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Easy Crockpot Chicken and Salsa Recipe

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This EASY crockpot chicken and salsa makes the best easy and healthy weeknight dinner. It’s made with just a handful of ingredients and can be prepped in 2 minutes, so you actually have 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, burrito bowls, quesadillas, salads, cheater chilaquiles, and more. This slow cooker salsa chicken is a staple because it’s one of the easiest recipes that can be turned into TWO delicious and satisfying weeknight dinners that the entire family will love.

This is one of our favorite recipes and I can’t wait for you to try it! 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.

If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for easy dinners and slow cooker chicken recipes! Give my 4-ingredient crockpot chicken and gravy, crockpot chicken and potatoes, slow cooker butter chicken, and crockpot chipotle chicken next.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

easy crockpot chicken & salsa recipe - healthy - pinterest

What You’ll Love about Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

  • 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

Crock Pot Chicken and Salsa Ingredients

This shredded chicken is made with just a few simple ingredients:

  • Chicken breast – Use boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Garlic powder – If you like a little more heat, add some chili powder, too.
  • Salsa – Grab your favorite jar of salsa or use homemade salsa. favorite salsa

How to Make Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

This crockpot chicken and salsa recipe is quite possibly the EASIEST salsa chicken:

  • Prep salsa chicken. Add chicken to the bottom of your slow cooker and season chicken breasts with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper.
  • 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!
  • Serve. This is such a versatile recipe, see my serving ideas below, just be sure to use a slotted spoon to take the chicken out so it’s not too juicy.

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.

crockpot chicken and salsa in slow cooker

How to Use Salsa Chicken

I created this chicken cooked in salsa with some specific meals in mind as it is a cook once, eat twice meal for my meal plan and perfect for busy weeknights.

There are so many ways to use this salsa shredded chicken, here are a few favorite ways:

  • 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.
  • 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 – Use leftover salsa chicken on tortilla chips and top with a little bit (or a lot!) of Mexican or cheddar cheese. See my crock pot chicken nachos for full instructions.
  • 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.
platter of oven baked chicken tacos

What to Serve with Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

Once you decide how to use your salsa chicken, you can choose your sides:

  • 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 – A simple side is rice. Try Mexican rice, cilantro lime rice, brown rice, or white rice.
  • Beans – Another great option for a simple side. Try black beans, pinto beans, or refried beans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put frozen chicken in the crockpot?

No, it’s not recommended to put frozen chicken in the crockpot. The problem is that it will cook unevenly and because it’s cooked over a lower heat, it will be at an unsafe temperature for too long.

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!

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.

Storage Instructions

Store this easy salsa chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 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.

How to Serve Salsa Chicken 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. 😉

For this easy slow cooker salsa chicken specifically, meals like tacos, burrito bowls, or salads can all be customized and are a great way to start with one family meal.

All of my articles on feeding kids can be found here and if you want a FULL list of all of the videos I have with hacks, tips, scripts, and ideas for feeding kids, check out my instagram or tiktok page.

Crockpot Salsa Chicken Nutrition + Substitutes

This healthy salsa chicken makes a great base for a nutritious, filling meal! Each hefty serving (you will probably have leftovers) has 219 calories and 39 grams of protein. The full nutrition facts can be found below the recipe card.

  • Skinless Chicken Thighs – You can certainly make salsa chicken thighs if desired. (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.
  • Salsa – You can also use salsa verde (green salsa) or fresh salsa in this slow cooker chicken and salsa recipe. Use whatever salsa is your favorite!
  • Spice level – I typically use a medium-heat salsa for recipes like this so that it has a little flavor, but not too much spice for the kids.
  • Extra Flavor – Add a sprinkle of chili powder, cumin, or taco seasoning before cooking or add a squeeze of lime juice before serving.
pan of chilaquiles with chips

More Slow Cooker Recipes

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

Helpful Tools to Make Crockpot Salsa Chicken Recipe

  • Crock Pot Slow Cooker – Obviously a must for crockpot chicken and salsa! This one is my favorite and it’s less than $60.
  • Glass Storage Containers – Store any extra crockpot salsa chicken in glass containers for easy reheating and storage.
  • Instant Read Meat Thermometer – I use this tool even when using the slow cooker! It’s the best way to tell when meat is done cooking and totally worth the $15!
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crockpot chicken and salsa in slow cooker

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. Lightly shred or chop 1/2 of the chicken


  • Recipe makes 8 big servings, but you can definitely stretch it to more.

Keywords: chicken and salsa, crockpot chicken and salsa, salsa chicken

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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.