Crock pot dinners are one of the ultimate comfort foods. There is nothing better than getting dinner prepped in the morning and walking into the most heavenly smell of dinner ready to go in the evening. This crock pot Mexican shredded chicken takes less than 10 minutes to prep and is great as the base for tons of chicken recipes.
Y’all. I love me some crock pot dinners. Like, I get super giddy the night before because I KNOW that dinner is going to be super easy and my whole house will smell delicious. It seems like no matter what you toss in the crock pot, it will smell delicious by dinner time.
This crock pot Mexican shredded chicken is one of the most heavenly smells. When I walked into the house I just basked in the aroma. Oh, and it tastes pretty good too.
What is Mexican shredded chicken?
Here is the best part – this recipe is basically a set it and forget it type dinner. It’s crock pot shredded chicken with a few extra spices that make it full of Mexican inspired flavor. This quick and easy dinner recipe is a great base for chicken tacos, chicken enchiladas, chicken tostadas and tons of other recipes. You can also eat is over rice with a side of beans and call is delicious.
How do you make moist shredded chicken in a crock pot?
Another perk for this crock pot Mexican chicken is that it comes out super moist. The secret is to no over cook the chicken in the crock pot. You also need to have a little liquid in the crock pot to help reduce the chance of the chicken drying out. I like to use the tomato juice from the canned tomatoes, but you can use chicken broth or even water to help keep the crock pot chicken moist.
Mexican shredded chicken ingredients
Are you ready for yet another plus of this easy dinner recipe? You don’t need very many ingredients! AND the ones you do need are easy to find at even the smallest grocery store.
You will need:
- diced tomatoes
Chicken – You can use any type of chicken in this recipe. I prefer boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs but even bone in chicken will work here. Just be sure to remove them while shredding the chicken. It’s best to use thawed chicken but you can also toss it in frozen. The cook time will change by a few hours if frozen.
Spices – The Mexican inspired flavors in this dish come from the spices that you choose. You can use a classic taco seasoning here or a combo of spices like cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes and more. Play with the spices to give it the right amount of heat that you like.
Onion – You will need one large diced onion here. Any variety works. Also, grab some cilantro for topping while you are in the produce aisle.
Tomatoes – I used two cans (14 ounces each) of diced tomatoes in my Mexican shredded chicken. One of the cans was fire roasted with extra spices and the other was plain diced tomatoes. Use whatever type of diced tomatoes you prefer, saving the juice for the crock pot!
How do you make Mexican pulled chicken in a crock pot?
Once you have all your ingredients, you just place them in the crock pot and let it do it’s magic. Start by placing your chicken on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add your spices, the onion, and both cans of diced tomatoes with the juice as well.
Once it’s done cooking, you can use two forks to shred it. You can also toss it in your KitchenAid with the paddle attachment or use a hand held mixer to shred.
How long does shredded chicken take in crock pot?
If you are using thawed chicken – cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4. If you are using frozen chicken – cook on high for the first 4 hours and then you can switch to low or leave on high. Cook on high for 4-6 hours and then you can switch to low for 2-3 hours after that. Use two forks to make sure it shreds easily before turning off your crock pot.
How to make in the Instant Pot
This Mexican shredded chicken is just as easy to make in your Instant Pot! Use all the same ingredients and follow the instructions below.
- Place your chicken, spices, onion and tomatoes in your inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- There should be enough liquid from the tomatoes, but if you’d like to add more, add a bit of chicken broth to the pot.
- Seal the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
- Allow the chicken to come to natural pressure – which means leave it alone until the pin drops.
- Remove the chicken and shred it with forks.
- Place it back in the pot and stir it back in with the juices.
- Use as a base for your favorite Mexican inspired dishes!
This recipe is very similar to my Instant Pot shredded BBQ chicken recipe, so feel free to check that one out for more details.
Shredded Mexican chicken entrees
Now you have your crock pot Mexican shredded chicken, what do you use it in? Here are some great entree ideas to put that tasty chicken to good use:
- Cheesy chicken enchiladas
- Chicken taquitos
- Shredded chicken tacos
- Chicken tostadas
- Chicken fajita bowls
- Crock pot firecracker nachos
- Chicken taco rice casserole
You can also include these easy side dishes to make it a quick and easy dinner recipe:
- 1-2 pounds chicken, breasts or thighs
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 2 cans diced tomatoes, 14 ounces each, with the juice
- 1 large onion, diced
- cilantro, optional
- Place the chicken on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Cover with spices.
- Add your tomatoes and diced onion.
- Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Use forks to shred and add chopped cilantro.
If you are using FROZEN chicken - cook on high for the first 4 hours and then you can switch to low or leave on high. Cook on high for 4-6 hours and then you can switch to low for 2-3 hours after that.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 268Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 276mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 40g
You may want to check out these other easy chicken crock pot dinners: