Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Tacos

pulled chicken tacos 1

Who else is prompted to clean their basement when freezing rain insists on falling on the second weekend in April?

And who else, once downstairs rummaging through the growing pile of stuff that is the even scarier grown-up version of the monster in the basement, finds small appliances they didn’t even realize they had? I discovered that not only did we already own a humidifier – and I didn’t need to go drop $70 for a new one – we do, in fact, have a slow cooker smaller than the big oval 6 quart one I keep hauling out every time I want to cook something slowly.

pulled chicken Collage 1

It’s like Christmas down there, I tell ya. (Likewise for the guys who pick up our recycling this week.)

This has been on my wanna-make list, and so when my mom came over with leftover flour tortillas and guacamole from a weekend dinner party (she made fish ceviche tacos – which are now also on my wanna-make list) this is how I put them to work. This is slow cooking at its most convenient – rather than brown everything before putting it in, which I generally do, you just upend chicken thighs, right out of their package, add salsa and chili powder and garlic in totally imprecise measurements, and turn it on. Once cooked, it pulls apart with a fork – you could do the same with a chunk of pork or beef instead, but I liked the chicken thighs. So did everyone else.

pulled chicken Collage 2

I also love the sort of dinner you can just plunk out in bowls on the table and let everyone assemble themselves. It’s kind of like they’re making their own dinners. Kind of.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.57.26 PM
Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.57.26 PM

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Tacos

Recipe link


April 9, 2013

Adapted from Sweet Potato Chronicles


Pulled chicken:

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

5-6 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped

1 - 1 1/2 cups salsa

1 Tbsp. chili powder (this sounds hotter than it actually is)

pinch salt

soft flour tortillas or hard taco shells

grated cheese, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, cilantro, guacamole, sour cream - whatever you like


1Put the chicken, garlic, salsa, chili powder and salt in the bowl of a slow cooker and toss with tongs to combine everything; set it on low for 6-8 hours.


3Pull the chicken apart with two forks and serve with flour tortillas or taco shells and your choice of additions. Serves 6.


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13 comments on “Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Tacos

  1. Erin
    April 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    This is one of my fave “in a pinch” type recipes too! It’s especially yummy when made with a jar of Salsa Verde (and finished with a generous squeeze of lime)!! Now that I have it on the brain, I’m gonna need to put it on the menu for next week. Thanks for the constant inspiration Julie!!

  2. Avery
    April 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    We had soft tacos last night, as well! Except ours were the store-brand boxed kit-variety. Will have to try this next time!

  3. kickpleat
    April 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I’ve got to put my crock pot to use and this looks like the perfect recipe. I love slow cooked chicken and pork, but love the idea of making it easy breezy like this. Tacos makes things feel like spring, right?

  4. Robin | Farewell, Stranger
    April 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Perfect. Going on the list.

  5. Jan @ Family Bites
    April 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Mmm…great minds – I just made pulled chicken, too. I think I actually might like it better than the pork version.

  6. Jo-Anna
    April 10, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Yum! Definitely going on my list too! And you’ve got me thinking that I need to explore my pit of a basement and see what treasures I’ve got! :)

  7. rose
    April 11, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Hi Julie

    Freezing rain in Calgary, eh? We had blue skies and strong winds here in Vancouver and I took the kids to the beach where they actually splashed in the water. Don’t mean to rub it in but it was glorious out!!

    This afternoon I made THREE of your Spilling the Beans recipes. I made wheat thins crackers!! I’ve been meaning to make crackers for twenty years! I made brownies with black beans and your banana bread with white beans. All so GOOD! Thank you! Why did it take me months to get going on Spilling the Beans?

  8. Erica
    April 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Another winner that will certainly go into rotation: thanks for inspiring this mom of a 3 year old and 4.5 month old!

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  10. Cally
    April 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Thank-you for this recipe. I just discovered your website looking for Slow-Cooker Chili Chicken Tacos and this looks perfect to make for one of the meals when my 4 kids come home for 5 days over Easter. I’m here in Ottawa where we went from 24C yesterday to -3C and a snowstorm this aft!!! A late April Fool’s joke for sure but I’m not laughing!

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