Special Diet - Created Date : 30.9.2019
3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos
~ In just five minutes, these delicious chicken tacos are in the crock-pot and cooking away! Ridiculously easy and sure to become your go-to lifesaver! ~
This Recipe:•Includes Make-Ahead Steps •
We all have that one recipe.
The one that doesn’t even require a peek at the recipe card. The one that’s your standby and always saves the day when you have no idea what’s for dinner. You know what I mean.
At our house, these Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos really are “that one” recipe. The one that never ever fails to be awesome. The one that we are always excited to eat.
Wanna get really excited, too? Then check out our video tutorial on how ridiculously easy this recipe is! (While your tummy rumbles and begs you to make this ASAP, and you maybe drool just a little bit on your screen.)
True story: When my little ones dash into the house after school, if their first whiff of home is the incredible aromas of this chicken … well, they do that silly fist-pump move where they make a fist and say “YEAH!!!” while pumping an arm up and down. Uh-huh … that really happens … because it’s sooogoooood.
I was sure everyone on the earth had the recipe for my go-to. It was super popular on Pinterest a few years back, and I tell pretty much everybody I talk to about it. So, I just assumed everyone must make this constantly.
I guess not!
I mentioned this recipe to Shelley, and she looked at me like I was loony. She’d never heard of it! (When this happens, I joke that she lives under a rock. She knows so much about so many things, and has tried pretty much every food known to man, so if I come up with something new to her, I do my own little dance. Well, it’s more of me just clicking my heels. Alright fine. I usually just high-five. Myself.)
Ok anyhow …
If Shelley didn’t know anything about this, we realized there must surely be others out there whose lives have a similar gaping hole. But no more … today we’re gonna fix that!
So this recipe. This is the one that I make all. the. time.
Best part? It goes in the crock-pot. Yes, friends. We’re talking a 5-minute prep, and then you just let your slow cooker work its magic. You’ll just need another 5 minutes to finish the dish before you sit down to eat. Serious.
I went back and scoured my Pinterest boards, my pins, my notes – and I can’t figure out who to credit for this awesome recipe. In my research, I saw a reference that Weight Watchers had a recipe like this years ago, so we decided that must have been the genesis of the whole idea. But a Google search and a search of the Weight Watchers site didn’t yield a similar recipe we could link to for this. Ah, well … we’re gonna give them the credit, anyway!
In typical THK fashion, we both needed to test this recipe before we shared it with you all.
At first, Shelley was a little skeptical that something so incredibly simple could taste so good. But, she called me before her family was even done eating. They were loving it. Loving it.
I’m so excited her family gave the thumbs-up (possibly with fist pumps, too) – because now I get to share this recipe with you!
Ok. Get your pens and paper, because you’ll want to take very good notes here.
We recommend avoiding taco seasoning mixes that contain MSG. Also, there are differences in the amounts of sodium (and other ingredients) in various brands, so it's a good idea to read the nutrition information for the brands offered at your store.
Hi, Ginger! We definitely haven’t tried this, but I agree it could be a useful picky-eater fix! Really just guessing here, but based on some other similar recipes we have, I’m thinking you would want to add at least 1/2 cup of liquid to keep the chicken moist. Instead of water, I would recommend using unsalted chicken broth. I also wouldn’t use the entire amount of seasoning called for — without the salsa, the flavor will probably be too assertive, so I would say you should use about 3/4 of the amount we call for. Again, we haven’t tried this — but besides losing some of the flavor (maybe a good thing, if they’re not flavors your family likes!) there really shouldn’t be any reason it wouldn’t work out as long as you keep the chicken moist. Let us know what you end up trying, and how it works out for you! ?? ~Amy
Hi, Lauren! ?? We use an entire 1.25-ounce packet (that’s a standard size for most packets you’ll find at the store). But of course you could make your own if you wanted! I checked on one of our packets, and 1.25 ounces will work out to be about 4 tablespoons of seasoning. Hope that helps! ?? ~Amy
I never comment but I just had to let you know how much I appreciate you for this – it’s perfect and my whole picky family LOVED it. You have literally changed my life because now I get to eat tacos every week. What’s greater than the gift of tacos?
Oh my goodness, Cerissa, you totally made my day! Thanks bunches for taking the time to leave a comment – it truly does mean a lot to me! I’m so thrilled that you’ve got a new go-to recipe that YOU love making, and that the rest of your family looks forward to, as well! And you’re so right – the gift of tacos really is a pretty terrific gift, for sure! ?? I hope you’ll find some more of our recipes work well for your family, too – let me know if I can help make any suggestions. And if, by chance, some of those picky eaters around your table are kiddos, maybe our 5-part series on “Parenting Picky Eaters” might help you out, too (the first article in the series is here: https://twohealthykitchens.com/25-tips-for-picky-eaters-part-1-getting-started/. Have a terrific week – and thanks again! ~Shelley
My last comment never even got posted, forget the question in it replied to. I made it that way anyway, with extra taco seasoning and tomato sauce instead of salsa. OMG. That is some fantastic chicken. I turned mine into nachos with a creamy queso sauce. Tastes like something that should have cost double what I actually spent, both in terms of time standing in the kitchen and in terms of money.
I didn’t make it for a group, just for myself, let the chicken cook while I was at school (the life of a busy college student, lol) in 2 days I have eaten over half of it, and the leftovers are just as good. DEFINITELY something I will be making again.
Hi April! First off, I really apologize that your first comment didn’t get published – I’ve been combing back through and haven’t been able to find it yet – maybe I need to do a deep-dive into my spam folder??? Please accept my apologies. And thank you so much, nonetheless, for popping back to let me know how wonderfully this worked out for you! That really means a lot to me. And I really appreciate your (delicious!) idea for turning this into nachos – I think ideas like that are so helpful to inspire other readers (and me, too, for that matter!). Also loved your analysis that this was worth double what you spent in money – AND your valuable TIME! Seriously – that’s one of the most wonderful reviews you could have given for this recipe – thank you so much! Have a terrific rest-of-the-week, and I hope you get a nice break from your classes with the holidays coming up! ~Shelley
It is ok, the question was not super important, and the recipe is wonderful, I had the entire batch gone by myself in 5 days, and will most likely be making it again before years end. It even gave me the idea to cook chicken in the crockpot just covered with water when making other chicken dishes.
I got most of December off between fall term and winter term, will make a nice break.
I JUST got the crockpot last June, and only in the last couple of months have I really started using it a lot, the more I use it the more I like it.
Oh, I know just what you mean about the more you use your slow cooker, the more you LOVE it, April – I hear ya! If you’re looking for more inspiration, you can peek at all our slow cooker recipes HERE. I especially was thinking you might like the Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls. They kind of have these tacos that you love as their base, and then add in lots of other yummy goodies, too. And they’re super-adaptable, which I can tell is just the sort of recipe you really like! Have a wonderful break – so great that you get a nice, long time away to recharge! Enjoy – and happy holidays! ~Shelley
Such a simple recipe! I just finished shredding and my chicken breasts were falling apart with a spoon!! I doubled the recipe for my husbands potluck tomorrow and I found myself still needing a few sprinkles of a 3rd taco seasoning packet. Now I’m typing out my review while stealing a few pieces ?? Hopefully it tastes just as good reheated in the crockpot tomorrow morning! Thank you!
Hi Ashely! Thanks bunches for taking a moment to leave such lovely feedback! I’m thrilled! And wow … lucky hubby to show up with this at the potluck! It’s always reheated really nicely for me, so I hope it worked out terrific warmed up the next day for you guys, too. Thanks again – I really appreciate your sweet note! ~Shelley
Hahaha! When I read the ingredients, I thought, “Where do I get 11.25-oz. package of taco seasoning? Is there such a thing? Isn’t that too much?” Then I looked again, and saw it was 1 (one!) 1.25-oz. package, which is what they are! Some things are just too funny not to share. By the way, I’m making this tonight for my husband (with a 1.25-oz. package of seasoning) because it sounds really good. He’s going to love it!
Oh my goodness – that IS pretty funny! Holy cow, 11.25 ounces of taco seasoning could feed an army, for sure! ?? But you know – you actually made a really great point about the difficulty in reading that ingredient. With our site redesign and new recipe card format, I’m realizing from your comment that some of our older recipes’ ingredient lists might be a little hard to read (especially on a mobile device) – so I really appreciate that you mentioned it (besides just that it’s pretty funny)! I added some parentheses (which we typically now do on newer recipes) that I think will make it more clear – thanks bunches for the idea! And also …. did the hubs love it???? I can’t wait to hear! ?? ~Shelley
Oh! And you know … I was just thinking that you might also really like our Easy Crock-Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls (https://twohealthykitchens.com/easy-crock-pot-chicken-burrito-bowls/). The base is pretty similar to these chicken tacos, but there are also yummy additions like onions and corn and black beans stirred in – it’s still really easy and soooo good, too! ?? ~Shelley
I just got back to New Orleans and the hubs has been asking me to make tacos. I asked him how come he didn’t just make them and he said because I make them better. I can’t wait to surprise him and try this new recipe!
I need to try this! We’ve been working on our honey-do list and it’s eating up our time! By the time we’ve completed a project we need an easy meal waiting for us! And tacos is a great reward for a hard day’s labor!
It’s awesome when something easy to prepare becomes a family favorite. I love this recipe. I also make it with a small or medium pork roast.. Like you, I can’t remember where I first heard about it. I just know that it’s easy and delicious.
Oh, Sanna – I hear ya! Weeknights get so busy at our house, but I really like to be able to gather the whole family together when I can, even just for a few minutes to talk about the day and reconnect over a (quick!) dinner. These tacos are so perfect for those hectic nights – they’re ready and waiting for us whenever we happen to finally roll in, and they are so crazy-good every time! Thanks bunches for popping by – and have a terrific weekend! ~Shelley
Oh Ashley, thank you so much for your sweet comment! I’m so happy you and your family love these chicken tacos! They really are a perfect go-to recipe for busy nights, aren’t they?!? So ridiculously quick and easy, and everyone can customize their own! Total win! ?? ~Shelley
Hey there, Rebecca! Terrific question – and one that we haven’t had for a while, so I’m glad you brought it up again. In fact, another one of our readers, Whitley, asked this same question (you can find it much further down in the comments on this post) more than four years ago, and we realized back then that other readers might have a similar question, so we actually ended up writing an entire, separate post about whether it’s safe to use frozen meat in your crock-pot (https://twohealthykitchens.com/is-it-safe-to-use-frozen-meat-in-your-crock-pot/). Basically, we don’t recommend using frozen, unthawed meat in any slow cooker recipe. As we explained to Whitley, this isn’t an issue about whether or not it will work (because it will – you may have some slight variation in texture, but your meat will cook), but rather an issue of food safety. If you’re interested, you can dive into further details in the post I linked to above, but the short answer here is that you should always properly thaw frozen, raw meat before using it in a slow cooker recipe. Thanks again for the great question – and I hope you love these Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos as much as we do! ~Shelley
At least thus far, we’ve opted not to include nutrition info, although we’ve actually debated about this issue since the beginning of our blog (and we address it in our FAQ at http://twohealthykitchens.com/about/).
Especially with Gretchen’s (my original business partner’s) master’s degree in nutrition, she could easily have calculated all this manually – plus there are loads of online calculators to use. However, for a variety of reasons, we have decided over and over again not to do that. One big reason is that we generally don’t specify exact brands (although on some occasions we need to), so the final nutritional profile of a recipe can vary widely, depending on the purchasing decisions our readers make. In the end, it could almost be a bit misleading to quote nutritional info, if readers make significantly different purchasing choices than we did in testing. For example, the final nutritional profile of these very simple 3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos – could vary tremendously (particularly, in this case, the sodium) depending on which taco seasoning and which salsa someone purchases.
Also … having said all of this … I want you to know that we get questions like this from other readers from time to time, too. As a result, we are always re-evaluating this very good question and exploring how we may be able to offer nutrition information in a way that we can feel good about – a way that’s helpful and not potentially misleading. So stay tuned …
Thanks so much for reaching out to us! I hope this explanation helped you out at least a little!
Hi Becky! I haven’t tried using tenders, but I have seen other slow cooker chicken recipes that spcify chicken tenders in various applications – so I think it’s worth a try. My biggest concern, however, is just that, because tenders are so much smaller and thinner than the chicken breasts we specify, they might overcook or become dried out, particularly toward the end of cooking. Maybe just monitor them closely the first time you try it, adjusting cook time as needed, to be sure you’re happy with the end result. And if you do give these chicken tacos a try using tenders, I’d love to hear how it works out! Thanks so much! ~Shelley
I made these today and used the 4 hour on high method and….. I CANNOT wait for it to be done! (30 more minutes). It makes my apartment smell so amazing and it will be ready just in time for when the hubby comes home from work!
We’re going to be making tacos tonight and tomorrow packing up taco salads for lunch…. YUM.
Easiest, least messy way for taco nights. New favorite and I will never go back!
Oh, Taylor … thank you so much! I’m terribly behind on finding your lovely comment, as I’ve been traveling a bit lately, but it was absolutely perfect timing to read your comment TODAY! Why? Because it’s Cinco de Mayo (and, you know … Cinco de Mayo tacos … ?? ! And it’s also so perfect because I’m actually making this chicken taco recipe for my family’s Cinco de Mayo dinner tonight! No kidding! Those yummy tacos are cooking away in my crock-pot at this very moment, just a few inches from where I’m sitting to type this! We love them, too, and I’m so happy that they’ve become a new go-to for you and your hubby. Happy Cinco de Mayo … and thank you so much for your really sweet comment! ~Shelley
I have a friend that on facebook asking for easy recipes since they have 3 kids in sports band…always on the go, someone posted this recipe and me and my husband working 12 hour shifts thought it was perfect, we throw (sorry to say we have used frozen chicken) but we put it in the crockpot at 6am on low, get home at 7:30 shred it up and its awesome. So easy and its nice to come home to something cooked instead of cooking and eating at 9pm. Very easy love it!
Oh, Lisa – thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a wonderful compliment! I totally get where your busy friend is coming from … sports, band … yep!, I’m right there with her! ?? These chicken tacos are definitely a lifesaver on busy nights, and it truly is fabulous to come home to a hot, delicious slow cooker meal, with the whole house smelling deliciously welcoming at the end of a long day! I’m so truly happy that you’re enjoying it! Have a lovely weekend! ~Shelley
Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback on these chicken tacos, Rian! And most especially, thank you for taking a moment to share your great idea of lettuce shells with our other readers! It’s always terrific when our readers swap their own personal recipe twists and suggestions – such great inspiration for others! We really appreciate it! Have a fabulous week! ?? ~Shelley
Thank you so much, Vanessa – both for your really kind words, and for including our taco recipe in your Meal Plan! I hope your readers love it as much as ours have! Now … I’m off to check out your blog … ?? ~Shelley
I am going to make tomorrow for my sons party. We are doing a taco bar. I am doing ground beef THIS chicken reciepe. Iam having about 10 kids and 8 adult so should I double or triple and do I double each the seasoning and Salsa? Also do u have a easy cockpot group beef recipe? I have never used a crock pot and am not an adventurous cook please help lol thank you
Hi Jessica! Sounds like such a fun party! I’ve actually done exactly what you describe – making these Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos, plus regular ground beef on the stovetop – for a beach house full of about 20 family members. It worked beautifully! We started the Chicken Tacos earlier in the day, and they were perfect by dinnertime – so easy and ideal for a taco bar! Just double or triple the entire recipe – each ingredient – depending on how much you decide you want. I’m really excited for you to try it!
Also – I imagine you mean that you’re hoping I also have a beef taco recipe?? I’m sorry – I don’t. But, if you want to make that ahead, too, I would just prepare the beef taco mixture on the stovetop the way you usually do for tacos, store it in the fridge, and then reheat it in a big batch right before serving. You could even reheat it and, once it’s piping hot again, place it in a second slow cooker (not the one you’re using for the chicken ?? ) and keep it hot on the taco bar that way.
Once you get in the swing of using your slow cooker, I think you’ll really fall in love! When you’re looking for more slow cooker recipe ideas, check out our whole slow cooker category at http://twohealthykitchens.com/recipes/index/crock-pot-slow-cooker/ – lots of yummy (easy!!!) recipes for soups, stews, chilis, sandwiches … even appetizers!
It definitely is yummy! My favorite part is that you can basically eat it all year round. I mean yes, technically it’s more of a spring/summer recipe, but I, for one, have no issue with having some fish on a chilly fall night … or a frigid winter one … but maybe that’s just because I love this recipe so much! ?? ~Amy
What a nice message, Julie – thank you for taking a moment to say hello! I can’t wait for you to try these chicken tacos – they’ve been crazy-popular on Pinterest (so I’m not surprised that’s where you found the recipe ?? ) – and we get lots of raves about this! Definitely a super-easy recipe, and you can absolutely adapt it for your family’s tastes depending on the salsa you choose and the toppings you offer. Make it your own – and have fun! I hope you’ll let me know how it went! ?? ~Shelley
Hi Marie! You’re so very welcome! These chicken tacos have quickly become our all-time, most popular recipe ever! So easy, so adaptable, and just so yummy! I’m really excited for you to try them! Have a fabulous evening! ?? ~Shelley
Oh, Kim! You’re always so sweet! I think you’ll just love these, and definitely be hooked on chicken tacos from now on! They’re super-duper easy, and we just get rave upon rave upon rave – so delicious for something so simple! ?? ~Shelley
Neither Gretchen nor I have ever tried cooking this recipe for as long as 11-12 hours, so we can’t guarantee how it will work. Our only real concern in cooking this recipe for so long is just that, with such a small amount of overall liquid in the recipe, the meat may begin to dry out and get tough. Your idea, Lando, of adding a bit of broth to help with this problem might be a really good solution for such a long cook time. If either of you try it – we’d love to know how it worked!
A couple of other ideas: If your slow cooker has the option of switching to “keep warm” after cooking, that might buy you an hour or two, but you generally don’t want food held at that setting for more than a couple of hours at most (check your slow cooker’s manual).
Lastly, you could always make this chicken taco recipe on a weekend day when you’re home, and reheat it after work during the week. Not quite a perfect application of the slow cooker for long work days, but it would definitely solve the problem, as this reheats really well!
I hope all of these ideas help, at least a little! And again – thanks so much for popping by and for asking terrific questions!
I have a long commute to work as well. I put a slow cooker bag in my crock pot, load it up, and let it cook all night while I sleep. In the morning I just lift the whole bag out of the crockpot and put it in a container. When I get home from work, I just have to heat it up. It takes the guess work out, and I never have to worry about my food drying out or overcooking.
Thank you so much for the easy recipe. It’s in the Crockpot now for my daughter and granddaughter’s dinner tonight. She will be happily surprised when she walks in the door from work.Thanks again – Diann
Hi Diann! So happy you’re already lovin this!! It always smells SO good when it’s cooking! I just love that about using the crock pot – dinner smells amazing all day! ??
Hope your daughter and precious granddaughter loved their dinner – how sweet of you to cook of her! Best ever!!! ~Gretchen
Thanks for the response and feedback! I used 5 fresh chicken breast I just bought from the store and pace medium chunky salsa. The only difference was that I blended the salsa in the food processor to get rid of the chucks because I have picky eaters in the house but that actually made the salsa thicker. I’ve had this issue when trying to do BBQ pulled chicken as well so I’m wondering if my crockpot cooks hotter than the usual low setting?
Hello!! I think you may be absolutely right – I’m guessing your crock pot is getting really hot, and there’s a lot of steam buildup that can lead to mushy food. Since it sounds like there wasn’t an over abundance of liquid, perhaps you could try cooking for a bit less time.
Does your slow cooker have a small hole in the lid? I have several (it’s more of a collection … I just love cooking in crock pots and always need to have one ready to go!) and one I use often has a small hole under the handle – to allow steam to escape, and so there sin’t a vacuum effect with the lid and the bowl. It’s very tiny, so it’s not losing a lot of heat, but there also isn’t a buildup of steam inside.
I’ve seen some articles in the past that suggest taking the lid off for a few minutes every couple hours. This allows some steam to escape, but then also cools the food and slow cooker itself, so it’ll take some time for everything to come back to the right temperature. I don’t think that’s the best idea … but I wanted to share it with you.
I’m sorry that I can’t be of more help! You must have a super-charged slow cooker!! ?? As long as your food comes to the appropriate temperature, the slightly shorter cook time may be your best bet!
I followed the recipe to a “t” and I found that there was too much liquid that when I shredded the chicken it became soggy. I didn’t see any other comments with regard to this issue so I’m confused at where I went wrong? Overall flavor was great but chicken texture wasn’t pleasant. I’d love to give this recipe another try just looking for some tips to prevent this from happening again. Thank you!
Hi Sarah! I’m so sorry that the recipe didn’t turn out as well for you! I’ve got to tell ya, I make this recipe all.the.time and I’ve never had too much liquid. So let’s problem solve!! ?? Here are a few ideas I thought of …
– Was your salsa particularly liquidy? Perhaps a thicker, chunkier-style salsa may help! I tend to use a thinner salsa, but if it’s too thin it could become too watery.
– What type of chicken did you use? Some brands of chicken inject broth or water into the chicken breasts – the packaging may read, “Enhanced with 15% chicken broth” or similar wording. Brands claim this will help with a juicier and better tasting chicken breast, but I usually skip over the ‘enhanced’ meats. I’ve not ever had an issue with ‘un-enhanced’ chicken being too dry or under flavored. However, if you used this type of chicken, the extra liquid may be causing the sogginess.
– Was your meat completely thawed? We’re super passionate about using totally thawed meats in crock pots here at THK (we’ve even written about it here!). If your chicken was even a little icy, the extra liquid that would melt off could cause the unpleasant texture, as well as some other issues discussed in our other post.
I’d really love to hear back – I really want this recipe to work for you! It’s absolutely one of my favorites (SO perfect for a busy night – and the leftovers are amazing, too!) and I want it to be one of your favorites, too! ~Gretchen
Hello Ilka! Honestly, I don’t have a favorite salsa for this recipe!! I know it sounds funny, but I always just use what I’ve got on hand. I tend to buy a lot of salsa at Trader Joe’s, but sometimes I’ve only got my local store’s brand in my pantry!
That’s the beauty of this recipe – it works with YOUR favorite! You can have a more mild flavor, or really heat things up with a spicy salsa. We usually opt for a medium … it’s mild enough for the kids, yet has a little zing for my husband and I. I tend to use a thinner salsa, but I know Shelley’s fave is a chunkier style. It all works! ??
I apologize for not giving you a direct answer … I guess that would be what you love most!! ?? ~Gretchen
Hi Tammy! Great question! We always, always use only raw, completely thawed chicken. While it may seem convenient to toss frozen chicken in, it’s never a good idea. We’ve even written a post about not using frozen meat in your crock pot! Simply put, frozen meat spends too much time hovering in the ‘danger zone’ (40F-140F) since the crock pot would need to defrost it before it can begin cooking it, and it could lead to bacterial growth in your food. Super yucky and not at all appetizing. So for this (and all other crock pot chicken recipes!) use totally thawed meat!
This recipe is one of my very favorites (I just made it for dinner last night – no joke!) and my family is always excited about it! Enjoy!! ~Gretchen
Oh, wow! First off, you are so incredibly awesome to tackle dinner duty while your wife snags some sanity time! I can sure relate to how happy she must be! I know that one day I’ll dearly miss hearing “mom…mom…mom” but it sure can get exhausting at times – lol! So thrilled that you’re giving these chicken tacos a try! One thing that’s awesome about this recipe when you have kiddos is that each person can tailor this to exactly how they like to eat tacos – you can spice it up with hot sauce, add lots of great veggies like lettuce and tomatoes … whatever!
And, I’m not sure how young your kids are, but one other little tip that sometimes helps if one eater in the family is particularly suspicious of spices or salsa: before you start to shred the chicken, just set some of it aside for the “pickier” eater, and don’t mix it back into the flavorful salsa mixture in the slow cooker. That way, their portion will be a little more plain and they can flavor it up however they feel most comfortable. (We’ve written several posts on picky eating and spoken about it for some parenting groups, so we totally know how one little tip like this can save a parent’s sanity! ?? ).
Can’t wait to try this! Fyi, you can make your own taco seasoning. I do pico de gallo, sea salt to taste, probably around 2 tsp. Of cumin and about 1 1/2 tsp. Of garlic along with a homemade chili powder to taste. I’ve been told it tastes better than buying premade taco seasoning!
Hi, Lara! So excited for you to try these chicken tacos … the all-time most popular recipe on our site! People just love this easy recipe! One of the very best things about it is how flexible it is – you can use all different types of salsa and choose whatever toppings you and your family like! And great idea on the homemade taco seasoning! You should definitely try that with this recipe! Sounds wonderful! Thanks a million for sharing your recipe and measurement amounts with our other readers, too! ?? ~Shelley
It was great! We added more cumin and garlic than what posted. We also didn’t have enough salsa so i used 1 can of rotell original diced tomatoes with green chiles and 1 can of rotell cilantro lime diced tomatoes with green chiles. It was fantastic! We ended up with extra meat that we mixed in with homemade spanish rice and made 2 more meals for us!!! Great recipe. Love the versatility of it!
Oh, wonderful, Lara! I’m so thrilled you loved this recipe, and it was really, really sweet of you to stop back and let us know! I enjoyed your update on the different personal twists you used, too! Truly – the flexibility of these Chicken Tacos is so fabulous – totally customizable!
Oh – and you got me thinking … if you love this recipe, make sure to check out our Crock-Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup – it was actually based on this Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos recipe!
And actually, along the same lines, we have a recipe for slow cooker Chicken Burritos Bowls that was published in the cookbook you can download when you sign up to receive our e-mails (you know – in that little box toward the upper righthand margin of our site). I didn’t hop over to our subscriber list to see if you’ve already subscribed and received your ebook, but if you haven’t, you might check that out, too! The ebook is gorgeous and has loads of great slow cooker recipes (not just our Chicken Burrito Bowls! ?? ).
Anyway – I know that’s a lot of info, but since you enjoyed these Chicken Tacos so much, I thought you might like the Tortilla Soup and Burritos Bowls, too – they both have lots of wiggle room for customization (spicier salsas, etc.) – which sounds right up your alley!
This is the perfect kind of dish I like to serve at a party. Easy on the cook, but tasty for the guests. And, I like to let people make their own so they can put whatever they want in the taco. Thanks for the recipe.
You know, Debi, you’re exactly right! This is such a perfect recipe for a party! I love recipes that are easy for the hostess! And how fun to make this into a taco bar – everyone can enjoy customizing their own tacos and chatting with other party guests while they do it … it’s social and yummy, too! Thanks so much for popping by! ?? ~Shelley
Hi, Shannon! Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you absolutely loved this recipe as much as Gretchen and I both do! And high-five on your plan to use Frank’s to spice it up a bit! We both loooooove Frank’s and use it a lot in our own homes! Especially since our hubbies sometimes like things spicier than some of our kiddos, we often hot sauce at the table so everyone gets just the spice level they like. Yum!!! Another idea for you, if you have a spice-loving family, is to use a hot-and-spicy salsa. Mmmmmmm … ?? ~Shelley
I wanted a easy recipe for chicken taco meat and I found it. I made this for our work Christmas party and it was fantastic!! I loved your humor inthe directions and when I was asked how I made it, I quoted directions exactly as you did!!
I bet you could simmer it on the stove top and get the same result! If you’re simmering it you might need to add more liquid to it.. just keep an eye on it. I almost attempted the simmer method yesterday when I was short on time (was making it for lunch).
I needed an idea for dinner and this sounds perfect. I don’t really want to run to the store with my sick two year old… but i only have half a Jar of salsa in the fridge ?? think half the salsa and adding a small can of Rotel would work?
Hi, Amanda! So sorry to hear you have a sick little one – that’s just never fun for anybody! Hang in there! And about this recipe … I honestly haven’t tried making it quite that way, but in a pinch I think you should definitely go for it! You can always taste your concoction at the end of cooking, before you serve it, and add a dash of hot sauce or a pinch of herbs if it’s not quite where you want it to be. But honestly, I think the Rotel will sub in just fine for you, and beats the heck out of dragging your little one out to the store! Let us know how it goes … ?? ~Shelley
I went ahead and threw caution to the wind and went for it! As it turned out I had a tad under half a Jar of salsa left (my husband eats that stuff on everything!) I went ahead and dumped the salsa, an entire can of Rotel (even the juice) in with it. Since I had less salsa than originally thought I diced up small pieces of onions and added half a can of crushed tomatoes too. (Talk about a crazy substitution day!) We also cooked on high because I needed it ready for lunch. Smelled delicious cooking, and despite all my changes actually came out awesome! I think the Rotel gave it more spicey flavor than the entire jar of salsa would but my family likes a little kick. I think the Rotel worked great in a pinch! My little ones ate it up on soft shells with lettuce and cheese. Yum! My poor husband is going to be upset when there is no left overs for dinner lol. I ate mine on a salad and it was equally as delicious! I also made a corn and black bean “salsa” to go with it and it was awesome. The salsa is just a can of black beans (rinsed, drained) a can of corn drained and I used my other half can of crushed tomatoes but it called for freshly diced. Mix then add some cilantro and I squeezed two limes over it… yum! With the chicken it was over the top!
Lol – you crazy girl – good job on that “throwing caution to the wind” stuff! ?? Seriously, though – I’m so, so glad this all worked out for you! I totally know how it is when you’re a mom with a sick little one at home – you really just need SOMETHING in your day to go well! I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to pop back and let us know how it turned out! Oh – and awesome idea on the yummy corn salsa – sounds fabulous!!! I hope you have a fantastic (healthy!!!) weekend! ?? ~Shelley
It’s definitely going to be a staple in our house! We had leftovers today… i grilled the two year old some of the leftover meat between two small tortillas with a sprinkle of cheese. Hubs did a fajita style thing with it and the rest of us did salads and tacos. So versatile and yummy. Really you don’t even need to put it on something. I could eat it out of the crock pot with just a fork lol. My friend makes a similar version of this but said in the last hour she melts 1/2 brick of cream cheese in and makes a “creamy” version… also sounds delish (even though a bit unhealthier!) I’m so glad I found this recipe… who would have thought! And I think it got better the next day sitting in the juices!
Wow! Just found your recipe and am so excited to try it. I’ve had my crockpot for 2 years and have just started to use it in the last 6 months. Everyone used to ask why I didn’t use it and I always tended to think that it was best to make soups (which my family are not big fans of). But I’ve now made beef and pork roast, bbq chicken drumsticks, etc. So I’m excited to add a new recipe to the mix.
Just a quick question…Do you have a prefered salsa you use. Salsas taste and texture differ from brand to brand. Just curious if you have a favorite that works best with this recipe. Thanks!
Hi Rachel!! YAY on using your crock-pot!! I own several … that way I’ve always got one ready when I need it! Lol! ??
Great question! As far as the salsa you should use, well, that really depends on your own preferences. Love really zesty, spicy foods? Go for hot salsa! Not quite sure the spicy stuff is for your family? Go for mild!
Honestly, I use whatever salsa I happen to have on hand – and it’s typically what is on sale! Personally, I tend to buy medium salsa, and usually a thinner style. Shelley goes for the salsa with more large pieces of veggies in it. Both salsas make it absolutely delicious!
Thicker or thinner, spicy or more mild … it’s really up to you! ?? ~Gretchen
This recipe is a winner. Delicious, easy to make ,and inexpensive.I wasn’t sure a pound and a half of chicken would be enough to feed the 5 of us so I used 2 and a quarter pounds of chicken breasts. Believe me a pound and a half would have made plenty of tacos. For those that haven’t made this yet, when the crockpot finishes cooking the chicken, there will be a lot of liquid. After shredding the meat the chicken will absorb all the juice and you’ll be ready to have delicious tacos. Later on this week I will try the unstuffed pepper skillet.
I am going to make chicken tacos for a group of about 20 people tomorrow. Can you give me an idea of how much chicken I will need to make? Not sure how many people your recipe is meant to serve. Thanks!
Hi, Jane! We’re so thrilled you’ll be making this – what a lovely compliment!
Ok – so exactly how much you want to make honestly depends on the type of party and your crowd (and how hungry they are! ?? ). For example, if it’s for a potluck and everyone will be filling their plates with lots of other foods, too, you will obviously need much less. Also, if your group is like our families, and loves to pile on lots of (healthy!), yummy veggie toppings like the tomatoes and avocados and lettuce, then you again won’t need quite as much. So, a ballpark would be that one batch of this should feed about 6-8 people. We’d suggest that you definitely at least make a double batch, probably a triple if you have a large enough crock-pot or (if you’re like Gretchen who has 7 or 8 slow cookers ?? ), fire up two of them. (Make sure you carefully check the chicken for doneness if the crock-pot is really full.) Admittedly, though – when we entertain, we always like to have too much rather than too little, and this particular recipe reheats so well that we’re truly delighted to end up with leftovers of it!
I hope that helps you a bit. Good luck, and have fun tomorrow! ?? ~Shelley
Yay, Danny!! So happy your family loved it!! My favorite part is how totally simple this recipe is – less than five minutes and dinner is started! And it’s a meal all of us just really enjoy, it’s a total win-win! Hope you make it again! Thanks for stopping by, Danny! Have a great day! ?? ~Gretchen
Thanks for the great question! Our best guess is that this would work – although we’ve never actually tried it ourselves and can’t vouch for how it would turn out. We did some research for you, though, and did find a few recipes around the Internet that use just seasoning and chicken broth, or seasoning with a combination of chicken broth and water. We wouldn’t suggest subbing out the 16-ounce jar of salsa for a full 16 ounces of water (and/or broth), though – maybe try starting with around a cup of liquid. Be careful that the chicken doesn’t dry out, though, since there will be somewhat less liquid for it to cook in. As we found when testing our Crock-Pot North Carolina BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, crock-pot recipes with such a small amount of liquid may not do quite as well on the high setting if you’re using a larger (say, 5 or 6 quart) slow cooker. It may work best for you on the low setting – but give it a try and see what works for you and your crock-pot!
Also of course, you won’t have the same flavor boost from the salsa, nor the bits of onions, peppers, etc. that you would get if you included the salsa – so maybe you could stir salsa into the portion for the rest of the family if you’d like, or let the rest of the family use the salsa as a topping. Good luck! And if you have a moment – we’d love for you to pop back and let us know how it went!
Oh – and one more thing – this is probably obvious, but do check your packet of taco seasoning to be sure that whatever bothers your child in salsa isn’t also in the seasoning packet. Different brands of taco seasoning vary more than you might guess in their ingredient lists. ~G&S
I just wanted to share what a great recipe this is for summer! We recently went on vacation with a very large group of our family and did a dinner duty rotation. On our night, we chose a Mexican theme and we popped this into the crock pot (doubled the recipe), prepared some toppings, and headed out to the beach and pool for the rest of the day. We certainly didn’t have to slave away in the kitchen and miss a ray of vacation sunshine. This was a great recipe for all of our various aged diners. It also tasted really healthy. We had a fun night! Thanks for a great recipe for our fiesta! ??
Hi, Stephanie! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave us such a wonderful comment! That truly means the world to us! We love knowing that families are making our recipes (and on vacation, too!) and really enjoying them! Our whole goal at THK is to help people make really healthy foods that still leave plenty of time for the beach … the pool … whatever! Mission accomplished! We’re just thrilled! Thanks again so much! ?? ~Shelley
Oh, Julie! Definitely make this! It’s a game-changer … so ridiculously easy and infinitely customizable with different toppings! There’s for sure a reason that this is the most popular recipe we’ve posted to date! People looooove it! Can’t wait for you to try it! ?? ~G&S
You’re kids are funny. My kids are similar when they come in the door and something yummy is cooking in the slow cooker. This is similar to something I make, only I use green chilies instead of taco seasoning. So easy and good too! I will try it your way next time.
You’re blog is beautiful. I’m so happy you found me and now I can look through your blog at all of the possibilities!
Hi Kathleen! Thanks so much for stopping by … and for your sweet words!!
Well, now I want to try your version! ??
I love preparing really healthy foods for my family, and it’s even better when they are so super excited about it! And the fact that it comes together in five minutes … well that’s just icing on top! ~Gretchen
Ok. That’s it. I broke down and bought a crock pot in England. Not impossible to come by, but not as used as they are in the U.S. I plan to take your recipe and start a trend! Thanks for another great recipe!
Hi, Melinda! I seriously had no idea that slow cookers were such a hard item to find in England! So many of the busy moms I know pretty much live and die by timesaving crock-pot recipes – we’ve gotta spread the word to all those busy British mums! And, hey – if you’re looking for more crock-pot recipes to break in your new purchase – check out our Crock-Pot Crazy Pineapple Chili! More THK crock-pot recipes to come … ?? ~Shelley
Hi, Whitley! Thanks for the question! You definitely don’t want to use frozen chicken – in this recipe or any other slow cooker recipe. If you’re like us, then you’ve probably seen plenty of recipes online that say it’s ok to start a crock-pot recipe with frozen meat, or even had friends tell you what a great shortcut it is. And it does work – you may have some slight variation in texture, but your meat will cook. That’s not the issue. The problem is that it isn’t safe, particularly for people with certain health risks or increased susceptibility to food-bourne illness. Sure – you may have heard of people doing this with no problem at all … but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be that lucky. It’s a gamble we’re not willing to take with our families, and we wouldn’t advise you to take that risk, either. Slow cookers don’t bring frozen meat up to a safe temperature (above 140°F) evenly or quickly enough. Your meat will spend too much time in the unsafe temperature range (between 40°-140°F), opening up the possibility that you and your family could get sick from eating it. So, please – properly thaw your chicken for this recipe, and begin with raw, thawed chicken breasts. Thanks again for the great question and for taking the time to ask! We’re so glad you stopped by! ~G&S
UPDATE: Whitley – thanks again for your great question! When we received your comment, we knew there must be lots of other people wondering the same thing, which prompted us to write the post Is It Safe to Use Frozen Meat in Your Crock-Pot? Check it out! And thanks again for taking the time to reach out! ~G&S
I seriously put this together in the crock pot in less time than it took for my windshield to defrost this morning…(Start car, start crockpot, get in car, go!!!) It was really delicious! Our kids loved it! I wasn’t sure that they were going to leave any for their Daddy who was going to be eating later! Thanks for a great, easy, healthy recipe! I love crockpot recipes, so I will make this one very frequently!
LOL!! That’s a fantastic (and pretty hilarious!) testimony to how fabulously fast this meal is to throw together! Hopefully there was some left when your husband got home! But it really is just soooo good – we really can’t blame the kiddos for wanting more! ?? Thanks so much for a really sweet comment! ~G&S
Oh yes! A favorite for sure!! I would love to know about what you make with beans – I’m really interested! My kids (and Shelley’s!) can’t get enough of this – I’m pretty sure we could make this several times a week and everyone would be totally happy! Enjoy! ~Gretchen
Hi Tina! I’m so happy you found this recipe! If your hubby loves tacos, this will be a hit at your house! (And you don’t even have to tell anyone how insanely easy it is … that can be a secret!) Then your hubby will be the one doing the fist pump!! Lol! ?? ~Gretchen
I use mine constantly – I don’t know what I would do without a crock-pot!! I love it!! (And then it snowballed and I ended up with 6!) ??
Hope you try it – it’s a guaranteed hit at our house! I love when I make a meal that makes EVERYONE happy! ~Gretchen
Yes, exactly! Incredibly simple and amazingly delicious! I had to try it to believe it – and I’m SO happy I did! This meal makes has saved the day – on multiple occasions! I love just throwing in the crock-pot when I know I have a busy day (who am I kidding – every day is busy!) and coming home to a yummy dinner! Lifesaver!! ?? ~Gretchen
Your little ones are so cute with the fist pumps ?? I make a similar recipes with chicken baked in the oven and then top it with cheese too. I’ve never tried it in the crock pot but it sounds like the perfect meal. I’m always looking for a good quick chicken taco recipe so I’ll have to try this next time.
Haha! Yeah – they get pretty excited about this! Who am I kidding? We all get really excited about this! ??
Ohhhh … I want your recipe for baked chicken! It’s always good to try new ones – and I love cheese! Mmmmmm!! ~Gretchen
Yay Liz!! I’m sooo happy you liked it!! Honestly, we had this for dinner tonight, too! My little one has been begging for ‘Taco Tuesday’ so we had tacos tonight! Hopefully this quick recipe will make things a little easier once the new bundle of joy arrives! ?? ~Gretchen
It seriously doesn’t get much easier than this! Literally 5 minutes and then walk away for the entire day! Can’t wait to hear all about Baby #2 and see gorgeous photos!! And yes … going from one kiddo to two is an adjustment, but in the best possible way! You’ll totally rock – and with super simple dinners like this – it will be a breeze! ?? ~Gretchen
Nope – not kidding!! I would never, ever joke about something so amazing and delicious! Lol!! Seriously – it is so incredibly easy, and is a favorite meal at our house (and Shelley’s too!). Hope you try this out!! ~Gretchen
Wow this looks so delicious love the shredded chicken texture – a bit like slow roast pork (but much healthier!). You have 6 crockpots! is that because they are all different sizes or because you like to crock-pot 6 things at once?!
I’m guilty, Amy! Some are different sizes, yes, but I also have a few that are the same size! I can’t help myself! I really only use multiple ones when we entertain – then I get several going at once! ?? I walked into the store today and saw a big new display … I almost bought another one! I wonder if there is some type of support group for people who own too many crock-pots?!?
I hope you try this recipe – I find that it shreds much easier than pork. And yes, the chicken breasts are super healthy! Thanks for stopping by! ~Gretchen
Hi Erin! Yes, yes, I totally agree. This recipe needs to be tucked up the sleeve of pretty much every single person in the world! Just imagine a day where everyone knows exactly what they will be serving their family for dinner, and everyone is over-the-moon happy! Ahhhh … ?? ~Gretchen
Wow, Tara!! Thank you SO much!! I really appreciate your sweet comment – I’m glad you tried it and loved it! It’s obviously a fave at my house, and I hope it will be one at yours, too! Thanks, again! ~Gretchen
Cate, put down whatever you are doing and get to the store! Right now! You will never regret this purchase! I use mine at lease once (but usually twice!) every week! When I look at my calendar and see that I have a hectic day coming up, I always plan to have dinner in the crock-pot before I head out. By the time I get home, dinner is ready and we can eat as a family before we go back out for evening activities! It really is SO easy! And the best part – you can just put the stoneware bowl and lid in the dishwasher! So cleanup is a breeze, as well! Simple, simple, simple! ??
And these tacos??? Your life will never be the same! Let us know how much you love them! ~Gretchen
Yes! It really is that simple! And … wonderfully delicious! Can’t think of anything that would be more simple – except going out to eat! But let’s face it, with activities for the kids after school and in the evening, that really isn’t a possibility! So we’ll just stick with super easy and really yummy meals like this! ?? ~G&S
I’m not sure there is a more simple recipe out there … that actually tastes good. Three ingredients? Yep – and it’s amazing. (I’m getting hungry for this now!!)
We love (LOVE!) Mexican food, and this makes it simple enough to be able to enjoy it often. Like, all the time. It’s already on the menu for next week – my little one has been begging for ‘Taco Tuesday’ – and I’m more than happy to make these! A family fave for sure! ?? ~Gretchen
Sounds like we could have dinner together – Mexican! ?? That is another really delicious dinner that we love, as well! The leftovers from 3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos would be amazing in a quesadilla! Mmmmm! ~Gretchen
Lol, I can just imagine everyone running around fist-pumping! Isn’t it funny how some things just make everyone so happy it requires a fist-pump?! I love it! I know my guys will be loving this recipe, as will I. Anytime I can use a crockpot is a great day ?? Pinning!!
Hey, Cindy! Honestly, if you could see Gretchen’s girls (especially her totally precocious and hilarious littlest) doing the fist-pumps – well, you’d be doing whatever is more than LOL’ing! And really – once you try this recipe, you guys will be as hooked as I was when Gretchen first had me try it! It’s now a total go-to lifesaver for me! Oh, and regarding our mutual love of crock-pots? We’ve got more slow cooker recipes coming up in the next couple months, so stay tuned! And thanks for the Pin!!!! ?? ~Shelley
I don’t have a crockpot either but I do bake chicken or beef (when I ate it) overnight in the oven. Turns out perfect and you can vary up the seasonings. I love having it around because you can use it in almost anything! Great recipe, girls!
Hi, Abbe! I’ve never tried the overnight chicken idea – really intriguing! I’ll bet you could adapt this recipe, simply employing your overnight oven technique instead of the crock-pot. Although I’ve gotta say – I truly, truly love my crock-pots! I have only three (not six like Gretchen – that crazy girl!!! ?? ), but they’re such a great option for days when I’m going to be gone all day long or running kiddos a million directions all evening right up until the time that dinner is supposed to magically appear on the table! I’d be nervous leaving my oven on so long when I wasn’t home! Regardless – try this recipe one way or another! I really was surprised and delighted that three simple ingredients could taste so good! ?? ~Shelley
Oh Sharon! You must get a crock-pot!! I use mine all the time! (I actually own about 6 – but I don’t use them all at once!)
We love having breakfast for dinner, too! Yes – in a pinch I often whip up some eggs, as well! Such a lifesaver!
Now … head on out and go get that crock-pot! ?? ~Gretchen
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Quick and Healthy Recipes for Your Busy Family
I’m Shelley – and along with my husband, Scott, and my kiddos, Amy and Ty, I’m on a mission to inspire people with fun ways to live more healthfully, more deliciously, with easy recipes from our healthy kitchen, to yours! Find out more
What Designers Can Try From Martha Stewart?
Like every housewife, Martha Stewart, a long-time developer of experience, can teach a few things to UX practitioners to bring back users for more.
You can compare the experience of spending time with people living in their homes to experience a brand. When you enter the home of a truly wonderful host, you are faced with a number of carefully designed options designed to give you a positive experience. In other words: you are experiencing the ın brand ”of that household.
Pleasant tastes, ambience and lighting, welcoming cuddles and talking, the best hosts are planning every experience that their guests will experience, taking into account all their senses and emotional reactions. Like every brand, good hosts want their guests to come back for more.
Although some houses have played a role in persuading people to carefully consider their guests' multi-sensual needs while Martha Stewart, Candice Olson, and Jonathan Adler had such personalities, many homeowners have done this in multiple points of contact for generations. In many ways, we can say that homeowners are original experience designers.
Like every good host, brands also want consumers to enjoy the experience of their products. However, very often, they do not understand the spectrum of the multi-sensory needs of their customers and thus fall behind the expectations of the meeting.
Brands, Martha, Candice and Jonathan, by considering the three important principles, including the best daily hosts, brands can design meaningful, multi-sensory experiences and establish long-term relationships with customers.