Weeknight Dinner: Shredded Chicken Slow Cooker Tacos 

Assemble the simple ingredients for these easy crock pot salsa chicken tacos in the morning so they can cook on low all day. All you’ll need to do is shred some cheese and warm up the tortillas for serving, making this a perfect weeknight dinner.  

Originally published in December 2016; this post has been completely updated. This recipe is excerpted from What a Good Eater! with permission.

three shredded salsa chicken tacos in corn tortillas on a white plate.

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

These slow cooker tacos took me less than ten minutes to get cooking. It’s as simple as combining the ingredients (except for the tortillas and fresh cilantro) in the bowl of your slow cooker, setting the temperature, and walking away. Slow cooker recipes are a boon to busy people.

ingredients for slow cooker chicken tacos.


Chicken  This recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You could also use less expensive boneless, skinless chicken thighs. If you (like me) tend to cook with whole chicken rather than more expensive boneless parts, you can cook the chicken first, strip the meat from the bones, and use pre-cooked chicken rather than starting with boneless breasts. That does make this a two-step meal, of course. 

Using cooked chicken in these slow cooker tacos

To make these slow cooker tacos with chicken that’s already cooked, use 2-3 cups cooked chicken in place of the chicken breasts. If you you opt to start with cooked chicken, you can halve the cooking time for this recipe.

Black beans Ready to use black beans add extra protein to this slow cooker chicken meal. If you’ve delved into canning dried beans, you can use those. Otherwise store bought canned beans work just fine.

Corn  The recipe calls for frozen corn. Again, use your home grown corn or pick up a bag at the store. You could also cut kernels from cobs of fresh corn.

Salsa  Adding flavor to this chicken recipe is easy with a jar of salsa. I use my home canned salsa, but again, store bought is fine. Choose mild or hot, depending on how much heat you like in a meal.

Seasonings Because this recipe calls for using salsa, you’ll only need to add minimal seasonings – salt, pepper, and cumin. 

For serving Choose flour or corn tortillas, whichever your family prefers. Offer sour cream and cheese for toppings. If desired, fresh cilantro can be served alongside the meal, so people who don’t love it can leave it out.

three shredded chicken tacos on a white plate

Making it

Because these slow cooker chicken black bean tacos start with some shortcuts — whether you’re using homemade shortcuts from your pantry or from the store — this slow cooker salsa chicken comes together in minutes. 15 minutes at most, making one of those great busy day recipes.

Place the chicken breasts in the crock of the slow cooker, followed by the beans, corn, salsa, and seasonings. Mix well and turn on the heat. 

Once cooked, use two forks to shred the chicken and there you have salsa black bean chicken taco filling!

salsa and black bean chicken tacos cooked in a white crock.


You can fill your favorite tortillas with this tender chicken, or it can be served tostada style. Or roll it up into burritos. Serve these shredded chicken tacos with a side of Spanish rice or refried beans and top with this delicious homemade creme fraiche.

You can also serve the salsa chicken over rice to make an easy burrito bowl. Add a squeeze of lime juice for a little extra zing! 

hand holding a shredded chicken taco


white plate with two tacos in corn tortillas.

★ Did you make these shredded chicken tacos? Don’t forget to give them a star rating below!★

three shredded chicken tacos on a white plate

Crockpot Salsa Chicken Tacos

These chicken slow cooker tacos offer up plenty of flavor in a hurry. There are so many ways to serve this taco recipe: fill a tortilla, make a burrito bowl, or enjoy tostadas.
4.89 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Kris Bordessa


  • 1 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (preferably organic)
  • 15 ounces low-sodium black beans drained
  • 14 ounces frozen corn (preferably organic, straight from freezer)
  • 16 ounces mild salsa (preferably organic or homemade)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro minced
  • Whole wheat or organic corn tortillas optional


  • Add all the ingredients except the cilantro and tortillas to the slow cooker. (No need to cut the chicken.) Mix the ingredients well.
    1 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, 15 ounces low-sodium black beans, 14 ounces frozen corn, 16 ounces mild salsa, ½ cup water, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Cook on low for approximately 8 hours, undisturbed. The meal is ready when the chicken is fork tender. Shred all of the chicken using two forks. Add the cilantro (or serve it on the side) and mix well.
    1 cup fresh cilantro

Serving Options

    Soft Chicken Tacos

    • Place the chicken mixture in an organic corn or whole wheat tortilla. Top with grated cheese and sour cream. Roll the tortilla up to create a soft taco or burrito.
      Whole wheat or organic corn tortillas

    Burrito Bowls

    • Place the chicken mixture in a bowl over cooked rice. Top with grated cheese and sour cream.

    Chicken Tostadas

    • Instead of tacos or burritos, another way to enjoy this chicken filling is on a tostada. I place organic corn tortillas flat on a cookie sheet and bake in a 325 oven for about half an hour or until crispy. If you'd like, you can fry them. (I don't buy the pre-made tostadas since I've yet to see any that are organic or non-GMO.) Spread the crockpot salsa chicken filling on the tostada and top with sour cream and avocado.


    • To make these slow cooker tacos with chicken that's already cooked use 2-3 cups cooked chicken in place of the chicken breasts and halve the cooking time for this recipe.
    • For extra spice, top your tacos with some finely chopped jalapeños.
    • If you do not have salsa on hand, you can use jarred chopped tomatoes and add 1-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning for flavor.
    • This recipe is used with permission from the What a Good Eater! cookbook by Amy Godiwalla and Alessandra Macaluso


    Serving: 1cup | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 1271mg | Potassium: 980mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 582IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @attainablesustainable or tag #attainablesustainable!

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    About the author: Amy Godiwalla is co-author of the What a Good Eater! cookbook, available on Amazon. She writes for the What a Good Eater! food blog and versions of her work have appeared elsewhere online.

    3 comments… add one
    • Kathy s Oct 25, 2021 @ 14:23

      This is an awesome recipe!! The trick is to use a really good salsa. I used a fire roasted salsa and boy did it deliver on the taste. Will definitely make this recipe again. Thanks very much!

      • AttainableSustainable Oct 26, 2021 @ 9:59

        You’re welcome, so glad you love it!

    • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 18:48

      Super tasty and easy to make.

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