Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken is a flavorful Tex-Mex casserole that’s easy to make in your Crock Pot. Simply add chicken, onions, peppers, black beans, corn, riced cauliflower and seasonings to your slow cooker and let the magic happen! Once cooked, add cheese and bake until bubbly and delicious. If your family loves Mexican food, this recipe really hits the spot!
Slow cooker Mexican chicken is one of my go-to recipes when I need a healthy, effortless meal that the whole family loves. This flavorful, easy-to-shred chicken dish comes together with just about 10 minutes of prep and minimal ingredients. It’s great served on its own with Mexican-style toppings, but it’s also perfect to use as a filling for tacos, burritos, quesadillas or (my personal favorite) crunchwraps.
To make this recipe, simply add chicken breasts (or thighs) and all of the other ingredients (except cheese) to a Crockpot and go on about your day. Once everything is cooked, shred the chicken and then transfer everything to a casserole dish, add the cheese and bake until the cheese gets nice and melty.
This Mexican chicken recipe is on my regular meal rotation and it’s always a hit! I hope you get a chance to give it a try!
Super delicious! I made a taco salad out of it, with tortilla chips, lettuce, tomato and salsa, and it was so satisfying!— Deanna
One of the best things about slow cooker Mexican chicken is how versatile it is. Feel free to use a little more or less of the ingredients listed, depending on what you have in your kitchen. Also, make any substitutions to fit your preferences. Here’s a note about the ingredients that I like to use:
- Chicken. For this, we typically use boneless, skinless chicken breast. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are also a great option because they have tons of flavor and stay really juicy. Bone-in chicken thighs will work too, you’ll just need to get rid of the bones when shredding the chicken. When I have the extra time, I like to brown the chicken in the skillet before adding it to the slow cooker for even more flavor.
- Peppers + onions. Trader Joe’s makes a frozen mix of fire-roasted frozen peppers and onions that’s so good, but feel free to use whatever you have available. You can even use 2 cups of fresh peppers and onions.
- Black beans. Beans give this dish a tasty boost of protein and fiber. Sub with kidney or pinto beans, if you’d like.
- Corn. Fresh, canned, or frozen corn will work. If using canned corn, drain before adding to the slow cooker.
- Riced cauliflower. I wouldn’t waste any time ricing your own cauliflower – a bag of fresh or frozen works great!
- Seasonings. We’re using one packet of taco seasoning and one packet of ranch seasoning to add SO much delicious flavor to this chicken casserole.
- Cheese. You’ll need 1 to 2 cups shredded cheese. Use more or less based on your preference. Any favorite shredded cheese works great. We like a Mexican style blend, cheddar or pepper jack.
Pro tip: If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, be sure that your packet of taco seasoning is mild.
How to make this recipe
This Mexican casserole seriously could not be easier to throw together! Here’s the simple process, but reference the full recipe below for more details.
- Slow cook ingredients. Add all ingredients (except cheese) into your Crockpot and cook on low for 7 hours.
- Shred chicken. Once everything is done cooking, shred the chicken with two forks.
- Bake. Transfer the chicken and veggie mixture to a greased baking dish, sprinkle cheese over the top and bake until cheese has melted.
- Enjoy. Serve with your favorite Mexican toppings and dig in!
Even though this shredded chicken recipe is really quite simple, here are a few tips for best results.
- Chicken options. You can make this recipe using boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Try to choose chicken pieces that are about the same size and thickness, so that they cook evenly.
- Crockpot liner. Spray your Crockpot with a little non-stick cooking spray before adding in your ingredients. Or you can use a Crockpot liner for less mess.
- Organic chicken. I recommend using organic free range chicken that are raised without antibiotics. Better quality meat, will make for a better quality meal!
- Grate a block of cheese for best results. The bagged pre-shredded cheeses are coated in anti-caking agents and just don’t melt as smoothly.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can put raw chicken in a slow cooker! Slow cookers and Crock-Pots are designed to cook raw meats. The direct heat from the pot, lengthy cooking time and steam created from the tightly covered container destroys bacteria, making slow cooking safe. You can put frozen chicken in a slow cooker, too!
It’s best to cook boneless skinless chicken breasts on LOW. If cooked on HIGH, it can become very dry and tough, even if you check it early.
Many people like to use their electric mixer to shred chicken and that totally works, but we typically just use two forks. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker using a fork and place it onto a cutting board. Using two forks, pull apart each chicken breast until your chicken is fully shredded. Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker and stir it into the other ingredients.
There are SO many ways to serve this meal. Many times we serve it on its own with some Mexican sides, like rice and beans, but it’s also perfect for serving as a filling. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy this dish:
- Tacos. Pile this chicken along with other favorite taco fixings into warm tortillas or crunchy taco shells for Taco Tuesday!
- Chicken Crunchwraps. Personally, this is the way I most often enjoy this dish. Here’s how I make my Crunchwrap: I spread a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese over a Cut Da Carb tortilla, add some shredded lettuce or angel hair coleslaw, top it with a scoop of Mexican chicken and then top with a dollop of guacamole or some diced avocado, wrap it up and either cook it on the stovetop in a skillet or in my air fryer for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. So delicious!
- Quesadillas. A scoop of this chicken dish spread over a tortilla and then topped with another tortilla and cooked until melty and warm makes for an easy, yet amazing meal.
- Nacos. Use leftovers to make chicken nachos along with a bit more cheese and other toppings.
- Salad. For a lighter meal option, make a chicken taco salad with some shredded romaine lettuce and all your favorite fresh Mexican ingredients.
- Burrito bowl. Serve in a bowl with cilantro lime rice or roasted sweet potato and other tasty ingredients like tomatoes, salsa or hot sauce and drizzle of lime juice.
Reasons to love this recipe
I not only love this slow cooker Mexican chicken recipe because of how tasty it is, but for many other reasons too! Here’s several reasons why this recipe is repeated a couple times a month at my house:
- It’s easy. This recipe is SO quick and easy! All you have to do is add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker. When it’s done shred the chicken and add everything to a 9×13-inch dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 5-10 minutes and until the cheese has melted.
- It feeds a crowd. This recipe makes at least 8 servings. If you’re having guests over, this is a crowd-pleasing meal that’s budget friendly too. And no worries, if you don’t have very many mouths to feed, the leftovers are wonderful and keep for up to 6 days!
- So many serving options. See the above section. There are so many ideas for different ways to serve this meal, from tacos to nachos!
- It’s protein-packed + healthy. This recipe is a great balance of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats with plenty of nutrients from the veggies! The calories are pretty low for a serving, but if you’d like to decrease calories and fat even more, you can just use less cheese.
- To store. Let the chicken dish cool completely and then either cover the whole pan and place it in the refrigerator or put individual slices into airtight containers and place them in the fridge. Leftovers are delicious and this dish will stay good for about 6 to 7 days in the fridge. To reheat, place a serving on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until heated through.
- To freeze. This recipe is a great candidate for the freezer! You have two options here – you can either bake the casserole first, cool it to room temperature, slice into servings, place in freezer safe containers and then freeze. Or, to freeze the whole pan, you can bake it, bring it to room temp, and then freeze the entire pan. Once ready to reheat, thaw it out in the fridge, then bake it, covered at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through. You may want to remove the cover for 5 to 10 minutes of baking, so the cheese gets nice and melted.
This recipe is one of those that both kids and adults enjoy! Winning! I hope y’all love this dinner as much as my family does!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
- 1 pound chicken breasts*
- 2 cups (approx. 14 oz) frozen peppers and onions (I use Trader Joe's Fire Roasted – but you can use fresh too!)
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can sweet or Mexican blend corn, drained
- 1 bag (approx. 10-12 oz) riced cauliflower, frozen or fresh
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 packet dry ranch seasoning
- 1-2 cups shredded Mexican style cheese, use more or less cheese, based on preference
- Optional for topping: sour cream, guacamole, avocado slices, fresh cilantro and/or salsa
- Combine all ingredients, except the shredded cheese in your Crockpot and set on low for about 7 hours. Make sure the chicken is on the bottom so that it fully cooks.
- When the mixture is done cooking, drain any excess liquid (this may not be necessary – just depends on if you use frozen ingredients, or thawed), and shred the chicken with two forks.
- Transfer the chicken/veggie mixture to a greased 9×13 baking dish and evenly sprinkle the cheese on top.
- Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes. You can also broil on high for a couple of minutes to get the cheese nice and golden. Enjoy with your favorite Mexican toppings!