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 75 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. Heather says:

    For some reason (the salsa maybe?) mine didn’t look as wet as yours, but I cooked it the same way anyways. It came out pretty dry, but it was still very, very good! Any suggestions for next time?

  2. Renee says:

    Wow! I am generally a vegetarian but have started eating some free range chicken lately. Partly so I could make a slow cooker recipes that my husband would also eat in the interest of making dinner easier and faster. I have never had slow cooker chicken before and I couldn’t believe how tender it is! We both loved this but used it on soft tacos instead of rice. I did add a splash of lime juice and a dash of liquid smoke after it was done. This was so easy because I just put aside some of the beans and corn for the picky kids so there was just one meal to make instead of feeling like I’m making 4! I put it all together in a bowl last night and this morning dumped it in with the chicken, it only took a minute. Thank you for a yummy, fast recipe for this busy nursing student/mom of 2/wife!

  3. Chris says:

    If I cook this on high how much time would I leave it for? I want to try to bring the cooking time down to about 4-6 hours. Thoughts?

  4. Sarah says:

    Amazing. Made it into wraps and then the leftovers were served over spinach as a salad. It’s so good to win shred some cheese over and serve as is with a dallop of sour cream. Delicious. I’ll make this again for sure.

  5. Courtney says:

    I made this last week and it was soooo good! I got eight servings out of it, though I think it could probably stretch a little further if we wanted (my husband had a big portion when I first cooked it because it was so good!) We ate it over brown rice, and topped it with shredded “3-Chile Gouda” and sour cream. It would also be delicious in tacos, which we might try next time as I’ll definitely be making this one again!

  6. sophia says:

    I have made this recipe a few times and love it, I have tweaked it a little and used the packaged taco seasoning mix and it made it even more delicious than it was with the spices in your recipe

  7. Lisa says:

    i love this recipe but usually
    Make way too much and end up waisting it, is this freezable after its cooked? Thanks

  8. Mahalie says:

    This is an absolute hit to everyone I introduce it to! My husband regularly requests it and since it’s delicious and easy to just toss in the crockpot I am happy to comply! We modify it slightly, in part because he does not like cheese :( but it’s still wonderful. I recently took this to a potluck at work and since I didn’t want to fool with cooking rice at work, I just served the chicken mixture over tortilla chips like nachos and it was a success. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Denise says:

    I made this tonight and my kids, husband and I loved it!! Takes a lot to please the little ones, but they loved it! Thanks so much!!

  10. Tammi says:

    i made a recipe similar to this last Sunday for a group of about 15 people. They all loved it. I will definitely be making it again.

  11. Debby says:

    As soon as i practically seen this recipe i went and made it !! Man is this stuff good and I haven’t even finished the whole bowl yet !!! :-) :-) Yummy !!! I luv cilnatro any ways and if you have any more recipes easy and budget wise to cook or put cilantro in it !!! Pass it my way !!!! LOL :-)

  12. Carol Walker says:

    My husband and I love this recipe – it’s definitely a keeper! I served some of the leftovers over baked potatoes. Yummy, too.

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