Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos

5ce2f93c60f220897039a930703dc67bb05f3f07?w=240&h=240&fit=crop
Kelli Foster
Jul 28, 2016
(Image credit: Diana Yen)

Ready to make your taco game even stronger? Me too! The good news is that it's not about fancy ingredients, an obscure recipe, or extra time in the kitchen — it's all about the slow cooker, a few spices, and the toppings of your choice.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos: Watch the Video

Keep It Simple and Fresh

When I think about chicken tacos, I want things simple, fresh, easy, and flavorful. This recipe hits all those requirements, with taco-spiced shredded chicken, fresh salsa and guac, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. It's a relatively hands-off meal that's just as easy to pull together for a weeknight dinner for two as it is to scale up and feed a crowd (hello, taco party!).

Get Out Your Slow Cooker: How To Make Easy Shredded Chicken in the Slow Cooker

(Image credit: Diana Yen)

Because they're so lean, chicken breasts can be easy to overcook into a dry heap of bland sadness — but not when the slow cooker is involved. Not only does the chicken always cook up tender, but it also slowly picks up the fragrant aromas of the spices and garlic.

(Image credit: Diana Yen)

Time to Top the Tacos!

All that's left is to top the tacos. If you're keeping things on the lighter side, some homemade guacamole, pico de gallo, and a twist of lime will do it. Upgrade with a dollop of sour cream or crema, a dash of Tapatio, or even some shredded cheese. This base is so flavorful and moist — think of it as a blank canvas for whatever your taco heart desires.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos

Serves 4 to 6

For the chicken:
1 cup chicken stock or water
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 bay leaves
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)

For serving:
12 to 16 corn tortillas, warmed
Guacamole
Pico de gallo
Limes
Fresh cilantro leaves

Place the stock or water, garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and bay leaves in the bowl of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the chicken breasts.

Cover the slow cooker with the lid. Cook until the chicken is tender and registers an internal temperature of 165°F, on low for 4 to 5 hours or on high for 2 to 3 hours.

While the chicken is still warm, transfer it to a cutting board or large plate and use 2 forks to shred the meat.

Divide the meat between the tortillas. Top with guacamole, pico de gallo, and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Make ahead: The chicken can be prepared 4 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Storage: Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
Created with Sketch.