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As a mom of many littles, there’s nothing better than a *5-minute prep time* recipe for a filling weeknight dinner that never ceases to please the family. I’ve made this many times in both a slow cooker and an Instant Pot, so feel free to use whichever version works best for you.

Prep: 10 minsCook: 4 hoursTotal: 4 hours, 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 2 lbs. chicken breast or thighs (we recommend using 1 lb. of each)
  • 1 cup salsa, any kind
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin*
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander* (optional but recommended)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper* (use more for spicier)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

*Instead of these spices, you could use our Homemade Taco Seasoning or a pre-made one of your choice.

To serve:

  • Taco shells for tacos, rice or cauliflower rice for taco bowls, lettuce for taco salads, or lettuce leaves for lettuce wraps
  • Any of your favorite taco toppings, such as chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, fresh cilantro, olives, avocado, hot sauce, fresh salsa, lime wedge, cheese, and sour cream

Instructions

Slow cooker directions:

  1. Place the chicken, salsa, water, and spices in a slow cooker. Cook on the high setting for 4-5 hours.
  2. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. 
  3. Return to slow cooker and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Serve the shredded chicken taco meat in your desired way (as tacos, taco bowls, taco salads, or lettuce wraps). Top with your desired taco toppings.

Instant Pot directions: 

  1. Place all ingredients into an Instant Pot. Lock the lid in place and flip the vent valve to the “Sealing” position.
  2. Select the “Poultry” or “High Pressure” setting, then use the +/- buttons to adjust the cooking time to 14-16 minutes (depending on how thick your chicken breasts are).
  3. When cooking time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10-15 minutes before releasing any residual steam.
  4. Carefully remove the lid after all steam has been released. Shred the chicken with two forks directly in the pot. If the chicken seems too watery, select the “Saute” setting and cook until liquid is reduced to your desired level, 5-8 minutes.
  5. Serve the shredded chicken taco meat in your desired way (as tacos, taco bowls, taco salads, or lettuce wraps). Top with your desired taco toppings.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to 3 months. 

This is our team’s favorite slow cooker for making all kinds of slow cooker meals, from chicken tacos to soups, stews, roasts, and more.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 4 ounces shredded chicken
  • Calories: 140
  • Fat: 3 g
  • (Sat Fat: 1 g)
  • Sodium: 300 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 4 g
  • (Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugar: 1 g)
  • Protein: 26 g
  • Cholesterol: 76 mg

Dietary

© The Real Food Dietitians