Crockpot chicken tacos are an easy dinner to throw into the slowcooker with a homemade tomato based taco sauce. You can also freeze the chicken in tomato sauce for an easy dump dinner another time.
These easy Crockpot chicken tacos cook up so tender and juicy in just 2 hours in your slowcooker.
The savory tomato based taco sauce is easy to mix together with a few seasonings.
The secret ingredient is a little minced chipotle in adobo sauce stirred into the canned tomato sauce. It gives the chicken tacos just a hint of heat and spice.
Serve the savory chicken tacos with fresh pineapple salsa on warmed tortillas for a delicious dinner in minutes.
This easy crockpot chicken taco recipe requires a few specific ingredients but will taste so much better because you've mixed the spices by hand instead of using a seasoned taco packet.
All you need to make it is:
- Chicken: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe but chicken thighs would be delicious, too.
- Canned Chipotle in Adobo Sauce: You can find this in the Mexican foods section of your grocery store.
- Canned Tomato Sauce
- Chili Powder
- Minced Garlic
- Ground Coriander: If you won't want to buy this as a spice jar, you could substitute fresh cilantro. Save it for adding to the tacos at the end, cilantro is a delicate herb that doesn't hold up well in the slowcooker.
- Ground Cumin
- Salt & Pepper
Prepare the Taco Sauce
The first step to making Crockpot chicken tacos is to prepare the tomato based taco sauce before you add the chicken.
Add the canola oil, chili powder, minced garlic, coriander, cumin, and minced chipotle chile to a microwave safe bowl.
Stir them together and then heat on HIGH in the microwave for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
This helps start the cooking process for the garlic and ensures you won't have a raw garlic taste in the taco meat.
Scrape the mixture into the bowl of the slowcooker and them stir in the canned tomato sauce and sugar.
Cook the Chicken
Nestle the chicken breasts into the tomato sauce, turning them over once or twice to ensure that all sides are coated in seasoning.
Cook on LOW heat for 2 - 3 hours or until the chicken is tender enough to be shredded with two forks.
You don't want to cook the chicken on HIGH because it will result in tough, chewy meat.
A gentle, slower cook gives nice and juicy, tender chicken taco meat.
Adjust the Texture of the Sauce
At the end of the cooking session, you may discover that the tomato sauce is too thick for your liking.
You have two choices:
- Add a Splash of Hot Water: Add just a tablespoon or so of hot water and stir it into the sauce to loosen things up.
- Add Fresh Lime Juice: You could also squeeze fresh lime juice into the taco sauce. This adds lovely fresh flavor and kick.
Serve the shredded chicken on warmed tortillas topped with your favorite salsa, sour cream, and chopped green onions for a delicious taco dinner.
For a side dish, this chicken taco meat pairs really with my Mexican rice casserole that is loaded with fresh veggies. You could make burrito bowls with the rice and just put the shredded chicken on top instead of serving with tortillas.
We also love this easy Mexican street corn casserole that uses frozen corn.
Make Ahead Freezer Tips
If you want to prep the tomato based taco sauce and raw chicken for an easy dump meal later, you could assemble everything and store it in a plastic storage bag in the freezer.
To cook from frozen, run the bag under cold water to release the stick from the sides of the bag and transfer everything into the Crockpot.
Add an additional hour of cooking time if cooking from solid frozen.
Alternatively, you could thaw the mixture in the fridge overnight and then just cook as directed.
You could also cook the entire recipe as directed and then portion small servings of shredded chicken for easy lunches or smaller meals from the freezer.
Thaw in the fridge overnight or heat the frozen chicken in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove top.
Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce minced
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (8 oz) can canned tomato sauce
- 4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts about 4 breasts
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Add the canola oil, chili powder, minced garlic, minced chipotle pepper, coriander, and cumin in a microwave-safe bowl and stir them together. Heat on HIGH for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Scrape the mixture into the bowl of your slowcooker.
- Add the tomato sauce and sugar to the bowl and stir it together with the seasonings.
- Season the chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and then nestle them into the tomato sauce.
- Cover and cook the chicken for 2 to 3 hours on LOW or until you can easily shred it with two forks. If the tomato sauce is too thick, you can add a splash of hot water or squeeze the juice from a lime until the desired consistency is reached.
Storage Tips:The shredded taco meat will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. You can freeze the taco meat for up to 6 months. Simply thaw in the fridge overnight and warm in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove top.
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