This Crock Pot Salsa Chicken is slow-cooked in a flavorful and creamy salsa blend until it is tender and juicy and packed with fresh Mexican flavors! It can be served with tacos, rice, burritos, or your favorite Mexican dish.
The versatility of chicken breast is unmatched. You can use chicken to make so many different dishes, from healthy and light salads to hearty and filling casseroles. And one of my favorite ways to cook chicken is slow-cooking it in a flavorful sauce like this salsa chicken recipe.
This slow cooker salsa chicken is so easy to make and only requires a few simple ingredients: boneless, skinless chicken breasts, your favorite salsa, and a few pantry staples. The chicken slowly cooks in the sauce until it is tender and juicy, and the flavors have time to meld together.
Serve salsa chicken with your favorite dishes, including tacos, rice, burritos, quesadillas, or enchiladas. You can also use it as a filling for taquitos or served over nachos. It's also great as a topper for salads or as a protein-packed lunch on its own.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This easy slow cooker protein is made with just 5 ingredients you can find at any grocery store!
- Slow-cooking chicken keeps it from drying out. It also helps absorb any flavor you put with it creating a tender, juicy, flavorful chicken.
- You can use this chicken in so many different ways to change it up each time.
- It couldn't be simpler, put salsa and chicken in crock pot and let it work its magic!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken Breast - Boneless and skinless, this high-protein meat is perfect for the slow cooker to keep it tender and juicy.
- Taco Seasoning - Adds a base layer of smoky and spicy Mexican flavor as the chicken cooks.
- Salsa - Your favorite salsa can be used to impart a variety of flavors to this chicken. I love using fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onions, and cilantro for this recipe. You can also use salsa from a jar such as Pace in mild flavor.
- Lime Juice - Helps tenderize the chicken while adding a bright citrus flavor.
- Cream Cheese - Adding cream cheese to this protein gives it a delicious creamy texture with a bit of tangy flavor.
How To Make Salsa Chicken In The Crock Pot
Prepare the chicken: Pat the chicken breast dry with a paper towel, then season it with taco seasoning on both sides. Add the seasoned chicken to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
Assemble the dish: On top of the chicken, add the lime juice, salsa, and cream cheese.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and HIGH for 2½ - 3½ hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.
Shred the chicken: Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the crock pot and shred it with 2 forks. Add it back into the slow cooker and stir everything together until fully combined.
Remove and serve: While hot, add the chicken to your favorite dishes like nachos or tacos. Enjoy!
- Chicken breast is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
- If you want to add more spice to this recipe, you can use salsa with green chilies or diced jalapeños. You can also add additional taco seasoning or cumin to the slow cooker.
- For a creamier salsa chicken, use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until smooth before adding the chicken back into the slow cooker.
- You can shred the chicken using a stand mixer, electric hand mixer, or by hand.
- Chicken thighs: If you prefer dark meat, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of the chicken breast. The cook time will remain the same.
- Canned salsa: If you don't have time to make fresh salsa, you can use a jarred salsa in mild, medium, or hot flavor.
- Other seasonings: In place of taco seasoning, you can use fajita seasoning, chili powder, or Cajun seasoning.
- Cream cheese: For a dairy-free version, you can omit the cream cheese or substitute it with full-fat coconut milk.
Ways To Serve Salsa Chicken
- Tacos: Serve the shredded chicken in soft or hard taco shells with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream.
- Burritos: Roll the chicken up in a large flour tortilla with rice, beans, cheese, and salsa.
- Quesadillas: Place the chicken in a large tortilla with cheese, then grilled until the tortilla is crispy. Serve with sour cream and salsa on the side.
- Nachos: Top tortilla chips with chicken, cheese, jalapeños, and any other desired toppings.
- Salad: Add the chicken to your favorite salad greens with diced tomatoes, onions, black beans, and avocado.
- Rice bowl: Serve the chicken over a bed of rice with black beans, corn, salsa, and sour cream.
- Enchiladas: Roll the chicken up in a tortilla with cheese, then smother it in your favorite enchilada sauce.
Storing: Once cooled, store the chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freezing: Freeze the shredded chicken in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Reheating: The best way to reheat this chicken is on the stove over medium heat until warmed through. You can also reheat it in the microwave, but it may dry out the chicken.
Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast. The cook time will remain the same. Make sure to check with a kitchen thermometer to make sure.
Yes, you can use a jarred salsa in mild, medium, or hot flavors. There are many different kinds to choose from!
You can omit the cream cheese or substitute it with full-fat coconut milk or other creamy plant-based milk for a dairy-free version.
More Mexican-Inspired Crock Pot Recipes
- Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Crock Pot Salsa Verde Chicken
- Crock Pot White Queso Dip
- Crock Pot Rotel Dip
- Easy Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas
- Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
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Crock Pot Salsa Chicken
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 16 oz salsa (I used Pace mild salsa)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 8 oz cream cheese
- Season chicken with taco seasoning and add to the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Pour salsa and lime juice over the chicken. Then, add cream cheese over the top.
- Cover and cook on high for 2½ - 3½ hours or low for 6-8 hours,
- Remove chicken and shred with two forks, add back into the slow cooker and mix everything together.
- serve over rice, nachos or add to tacos. Enjoy!