Slow Cooker Mexican shredded chicken is great for tacos or over rice. Crockpot chicken thighs or breasts come out fork tender with tons of flavor and some spicy if you want.
Mexican slow cooker shredded chicken can be spicy or mild, and great when served as taco meat. Full of bold flavors it is easy to prep in the morning and enjoy when you’re back home. If you’re looking for a protein packed Crockpot meal this is it y’all. (post may contain affiliate links present)
Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Thighs
On our site we share a lot of easy chicken thigh recipes. Why? Let me count the ways y’all. I will say that these weren’t my go to for many years. My mom always cooked breasts but white meat isn’t always the best. Dark meat not only has a bit more nutritional value but is more moist and has way more flavor too.
We first used this same meat to make slow cooker bbq chicken thighs and yes those were amazing too. If you just want a 2 ingredient meal that is a go to for sure. BUT if it is Tuesday and you want a Mexican twist maybe a bit spicy you have got to make this sauce instead.
Authentic Mexican Shredded Chicken Slow Cooker
This is a cheap Crockpot meal that my kids always cheer about when they smell it cooking. There are many great reasons to make this. One is you can tweak the seasonings of course to please your family. If Mexican food means to you that it should be spicy then by all means throw in red pepper flakes or chili powder.
We are more of a medium family so I don’t use much. Of course fresh or defrosted meat is always best but once again, isn’t necessary. I have on occasion made this with frozen chicken thighs too! Believe it or not the cook time doesn’t change at all as long as they are broken apart and not in a huge chunk. You’ll need;
- 2.5 lbs chicken thighs or chicken breasts (boneless skinless, medium size)
- 1/2 onion diced
- Canned petite diced tomatoes canned, with juice
- Chicken broth or stock
- Recipe calls for chili powder but red pepper flakes would be hotter
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 1 cup of kidney or black beans canned, drained
Some like to add a few tbsp of taco seasoning too. If you wanted to make burrito bowls out of them you could add a cup of drained canned or frozen corn. And then whatever you want to serve this with. Small tortillas work well for tacos or we serve this over white rice sometimes for a change.
Mexican Shredded Chicken Seasoning
You just need a few that you likely already have in your spice drawer. I use all dry but if you had say fresh oregano you could chop that up. Use your favorite heat if you like dry Sriracha better or red pepper flakes. Be light handed with that in the beginning. Taste and adjust as you like. Make note of what is right for you in the recipe notes below for next time.
- 2 tsp chili powder – or more depending on your desire for heat
- 1.5 tsp salt – you may want a bit at the end when it is served too
- 1 tsp garlic powder and onion powder
- 3/4 tsp paprika and cumin
- 1/2 tsp pepper and oregano
I have a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post with all of the exact measurements you will need to make this meal. Here is a quick rundown of what you’re going to want to do though so you get the idea.
- Spray inside of pot with non stick pot for an easier cleanup later, optional of course.
- Pour chicken broth on the bottom and lay your meat pieces inside the pot.
- Sprinkle on all seasonings over the top, then pour on your can of diced tomatoes.
- Add diced onions and drained, canned, beans if you want to add those.
- Cover and slow cook on low for 4-6 hours or until they shred easily with 2 forks.
- Timing will depend on how thick your pieces are. If they don’t shred easily they need more time.
Shred using two forks, it should be that tender. Stir with flavored liquid to coat pieces nicely and serve this like taco bowls if you like with slices of avocado, sour cream and/or salsa on top. Inside regular tacos or burritos with some lettuce and cheese. I mean let everyone in your family make their own favorite combo.
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Thighs
If you have leftovers from your batch of Crockpot Mexican chicken it saves quite well for another meal later. Always make sure you allow the meat to cool completely first. Then move it to a container that has a lid or cover tightly with foil. Store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. When you reheat it transfer to a microwave safe bowl.
Cover the top with a plate or paper towel and heat in 45 second increments stirring after every time it stops. You could use a pot on your stovetop too but that will take longer. Make sure you add some of that liquid into the mix so it stays nice and moist too. But wait….there is more!!
Looking for quicker cook times and meal prep?? Use our Instant Pot salsa chicken recipe which is similar to this but takes less than 30 minutes to make. If you wanted it just the same all you would have to do is use that timing and temp with these ingredients. They transition well. If you use breasts slice them in half so they get as tender as possible with that method.
Both are great, fast, cheap meals that our family absolutely loves. You can’t go wrong, I just choose which I have time for on the day in question. Sometimes I just don’t have it together enough in the morning to remember to throw this in to cook all day, others I am on top of things. 😉
Ready to jump to recipe and get started? I thought so. We have exact amounts needed below as well as how it is done. I always recommend low setting vs. high with protein. Low and slow is where it’s at friends. Let us know if you add something else you love into the mix and it turns out great too. We love trying your ideas too.
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Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken
- 2.5 lbs chicken thighs boneless skinless, or breasts, medium size
- 1/2 onion diced
- 3/4 c diced tomatoes canned, with juice
- 1/2 c chicken broth
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 c beans canned, drained, optional
- Spray inside of pot with non stick pot. Pour chicken broth on the bottom and lay meat inside pot. Sprinkle on all seasonings over the top, then pour on diced tomatoes.
- Add diced onions and beans if you want to add those. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until they shred easily with 2 forks. Timing will depend on how thick your pieces are. If they don't shred easily they need more time.
- Shred, stir with flavored liquid and serve over rice or inside tortillas as tacos.