Recipe: Slow Cooker Thai-Style Chicken Tacos

updated Nov 21, 2019
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Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Chicken thighs, peanut butter, and spicy sambal combine to create the easiest-ever slow cooker chicken tacos.


Makes8 tacos

Prep5 minutes

Cook3 hours to 4 hours

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Wondering what to do with the chicken thighs you bought this week? Let your slow cooker transform them into the juiciest, nuttiest taco filling with just two extra ingredients. When it’s done, fold the slow-cooked chicken into a tortilla with crunchy-sweet honey-roasted peanuts and a few sliced scallions for an impossibly easy weeknight dinner.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

How to Make 3-Ingredient Thai-Style Chicken Tacos

Chicken thighs, creamy peanut butter, and spicy sambal are all you need for these Thai-Style tacos. You’ll combine these ingredients with 1/4 cup of water directly in the slow cooker — no prep required. (In fact, leaving the chicken whole keeps the thighs moist and gives you a larger window of time to do things other than babysit dinner). Conventional peanut butters such as Jif are perfectly smooth and slightly sweet, which balances the spicy chile-garlic sauce.

Once cooked, you’ll remove the juicy thighs from the sauce and chop into bite-sized pieces, then whisk the sauce until it is smooth and emulsified. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and toss, toss, toss until every piece is coated in spicy peanut sauce. Serve on warm tortillas with crushed honey-roasted peanuts, sliced scallions, and, if you dare, another drizzle of sambal.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Chicken thighs, peanut butter, and spicy sambal combine to create the easiest-ever slow cooker chicken tacos.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 3 hours to 4 hours

Makes 8 tacos

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2 pounds

    boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6 to 8)

  • 1/4 cup


  • 1/2 cup

    creamy peanut butter

  • 2 teaspoons

    sambal oelek or chile-garlic sauce

  • Serving options: warm 6-inch flour tortillas, honey-roasted peanuts, thinly sliced scallions


  1. Place chicken thighs in a 4 1/2-quart or larger slow cooker. Whisk the peanut butter, water, and sambal together in a small bowl, then pour over the chicken.

  2. Cover and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, 3 to 4 hours on the LOW setting.

  3. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces. Whisk the peanut sauce until smooth and creamy. Return the chicken to the sauce and toss to coat. If desired, serve on warm 6-inch flour tortillas and garnish with crushed honey-roasted peanuts, and sliced scallions.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.