Need a quick, flavorful dinner but don't have any time to cook? Slow cooker salsa chicken is the thing for you. This tender chicken simmered in your favorite salsa is a delicious addition to tacos, wraps, bowls, salads, and more!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Sometimes we are just incredibly busy and need something easy to get dinner on the table. A simple recipe with simple ingredients.
This is the easiest recipe on the blog. It's a recipe that can be used any time you're running low on energy and time.
It's versatile. You can put it in tacos, burritos, or bowls, add it to salads or wraps, or make some for meal prep to use throughout the week in lunches and dinners.
It's made in a few easy steps: Put the chicken in the crock pot. Season it. Pour over the salsa. Let it cook.
Use your favorite salsa for this recipe, whether that's salsa verde, traditional salsa roja, or anything that strikes your fancy.
This recipe is also adaptable. Don't have chicken breasts? Use chicken thighs. They're both excellent here.
So, next time you're craving a flavorful chicken dinner but don't have a ton of time and energy, put some salsa chicken in the crockpot and be treated to dinner when your day is over.
What You’ll Need
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Chicken I typically use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, but you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs as well. This is really just a matter of personal preference.
Salt and Pepper I like to lightly season the chicken with Diamond Crystal kosher salt and black pepper before pouring the salsa into the slow cooker. If the salsa you are using is on the saltier side, you can skip this step.
Crock Pot - This is the one I use and I love it!
Instant-Read Thermometer - This is also the one I use at home
Meat Shredding Tool - Something like this can be helpful for people with limited hand or wrist mobility.
How to Make Salsa Chicken
Step One: Place the chicken in the base of the crockpot and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Step Two: Pour the salsa over the chicken breasts.
Step Three: Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.
Step Four: Shred chicken with two forks and serve!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yep! You can use raw chicken or frozen chicken for this recipe. Just be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it's cooked through. It should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit when it is safe to eat.
Yes, it is. As long as you cook the chicken for the recommended amount of time in the recipe and ensure it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it will be safe, moist and flavorful.
Absolutely! I love using this recipe for meal prep. Just grab some of the shredded chicken throughout the week for bowls, wraps, tacos, or whatever else you'd like.
Variations and Substitutions
Creamy: You can make this dish creamy with the addition of some cream cheese. Just add about 8 ounces after you've added the salsa to the crock pot.
Different Salsa: You can use just about any salsa for this recipe, though I prefer salsas that are cooked, rather than a pico de gallo. Try this with salsa verde or pineapple salsa for a tropical twist.
Toppings: Try adding different toppings to make your chicken interesting. I like to add sour cream, fresh cilantro, avocado, freshly squeezed lime juice, a bit of shredded cheese, or hot sauce.
Taco Seasoning: This is a popular addition to this chicken dish. Just add a tablespoon or 2 to the chicken in place of the salt as taco seasonings typically contain salt already.
How to Store
Fridge: Leftover crockpot chicken can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: You can also freeze this crock pot salsa chicken recipe. Let the chicken cool completely, then store in a freezer-safe container.
Reheating: You can reheat the chicken and salsa in the microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through. If reheating from frozen, let the chicken thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then heat thoroughly before serving.
How to Serve this Crockpot Salsa Chicken Recipe
This slow cooker salsa chicken recipe is super versatile. Try these dinner ideas!
Tacos: Add the chicken to your favorite tortillas with toppings like shredded cabbage, avocado and lime juice for a delicious meal. You can also try this cilantro lime crema for a bit of tanginess and creaminess!
Burrito: Put all of your favorite burrito ingredients into a flour tortilla and add some salsa chicken. My personal favorites are rice, beans, and some fajita-style veggies.
Bowl: Serve over rice and beans with a bit of shredded lettuce or cabbage, a sprinkling of grated cheese, fresh lime juice and a handful of cilantro or green onions for a tasty taco bowl. You could also try this with cauliflower rice if you like.
This pineapple habanero sauce is my favorite hot sauce if you want to make it spicy!
- You can easily scale this recipe. Have a big crowd to feed or want to freeze some for later? You can easily scale the recipe by click on the number next to "Servings" in the recipe card below and sliding the arrow to the number of servings you'd like to make.
- Wait until the chicken is tender to serve. An easy way to tell if the chicken is done it to attempt to shred it. If you can't shred the chicken easily, it should cook for a bit longer to become more tender.
- Cook the chicken overnight. Need a lunch for tomorrow? You can cook the salsa chicken overnight in the slow cooker on low heat and shred it in the morning for easy lunches.
More Slow Cooker Recipes To Enjoy
Easy Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
- 1½ pounds chicken breast or thighs boneless, skinless,
- 2 cups salsa
- salt & pepper
- Place the chicken in the base of the crockpot and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Pour the salsa over the chicken breasts.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.
- Shred chicken with two forks and serve!
- I don't recommend using pico de gallo for this recipe.
- You can swap the chicken breasts for chicken thighs.
- You can easily scale the recipe by click on the number next to "Servings" in the recipe card below and sliding the arrow to the number of servings you'd like to make.
- Taste your salsa before adding it to the slow cooker. If it is on the salty side, you can forego salting the chicken.
- Estimated calories are for chicken breast and fat-free salsa. Chicken thighs will change the calorie count. I recommend using a site like MyFitnessPal to calculate calories accurately based on your chosen ingredients.
- Fridge: Leftover crockpot chicken can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
- Freezer: You can also freeze this crock pot salsa chicken recipe. Let the chicken cool completely, then store in a freezer-safe container.
- Reheating: You can reheat the chicken and salsa in the microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through. If reheating from frozen, let the chicken thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then heat thoroughly before serving.