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”

    • Hi, Steph! I’ve never tried it with fajita seasonings, so I can’t recommend an exact amount or a specific blend – but I would have to imagine it would work well, too. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how it works out! 😀 ~Shelley

      Reply
  1. I am away from home and do not have a crock pot at our vacation rental. Can this be cooked on low temperature all day in the oven? If so what temperature and for how long?

    Reply
    • Hi, Brenda. I really apologize, but I’m not sure specifically how to advise you on that, as I’ve never tried it. I know how frustrating it can be to get to a vacation rental and not have the equipment you expect to find. Truly apologize that I can’t be of more assistance, but I’d hate to suggest something that might not work well. I hope you have a fantastic vacation! ~Shelley

      Reply
  2. hello! is there anything we could use to substitute the salsa? I’m assuming we would need to use something of the same consistency, but for some reason i cannot think of anything!

    Reply
    • Hi, Michaela! The salsa is a pretty key element here – especially since there are only three ingredients, so each one plays an important role in getting the dish to turn out the same way for you as it does for me. But if you don’t have salsa on hand, I love that you’re trying to be creative! One idea would be to use a similar quantity (16 ounces total) of canned, diced tomatoes with chilies (like Ro-Tel). Maybe drain off a bit of the juice or mash some of the tomatoes a bit, until it’s a consistency similar to your favorite salsa. It won’t have all the same flavor notes as salsa (and I need you to know that I’ve never tried this substitution personally, so I can’t 100% vouch for how it will turn out), but I think it could be a reasonable substitute in a pinch. Good luck! And if you have a moment to pop back later, I’ll be eager to hear what you try and how it works! ~Shelley

      Reply
      • oh sorry, I didn’t word that properly! Salsa actually makes me sick and our kids won’t eat it, I’ve just been looking for the best way to make shredded chicken for tacos 🙂

      • Ohhhhh! I see! Ok, then I have another idea for you. I would try simply using the taco seasoning and then about 1/4 cup (maybe just 3 tablespoons) of water or reduced-sodium chicken broth. This is how we cook the shredded chicken in our recipe for Healthy Crock-Pot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches (we use water in that recipe, instead of broth). We also use a similar strategy in making our Crock-Pot North Carolina BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, although in that recipe we use vinegar (instead of water or broth), and we use more of the vinegar (1/2 cup) because we want it to be drippier than what you probably want for your shredded chicken taco meat. The one thing to be aware of here, when cooking with just a tiny amount of liquid in the slow cooker, is that we’ve found during our testing that (depending on how tightly your crock-pot lid seals), you may lose a bit of moisture to evaporation during cooking. So, over the first time or two that you make this recipe, you may need to adjust the exact amount of liquid you prefer to use, to get the shredded chicken taco meat to be as “wet” or “dry” as you prefer. I hope that helps – let me know! 😀 ~Shelley

  3. Hi! First off my husband and I LOVE this chicken! We can’t wait to share it with our friends this weekend, but I’m not the brightest with what to do! When doubling this recipe is my 6qt crock pot okay, and also do I need to add any extra time? Thanks so much for such a great recipe!

    Reply
    • Hi, Sara! I’m so thrilled to hear how much you and your husband love these slow cooker chicken tacos! They’re still an absolute go-to at my house, too – even after all these years! Just always so, so good, you know? Anyway – you should be fine to double the recipe in your 6 qt, and you really shouldn’t need to mess with the timing, either. Just check the chicken, of course, to be absolutely sure that it’s cooked through and fall-apart tender. If you’re at all worried that it might not be done at the exact perfect time for entertaining, you could always start it just a little earlier than you think you’ll need, and then let it rest on the “Keep Warm” setting for a little while, if needed. (Definitely note, though, that most recommendations suggest that you don’t leave food at the Keep Warm setting for more than an hour or two.)

      Also – just an idea – but a similar recipe that is also great for sharing and for entertaining is our Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls. I remember one impromptu, backyard party we had – I happened to have that recipe burbling away in my crock-pot, and when I suddenly had a happy batch of neighbors hanging out with us on the patio, I took it out to share. It was such a huge hit – and honestly, by the end, people were using it as an “appetizer” dip and literally scraping the bottom of my crock-pot with tortilla chips, trying to scoop up the last little bits!

      Have a wonderful time this weekend – and definitely let me know how these tacos go! 😀 ~Shelley

      Reply
    • Hi, Sue! That really depends on how you serve this Chicken Taco recipe – what size of taco shell or soft taco tortilla wrap you use, how exactly you use the chicken taco meat (for example, if you use it as a hard taco filling, or if you sprinkle it on a taco salad), and also on how many toppings you pile on in comparison to how much meat you use. For example, when I make these for my family, my daughter will tend to fill her taco with mostly meat, but I love to pile on loads of toppings, so I won’t use as much chicken per taco as she will. I hope that makes sense! 😀 ~Shelley

      Reply

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Published on
Updated on September 21, 2021
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