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This easy salsa chicken recipe is made right in your crockpot! Boneless chicken thighs, salsa, and spices come together in minutes then cook low and slow for an effortless dinner idea.
Looking for a super easy, hands-off dinner idea? This crockpot chicken salsa recipe is just the thing! Made with boneless chicken thighs, storebought salsa, and a handful of spices, this chicken recipe takes minutes to put together. Just pop everything into your slow cooker, give it a good stir, and walk away. You’ll come back hours later to a kitchen that smells amazing and a flavorful meal that can be served in a wide variety of ways. We love making it into chicken tacos or even spooning it over Instant Pot Mexican rice to make quick burrito bowls.
Why You’ll Love this Crockpot Salsa Chicken Recipe
- Simple Ingredients. You’ll only need a few common ingredients to make this recipe. You probably already have most of them in your kitchen!
- Hands off. Add everything to your slow cooker and give it a good stir. That’s it! The only thing left to do is shred the cooked chicken with two forks and dig in.
- Flavorful. Thanks to a combination of red salsa and spices, every bite of this shredded chicken recipe is full of flavor.
- Flexible. You can use the cooked salsa chicken for everything from tacos and burritos to quesadillas and even enchiladas. There are SO MANY ways you can use this easy recipe.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need to make this crockpot chicken salsa recipe along with some notes. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.
- Chicken thighs – Boneless and skinless. You can also use an equal amount of skinless chicken breasts.
- Kosher salt – Don’t use table salt. You can use sea salt if you prefer.
- Spices – Ground cumin and smoked paprika.
- Olive oil
- Salsa – I like to use Newman’s Own salsa, but you can use your preferred variety.
- Fresh cilantro – Chopped and sprinkled on top before serving.
What Kind of Salsa to Use
This recipe calls for one 16-oz jar of store-bought salsa. You can use your favorite brand and go mild or hot, just make sure the total amount of salsa used in the recipe stays the same.
I personally prefer to use Newman’s Own mild salsa. It adds just the right amount of heat, giving you plenty of room to add extra salsa or chili on top when you eat the chicken in tacos or burritos.
How to Make Crockpot Salsa Chicken
This easy chicken dinner idea comes together in only 5 steps! Here’s how to make it:
- Prepare the chicken. Place the chicken in the bowl of the slow cooker and season with the salt, cumin, and smoked paprika. Drizzle the seasoned chicken with olive oil and massage with your hands to coat the chicken.
- Add salsa. Pour the salsa over the chicken and give the whole thing a stir.
- Turn on your crockpot. Cook in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours. You can also cook on low for 8 hours, but I find this breaks down the chicken a bit more than I’d like.
- Shred the chicken. At the end of the cooking time, use 2 forks to shred the chicken in its juices.
- Serve! Add the chopped cilantro to the shredded chicken and mix to incorporate.
Ways to Use Shredded Salsa Chicken
There are endless ways you can use salsa chicken. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Tacos. Spoon your salsa chicken into corn tortillas and top with your favorite fixings. I recommend guacamole, sour cream, and maybe a drizzle of salsa macha for an extra spicy kick.
- Burritos. Add to flour tortillas along with some cheese or even Mexican red rice. Finish with your favorite toppings, fold your burrito, and dig in.
- Quesadillas or Mulitas. Add the shredded chicken to tortillas along with some cheese and cook on the stove over medium-low heat until the tortillas are toasty and crisp. Or go all out by making mulitas! You can use this birria mulitas recipe as a guide, just swap out the birria for salsa chicken.
- Taco Bowls. Pair this crockpot recipe with Instant Pot Mexican rice for a totally hands-off meal. When the rice is done, spoon it into bowls, top it with chicken, and then add your preferred fixings. I like to add a squeeze of lime juice for a citrusy zip!
- Taquitos or Flautas. Spoon the chicken into flour tortillas, roll them up, and then turn them into taquitos or flautas. Use this birria flautas recipe or this black bean flautas recipe as a guide. You can swap out the birria meat for salsa chicken, or you can add the chicken in addition to the black bean filling.
- Enchiladas. Crockpot salsa chicken is excellent in enchiladas. I recommend using my smoky chipotle enchilada sauce for a totally irresistible flavor combination. Use this birria enchiladas recipe as a guide, swapping the birria for the shredded chicken. Or, you can add chicken to these avocado enchiladas.
How to Store and Reheat Extras
- Fridge – Let the chicken cool, then transfer it to airtight containers and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freezer – Want to freeze some for later? Simply spoon the cooled chicken into airtight, freezer-safe containers. It will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. Make sure you leave at least an inch of room at the top of your container so that the liquid has room to expand.
- To Reheat – You can reheat single servings in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Just zap the chicken until it’s warmed through, which usually takes about 2 minutes. Give it a good stir halfway through the heating time. To reheat larger amounts, I recommend heating the chicken on the stove in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add a few splashes of chicken or vegetable broth and stir it in. This will help prevent the chicken from drying out while it reheats.
Crockpot Salsa Chicken
This crockpot salsa chicken recipe makes tender, flavorful shredded chicken that can be used in a wide variety of ways. An easy recipe with few ingredients!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Crockpot
- Cuisine: American
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 16-oz jar Newman’s Own Mild Salsa
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
Prep the chicken. Place the chicken in the bowl of the slow cooker and season with the salt, cumin, and smoked paprika. Drizzle the seasoned chicken with olive oil and massage with your hands to coat the chicken.
Add salsa. Pour the salsa over the chicken and give the whole thing a stir.
Turn on your crockpot. Cook in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours. You can also cook on low for 8 hours, but I find this breaks down the chicken a bit more than I’d like.
Shred the chicken. At the end of the cooking time, use 2 forks to shred the chicken in its juices.
Garnish with cilantro. Add the chopped cilantro to the shredded chicken and mix to incorporate.
Serve! Use as a taco, burrito, taquito, or enchilada (the list goes on) filling.
Keywords: salsa chicken crockpot, crock pot salsa chicken, salsa chicken recipe