Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls

$10.66 recipe / $1.33 serving

This recipe is definitely “slow-cooker 101″. It’s probably one of the first recipes that most people learn to make in their slow-cooker. In fact, some version of it is probably included in that little mini recipe book that comes with the slow-cooker when you buy it. BUT, I had to post it because I know there are probably a lot of you who haven’t made it yet and I can’t bear the thought of you missing out.

This recipe is great for bachelors, students, or the chronically busy because it’s a “dump and heat” recipe. All you do is dump all of the ingredients together in a pot, and let it cook. Of course you’ll need to make the rice separate but even if you’re one of those people who can never get rice right, there is hope. Just stuff the chicken mixture inside of a tortilla with cheese for a quick burrito or fold it over in a tortilla and crisp it up in a skillet like a quesadilla. Presto. Easy, delicious, cheap food.

I’m a black bean lover so next time I’m going to use two cans (or two can’s worth of homemade) beans and extend the recipe even further.

Oh, also, this freezes well. Cheese and all. Then just nuke and stir for a couple minutes until hot. Instant freezer meal!

Okay, one more thing. If you for some strange reason need this recipe to be even easier or you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, just substitute a packet of taco seasoning for all of the spices and herbs that I used below.

Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls

Chicken Taco Bowls

4.8 from 62 reviews
taco chicken bowls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $10.66
Cost Per Serving: $1.33
Serves: 9
  • 1½ lbs. chicken breasts $2.90
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar salsa $1.99
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained $1.19
  • ½ lb. (8 oz.) frozen corn $0.57
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.15
  • ½ Tbsp cumin $0.07
  • ½ Tbsp minced garlic $0.10
  • ½ tsp dried oregano $0.03
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • to taste cracked pepper $0.02
  • 2 cups dry rice $0.66
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar $2.49
  • ½ bunch cilantro (optional) $0.45
  1. Add everything except the rice, cheese, and cilantro to the slow cooker along with ¼ cup of water (for good measure). Give everything a good stir and make sure the chicken is covered in the mixture.
  2. Secure the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs.
  3. Near the end of the cooking time, cook the two cups of rice according to the package directions (Bring the rice and 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with a lid in place, as soon as it reaches a boil, reduced the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving).
  4. After 8 hours of cooking, carefully remove the lid of the slow cooker. Stir with a fork to shred the chicken (it should be super tender and will shred easily). Build the taco bowls by placing rice on the bottom, then the taco chicken mix, shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.

taco chicken bowls

Step By Step Photos

raw chickenThis is the chicken that I bought. I usually buy a 5 lb. package to get a good price but even this 3 lb. package was priced super low! I used half and froze the other half for another recipe later. You can also use chicken thighs for a richer flavor (more fat) or bone in chicken and then just remove the bones after cooking.

add chickenPlace the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker. Easy.

add the restAdd the rest of the ingredients (salsa, drained beans, corn, herbs & spices) plus 1/4 cup water. Easy.

stirStir everything together and then make sure the chicken is pushed down below the sauce. Easy.

cookSecure the lid and cook on low for 8 hours. Easy.

shred chickenStir it up and give it a few good pokes with a fork to shred the chicken. It will be so tender that it will practically shred on its own. Easy.

cook riceCook some rice. Semi-easy.

build taco chicken bowlPut the rice, taco chicken mixture, cheese, and cilantro in a bowl. Eat. BAM. Easy.

I can’t wait to make this again and again and again… and experiment with different salsa flavors. I keep thinking about chipotle peach or PINEAPPLE! YUM!


  1. Justin says:

    I don’t have a slow cooker. Can I made this on the stove?

    • You could probably simmer it all on low for an hour or so, or until the chicken is soft enough to shred. The only danger is that the heat from the burner is much more concentrated, so you’ll have to be careful not to let it scorch on the bottom.

  2. Steph says:

    I made this and loved it! I’m wondering though, would this recipe freeze well? And if so, how long would it be good for frozen?

    • Yes, this one freezes very well. I try to use all frozen foods up within three months because they slowly dry out and degrade after an extended period.

      • Charlotte says:

        Do you just freeze it in a freezer bag? (Sorry, totally new to freezing stuff) I have this in the crockpot right now and it smells SO good!

        • I usually use those Ziploc or Gladware resealable containers. You can freeze and reheat right in the same dish and they come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. :) I freeze in single serving portions.

  3. laura says:

    This recipe is part of my regular rotation. Everyone loves it. Thanks.

  4. Barb says:

    Has anyone ever tried this with turkey? Wondered how it would be with leftover turkey.

  5. Lisa says:

    Just wondering how many calories per serving?

  6. Barb says:

    Wondered about putting it on top of lettuce in said of rice. Kind of like a taco salad.

  7. Rain says:

    I make “Rotel Chicken” at least once or twice a month… it’s a can of Rotel, a couple pounds of chicken, a shopped onion, and half a packet of taco seasoning, and sometimes a small can of Hatch green chiles. We use brown rice instead of white. This sounds LOADS better! I can’t wait to try it!

  8. Alyssa says:

    I’ve made this recipe several times and absolutely love it! However, I am terrible at planning ahead so I never decide to make this early enough to use the crockpot. Instead I boil the chicken for about thirty minutes (you can do this from a frozen state) and it shreds very easily when it is done. Then I put all the ingredients that were supposed to go in the slow cooker into a saucepan and let them heat up. A little more work than the slow cooker but still every bit as delicious! :)

  9. When I make this recipe, I use packets of taco seasoning, instead of the seasoning listed

  10. Melis says:

    I made this yesterday and it was absolutely AMAZING! First time making a dish on my own in a crock pot…complete success!! My roommate almost cried it was so good. I made a quesadilla with it, and then the next day made some rice and put the leftovers on it. YUM.

  11. Rachel says:

    I made this tonight and it was so delicious! I added more broth and salsa that in the recipe because I wanted it to be more of a soup. It works really well as soup, and it warmed me up after the cold spell we’re having here. My family has already asked me to make this again, so it was a success!

  12. Jaqueline Lazcano says:

    So happy I found your website! Made your chunky lentil and vegetable soup and my Boyfriend loved it. He finished the whole pot the same day

  13. jessica says:

    Can you cook it for 6hours on high or would low for 6 hours be ok?

  14. Sierra says:

    any suggestions/modifications if starting with frozen chicken?

    • It’s not recommended that you add frozen meat directly to a slow cooker because it can take too long to come up to a safe temperature, so you’ll definitely want to thaw it first. A quick way to thaw is to place the wrapped chicken in a bowl of water and run cool water over it until it’s thawed. Cutting into smaller pieces (3-4 pieces) can help it heat up faster in the slow cooker, too.

  15. LaTrice says:

    Hi, Beth. I recently made the Spinach and Feta Grilled Cheese sandwich, and It was AMAZING! Is it possible that I can cook the chicken inside the slow cooker on high for four hours?

  16. I made this last night and it was great! I followed the recipe, but the only thing I changed was the cook time. By hour 6 on low, my chicken was cooked so I shredded it and then let it cook for another hour so the shredded chicken could soak up the juices and marinate a little more. Will be making again for sure!

  17. stacy says:

    Looks good and pretty simple. How did you come up with $1.33 a serving? I came up with $1.18 a serving.

  18. Julia says:

    This was so delicious! Served with your cilantro & lime rice recipe and added homemade guacamole, scallions & some sour cream. I cannot wait to make this again! Highly recommend! Love your website along with many of your recipes!

  19. Jennifer H says:

    I have vegetarians and mourn the use of my crock pot. This looks so yummy. I wonder if the consistency would be OK if I just left out the chicken. Maybe not cook for the whole 8 hours?

    • If you leave out the chicken, you really don’t need to use the slow cooker at all. :) You can just heat the ingredients together on the stove top until warmed through (15 minutes?). The slow cooker just makes the meat tender and shreddable.

    • Clare says:

      I have made a vegetarian version of this on the stove using a combination of roughly chopped temphe and much more beans, I also mixed them up and also added some cannellini or haricot beans as well. It’s very good that way.

  20. I made this and instead of using white rice, I used authentic Mexican rice and it was fantastic!

  21. Tisha Stewart says:

    Omg, your recipes look sooo yummy!! I am so happy I stumbled across this site. I will be trying MANY of these recipes, thanks!

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