Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Salsa Chicken Tacos

Chicken breasts slow-cooked in salsa with black olives, red onions and pickled jalapeno until it’s so tender you can shred it easily with a fork. It’s then mixed with cheese and stuffed into taco shells or made into rice bowls you can garnish with all your favorite Tex-Mex toppings like sour cream, avocado and lettuce.

I love all those toppings but the truth is it doesn’t even need them. So flavorful, you will be just as happy eating it over some rice. As is. It’s also great for soft tacos, burritos, enchiladas or quesadillas. You can even make nachos with it.

This really is one of those crock-pot meals that doesn’t take a lot of prep. It’s fuss-free and easy. There’s no meat to brown or vegetables to saut√©. Just a bit of chopping and everything goes into the pot where you can forget about it for a couple of hours while magic happens.

This dish is entirely dependent on the salsa. You have to use one you love. One that won’t let you down. One with lots of flavor.

You can spice this up as much or as little as you like with pickled or fresh jalapenos, a chipotle pepper, red pepper flakes or by using a spicy hot salsa. If you do use a salsa that’s on the hot side you can leave out the jalapenos.

Or not.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Rice Bowls

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 - 5 servings with rice or makes about 8 or 9 tacos

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Chicken breasts slow-cooked in salsa with black olives, red onions and pickled jalapenos until it's so tender you can easily shred it with a fork. You can use it for tacos, rice bowls, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas and nachos.


2 cups (16 ounces) salsa (I like Green Mountain Gringo or Newman's Own )
1 can (6 ounces) large black olives, sliced
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 2 tablespoons diced pickled jalapeno or 1 fresh, optional (omit if using a "hot" salsa)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
1 cup finely shredded cheddar or monterey jack (or a mix), plus more for serving
1 cup corn, optional
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
For Serving:
1 cup dried rice, cooked
taco shells
or both!
sour cream, for serving
diced avocado, for serving
shredded lettuce, for serving


  1. Add the salsa, 1/4 cup water, olives, onions, garlic, jalapeno, vinegar, chile powder, cumin, oregano and corn, if using, to a 3 - 5 quart crock pot set on high. Mix well.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts in half and season well with salt and pepper. Nestle them in the sauce.
  3. Cook on high 3 - 4 hours or low 5 - 6. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and shred or chop into bite-sized pieces. Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Mix the chicken back into the sauce with the cheese. If the sauce is watery - cook with the lid off for 15 minutes or so to evaporate some of it off.
  5. Serve over cooked rice with extra cheese, sour cream and/or avocado. Or make tacos with your favorite fixings.


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