published on January 8, 2014. Text and photos refreshed, but recipe remains the same.) ~

This Recipe:     Includes Make-Ahead Steps  

Overhead photo of one crock pot chicken taco, laying open to show the chicken topped with a variety of Mexican toppings.

We all have that one recipe.

The one that doesn’t even require a peek at the recipe card. The one that’s your standby and always saves the day when you have no idea what’s for dinner. You know what I mean.

At our house, these Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos (aka Crock Pot Chicken Tacos OR Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos OR just “Oh Yum”!) really are “that one” recipe.

The one that never ever fails to be awesome.

The one that we are always excited to eat.

You’ll Also Love: Crock Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls AND Crock Pot Southwestern Corn Chowder!

Wanna get really excited, too? Then check out our video tutorial on how ridiculously easy this recipe is! (While your tummy rumbles and begs you to make this ASAP, and you maybe drool just a little bit on your screen.)

Video Tutorial

It’s Just Always That Good!

True story: When my little ones dash into the house after school, if their first whiff of home is the incredible aromas of these chicken tacos … well, they do that silly fist-pump move where they make a fist and say “YEAH!!!” while pumping an arm up and down.

Uh-huh … that really happens … because it’s sooo goooood.

A stack of 3 crock pot chicken tacos on a long white serving plate, made very simply with just the slow cooker chicken taco meat wrapped in corn tortillas.

I was sure everyone on the earth had the recipe for my go-to. It was super popular on Pinterest 8 or 9 years ago, and I tell pretty much everybody I talk to about it. So, I just assumed everyone must make this constantly.

I guess not!

When I first mentioned this recipe to Shelley, she looked at me like I was loony. She’d never heard of it!

(When this happens, I joke that she lives under a rock. She knows so much about so many things, and has tried pretty much every food known to man, so if I come up with something new to her, I do my own little dance. Well, it’s more of me just clicking my heels. Alright fine. I usually just high-five. Myself.)

Ok anyhow …

If Shelley didn’t know anything about this, we realized there must surely be others out there whose lives have a similar gaping hole. But no more … today we’re gonna fix that!

So this recipe. This is the one that I make all. the. time.

The Very Best Part of All

Absolute best part?

It goes in the crock pot. Yes, friends. We’re talking a 5-minute prep, and then you just let your slow cooker work its magic.

You’ll just need another 5 minutes to finish the crock pot chicken tacos before you sit down to eat. Serious.

These crock pot chicken tacos served on whole wheat tortillas, instead of corn. Lined up on a serving platter and sprinkled with lettuce, cheese and tomato.

I went back and scoured my Pinterest boards, my pins, my notes – and I can’t figure out who to credit for this awesome recipe. In my research, I saw a reference that Weight Watchers had a recipe like this years ago, so we decided that must have been the genesis of the whole idea. But a Google search and a search of the Weight Watchers site didn’t yield a similar recipe we could link to for this. Ah, well … we’re gonna give them the credit, anyway!

Tested and Re-tested … And It Just Never Fails

In typical THK fashion, we both needed to test this recipe before we shared it with you all. You know we test … and test … and test again.

At first, Shelley was a little skeptical that something so incredibly simple could taste so good. But, she called me before her family was even done eating.

They were loving it. Loving it.

I’m so excited her family gave the thumbs-up (possibly with fist pumps, too) – because now I get to share this recipe with you!

Ok. Get your pens and paper, because you’ll want to take very good notes here.

Ready?

How to Make Crock Pot Chicken Tacos (Easiest Ever Instructions!)

1. Put the chicken in your slow cooker.

2. Cover with taco seasoning.

3. Cover with a jar of salsa.

4. Walk away … and come on back when it’s dinnertime.

Closeup of two forks shredded the cooked taco chicken in the crock pot.

5. Shred your chicken and serve. (And be prepared for the fist pumps.)

Did you get all that? Should I run through it again?

Yep. It’s that simple!

How to Serve Your Tacos

The options here are pretty much endless … and entirely up to you!

• You can simply roll the chicken taco meat in a tortilla and call it a day. You don’t really need anything else.

• But, you can definitely get all fancy-schmancy, and add whatever additional toppings you like – maybe reduced fat cheese and sour cream, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes … there’s no wrong answer here. And, it’s wonderful that everyone at the table can make their own tacos, exactly how they like them. Happy kiddos, happy parents – happy everyone!

Overhead of 3 crock pot chicken tacos made up on a white piece of parchment, each showcasing a different combination of toppings.

• This is a terrific option for family parties and taco bars, too. Set out a slow cooker full of delicious chicken taco meat, and let your guests have a blast creating their own masterpieces (while you relax, stress-free, and enjoy the party)!

• Or ditch the tortillas, and serve your shredded chicken piled on a taco salad. Maybe some whole grain tortilla chips tucked around the side. Fabulous!

• And speaking of tortilla chips, you could even use your chicken to top baked nachos for a great game day appetizer – kind of like we do with our Buffalo Chicken Nachos.

Plus, as if this just couldn’t get any better, the taco chicken meat reheats really well, too. So, it’s perfect for meal prepping and make-ahead meals for busy weeks.

No doubt, I totally think this’ll become your “go-to” recipe.

Shelley’s made it multiple times since that first (fist-pumpin’) night. And I just know it’ll soon be your fave, too!

Closeup of one crock pot chicken taco, laid open flat with lots of toppings sprinkled over the chicken, like lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and sour cream.

Psssst … Looking for More Crockpot Chicken Recipes That’ll Make Your Life EASY?

Oh! And be sure to read up on the question that’s so commonly asked about slow cooking:

A stack of 3 crock pot chicken tacos on a long white serving plate, made very simply with just the slow cooker chicken taco meat wrapped in corn tortillas.

3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos

Yield: 5 cups chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes

These Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos are so ridiculously easy – just 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep! Enjoy the shredded chicken very simply, just rolled in a tortilla ... or create an entire taco bar of festive toppings!

•  Includes Make-Ahead Steps  

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (1.25-ounce) packet low-sodium taco seasoning (see note)
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar of your favorite salsa
  • Ideas for serving: tortillas or taco shells and your choice of optional toppings, such as shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, black beans, corn, chopped avocados or guacamole, reduced-fat sour cream, and hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
  3. Pour salsa on top.
  4. Cook on low (for 6-8 hours) or high (for 4 hours).
  5. Just before serving, use two forks to shred the chicken.
  6. Stir to evenly distribute salsa throughout chicken.
  7. Serve immediately with optional toppings as desired.

Notes

Taco seasoning: We recommend avoiding taco seasoning mixes that contain MSG. Also, there are differences in the amounts of sodium (and other ingredients) in various brands, so it's a good idea to read the nutrition information for the brands offered at your store.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 servings Serving Size: 1/2 cup shredded chicken
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 58mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 22g

Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.

Did You Make This Recipe?

We'd LOVE to hear! Please leave a star-rating above. And, tag us on Instagram @twohealthykitchens or use the sharing buttons below!

Older version of the photo showing 3 rolled tacos, stacked on a rectangular white plate, made simply of meat wrapped in corn tortillas.
Older version of the photo showing one open-face taco, loaded with pretty toppings, laying on white parchment paper.
Older version of the photo showing 3 tacos assembled on a serving plate, with whole wheat tortillas, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and shredded cheese.
3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

239 thoughts on “3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos”

  1. I really like the simplicity of this and decided to do the stovetop “fast” version:

    You’ll need a large tall skillet or saucepan with a lid

    1. Cut chicken into smaller strips or chunks
    2. Brown in 2T olive oil in large saucepan on MED-LOW to MED high heat for about 10-15 min without lid, turning occasionally/ as needed (no need to cook all the way through, it’ll simmer in salsa afterward)
    3. Reduce heat to low after moderately browned and oil is reduced and/or chicken liquid has evaporated
    4. Add salsa, Taco Seasoning (I use Penzey’s), and if more heat is wanted- add some cayenne powder/
    5. Cover. Simmer for 30 minutes
    6. Shred chicken

    7. Add some drained canned sweet corn and drained/rinsed black beans (optional)

    8. serve with taco shells or over rice.

    I’d also recommend fresh cilantro if you like it and have it on hand. Delish!!

    Reply
    • These chicken tacos really are just so deliciously simple, aren’t they? Glad you enjoyed them so much! Your stovetop version sounds terrific, too – perfect for mornings when there isn’t time to get dinner started, but there’s loads of time in the late afternoon to get it cookin’. Love the addition of corn and black beans, too – I add those in my Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl recipe (plus onions and Ro-Tel) – great little additions if you have them on hand! So many ways to customize this! Thanks bunches for taking the time to share your version – always fun to swap recipe ideas with readers! 😀 Have a great week! ~Shelley

      Reply
  2. First off, LOVE THIS! Have made it numerous times for my husband and I. Delicious. Wondering if I would need to adjust the time to do a smaller half batch? While leftovers are usually invited in our home- our work has caused a lot of cold quick meals at work. Any advice appreciated! Thanks for such a recipe staple!

    Reply
    • Hi, Elaine! I’m so delighted to hear how much you love this recipe! I’ve never tried making a half batch, and my only concern is that it’s such a very, very small amount of food to cook in a slow cooker, and could possibly burn. Definitely use a smaller size slow cooker if you can, and keep a close eye on it the first time you try it – maybe make it on a day when you happen to be at home. I’d love to hear how it works out for you if you give it a go! One other thought – you could try freezing the leftovers of a “normal-sized” batch. Portion out the amounts you’d like, so you can thaw smaller amounts for quick meals. I hope this all helps a little – good luck! ~Shelley

      Reply
  3. This looks great! I am excited to try it! Are you sure it feeds 10? I am hosting ten and I am not sure if I should add it by half to make sure everyone is fed, or if this recipe really feeds 10

    Reply
    • Hi there! So, this makes 10 “typical” servings, with a serving being about 1/2 cup of chicken each. Depending on what else you’re serving, though, that definitely doesn’t mean it will actually feed 10 people, since some people – especially big hungry college guys like my son, for example! – will have more than 1 “typical” serving. I would definitely not plan on this being enough for 10 people if a taco bar is basically all that you’re serving at your party. In that case, I would at least double the recipe, if not more. This reheats well if you have leftovers, and, as a hostess, I personally always like to make MORE than enough to be sure I don’t run out. So, I guess it depends on what type of eaters (big, hungry guys??) you’ll be hosting, and what else you’re serving. I hope that helps! GOOD LUCK with your fun party! 😀 ~Shelley

      Reply
    • Absolutely! Hard shells, soft tortillas – even as a topping for a taco salad! These Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos are just easy and good … a winner however you serve them! Hope you love them as much as my family always does! 😀 ~Shelley

      Reply
  4. Save money and make your own taco seasoning.? Store it in a jar. Done and done.

    4 Tlbsp. chili powder
    2 Tlbsp. cumin
    1 Tlbsp. paprika
    1-2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    1 tsp. dried onion
    1 tsp. oregano
    1 tsp. black pepper
    1 Tlbsp. cornstarch ( optional)

    Mix together in a jar.
    Use 2 Tlbsp. per 1 lb. ground beef.

    Reply
    • This sounds like a delicious combination, Trish! And so very easy and economical. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe – I’m sure lots of other readers will be excited to try it, either when they make these Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos, or for other recipes, too! ~Shelley

      Reply
      • I’d be curious if any other readers have tried this? I haven’t tried it personally, but I’m sure it would work in a pinch – it might just not have quite the same layers of flavors in the finished taco meat. Imagine the flavor differences between Rotel and your favorite salsa – not a huge difference since they both rely primarily on tomatoes, but definitely the salsa will usually have additional nuances of flavor. Still, although I’ve never tried it personally, I think if all you happen to have on hand is Rotel, your chicken tacos are still going to turn out to be delicious (especially if you pile on a bunch of additional toppings). Barbara, if you give it a shot, please pop back and let me know how it goes! ~Shelley

      • I’ve always made my chicken taco meat with Rotel. It works great. Not to be that one person that completely changes the recipe, but . . . I prefer to swap out the taco seasoning for fajita seasoning. It’s not a huge difference but there’s a little bit of a citrus kick that brightens up the taste of it in my opinion.

      • Hahaha – no worries about being “that one person,” April – and thank you so much for chiming in here! I fully expect that people will tweak and adapt my recipes to suit their own personal preferences, dietary restrictions – whatever. We all do it – and swapping ideas and suggestions is one of the things I truly love about “talking” with other people who love food and cooking! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas – really! I love when readers “talk” together to share ideas and when I get to hear from my readers about how they make my recipes truly their own. I appreciate that you took the time to answer Barbara – that’s awesome – thank you! 😀 ~Shelley

      • Hahaha – no worries about being “that one person,” April – and thank you so much for chiming in here! I fully expect that people will tweak and adapt my recipes to suit their own personal preferences, dietary restrictions – whatever. We all do it – and swapping ideas and suggestions is one of the things I truly love about “talking” with other people who love food and cooking! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas – really! I love when readers “talk” together to share ideas and when I get to hear from my readers about how they make my recipes truly their own. I appreciate that you took the time to answer Barbara – that’s awesome – thank you! 😀 ~Shelley

Leave a Comment

Published on
Updated on September 21, 2021
Skip to Recipe