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Crock Pot Chicken Taco Meat

Wait wait wait—taco night can be even easier? Yep! Meet our 3-ingredient Crock-Pot chicken taco meat recipe!


crock pot chicken tacos in a silver pan topped with salsa and limes

A shredded chicken taco feast is even easier to make than you think. Like, three ingredients easy. And one of those three ingredients is chicken, so you’re already a third of the way there by just knowing that you want to make chicken tacos. With this super-duper simple recipe, all you need to do is fire up your Instant Pot or Crock-Pot and then dinner is as easy as making sure you’ve got:

  1. Chicken breast. Boneless, skinless is our preference. Basic as can be!
  2. Salsa. Red salsa, preferably the kind that you find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Why? Because it’s fresher (duh) than the jarred stuff, and should have fewer preservatives and other scary ingredients (that’s why it needs to be refrigerated).
  3. Taco seasoning. If you’re a long-time TMP reader, you know that we’re pretty partial to our own homemade taco seasoning recipe, however it’s also totally fine to use store-bought packets of taco seasoning. Whatever floats your boat.
salsa, a bowl of taco seasoning and two chicken breasts shown next to each other on a marble surface for chicken taco meet
chicken breasts, taco seasoning and salsa all shown in a black crock pot
raw chicken breasts mixed with salsa and taco seasoning in a crock pot
crock pot chicken taco meat shredded in a crockpot

How Do You Make Chicken Tacos From Scratch?

The key to great chicken tacos is simple—make really good chicken! And that’s basically all you need to do to guarantee a delicious taco. Here’s how to make the easiest, best shredded chicken taco filling recipe ever:

  1. Put the chicken breasts in a slow-cooker with the salsa and some taco seasoning.
  2. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.
  3. When the chicken taco meat is done, use two forks to shred the chicken breasts.
  4. Put the shredded chicken back into the yummy juices that have collected in the Crock-Pot, and voila! Your shredded chicken taco filling is ready to go!
crock pot chicken taco meat shown shredded in a crockpot with a wooden spoon

Psssst. This Crock-Pot Chicken Taco Filling Recipe Also Works For Making Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

That’s really all you need to know. Hey, Instant Pot people—you know we’re looking out for you, too! We’ve tested it, and this recipe works just as beautifully in your trusty pressure cooker as it does in a slow-cooker. So, enjoy!

Three chicken tacos shown in a metal pie pan with salsa and limes next to a linen and fresh cilantro

What To Do With All That Delicious Chicken Taco Meat

It’s taco time, friends! Crock-Pot chicken tacos demand all of the classic taco night things, like:

  • Guacamole, or even just slices of avocado.
  • Your favorite store-bought tortillas—or, try homemade ones, if you’re really feeling bold.
  • Pico de gallo. Homemade or store-bought.

More Ways To Use Taco Seasoning

If you’ve got taco seasoning, you’ve got so many terrific, fast meals right at your fingertips! Here are four that we’re loving right now:

three tacos in a blue metal pan shown with limes and fresh salsa

You Mean Taco Night Can Be Even Easier?!

Uh, yep! Pretty much. Homemade chicken tacos have never tasted better or been easier to make. So, you’re going to try this recipe, right?! And when you do, tell us all about it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Crock Pot Chicken Taco Meat

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  2 hrs
  • Calories: 95




  1. Add all ingredients to a Crock-Pot.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.
  3. Shred the chicken and put back into the juices.

**Serve meat with your favorite taco or salad fixings

Instant Pot:

  1. Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker and mix up as best as you can. Seal the lid and set to pressure cook high for 10 minutes. Allow vent to slow release for 5 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure. Once meat is finished cooking, shred the chicken and put it back into the juices.


  1. Add all ingredients to a freezer bag and seal removing as much air as possible. Label and freeze for up to 6months.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories95
  • Protein17 g
  • Carbohydrates4 g
  • Total Fat2 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol49 mg
  • sodium390 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Meat

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Cindy

    Can I subsitute boneless chicken thighs for the chicken breasts?


  • Sam

    Do you need to add any liquid to the crock pot? (water)

    No need, Sam! There is enough liquid in the salsa.

  • Tasha

    What if you don’t have a slow cooker/crock pot? Can I just use a Dutch oven and cook it for a certain period of time?

    It hasn't been tested, we would just recommend cooking it on the stove covered over medium low heat until chicken is tender and can be shredded with a fork.

  • Jamie

    I need to feed a crowd…20ppl….so, I’m going to triple, possibly quadruple, this recipe. How does that affect the cook time?? Thanks so much!!

    I would triple the meat and seasoning only and maybe double the salsa. I'm worried that you might have a watery mess if you add too much salsa. I am not sure about the cooking time, but you will need to increase the time.

  • Hanna

    Hi! I wanted to use this recipe and I was wondering what brand of chicken breast did you use? It'd make it easier to make sure I'm in line with the servings needed for 175 calories!

    I just used boneless, skinless chicken breast from the grocery store.

  • Leah

    I made this last night and oh my god it was SO GOOD I used 6 pieces of chicken breast and made a lot more than I was ready for but overall it tastes so good I would make again over and over

    Thanks Leah! We are so happy you loved it!

  • Jenny

    So simple yet so, so good! Love it’s high in protein and low in calories! I made the taco seasoning and used my canned salsa. Mixed all in instant pot and thirty minutes later we were eating. Hoping it freezes well. 🤞

    Thanks Jenny, so glad you loved it!

  • Michelle

    This is the best and also simplest taco meat I’ve tried! I made the seasoning mix from Modern Proper and used Aldi Chimichurri salsa. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

    Thanks Michelle! We are so happy you loved this recipe!

  • Abby

    This was super easy and delicious! I've tried another salsa chicken recipe that wasn't nearly as good. Definitely appreciate the advice about using refrigerated salsa.

    Thanks so much Abby! We are so glad you loved it!

  • Kylee

    This is the best, and easiest, way to make shredded chicken for tacos! It's so good that I make it every few weeks! It makes a lot, so it's great for meal prep or feeding a family. I've also made it with salsa from a jar (in a pinch) and it came out just as yummy!

    Thanks Kylee! Love to hear you make this so often, glad you and the family enjoy it!