Crockpot Salsa Chicken (Shredded Salsa Chicken)

This Crockpot Salsa Chicken is an EASY recipe made with just 5-ingredients! Just dump everything into your crockpot and you’re good to go. Use it as a filling for crockpot salsa chicken tacos or lettuce wraps.

Shredded salsa chicken in bowl with lime wedges.

Crockpots are old school cool.

Who doesn’t love a good slow cooker recipe?

This one seems just too easy to be a keeper – But it is!

Sometimes slow cooker recipes can turn out to be lacking in flavor, but this one really stands out. The addition of an entire jar of salsa really kicks up the spice factor. Throw in some fresh onion and jalapeno and no one would believe that it only took you five minutes to throw this together.

Plus, this Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken can be made with only 5-ingredients! It’s perfect for busy weeknights.

Ingredients Needed

  1. Chicken. You can make salsa chicken with boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
  2. Jar of Salsa. Use your favorite brand of jarred tomato salsa. Or, try making your own homemade salsa! Salsa verde is also delicious in this crockpot chicken recipe.
  3. Onion. Yellow, white or red onion will all work here.
  4. Jalapeno. If you’re sensitive to heat, be sure to seed the jalapeno. You can also leave it out entirely.
  5. Taco Seasoning. Store bought packaged taco seasoning or homemade taco seasoning work great!
Ingredients for salsa chicken labeled on counter.

How to Make It

It’s super easy to make this Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken! Here’s the simple process:

  • Season the chicken. Start the recipe by rubbing the chicken on both sides with the taco seasoning.
Ingredients for salsa chicken in slow cooker.
  • Load up the slow cooker. Place the chicken breast on the bottom of the slow cooker. Next, add the salsa, onion and jalapeno.
  • Slow cook the chicken. Then, turn the crockpot on LOW for 4 – 5 hours. You can leave the chicken in the slow cooker for up to 8 hours.
Cooked slow cooker salsa chicken in crockpot.
  • Shred and serve. Remove chicken breasts from slow cooker and shred with forks. Place chicken back in slow cooker and stir to combine. Season with salt, to taste.

    How to Shred Chicken

    There are a few different methods you can use to shred the tender chicken:

    • Two forks method: Using two forks, hold the chicken piece firmly with one fork and use the other fork to pull and shred the meat apart. Continue this process until all the chicken is shredded to your desired consistency.
    • Stand mixer method: If you have a stand mixer, you can place the cooked chicken in the bowl of the mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Run the mixer on low speed for a short time until the chicken is shredded. Be careful not to over-mix, as it can turn the chicken into a paste.
    • Hand method: With clean hands, tear the chicken into smaller pieces and then use your fingers to shred the meat apart. This method allows you to control the size and texture of the shreds.

    Recipe FAQs

    Can you put frozen chicken in the crockpot?

    Because of food safety issues, it’s not recommended that you put frozen chicken in the slow cooker. A work around for this is to thaw your chicken in the microwave first.

    Can I use chicken thighs?

    Definitely! The cook time will remain the same.

    Can you overcook pulled chicken in the slow cooker?

    Yes. For best results, use the recommended cook time of 4-5 hours on LOW. If necessary, the chicken can be in the crockpot for up to 8 hours, but it will increase in dryness the longer it cooks.

    Can you freeze Salsa Chicken?

    Salsa Chicken will store in the freezer for up to three months. I like to portion it into individual ziploc bags and freeze it flat. Then, when you’re ready to use it, just thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and heat it up in a saucepan on the stove.

    Shredded chicken in slow cooker.

    Serving Suggestions

    • Tacos. Serve it taco-style in soft or hard shells. Or, make chicken burritos.
    • Lettuce Wraps. Serve it in lettuce wraps for a low carb option.
    • Chicken Burrito Bowls. Serve it bowl style on top of instant pot rice or instant pot quinoa, with your favorite toppings. It also pairs well with Mexican rice, black beans, and this Mexican Corn Salad.
    • Salad. Serve it as a chicken taco salad with your favorite toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, beans, onions, diced tomato, avocado, green chiles, lettuce, and extra salsa.
    • Quesadillas. Add some of the shredded chicken to these Air Fryer Quesadillas.
    • Nachos. Pile the chicken on some tortilla chips with your favorite toppings.

    Recipe Variations

    • Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken: Swap out the traditional red salsa for salsa verde.
    • Cream Cheese Salsa Chicken: Add an 8-oz. block of cream cheese to your slow cooker with the other ingredients.
    • Instant Pot Salsa Chicken: Try my instant pot version of this recipe for an even faster way to enjoy dinner.

    How to Make Ahead & Store

    • Storage. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
    • Freezing. Allow the chicken to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. To enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
    • Reheating. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop.
    Shredded chicken taco.

    Wine Pairings

    • A medium-bodied, wine with some good citrus to it makes a great match for these fish tacos. Try a Sauvignon BlancPinot Gris, or Vinho Verde.
    • For a cocktail option, try this Hibiscus Margarita.

    More Taco Recipes

    More Slow Cooker Recipes

    Did you try this slow cooker salsa chicken?

    If you loved this crockpot shredded salsa chicken I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

    For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on  InstagramTikTokPinterest and Facebook.

    Want an even faster version of this recipe? Try my Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

    Shredded salsa chicken in bowl with lime wedges.

    Crockpot Salsa Chicken Recipe

    This Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken is an EASY recipe made with just 5-ingredients! Use it as a filling for Chicken Tacos or Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps.
    5 from 4 votes
    Print Pin
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 4 hours
    Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
    Servings: 6 people


    • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
    • 1 jalapeno (seeded and sliced)
    • 1 16-ounce jar salsa
    • 1 onion (diced)
    • Salt (to taste (about 1 teaspoon))

    For Serving:


    • Rub chicken breasts with taco seasoning and place in bottom of slow cooker.
    • Spread chopped onion and jalapeno over chicken breasts. Pour salsa over top.
    • Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours. (Can leave on low for up to 8 hours)
    • Remove chicken breasts from slow cooker and shred with forks. Place chicken back in slow cooker and stir to combine. Season with salt, to taste.
    • To serve, spread chicken on lettuce leaves and top with any desired toppings.
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


    Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 669mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 8.7mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.8mg

    This post was originally published in 2020. It was updated in 2023 to add new photographs and information. The slow cooker salsa chicken recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

    4 thoughts on “Crockpot Salsa Chicken (Shredded Salsa Chicken)”

    1. 5 stars
      I can’t believe how delicious this recipe is … we served it in bowls over lettuce and rice, and topped it with cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, avocado, and sour cream. And could it be any easier to make?! Wow … thanks for such an easy, delicious recipe.

    2. 5 stars
      This recipe was sooo flavorful and delicious. I loved that it was for the crock pot. Thank you for sharing this recipe. A must have again.

      • I’m so glad you liked it Carrie! We are actually pulling some of this from the freezer for dinner this week! We’ll be making burritos from the leftovers!

    3. 5 stars
      This was good! I loved that I could make it in the crockpot out on the porch so I didn’t heat up the kitchen. I cooked this on low for 5 hours and the chicken was very tender but the veggies could have cooked more so I will cook longer next time. Thanks for the recipe!


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