Slow-Cooker Shredded Tex-Mex Chicken

by Amy on 16 October 2012

in the last month or two, a new tradition has been born in our household: sundays are slow-cooker days. most sundays the tv is tuned to NFL football all day, + i bounce between watching football with my husband, + cooking/baking in the kitchen. slow-cooker meals are perfect because i can prep them early, get everything in the crock-pot, then plug it in out of the way so i still have lots of room in the kitchen to bake, cook, + photograph to my heart’s desire.

this slow-cooker tex-mex chicken was my sunday crock-pot meal a couple weeks ago + holy moly, it was DELICIOUS! it’s amazingly tender, with a wonderful combo of savory spices + bright citrus flavors. i first used it to make corn tortilla soft tacos, served with mexican tomato beans + rice (pictured in the background), which were fabulous. later, we used the leftover chicken, leftover rice/beans, sauteed veggies, cheese + flour tortillas to make burritos, which were even more amazing. so, add another fantastic slow-cooker recipe to your list of ones to try – you’ll love this!

slow-cooker tex-mex chicken

serves 3-4, adapted from good life eats


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 jalapeno, seeded + minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2″ pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup (packed) cilantro leaves, chopped
the juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon olive oil


heat the oil in a medium-sized sauté pan. add the onion + sauté for 5 minutes. add the cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika, jalapeño + garlic + sauté two more minutes. transfer this mixture to the slow-cooker.

sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt + pepper, + add to the pan where you cooked the onion + spices. sear chicken on all sides + transfer to slow-cooker once it’s seared. once all the chicken is seared + in the crock-pot, add in the lime juice + cilantro. stir everything together thoroughly.

cook on low for 3-4 hours, or until cooked through (different crock-pots cook at varying heats) + tender. the chicken pieces will be fall-apart tender at this point – you can either leave them as is, or fully shred, then return to the crock-pot.

serve with corn or flour tortillas, or make into a burrito bowl with rice + beans.

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel Cooks October 16, 2012 at 7:08 am

LOVE slow cooker meals this time of year! My husband would flip over this chicken.

2 amy October 16, 2012 at 8:05 am

i can definitely confirm that this recipe is husband-tested + husband-approved. =)

3 danielle October 16, 2012 at 8:12 am

My family would love this! Looks great.

4 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl October 16, 2012 at 8:52 am

Love this! Definitely perfect for football Sunday!

5 Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel October 16, 2012 at 8:53 am

This chicken.. I have no words. Tender, juicy and saucy. My fave kind :) AND slow-cooker. I mean, my slow-cooker and I are seriously BFFs at this point and I think she’d appreciate some low and slow chicken lovin’ this weekend.

6 Jocelyn @BruCrew Life October 16, 2012 at 9:23 am

That chicken does look amazing looking!!! I am always on the lookout for slower cooker meals that are husband and kid approved:-)

7 Monet October 16, 2012 at 10:01 am

My slow cooker has already been getting good use, but now I have another recipe to add to the list. Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe (and one I plan on making right away!) I hope you are having a beautiful week!

8 amy October 16, 2012 at 10:33 am

Hope you love this when you try it, Money! And hope your week is going wonderfully, too. =)

9 Tracey October 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

This is definitely the perfect Sunday recipe! I spend most of the day on the couch watching football and would love to have this waiting for me come dinner time :)

10 Kathryn October 16, 2012 at 10:52 am

Fast forward a few hours & this sounds like our Sunday evenings (stupid time zones!). Love the tex mex flavours of this.

11 natalie@thesweetslife October 16, 2012 at 10:53 am

your Sundays sound perfect!! Ours are usually similar :) I used my slow cooker last night and was once again reminded that I need to use it as much as possible–so easy! Bookmarking this!

12 Jackie @ The Beeroness October 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Sunday might also become, “Jackie stops in for an expected visit” days as well 😉

13 amy October 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm

nothing would make me happier! and that’s another great thing about crock-pot meals – they always make enough to feed any drop-in guests. =)

14 Annie @ Annie's Noms October 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Oooh yum this looks delicious! Makes me want to dig out our crockpot :) Your Sunday’s do sound blissful, we always seem so busy at weekends, it’s nice to sometime stop and have some time to enjoy yourself :)

15 Beth October 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

You have totally sold me on this dish. It looks delicious!

16 Megan @ girl by the lake October 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Wow. This looks awesomely amazing! I have yet to grab my slower cooker out of storage, but I need to do it really soon! You are killing me with these amazing recipes!

17 amy October 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm

you definitely need to get that crock-pot out of storage – i bet you’d come up with some wonderful recipes for it!

18 Kristen @ notsodomesticated October 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I love how many slow cooker recipes you’re whipping out these days! Isn’t the slow cooker the best thing ever??

19 amy October 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

yes, indeed! it is truly one of my favorite kitchen essentials these days.

20 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction October 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Oh, this sounds wonderful! A perfect slow cooker meal!

21 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious October 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Slow-cooker Sundays? That’s the best tradition! I really need to start that too. And this chicken looks amazing! And I love how you can eat it with anything and everything. I have to make tacos and perhaps a breakfast dish as well with this!

22 Meghan October 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Oh, this sounds & looks incredible! Definitely will give this a try with the cilantro rice you posted!

23 Julie @ Table for Two October 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm

what a great tradition to have! i would definitely be down for slow cooker sundays while watching football in the evenings! this sounds like a wonderful chicken dish to have on a weekend too – lounging around!

24 luv what you do October 16, 2012 at 9:22 pm

My crockpot has already been working over time this fall. I usually make my shredded chicken with just chicken and chipolte flavored salsa, but I see the appeal of adding onion and these amazing spices.

25 amy October 17, 2012 at 12:12 am

ooh, i bet your version with chipotle salsa is just wonderful!

26 Nicole @ Lapetitebaker October 17, 2012 at 12:43 am

I love my slow cooker for this very reason! My boyfriend and I eat burritos at least once a week and this chicken would be a great addition. Thanks for another winning recipe!

27 Anna @ Hidden Ponies October 17, 2012 at 1:34 am

I love the handiness of a slow cooker – you feel so productive and have so much free time at the same time! This looks great, so many ways to use it!

28 Choc Chip Uru October 17, 2012 at 3:57 am

You are so creative with the slow cooker, this looks great 😀

Choc Chip Uru

29 baker street October 17, 2012 at 4:35 am

slow cooker sundays is such a brilliant idea! i’ve already bookmarked so many slow cooker recipes I want to try from your blog and this one just got added to that list.

30 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel October 17, 2012 at 7:39 am

Mmmmm what time should I be over for dinner next time? :)

31 amy October 17, 2012 at 7:50 am

you’re always welcome at our house for dinner! =)

32 claire @ the realistic nutritionist October 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

Ugh I am STARVINGGGGG. this makes me even more hungry.

33 Jed Gray (sportsglutton) October 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Sundays sound like heaven at your place Amy. :-) My better half only mildly enjoys he game of pigskin. :-)

34 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts October 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I really wish these were in my crock pot right now. These look like a great dinner!

35 sally @ sallys baking addiction October 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I was just telling Kevin how much I NEED A SLOW COOKER! It will save my life during the day. When I get home from work, I work on my blog or exercise and I never have time for a fancy schmancy meal. I need one – it will save my life! Love this recipe Amy!!

36 amy October 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm

you really should look into getting one, sally! i’ve been using mine at least once a week since i got it a couple months ago, sometimes 2-3 times per week. i’ve loved *everything* that’s come out of it so far!

37 Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings October 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Holy moly! I love your slow cooker series! I’ve borrowed my mom’s slow cooker and am getting ready to dive through your recipes for my meals! This Tex-Mex chicken looks good…!

38 Sammie October 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Gosh Amy!! This looks great!!! This is a great reminder to use my wonderful slow-cooker! It’s great for the use of leftover stuff too!! :)

39 Blond Duck October 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I wish I lived closer so we could have a scary movie night and taco night.

40 Erin @ Texanerin Baking October 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I love that you have slow cooker day. :) After all these posts of yours, I’m really bummed that I broke mine. And these look so good! You’re becoming an expert photographer of things in tortillas. :)

41 amy October 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

aww, shucks – thank you! i’m working on improving my photography skills, so that makes me happy!

42 Baking Serendipity October 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I keep reserving slow cooker meals for weeknights, but I love the thought of a relaxing Sunday with a meal like this still :)

43 Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen October 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Ok seriously the next time I am in Nashville I am coming over for dinner!! These look so fabulous! Thanks for sharing this great recipe

44 amy October 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I truly would love that! I only wish i knew about your latest Nashville visit sooner so we could’ve made it happen. Let me know next time you’re in town + we’ll make it a reality! =)

45 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef October 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm

mmm, this looks insanely good. these sort of simple crockpot mexican recipes are truly the best!

46 Angela @ AnotherBitePlease October 22, 2012 at 7:48 am

oooo…I love slow cooker and love Mexican…can’t wait to make.

47 Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings October 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Indeed, anything this convenient is awesome and perfect!!! Shredded stuff is perfect for our family as we have 3 kids who like to eat tender ansd soft foods. This will be something that I will introduce to them.

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