This slow cooker Mexican shredded chicken uses only three ingredients is super easy to throw together, and is perfect in all your Mexican dishes, from tacos to burritos to salads. Inspired by our favorite Mexican restaurant, this chicken is made easily in the Crockpot or Instant Pot, naturally Whole30 and paleo.
I’ve been making this 3 ingredients slow cooker Mexican shredded chicken for almost a decade now, and there’s a reason why.
No, there’s like many reasons why.
Why This Recipe Is So Good
- It’s inspired by our the shredded chicken from our favorite Mexican restaurant. Talk about restaurant-quality!
- It’s crazy easy to make. Stir together with a few ingredients, let it cook in the Crockpot or slow cooker, then shred the chicken, and you’re done!
- I have a great hack for making the chicken super easy to shred.
- The chicken is tender and moist and full of flavor.
- This slow cooker Mexican chicken is really versatile and is delicious in tacos, burritos, chimichangas, on salads, or on burrito bowls.
- This recipe is quite economical, too!
- Hello – three ingredients!
I shared an Instant Pot version of this slow cooker Mexican chicken in my cookbook, The Paleo Instant Pot, and I really think you should grab a copy! It’s all about smarter not harder: delicious and healthy food made easily and quickly in the Instant Pot. No brainer, eh?
How to Make It
Oh, oh, oh, it’s so easy. Are you ready?
Combine the chicken breasts, salsa, and taco seasoning in the slow cooker. Add a few good pinches of salt if your taco seasoning does not include it. Cook covered on High for 3 hours or Low for 5 hours.
Shred your chicken. I like to do this by simply using my hand mixer and beating (Really!) the chicken on low speed until shredded. Or you can use two forks to shred the chicken by hand.
Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir it around in all the juices. Cook uncovered on High for 30 minutes or Low for 60 minutes. Serve!
Variations & Tips
- Make your own taco seasoning. It’s really easy, and you can control the additives and sodium content. Ideal if you’re on a Whole30 and cannot eat many of the anti-caking agents or sugars found in commercial taco seasoning blends.
- Shred the chicken oh so easily but using your hand mixer. Make sure you beat the chicken on low speed, otherwise you’ll end up with salsa splattered on your walls!
- Use a slow cooker liner for super easy cleanup.
What To Make With It
- In tacos with cheese (Queso fresco is great, and we like shredded cheese, too, for a gringo taco), avocado salsa, or chipotle aioli.
- As a burrito bowl. Simply replace the carnitas with chicken in this recipe.
- In a burrito with rice, beans, shredded lettuce, cheese, and salsa.
- In chilaquiles.
- Over nachos. Try this vegan queso if you’re dairy-free.
Instant Pot Directions
Prefer to use the Instant Pot or an electric pressure cooker? No stress. Follow these directions:
- Combine chicken breasts, taco seasoning, and salsa in Instant Pot. Do not add water. Secure lid with valve in Sealing position and cook on Manual High Pressure for 20 minutes. Quick Release.
- Remove chicken breasts from the pot. Shred with two forks then return to pot. Stir on Sauté mode a few minutes until sauce is absorbed.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- The Best Shredded Chicken
- Top 30 Shredded Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Tacos in Lettuce Wraps (Paleo, Whole30, Low Carb, Keto)
- Mexican Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Best Sheet Pan Fajitas with Steak
- Steak Taco Bowls (Street Taco Style)
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup
- Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Mexican Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts a little less than 2 pounds
- 1 cup salsa
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- salt if desired
- In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients and stir. Do not add water. Add a few pinches of salt if your taco seasoning does not contain it.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or on high for 3 hours.
- Shred the chicken, either with two forks or with a hand mixer. See Note for more detail.
- Return chicken to slow cooker, if you shredded it on a cutting board or plate. Stir and cook uncovered for 30 minutes on High or 60 minutes on Low.
- Serve in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, salads, or burrito bowls.
- Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To easily shred chicken, beat with a hand mixer on low speed. Alternately, transfer cooked chicken breasts to a stand mixer and beat on low or medium speed with the paddle attachment.
- If you’re on a Whole30, make sure both your salsa and your taco seasoning are compliant.
- To make this recipe in the Instant Pot, combine all ingredients in the Instant Pot and stir. Do not add water. Seal and cook High Pressure for 20 minutes. Quick Release, shred the chicken breasts, then return chicken to Instant Pot. Cook on Sauté mode for a few minutes until liquid is absorbed.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.