Set and forget these slow cooker shredded chicken tacos, then enjoy fork-tender, authentic tasting, flavorful chicken. All with regular pantry ingredients. Toast the tacos for some texture and pair it with your favorite toppings!
I was excited to share this one because when it was time to shred the chicken, I had a taste and literally had to stop myself from eating more before the photo shoot. It took a lot of discipline not to devour it. It’s one of those recipes where you look at the ingredients and go ho hum, looks normal to me, but the results blow your mind (or your taste buds). The magical pairing of tomato paste to marry the cumin brings out such depth in flavor, you’d think this was straight out of your favorite taco truck.
I toasted the tortillas to add some texture and warm them up a little. Toast them only on one side so you have a crispy side to crunch into, and a soft pliable side ready to be folded. I kept mine pretty simple with only some fresh cilantro, diced red onions, a spritz of fresh lime juice and some creamy mayoracha sauce, but feel free to pile up your favorite toppings and load it up. Some ideas are lettuce, corn, salsa, sliced avocados, guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce and so much more.
Let’s get started.
I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this and pre-seasoned them with salt and pepper to taste. I like using rock salt for the seasoning because it’s very forgiving. Once you’ve pre-seasoned the chicken, there is no need to season it all again after it’s finished cooking. Sear the chicken breasts on both sides before putting it in the slow cooker. This step is entirely optional. The searing locks in the flavor and juices and sort of adds more levels of flavor. However, if you are pressed for time or just feeling a little lazy, you can skip the searing entirely. If you do decide to go the extra mile though, do yourself a favor and invest in a splatter guard to save some time on the clean up.
Mix the rest of the ingredients to make a sauce and pour it over each chicken breast arranged neatly in the slow cooker. I like using tomato paste in a tube because it keeps well. You can find these at most grocery stores near the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. A little goes a long way with tomato paste and since it’s an ingredient you don’t use all in one go, it makes more sense getting it in a squeezable tube rather than buying it in a tin and letting the rest go to waste. Squeeze and use as needed and don’t worry about wasting ingredients.
And that’s it. Set it and forget it then come back to claim your tacos. Enjoy!
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
Set and forget these slow cooker shredded chicken tacos then enjoy fork-tender, authentic tasting, flavorful chicken. Pair it with your favorite toppings!
- 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional for heat)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste
- Over medium high heat, sear chicken on both sides until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Arrange chicken breasts in a 6 qt. slow cooker
- Combine all other ingredients and blend into a smooth paste. Pour over chicken breasts
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours
- Shred the chicken with two forks and toss to coat with the juices
- Dish and serve hot with your favorite toppings
- Leave out cayenne if you don’t like things spicy
- Smoked paprika gives things a smoky taste and does not affect spiciness