There is nothing easier than adding a jar of salsa and a few chicken breasts into a crockpot then going about your own way. This Crockpot Salsa Chicken is a long time tried and true recipe. We love to use this recipe for simple tacos, enchiladas, empanadas, nachos, and so much more!
While a lot of you aren’t new to Salsa Chicken I’ve had requests to share the recipe on the blog when I make it. It’s such a simple recipe that you’ll really only need to look at once and you’ll probably remember it forever. I do highly suggest the broil step at the end of the cooking process for the ultimate crockpot salsa chicken recipe, but more on that a little later!
I love making a large amount of protein in the slow cooker for multiple meals throughout the week. It’s makes meal prep SO easy. If you love those type of recipes then you’ll definitely love Slow Cooker Kalua Pork and Slow Cooker Chicken Carnitas too! Anything to make life easier!
There are two nights a week now that I just have no way to get a healthy-ish dinner on the table unless I meal prep or put something in the slow cooker. This has been made multiple times on our busy nights and no one complains.
Why we love it
- Easy! I don’t think there’s anything easier than putting a couple of ingredients into the crockpot, setting it, and going about your day!
- Kid friendly. As long as you keep the salsa that you use mild in spice, kids should love it!
- Healthy. High in protein, low in fat, no added sugar, low carb (as long as your salsa doesn’t have any added sugar).
- Budget friendly. This recipe is relatively inexpensive to make lots of protein at once for multiple different meals throughout the week.
- Versatile! We love a good recipe that can be used in multiple ways. I use this for tacos, enchiladas, taco bowls, chimichangas, nachos, and so much more!
Ingredients you will need
A super simple recipe calls for a list of super simple ingredients. I do add a few things to kick it up a notch, but you really don’t have to do this.
- Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts- boneless skinless chicken thighs will work in the recipe too. Sometimes I do an equal amount of chicken breasts and thighs.
- Salsa! While I do make my own salsa, I truly LOVE Mateo’s salsa. It’s just so good. I grab a big jar at Costco almost every time we go. You can use whatever salsa you love the most. I’ve also used On the border cantina style and herdez salsa verde.
- Cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika– These spices kind of just create more of a flavor profile. Using a really good salsa makes this not very necessary, but I love extra flavor so I add them. You can also add a couple tablespoons of taco seasoning.
- Lime juice– At the end cooking, I like to squeeze a lime into. Lime and Mexican inspired foods just go hand in hand to me. They offer a bright and fresh touch of taste to any meal.
How to make Salsa Chicken in the Crockpot
How to make Crockpot Salsa Chicken:
- Put raw chicken breast, salsa, and, if adding, the spices into the crockpot.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- When it’s finished cooking, quickly shred the chicken into peices with two forks in the salsa and juices then squeeze lime into it. Let the chicken continue to cook in the crockpot for about 10 minutes in the salsa. Salt and pepper to taste.
Tip to make crockpot salsa chicken extra amazing
I do this in so many of my recipes now. I think some people think it’ll dry the meat out, but it actually makes epic flavor. If you don’t want to use your menu you can do the same thing on the stove top in a large skillet. You just won’t be able to do the entire recipe at once because you don’t want to over crowd the pan.
- Spray an extra large sheet pan (or two large ones) with cooking spray. Add chicken and make sure you leave space on the pan otherwise it won’t brown up.
- Place sheet pan in the oven and broil the chicken for about 10 minutes or until a lot of the extra liquid has reduced and you have some brown and even some crispy pieces.
- Sprinkle fresh cilantro on top.
How to use:
Crockpot Salsa Chicken is such a great recipe to “make once and eat all week”. You can use it in different recipes throughout the week for you and your family or make it as your own personal meal prep.
My favorite way for busy nights is just good old fashioned tacos!
- Favorite Tacos- corn tortillas, slices of avocado, thin red onion, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and sour cream
- Taco Salads
- Burrito Bowls
What to serve crockpot chicken and salsa with:
- Mexican Street Corn
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice (pictured above- recipe coming soon!)
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Quick Chipotle Pinto Beans or Black beans!
- Easy Corn Salad
How to reheat:
How you reheat is a personal preference. I prefer reheating it in the skillet for a couple minutes, but you can also heat it up in the microwave if you’re away from home! Add it to any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.
- Refrigerator: Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
- Freezer: Completely cool and put into a freezer safe container. If using a bag press out as much air as possible. Freeze for up to three months. Reheat after frozen: Thaw, reheat in skillet, or use in a recipe that calls for cooked shredded chicken.
Crockpot Salsa Chicken
- 6-8 quart crockpot
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 cups salsa be sure you love the brand that you use- I prefer Mateo's or on the border cantina style
- 2 tsp each smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin (optional, but recommended for extra good flavor)
- juice of one lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooking spray
- Put raw chicken breast, salsa, and, if adding, the spices into the crockpot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- When it's finished cooking, quickly shred the chicken into peices with two forks in the salsa and juices then squeeze lime into it.
- Let the chicken continue to cook for about 10 minutes in the salsa. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Spray an extra large sheet pan (or two large ones) with cooking spray. Add chicken and make sure you leave space on the pan otherwise it won't brown up.
- Place sheet pan in the oven and broil the chicken for about 10 minutes or until a lot of the extra liquid has reduced and you have some brown and even some crispy pieces. Sprinkle fresh cilantro on top. Serve hot!
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.