Spicy Shredded Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

Slow cooker Mexican chicken is perfect for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, etc.  It’s so easy to prep and cook that you will always make this.

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken in a slow cooker.

Double the recipe and freeze part of it.

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Why You’ll Love This

I find this slow cooker Mexican shredded chicken has so much more flavor than our usual favorite Mexican restaurant. As a matter of fact, I prefer this homemade chicken! Yay, money saved! Right?

If you’re looking for a chicken recipe that brings flavor, this is it!

You dump the chicken and remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and let it cook! I love these recipes (as if you haven’t noticed). It’s quick and easy to throw together.


  • Chicken – Chicken breasts or chicken thighs both work in this recipe.
  • Vegetables – Your favorite salsa, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and chipotle peppers.
  • Seasonings – Chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, cumin, onion powder, dry oregano, adobo sauce, salt, and pepper.

How to Make Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken (shredded)

Rub the boneless skinless chicken breasts with olive oil and place the chicken in the slow cooker. Feel free to use chicken thighs as well.

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken ingredients in the crock of a slow cooker

Add the salsa, brown sugars, green chilies, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, oregano, adobo sauce, salt, and pepper to the crock pot.

Slow cook on high for 2-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours or until the chicken is tender enough to shred. It’s best cooked on low.

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken in the crock of the slow cooker

Remove chicken to a cutting board, and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. (there will be liquid remaining in the slow cooker). Shred the chicken.

Return shredded cooked chicken and let cook on low for an additional 20 to 30 minutes to absorb some of the liquid/juices.


  • This chicken is best cooked on low. But if you are pressed for time cook it on high for 2-4 hours.
  • There will be some juices remaining in the chicken. You can strain it to remove some excess liquid.
  • Instead of prepackaged taco seasoning or enchilada sauce, we made our own. This helps you control the salt and other ingredients.
  • If you prefer a less spicy flavor reduce the adobo sauce and peppers.

Ways To Serve Up This Delicious Mexican Chicken

This super easy recipe was a big success for my family. ย 

Chicken burrito bowl in a white bowl.

We used it in our Chicken Burrito Bowls.ย But there are many other ways to suit your tastes:

  • Serve over cauliflower rice for a perfect keto meal.
  • Chicken tacos using either flour or corn tortillas. Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese.
  • Chicken quesadillas with your favorite cheeses.
  • Chicken enchiladas are always a good choice.
  • Chicken burritos with black beans and rice.
  • You can even use this chicken in some flautas (rolled tacos). Delish!

This crockpot Mexican Chicken is so tender, juicy, and full of those fabulous Mexican flavors. Super easy and super delicious.

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Can I make Mexican Chicken ahead of time?

Yes, you can. Prepare the dish as instructed. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Reheat the Mexican Chicken either back in the crockpot or saucepan over medium-low heat.

Can I freeze Mexican Chicken?

Yes. Allow cooling to room temperature. Place the Mexican Chicken in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Lay it flat and remove as much air as possible. Store in the freezer. Remove the Mexican Chicken from the freezer and let it come to room temperature before reheating.

Other Mexican-Inspired Recipes

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken in a slow cooker.

Spicy Shredded Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Recipe

Super easy and so full of fabulous flavor. Great for tacos, burritos, nachos, etc.
4.72 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Chicken, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Don’t Sweat The Recipe



  • 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup salsa (homemade or store-bought)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 oz. mild green chilies (small can)
  • 14.5 oz. diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained (1 can)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (decrease or omit for less spicy)
  • 1 – 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped


  • Rub chicken breasts with oil and place in the bottom of your slow cooker.
    2 pounds chicken breasts, 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine seasonings.
    1/2 cup salsa, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 4 oz. mild green chilies, 14.5 oz. diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, 1 – 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped
  • Cook on high for 2-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is tender enough to shred.
  • Remove chicken to a cutting board, and allow to cool about 5 minutes before shredding (there will be liquid remaining in the slow cooker).
  • Return shredded chicken and let cook on low for an additional 20 minutes to absorb some of the liquid/juices.
  • If you have excess liquid you can drain this off.
  • Taste and add hot sauce to taste if desired.


You can adjust the adobo peppers and sauce to meet your desired spice/heat level. I only used one pepper and 1 teaspoon of sauce.
Make Ahead – Prepare the recipe as instructed. Allow the chicken to cool to room temperature, then store it in the refrigerator until youโ€™re ready to serve. Reheat in the crockpot or saucepan over medium-low heat.
Storing and Freezing – Let the chicken cool completely, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1341mg | Potassium: 667mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1276IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg

Share With Your Friends And Family!


  1. This is always great. I make it very often and usually add a can of rinsed black beans and sometimes about a cup of frozen corn kernels. Also, I don’t bother adding the oil. Leftovers freeze really well too. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  2. How would you describe the spice/heat level of this meat? If I have folks who are not heat fans, will I want to back off on the chipotles, but up thebsmoked paprika a bit to keep the smoky flavor?

    1. Hi, Chris! Just enough spice to not overwhelm with heat. I don’t like my food so spicy that I can’t enjoy it. So, yes if you have people who can’t handle the heat cut back a little on the adobo sauce and you can certainly add extra smoked paprika. Hope this helps.

  3. That looks so yummy! I am cooking for around 30 people and wonder how many crock pots I will need. Do you think doubling the recipe would work in a big crock pot? I was thinking about using 2 big crockpots (6 quart) with double the recipe in each. That would be 8 pounds of chicken. Any thoughts?5 stars

    1. Hi Chris! I have never doubled this recipe but I think it would work just fine. Just use your judgment on some of the seasonings, like the salt and adobo sauce. I use a 6-quart crockpot and this recipe doesn’t even come close to filling the crock.

  4. Just made this, It is so delicious. Thanks for sharing. My son will love it I am sure. I did go easy on the chipotle. I am learning to like a med spicy.5 stars

  5. Sounds like the perfect chicken for burrito’s, tacos and so much more!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you later today!! Pinned!!

  6. Thanks for sharing at Welcome Home Wednesdays…This would be yummy for taco night! Pinning!!

  7. I love this, sounds like it would be great in flour tortillas! I have a similar recipe, we eat it all the time! Thanks for linking up at You Link It, We Make It – hope to see you back tomorrow. Pinning!

  8. This is full of all the best stuff. And you can do it in a slow cooker! This is going to be my new favorite recipe!!! We love mexican food, any kind, any style, and we can mix and match this chicken with whatever we are in the mood for! Perfect!5 stars

  9. This looks so nice & sounds so simple! I love Mexican food and this would be so versatile. #WAYWOW

  10. Yum, I love easy slow cooker recipes like this, it sounds amazing and would be a hit with my family too! Thanks for sharing at What’d You Do This Weekend?!

  11. We made this chicken for puffy chicken tacos on 5 de Mayo! It is absolutely delicious! This is a definite must make again dish!
    Thanks for sharing at What’d You Do This Weekend! You will be featured on Monday. Have a great weekend and thanks for the delicious dinner idea!

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda5 stars

    1. Linda, I’m so glad to hear you liked the chicken!!!! Thank you so much for featuring my recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. This looks so good! We eat a lot of chicken so I’m happy to find some different ways to cook it. Cooking in the crockpot makes even that much better. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Pinning!

    1. Thank you, Linda! We eat a lot of chicken in my home too. So much so I get tired of chicken! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Yum!
    This slow cooker Mexican chicken looks wonderful!
    I found your post today on Party in PJ’s.
    Hope you are having a great Wednesday~

4.72 from 7 votes (1 rating without comment)

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