Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos

By Jeff | Nov. 08, 2012

I first made this recipe over the summer for Hillary's family at their bi-annual family reunion after finding it online here. I know generally people don't try new recipes on guests, but I do it anyways. While at the reunion I at least doubled the recipe, this most recent time I made it, I just did a single serving and it turned out delicious.

The best thing about the dish is that it’s super easy. You can pretty much throw everything into the pot and then 6-8 hours later, you’ve got delicious chicken taco filling.

The hardest thing about the entire dish is mincing the garlic, which is super easy if you know what to do. First you’ll need to peel the garlic. I find it easy to cut or rip one of the ends and the rest just falls apart kind of like a banana, but if you’re in a hurry or need to do lots, you might try the Double Bowl Method. Put the garlic in two inverted bowls and shake. Now for mincing the garlic, just take your knife and make really thin slices down the long way almost all the way through. Then make really thin slices horizontally all the way through. Finally just chop it up normally and you’ll be left with a nice mince that hasn’t destroyed the thing and won’t be a pain to clean.

Ingredient Prep

Now according to the recipe, you’re supposed to put everything but the lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl and mix it all together. You can do that if you want, and it would let the flavors mingle a little, but why wash another bowl? If you used the double bowl method to peel the garlic, use one of those. Otherwise, I just skipped this step to save on dishes and work, and isn’t that what slow-cooker recipes are all about? The flavors will be mingling for 6 hours in cooker.

Just put the 3 lbs of chicken (I used 3 chicken breasts) into the pot and pour the tomatoes and seasonings on top of it. Then stir it around. Put the lid, set to low for 6 hrs, and walk away.

Slow Cooker

During that 6 to 8 hours, don’t open the lid and release all that steam. The slow-cooker works by keeping things nice and warm inside and opening the lid reduces the temperature. I’ve heard it can add as much as 30 min. to the cook time every time you open the lid! You should be able to smell that everything is going well anyways, which is probably my second favorite thing about slow-cooker recipes. The house smells amazing.

Once the chicken is cooked, it needs to be shredded. Normally, you would want to take it out and let it sit for 5 min. before shredding either with two forks or your stand mixer (put on the paddle attachment and you’ll have perfectly shredded chicken in 10 sec), but I found the chicken was so tender it practically fell apart just using a spatula to mix things up in the slow-cooker.

Add the fresh lime juice and cilantro (yeah, I know I used bottled lime juice, but I didn’t have any limes on hand. I’m working on it.) and stir everything together. Note that 1/4 C cilantro, minced shown below is very different than 1/4 C minced cilantro.


Then serve on your favorite tortillas (I like the Olé brand) with whatever toppings you like and enjoy! Here’s the full recipe that makes enough for about 10 people or leftovers for the next few meals. If you make enough for multiple meals, try mixing things up by serving them one day with flour tortillas and the next with corn tortillas. Or you can make chicken quesadillas with this as the filling. The chicken is great any way you serve it so have fun and get creative!

Chicken Tacos

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos

Yield: 10 Servings
Active Time: 15 min.
Total Time: 4 – 8 hrs.
Original: Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken Tacos

Tools Required

  • 4+ Qt Slow Cooker
  • Small Bowl (optional)
  • 1/4 C Dry Measure
  • 1 tspn Measure


  • 3 lbs Boneless Chicken
  • 1 (10 oz) can Diced Tomatoes w/ Green Chiles
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tspn Chili Powder
  • 1 tspn Ground Cumin
  • 1 tspn Dried Oregano
  • 3/4 tspn Salt
  • 1/4 C Lime Juice
  • 1/4 C Fresh Cilantro, minced
  • No-stick Spray (optional)


  1. Place chicken in 4 qt slow cooker that has been lightly coated with no-stick spray.
  2. In small bowl, stir together tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings.
  3. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cook until chicken is tender. 6 – 8 hrs on low or 4 – 5 hrs on high.
  5. Remove chicken and let stand for 5 min., shred, and add back to crock-pot and stir.
  6. Stir in lime juice and cilantro.
  7. Serve with your favorite taco toppings.