Recipes do not come much more simple than this 2 ingredients Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken that takes just 2 minutes to prep. Just add some homemade or store bought salsa into your slow cooker with chicken breasts and cook until they are ready to shred. Serve with rice or in tacos or on nachos. This easy Mexican chicken is so versatile.
The beauty about slow cooker meals is how easy they are, and it doesn't get any easier than this. A few chicken breasts and a generous amount of salsa (store bought if you want to make it even easier), and you have yourself a spicy and tender chicken dish that not only has lots of uses, but freezes well too. Perfect for when you are craving Mexican food but don't want to make much effort to get it.
Why you will love it
- Low in calories - Just 200 calories a portion.
- SO easy to make - You just dump salsa and chicken into the slow cooker.
- Freezes well - This is great for batch cooking, as it freezes really well.
- Lots of ways to use it - This is such a versatile dish.
- Chicken - We used chicken breasts to keep this lean, but you can use boneless and skinless chicken thighs which are juicer and have more flavour.
- Salsa - This is where all the flavour comes from. We used homemade salsa, but you could use your favourite store bought salsa if you prefer. Just try to use the best quality you can, as the cheaper salsas tend to be really watery.
- Coriander (cilantro) - Optional, but we like to add some just before serving.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Salsa Chicken - Step by step
One: Place the chicken and the salsa in the slow cooker pot.
Two: Mix well so that the chicken is covered. Close the lid and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
Three: Using two forks, shred the chicken. Mix the shredded chicken well with the liquid in the slow cooker bowl before serving.
The key to a really good slow cooker salsa chicken is obviously a really good salsa. You can use any salsa, but a really good homemade salsa is worth the effort. We used our Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe, which is really easy and uses just a few simple ingredients.
You could use a store bought salsa though, and that would save you even more time. If you do use store bought, you might want to add a bit more chilli if you like things on the spicy side.
What to serve with Salsa Chicken
Serve this salsa chicken with some soft tortillas, shredded lettuce and avocado for a really simple taco - great for feeding a crowd. You can also use it as a nacho topping, add it to burrito bowls with some black beans , in a quesadilla or simply on rice. We have also served it on a baked potato, and had the leftovers on salad as well. There are SO many ways that you can use this.
If you want to serve it with rice, then why not try our Oven Cooked Rice, Perfect Microwave Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice. You could also serve it with our Spanish Rice and some Chipotle Black Bean Stew.
Store: The shredded salsa chicken will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 4 days.
Freeze: It freezes really well, making it great for batch cooking, and it will keep in the freezer for 2 months. You can also freeze this before cooking. Simply add the chicken and salsa to a large zip lock back and then freeze. Defrost thoroughly before adding it to your slow cooker and following the cooking instructions.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: To reheat leftovers of this, just add it to a pan and gently cook for 3-4 minutes until completely heated through.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can cook salsa chicken in an Instant Pot. You will need to add about 60ml of water to the salsa and chicken. Then shut the lid and cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 15 minutes and then let all the steam release before opening and shredding.
There really is no rule here, just make sure that the ingredients you are using can fit in your slow cooker. We use a Crock Pot DuraCeramic Slow Cooker and we love it. What I love most about it is that you can put the bowl insert on the hob too. So, you can cook the onions on the hob, in the slow cooker bowl. I also love that it has a clear lid, as I am so impatient that I want to keep looking and seeing what it is doing. If you don't have a clear lid, then lifting it to see will release lots of the heat and add to the cooking time.
The chicken should be perfectly cooked in the slow cooker after 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. However, we always like to use a food thermometer to check. The cooked temperature of chicken is 75°C/165°F. However, if you don't have a food thermometer, then it is best to use your judgement and stick a knife in it. It shouldn't be pink inside.
Yes, this can all be cooked on the hob and it will take around 35-40 minutes. Just make sure that the chicken is cooked through. You will need to dice the chicken first.
Yes, this will take about 40 minutes in the oven.
We love shredded salsa chicken, as it is really juicy and tender and has so any uses. But, you could keep whole breasts or even chop them in to chunks before putting in the slow cooker.
If you are keeping the chicken breasts whole and not shredding them, then they will only need to cook on high for 3 hours, otherwise it will start falling apart. If keeping the breasts whole, then why not try adding some grated cheese on to the chicken about 10 minutes before it is cooked so it gets all melty and gooey.
• Spray the bowl of your slow cooker with a little oil. This makes the clean up a little bit easier, without having to use a slow cooker liner.
• Cooking times will vary depending on your slow cooker and the size of the chicken breasts that you are using. So always make sure that the chicken breasts are cooked through before serving.
• You can leave the chicken breasts whole rather than shredded and then melt some cheese on them 10 minutes before serving.
• You could use chicken thighs rather than breasts.
• This freezes really well and you can even freeze it before cooking for an easy prepared ahead of time meal.
• For some extra heat, add some chopped jalapenos to the mix.
More slow cooker chicken recipes
If you’ve tried this Crock Pot Salsa Chicken recipe, or any other recipe on the blog, then let us know how you got on in the comments below, we love hearing from you!
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Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
- 600 g chicken breasts
- 400 g restaurant style salsa
- Place the chicken and salsa into the slow cooker bowl.
- Mix well so that the chicken is covered. Close the lid and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken. Mix the shredded chicken well with the liquid in the slow cooker bowl before serving.
- Spray the bowl of your slow cooker with a little oil. This makes the clean up a little bit easier, without having to use a slow cooker liner.
- Cooking times will vary depending on your slow cooker and the size of the chicken breasts that you are using. So always make sure that the chicken breasts are cooked through before serving.
- You can leave the chicken breasts whole rather than shredded and then melt some cheese on them 10 minutes before serving.
- You could use chicken thighs rather than breasts.
- This freezes really well and you can even freeze it before cooking for an easy prepared ahead of time meal.
- For some extra heat, add some chopped jalapenos to the mix.