Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos Recipe

This Slow Cookers Chicken Tacos Recipe is like a fiesta in your mouth. You’ll not only love the taste, but you’ll also love how easy they are to make. Made from roasting a whole chicken, there is plenty enough to feed a crowd. It’s perfect for parties.

slow cooker chicken tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

This recipe starts out as a 6-pound slow cooker shredded chicken, but you can use chicken breast as a substitute in place of a whole chicken.

I love making Mexican-themed dishes for a main dish, but I also love Mexican appetizers like this Black Bean Salsa, or Mexican Bread Recipes like this Mexican Cornbread

What I love about this recipe:

  • a flavorful recipe that requires very little effort
  • the slow cooker cooks the chicken low and slow for tender and juicy meat
  • the spices in this recipe are all easy to find and provide so much delicious flavor
  • with a whole chicken, you’ll probably have plenty of leftovers to make more meals from
  • 2 meals in one! If you want, you can divide this recipe into a roasted chicken dinner for the first night and use the leftovers plus a couple of key ingredients to make chicken tacos the next
  • this recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, so it’s the perfect recipe for parties


How long in advance can I make slow-cooker chicken tacos?

These shredded chicken tacos can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store the chicken, in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve
Reheating: Warm up in a large covered pan on the stovetop over medium/high heat

Can I Freeze Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos?

Yes! Place cooled-off shredded chicken tacos in a freezer bag or container. Remove as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months
Thawing: Thaw frozen chicken overnight in the refrigerator

What Can I make with Leftover Shredded Chicken?

You can make enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, and chicken nachos

Do I have to use a Whole Chicken?

No. You can substitute 4-5 large chicken breasts for a whole chicken, but add the enchilada sauce, broth, garlic, and tomatoes right away instead of waiting until the chicken has cooked.

Other Ways to Serve Slow Cooker Shredded Taco Chicken

  • Enchiladas – wrap cooked meat in corn tortillas, place in a baking dish, and cover with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese – bake until hot and cheese is melted
  • burritos – stuff burrito wraps with meat, black beans and rice, cheese, guacamole, and pico de Gallo
  • Nachos – place tortilla chips onto a baking sheet, and cover with shredded chicken and shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted. Top with taco toppings
slow cooker chicken tacos

Chicken Taco Toppings

Of course, this will be all up to your preference. But, I’ll give you some delicious ideas for some shredded chicken taco toppings

  • pico de Gallo – you can purchase this at the store, or make your own with chopped tomatoes, purple onion, and fresh cilantro
  • sour cream – this is always a favorite topping in my family
  • black beans – drain and rinse before serving
  • corn and black bean salsa
  • shredded lettuce
  • chopped tomatoes
  • diced onion
  • guacamole

Tips and Tricks

  • If you don’t have a whole chicken, then you can substitute chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken. You will need to add the taco sauce ingredients at the beginning to cook along with your chicken and adjust cooking times accordingly
  • slow cooker chicken is a great make-ahead meal. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and reheat in the microwave for a quick meal
  • if you are short on time or don’t have a crock pot then you can cook this whole chicken on the stovetop by placing it in a large pot with a lid. Cook on low/medium heat for about one hour

If you are ready to make this delicious meal, let’s make sure you have everything you’ll need:


  • dry mustard
  • parsley flakes
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • cumin powder
  • ground black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • bay leaf – this helps to tenderize the meat and adds a depth of flavor
  • whole chicken
  • chicken broth – this will naturally be made from cooking the whole chicken, but if you have substituted chicken breasts then you will need to add chicken broth
  • more garlic powder
  • canned tomatoes with chilies – like Rotel
  • corn or flour tortillas
  • toppings

How do you make Shredded Chicken Tacos in the Slow Cooker?


  • make a dry rub from all of the spices by mixing them together
  • rinse and pat dry your whole chicken
  • rub spices all over the chicken
  • place chicken in the slow cooker
  • add a bay leaf
  • cook on high for 3 hours – or until chicken has cooked through – basting occasionally from juices
  • remove the chicken and shred the meat
  • in a large saucepan, add the juices from the cooked chicken, enchilada sauce, garlic powder, and tomatoes
  • add shredded chicken and cook over medium-high heat until warmed through
  • you can now place it back into the crock pot and set it to warm for serving
  • warm tortillas and fill with shredded chicken and toppings

 Finally, here’s the recipe for Chicken Tacos in a Slow Cooker…

slow cooker chicken tacos

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos

Easy slow cooker chicken tacos from a whole chicken 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 750cal
Author: Melissa
Cost: $15


  • 2 Tbsp. Dry Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley Powder – or Dry Parsley Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Paprika Spanish
  • Tbsp. Minced Onion
  • 1/21 tsp. Cumin
  • ½ tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp. Salt

Other Ingredients

  • Bay Leaf
  • 4-6 lb. Chicken

Taco Sauce

  • Broth from cooked chicken
  • 1 10 oz. enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 10 oz. Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies (such as Rotel) – undrained


  • 24 Yellow Corn Tortillas or flour tortillas


  • Prepare the dry rub by combining the spices
  • Rub the spices all over the chicken
  • Place chicken in the slow cooker
  • Add a bay leaf to the bottom 
  • Place lid on and Cook in slow cooker on low for 6-8 Hours or high for 3-4 hours, Basting occasionally
  • When the chicken is done cooking remove it and shred the chicken using forks or kitchen claws. Note – Chicken's internal temp. should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit and meat should be white  
  • In a large saucepan, heat chicken juices from the slow cooker, enchilada sauce, garlic powder, and tomatoes in a saucepan until boiling
  • Reduce heat and simmer for a few more minutes
  • Add shredded chicken until warmed through
  • Optional: You can transfer the chicken and juices back to the slow cooker and place it on warm for keeping it warm and serving large crowds 
  • Serve on warmed  tortillas with your favorite taco toppings



  • If you don’t have time to slow-cook a chicken, then you can substitute a store-bought rotisserie. Just add the juices from the rotisserie in place of the slow cooker juices and add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the enchilada sauce, garlic powder, and tomatoes
Note – Chicken’s internal temp. should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit and meat should be white  
nutrition facts are only an estimate 


Serving: 10g | Calories: 750cal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 77g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 34g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.5g | Vitamin A: 339IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

~Melissa –


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