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Easy Crockpot Chicken and Salsa Recipe

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This EASY chicken with salsa in the crockpot makes the best protein base and then can be turned into so many simple dinners or be used for meal prep meals. It’s made with just a handful of ingredients and can be prepped in 2 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time to whip up a virgin margarita mocktail, too! Simply season the chicken, top with salsa, and turn on your slow cooker. Then use crockpot salsa chicken in baked chicken tacos, chicken nachos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, air fryer flautas, Southwest salad, cheater chilaquiles, and more. You’ll find yourself coming back to this recipe time and time again.

If you’re feeling beans or beef, give my ground beef quesadilla, walking taco casserole, beef enchilada casserole, or bean and cheese burritos a try next time.

Bowl of salsa chicken cooked in slow cooker with lime garnish
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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

What You’ll Love About Chicken with Salsa in the Crockpot

  • Made with just 3 ingredients
  • Just 2 minutes of prep
  • 3 hour cook time
  • Endless ways to eat it
  • Healthy, easy weeknight dinner
  • Can make as spicy or mild as you like

Crockpot Salsa Chicken VIDEO


  • Chicken breast – Use high-quality boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer. (Thighs are one of my favorite cuts, so I get it!) Cook the salsa chicken thighs for 4 hours on high or until cooked through.
  • Garlic powder – If you like a little more heat, you can add some chili powder, too.
  • Salsa – Grab your favorite jar of salsa, or use homemade salsa. You can really use any type of your favorite salsa, chipotle salsa, salsa verde, or even pineapple salsa for a sweeter and fruitier twist.
  • Extra Flavor – Add a sprinkle of chili powder, cumin, or taco seasoning before cooking or add a squeeze of lime juice before serving.
Ingredients to make crockpot salsa chicken.

How to Make Crockpot Salsa Chicken

This is an overview on how to make easy crockpot salsa chicken recipe, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Prep salsa chicken. Add chicken to the bottom of your slow cooker and season chicken breasts with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper.
Chicken and salsa in the crockpot.
Cook salsa chicken. Top chicken with salsa and cook in the slow cooker, until it shreds easily with forks and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Told you this was an easy recipe!
Cooked salsa chicken in a crock pot.
Serve. Stir the salsa mixture with the shredded chicken before serving and be sure to use a slotted spoon to take the chicken out so it’s not too juicy.
Slow cooker chicken and salsa in crock pot.

TIP: I prefer cooking the chicken at a high temp for a lower cooking time so that it doesn’t completely shred into nothing. I like the crockpot salsa chicken to be tender, but not mushy.

How to Use Salsa Chicken

I created this slow cooker chicken salsa with some specific meals in mind as it is a cook once, eat twice meal for my meal plan and is perfect for busy weeknights. But there are really so many ways to use this salsa shredded chicken, here are a few favorites:

  • Baked Cheesy Chicken Tacos – Meal #1 is taco night with these easy crockpot chicken tacos. Easy and cheesy, what more do you want in a weeknight dinner? Top your tacos with the classics: guacamole, sour cream, fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, green onions, and crunchy lettuce.
  • Chicken Chilaquiles with Chips – My easy hack for chilaquiles at home (hint, it’s made with tortilla chips)! This method is easy and is a great way to use leftover chicken.
  • Tostadas – We love tostadas at our house, swap out this chicken in these chicken tostadas or top these black bean tostadas with a layer of chicken.
  • Quesadillas – It’s delicious in crispy baked chicken quesadillas, or swap out the chicken in these chicken fajita quesadillas for the salsa chicken for a flavorful and filling quesadilla.
  • Burrito Rice Bowls – Top rice with shredded chicken, beans, corn salsa, etc. or make it just like my barbacoa burrito bowls, and simply swap the meat.
  • Nachos – This slow cooker salsa chicken is perfect for these shredded chicken nachos.
  • Taco Salad – Simply top the lettuce with salsa chicken, extra veggies like bell pepper, tomatoes, or roasted corn. Or make it just like my classic taco salad with ground beef and swap out the meat.
Spatula lifting shredded chicken nachos off of sheet pan tray.


Can I put frozen chicken in the crockpot?

No, it’s not recommended to put frozen chicken in the crockpot. It is a food safety issue because it is held at an unsafe temperature for too long. It also cooks unevenly. Let the chicken thaw first, then it’s ready for the slow cooker.

Can you put raw chicken in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can put raw chicken in the slow cooker.

Can you slow cook chicken for 12 hours?

I do not recommend cooking chicken for 12 hours, it’s just too long and it will dry out.

Can you slow cook chicken too long?

Yes, you can absolutely cook chicken too long and it will become dry and rubbery. While some cuts of meat can get tender with longer cooking times, lean cuts of meat (like the chicken breasts here) can become dry.

Bowl of slow cooker salsa chicken with lime garnish.

Storage Instructions

Store this easy salsa chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How to reheat

Reheat the chicken in the microwave or a hot skillet, just until heated through.

Can you freeze salsa chicken?

Yes, you can freeze Mexican salsa chicken. Store in a freezer bag or container (stasher bags and glass storage containers work well) for 2-3 months.

To use, simply thaw salsa chicken breast overnight in the refrigerator and use as desired. It makes a great freezer meal.

What to Serve with Chicken and Salsa

Once you decide how to use your salsa chicken, it’s time to choose your sides:

  • Refried Black Beans – These black beans are a fave and I make huge batches of them we eat them so often. You can also use canned refried beans, black beans, or pinto beans.
  • Mexican-Style Cauliflower Rice – I served this as a veggie side for the chicken and salsa tacos and became OBSESSED!
  • Tex-Mex Side Salad – A simple green salad that’s the perfect side for Mexican-inspired meals.
  • Esquites – This easier-to-eat twist on street corn is a must for any Tex Mex or Mexican meal.
  • Rice – Rice is always a great side. Try Mexican rice, cilantro lime rice, brown rice, or white rice and to make things super easy, use a rice maker.

How to Feed Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

I would recommend serving the chicken in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food and if you’re serving it with tacos, let everyone build their own taco. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter.

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Bowl of salsa chicken cooked in slow cooker with lime garnish

More Slow Cooker Recipes

If you love slow cooker recipes, you might love my favorite slow cooker recipes! These always get rave reviews:

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Bowl of salsa chicken cooked in slow cooker with lime garnish

Easy Crockpot Chicken and Salsa Recipe

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican
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This EASY crockpot chicken and salsa takes just 2 min to prep and 3 ingredients. Use slow cooker salsa chicken in tacos, salad, burrito bowls, and more!


  • 3 lbs. chicken breast (skinless, boneless)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa


  1. Place the chicken in the slow cooker. 
  2. Sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper. 
  3. Top with salsa to cover chicken.
  4. Place cover on slow cooker and cook on high for 2 1/2-3 hours, or low for 5-6 hours, until chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  
  5. Shred chicken


  • I think cooking on Low is preferred, but can easily be done on High. If it feels tough to shred, turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes or so before shredding. 
  • Recipe makes 8 big servings, but you can definitely stretch it to more.

Keywords: chicken and salsa, crockpot chicken and salsa, salsa chicken, chicken with salsa in the crockpot

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  1. Mel

    I often will double the recipe and freeze half – it’s great to have stashed for busy nights. We especially love it for burrito bowls and salads.

  2. Dani

    Love this easy recipe! I make it once a week and have tacos, salad, nachos…it’s great! Thank you! I love your recipes and meal ideas!