This easy, delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Taco Meat is perfect for large gatherings or to freeze for other meals. A simple trick makes the shredding of the chicken breasts effortless too!
Is there anyone who doesn’t love Mexican food? It’s my favorite! Whenever I’m not sure what to make for dinner I whip something up in that direction. I love that it’s so relaxed and unpretentious but mostly those gorgeous, earthy, spicy flavors!
I’ve been hankering to share a new Mexican-inspired recipe with you and as I thought of it there is one I make all the time and haven’t thought to post: Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Taco Meat (for a crowd or for leftovers). It’s super simple (yay!) and makes a ton of savory, taco meat perfect for a party taco buffet OR to freeze and pull out when you need something quick to make for dinner (tostadas, on taco salad, etc.).
The recipe is basic. It uses skinless boneless chicken breasts, chicken stock, a can of spicy diced tomatoes and spices that create a homemade taco seasoning. A few notes on the ingredients. We are so fortunate that canned food producers have dialed in on all the uses for canned diced tomatoes and do the work for us. Have you noticed how many varieties there are now?!
Every manufacturer has multiple versions of fire roasted or regular diced tomatoes with salsa, green chilies, cilantro and lime, with habaneros, etc. For this recipe, I use diced tomatoes with some sort of spicy flavor that works with tacos (and the can juices).
As much as I love convenience and making recipes easy I have a problem with most taco seasoning packets; they are way too salty! Do you notice that? I feel that salt overwhelms the flavors I WANT in the mix to the point that is overpowers the taco meat.
Though it takes a few minutes longer using a blend of spices creates flavors that are on point. Well-rounded seasonings that create mouthwatering meat that’s spicy enough and not overly salty (if you LOVE salt, you can add more but this way it doesn’t highjack the natural flavors in the recipe).
The part that I love the most? If you’ve read my post about making Moist Homemade Shredded Chicken Breasts (which was my most popular post for 2016, with good reason; once you make it you’ll never buy shredded chicken meat again!!) I have a little trick I use to shred chicken: I put it in my standing mixer! In about 30 seconds the meat is wonderfully shredded with no pulling it apart with forks. You can watch a video of it here.
So, I’ll tip you off to something before you begin. When I first began to make this I was panicked that it was way too much liquid. Of course, the beauty of a slow cooker is that the liquid does NOT evaporate (as well as you can fix it and forget it). I was really worried the amount of liquid would create soup; not so.
Toward the end of the cooking, the chicken is shredded and returned to the slow cooker to cook a bit longer and drink in the savory spicy broth. It keeps the meat moist with some juices but certainly not more than is needed. On the other hand, if you are a person who loves lots of juice in their meat, add an extra ½-1 cup of broth when you begin!
Thinking of the Big Game this weekend, this pot of Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Taco Meat would be great to set up on a buffet with all the taco fixings. It will stay warm for people to nosh throughout the day. If you are making it for yourself or your family, it makes a ton! Leftovers can be packaged up in freezer-safe containers and saved for another meal or prepped for salads for the week. So many options!
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