Crockpot Chicken With Rotel

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Crockpot chicken with Rotel is a family favorite recipe that everyone loves, so much in fact that I had to make a Crockpot chicken with Rotel recipe post just to help you find the right one so you could serve it at your next family gathering. By clicking through this link you will see step-by-step instructions on how to make Crockpot Chicken With Rotel and serve it at your next get together or family gathering.

Crockpot Mexican Chicken

This flavor packed Crockpot Mexican Chicken slow cooks all day under a crown of black beans, corn and salsa until perfectly tender. Serve it over rice, in tacos, on salads and more! Bonus: You only need 5 ingredients!

Crockpot Mexican Chicken in a bowl with a spoon and on plates in tacos with limes and tortilla chips.

Crockpot Mexican Chicken

This extra easy Crockpot Mexican Chicken is one of my favorite easy weeknight dinner recipes that only needs 5 ingredients. It is one of those magical slow cooker recipes where you dump everything into the crockpot and turn it on. After a few hours, you shred the chicken and dinner is ready!

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You can use this Mexican Chicken in so many different ways from tacos, to salads, burrito bowls and even soup! Just add some chicken extra chicken broth to the crockpot and you will have a delicious and easy Mexican Chicken Soup! The options are endless and this is a wonderful starter recipe you can use to make as your own.

If you are on a time crunch, you can also toss everything into an instant pot as well! I will give directions in the recipe below for cooking this Mexican Chicken in the slow cooker as well as the instant pot. Both ways create a flavorful and extra easy delicious dinner!

Ways to serve Mexican Chicken:

There are so many various ways you can utilize this Crockpot Mexican Chicken! You can serve it one way the first day and then use any leftovers in another version the next day to keep things fresh. Here are our favorite ways to use Mexican Chicken:

  • Served as tacos in corn or flour tortillas.
  • Wrapped up in a burrito with rice.
  • Served as a burrito bowl over rice or cauliflower rice.
  • Add chicken broth and create a delicious Mexican Chicken Soup.
  • With lots of cheese in a quesadilla.
  • Served on the side of rice, sweet plantains, etc.
  • Enchiladas – rolled up inside tortillas with cheese and coated in enchilada sauce.

Just 5 Ingredients

You only need 5 easy ingredients for this Crockpot Mexican Chicken:

  • Boneless Chicken Breast or Thighs
  • Rotel or Salsa
  • Black Beans
  • Corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
  • Taco Seasoning – we used homemade taco seasoning, but store bought is great too!

Salsa vs Rotel

You can use Rotel or salsa depending on your personal preferences. We personally like to use Rotel because we love the flavor and the chunks of tomatoes at the end and it has a little less liquid in it when compared to a traditional salsa.

We like to use the original version of Rotel, because it’s a low heat that adds more flavor than heat. If you are not a fan of heat at all, I recommend using Mild Rotel instead. On the flip side, if you like things spicy, try their hot version!

Optional Additional Ingredients/Toppings:

  • Cilantro: we like to use this on top as a garnish, but can also be minced and mixed into the chicken after cooking.
  • Fresh Lime: great squeezed on top or even mixed in! The hit of acid is great with the chicken.
  • Minced Garlic: if you love garlic, mince up a few cloves of garlic and add it to the mixture before cooking.
  • Diced Onion: onion is a great addition as well to add before cooking with the beans and corn. It adds even more flavor!
  • Avocado/Guacamole: great as a topping.
  • Sour Cream: another great topping.
  • Chicken Broth: if you want to turn this into Mexican Chicken Soup, add a quart of chicken broth/stock before cooking. When I make this as a soup, I also like to add onion, garlic and fresh lime juice!

How to make Crockpot Mexican Chicken:

Step 1: Spray crockpot with a little nonstick spray. Spread 1 can of Rotel on the bottom of the crockpot. Lay chicken breasts or thighs on top of the Rotel. Sprinkle half of your taco seasoning onto the chicken.

Step 2: Top chicken with black beans, corn, and Rotel. Then sprinkle on the remaining taco seasoning.

Step 3: Cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or high heat for 4 hours. Shred chicken and serve as desired!

How to make Mexican Chicken in an Instant Pot:

When you make this Mexican Chicken in an instant pot, you will need to add liquid so you do not get the dreaded burn error! So do not drain your Rotel and you will need to add 1/2 cup of chicken broth.

Step 1: Spray bottom of instant pot with a little nonstick spray. Add 1 can of Rotel to the bottom of the instant pot. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Lay chicken on top and sprinkle with half of your taco seasoning.

Step 2: Top chicken with black beans, corn, and second can of Rotel. Then sprinkle on the remaining taco seasoning.

Step 3: Seal the pressure cooker with the lid. Select Manual (or Pressure Cook button depending on your instant pot model) and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Don’t forget, it will take about 10 minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure and then the timer to start counting down. 

Step 4: When the cook time finishes, let the pot sit undisturbed for a 10 minute natural release (meaning do not touch the instant pot for 10 minutes after it says it’s done cooking). Then turn the steam release knob to Venting to release any remaining pressure and open the lid.

Step 5: Shred chicken and serve as desired! There will be more liquid in the pot when this Mexican Chicken is cooked in the instant pot versus the crockpot. So I like to remove my chicken breasts and shred them in a different bowl and then scoop out the corn/beans/tomatoes with a slotted spoon and add them to the shredded chicken.

Can I make Mexican Chicken ahead of time?

Absolutely! As with most braised meats, this shredded Mexican chicken tastes just as delicious the next day!  Maybe even better since the flavors get to meld together even longer.  So feel free to make this recipe a day or two ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

Meal Prep: You can also meal prep this recipe if you would prefer. I toss everything into a ziplock bag and then freeze or refrigerate it depending on how far in advance I am meal prepping. When you are ready, add everything to the crockpot and turn it on! Dinner is done!

Storing Leftovers

Leftovers should be refrigerated in an airtight container and consumed within 5 days. Keep in mind that more liquid can be absorbed during storage, so if you want it saucier, you may need to add a splash of chicken broth or extra salsa.

Freeze It: You can also freeze your leftovers for an easy dinner anytime! I always make a double (and sometimes triple!) batch of this recipe so we have tons of leftovers for extra easy dinners the following weeks. To freeze, place cooked and shredded Mexican Chicken in a ziplock and remove all the air possible. Lay flat in the freezer (to save on freezer space) and freeze until ready to use!

Overhead view of mexican chicken in tacos, in a bowl with a fork and cilantro and tortilla chips and lime wedges on a plate and napkin.

This is one of our favorite easy Mexican recipes with almost zero work on your part! Just dump in the ingredients and set the crockpot (or instant pot!) and forget about it. Dinner is done when you come home at the end of the day!

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken is one of the easiest recipes that every busy parent should have in their weekly meal planning rotation. All it takes is 3 ingredients, a crockpot, and you’ll have limitless dinner ideas all week!

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken on a white platter

Many years ago I planned on making a different slow cooker Mexican chicken recipe, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients.

However, I did have a jar of salsa, a can of Rotel tomatoes with chilis, and chicken breasts. And, that my friends, is how slow cooker salsa chicken was born in my house.

Since then it’s become my go-to crockpot chicken recipe. I make it at least twice a month and use it in 4-6 dinners throughout the month. 

This Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken is a huge time-saver, my kids love it, and it requires minimal effort.

Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe

  • 3 ingredients. Honestly, you can even shave this down to 2 ingredients if you leave out the Rotel tomatoes. The Rotel diced tomatoes give it some extra texture and flavor but it’s not 100% necessary for the recipe. All you really need is chicken and salsa. I like to add some fresh lime at the end but, again, not necessary.
  • Can be assembled together in 2 minutes. Literally, all you have to do is to place the chicken and salsa in the crockpot, turn it on, and go about your day. 
  • Cooks in the crockpot. Who doesn’t love a good crockpot recipe? While this does have a shorter cooking time than some slow cooker recipes, it’s still easy to assemble and hands-off. This gives it 5 stars in my book.
  • Can be made ahead of time. Whenever I’m planning to make slow cooker salsa chicken you can bet it’s being made ahead of time on meal prep day or during a large freezer cooking stock up. I’ll give more meal prep tips below.
  • Can be used a million ways. Like I said, this is my “go-to” slow cooker chicken recipe. I’ve used this salsa shredded chicken in enchiladas, quesadillas, salads, burrito bowls, pizzas, and many other recipes. It can be used in any Mexican-inspired recipe that calls for shredded chicken

Ingredients

Salsa – A 15.5-ounce jar of salsa (about 2 cups) is all that’s needed to cover 3 boneless chicken breasts. This recipe is very forgiving so it won’t make a difference if a little more or less is used. 

Any salsa variety can be used in this recipe. Typically, I’ll just throw in a basic medium salsa to keep it kid-friendly. However, there are many varieties of salsa on the market so if you want to spice it up or get creative with flavors you certainly can.

To keep this recipe clean then look for an organic salsa or make your own using organic ingredients. Thrive Market sells a couple of different varieties of clean salsa at affordable prices.

Rotel diced tomatoes with chilis – A 10-ounce can of diced Rotel tomatoes gives the recipes a nice chunky texture from the tomatoes and extra flavor the chilis. Like I said earlier, if you don’t have a can of Rotel then leave it out.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts – I prefer to purchase organic high-quality chicken breasts to keep this slow cooker salsa chicken recipe clean.

My favorite source to purchase organic chicken is from Butcher Box online meat delivery. Hands down, this company provides the highest quality best-tasting chicken breasts. 

Cooking Tips

  • Don’t use frozen chicken breasts. It’s unsafe to use frozen chicken breasts in any slow cooker recipe because they don’t come up to temperature fast enough. This can cause bacteria to grow in the chicken which then makes the recipe unsafe to eat. 
  • Cook on low not high. So many slow cooker chicken recipes call for the recipe to be cooked on high for 4 hours or more. In my experience, using 4 different slow cookers, the best way to cook chicken breasts is on low for 4-6 hours. Most of the time, the chicken cooks perfectly ON LOW for 5 hours. Cooking chicken breasts on high in the slow cooker will result in dried-out chicken breasts.
  • Bone-in chicken breasts and/or chicken thighs can be used. With both types of chicken, the cooking time might increase depending on the thickness. To be considered safe to eat chicken must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If you’re unsure of the temperature then pick up a meat thermometer.
shredded chicken on platter

Variations

The simplicity of this slow cooker salsa chicken recipe is the reason I love it so. However, whenever I’m feeling fancy or creative here are some of the variations I use.

Add some black beans or corn – Both add color, texture, and flavor. 

  • Can use any salsa you want – Mostly, I’m just using up whatever salsa I have left in the refrigerator. But, you can get creative with all the salsa varieties available. 
  • Add some taco seasoning to the chicken – Recently, I sprinkled a couple of tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning over the chicken breasts before adding the salsa. This enhanced the Mexican flavor and it was very tasty. 
  • Stir in some sour cream. After the chicken is cooked, stir in ¼ – ½ cup of sour cream to create a delicious creamy salsa chicken

How to Make Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

step by step photo collage on how to make slow cooker salsa chicken.
  • Start with placing the chicken breasts onto the bottom of the slow cooker. I use 3 medium-sized chicken breasts. It comes to about 2 lbs. This gives me roughly 4 cups of shredded chicken breasts.
  • Pour 1 (15.5-ounce) jar of your favorite salsa over the chicken breast. If you’re using Rotel tomatoes then add it at this time too.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Remove the chicken from the slow cooker insert and shred it using two forks or a hand blender. 
  • Add in ¼ – ½ cup of the slow cooker liquid for flavor. This also keeps the shredded chicken juicy. Squirt with lime juice to add a burst of brightness. 
  • Use in your favorite Mexican-inspired chicken dinner recipes.

Serving Suggestions

The recipes ideas that can be served up from salsa chicken are endless.

Here are my favorites:

  • Quesadillas
  • Nachos
  • Burrito Bowls
  • Tacos
  • Enchiladas

Supplies

  • 5 ½ – 6-quart Slow Cooker. This programmable crock pot works great.
  • Ello Glass Storage Containers. I have the meal prep containers and larger containers that I use for food storage.
  • Souper Cubes – these are great for freezing into 1-cup recipe-ready portions.
  • Meat thermometer – to assure the chicken is cooked properly.
Slow cooker salsa chicken shredded on a platter with tortillas and lime

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken is one of the easiest recipes that every busy parent should have in their weekly meal planning rotation. All it takes is 4 ingredients, a crockpot, and you’ll have limitless dinner ideas all week!

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: slow cooker chicken and salsa, slow cooker salsa chicken, slow cooker salsa chicken recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 127kcal

Equipment

  • 5 1/2 quart slow cooker
  • Mixing Bowls

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts about 3 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 15.5 ounce jar of salsa about 2 cups
  • 1 10-ounce can of Rotel tomatoes with chilis
  • 1 lime

Instructions

  • Place the chicken breasts on the bottom of the slow cooker insert.
  • Pour the salsa and Rotel tomatoes over top of the chicken breasts. Flip the chicken breasts a couple of times until the chicken is covered.
  • Place the lid on tightly and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Remove the chicken from the insert and place it into a bowl. Using two forks, or a hand mixer, shred the chicken. Add in 1/2 cup – 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker for flavor and to keep the chicken juicy. Squirt in some lime juice.
  • Use in your favorite Mexican-inspired recipe.

Video

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken is one of the easiest recipes that every busy parent should have in their weekly meal planning rotation. All it takes is 3 ingredients, a crockpot, and you’ll have limitless dinner ideas all week!

Notes

Meal Prep tips

After the chicken is cooked and shredded then place it in glass containers and store in the refrigerator. Warm the chicken up in the microwave before using it in your favorite Mexican-inspired recipe. 

Freezer tips

This can be made ahead and frozen in a few different ways. 

First, you can place the salsa chicken, along with tortillas and cheese, into a large freezer bag and freeze it as a slow cooker quesadilla freezer kit. 

When you’re ready to cook, first thaw completely, and then follow the rest of the directions.

Last, you can create a slow cooker freezer kit by putting all of the ingredients into a freezer bag and then storing the kit in the freezer. When you’re ready to put this recipe on the meal plan then take it out 1-2 days beforehand to thaw in the refrigerator. Then continue with the recipe.

Second, you can freeze the cooked shredded salsa chicken into recipe ready portions. When you’re ready to cook with the chicken simply let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then use it in your favorite Mexican-inspired recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 2g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g

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