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, salads, 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, beef enchilada casserole, or bean and cheese burritos a try next time. And if you’re looking for easy sides, check out my 49 ideas for what to serve with Tex Mex meals.
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
- What You'll Love About Chicken with Salsa in the Crockpot
- How to Make Crockpot Salsa Chicken
- How to Use Salsa Chicken
- Can I put frozen chicken in the crockpot?
- Can you put raw chicken in a slow cooker?
- Can you slow cook chicken for 12 hours?
- Can you slow cook chicken too long?
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
- 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.
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.
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 – 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.
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.
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?
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.
- 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.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
If you love slow cooker recipes, you might love my favorite slow cooker recipes! These always get rave reviews:
- Slow Cooker Brats
- Slow Cooker Pesto Chicken Thighs
- Slow Cooker Pulled Beef
- Slow Cooker Pulled Buffalo Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs
- Slow Cooker 4-Ingredient Chicken and Gravy
Let me Meal Plan for you!
In a dinner time rut? Overwhelmed with the task of meal planning? It’s time to hand over meal planning to a pro!
This done-for-you plan can easily be customized and your grocery list is made with the click of a button – all while you sit in the school pick up line.
You’ll save time, save money, waste less food, and go into meals calm instead of stressed. Your dinner is planned and your grocery list is made and everything is conveniently delivered to an app so you can print it out, access from your phone, or computer.
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!
Place the chicken in the slow cooker.
Sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper.
Top with salsa to cover chicken.
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.
- 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
This post may contain affiliate links. They do not add any charge to you, but I will make a very small commission from them. I only link to products I use and recommend. Thank you for your support!