Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

Looking for a comforting meal that packs a punch of flavor without demanding too much time? Try this Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken recipe. It’s perfect for those who want to come home to a warm, flavorful dish that’s ready to serve. This recipe blends traditional Mexican spices with the ease of slow cooking, allowing the chicken to soak up all the delicious flavors over several hours, making it incredibly tender and juicy.

This Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken is not just easy to prepare but also versatile. Serve it in tacos, over rice, or stuffed in burritos. Each bite offers a comforting taste of Mexican cuisine, making it a perfect dish for any day of the week. Whether you’re feeding a crowd or just looking for easy weeknight meals, this recipe is sure to be a hit!


  • 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mild salsa (use medium for a spicier kick)
  • 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar (adjust based on your salsa choice and heat preference)
  • 1 can (4 oz.) mild diced green chilies
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained (substitute with regular if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of smoked paprika, dried oregano, and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper (optional, for added heat)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Hot sauce, to taste


  1. Prep the Chicken: Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Mix Ingredients: Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, except for the hot sauce. This includes your salsa, spices, and liquid smoke.
  3. Cook: Set your slow cooker to high and cook for 2-4 hours, or on low for 6-7 hours. The chicken should be tender enough to shred.
  4. Shred and Simmer: Once the chicken is cooked, shred it using two forks and let it simmer on low for an additional 20 minutes to absorb the flavors. Drain any excess liquid if necessary.
  5. Final Flavoring: Taste the

chicken and add hot sauce as per your preference for that extra zing.

Tips for Success:

  • Balancing Flavors: Use 3 tablespoons of brown sugar if you opt for mild salsa and do not include the chipotle chili pepper. Increase to 4 tablespoons if using medium salsa and/or chipotle chili pepper. The sugar helps balance the spiciness.
  • Maximizing Liquid Smoke: Liquid smoke is a great addition found next to BBQ sauces in grocery stores. It infuses the chicken with a smoky depth that mimics the flavors of traditional Mexican barbacoa.
  • Handling Excess Liquid: After cooking, drain the excess liquid by straining the chicken. Use this flavorful broth to cook rice, creating an incredibly tasty side.
  • Serving Suggestions: For a saucy dish, mix some enchilada sauce into the chicken after draining, and serve over rice. This transforms the dish into a delightful enchilada-style meal.
  • Storing and Reusing: This chicken freezes well. Simply transfer it to a freezer bag, remove excess air, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

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