With only 5 minutes of prep and 3 ingredients required, this fall apart tender slow cooker chicken taco meat is everything you could want in a weeknight recipe.
This recipe was a happy accident. Considering that not many happy accidents happen in my kitchen, when they do occur it makes me want to find the nearest wide open space and do cartwheels. But just as my heart convinces me to get a running start, my brain reminds me that I’m not that young anymore and that I’m likely to severely pull a muscle that will have me wincing in pain for a couple of days. And I let my brain (that never lets me have any fun!) win again.
Even if I didn’t live out my glory days with a quick cartwheel to celebrate, I was still thrilled that such as easy recipe turned out to be so delicious. When I did nothing more than throw some taco seasoning on a few chicken breasts and smother them in verde sauce, I was just hoping for shredded chicken that would be a decent filling for tacos later that night.
Much to my surprise it wasn’t just a decent filling for chicken tacos, it was the best chicken taco meat I had ever made. I’ve tried to make chicken taco meat many times in the past and even though I’ve been able to get a good flavor, the meat was usually a little on the dry side. I could never figure out how to get that fall apart tender chicken like they serve in restaurants.
Although I’m sure the restaurants aren’t using my 5 minute throw together what you have on hand and put it in the slow cooker method, the result was a pretty close match. When we’re in the mood for tacos, it’s always difficult to choose between this recipe and our favorite slow cooker pork carnitas.
This recipe makes enough to feed my family of 5 twice. I often freeze the other half for a quick meal when we’re short on time. If you do have leftovers, a great use is to reheat, sprinkle over some tortilla chips and top with some shredded cheddar. Even better? Try this while your husband takes the kids to the movies because they’re all sci-fi fans and you’re not, so you get the whole wonderful, quite evening to yourself. Then they taste amazing 😉
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
- 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 20-28 oz. verde salsa or green enchilada sauce (enough to cover chicken)
- 4 T. taco seasoning (see recipe below, or use 2 packets store bought)
Place chicken in slow cooker one layer at a time, sprinkling both sides before adding the next layer.
Pour salsa verde or enchilada sauce over chicken.
Cook on low approximately 6 hours.
For the homemade taco seasoning, I usually quadruple the following and store it in a mason jar so it's ready to go when I need it:
1 T. flour, 1 T. chili powder, 1 t. ground cumin, 1 t. oregano, 1 t. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 t. salt, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1/2 t. onion powder, 1/2 t. pepper, 1/8 t. cayenne, 1/8 t. ground coriander.
I know this seems like a lot of ingredients, but this taco seasoning is amazing. It really only takes about 5 minutes to throw together and making a large batch ahead of time will make assembling this slow cooker chicken taco recipe even faster.
Taco seasoning source: slightly adapted from Perry's Plate