Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Bowls

This week I played around with the concept for my classic Taco Chicken Bowls and made a “green” salsa version, or Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Bowls. Salsa is kind of a secret weapon when it comes to the using a slow cooker. It adds flavor, color, and texture to the pot all in one swoop. Although I did add a little extra seasoning to my chicken, you could practically just combine meat and salsa in a slow cooker and have it turn out quite delicious.

Overhead view of a Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken bowl with rice, beans, jalapeño, cheese, and lime.

Make it a Bowl, or Not

I kept this Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Verde fairly simple, then combined it with a few fresh ingredients to make a really amazing bowl meal. I’ve listed the ingredients for the “bowl” in the recipe and price calculation below, but this chicken would still be really awesome if you just served it over hot rice on its own (with a couple spoonfuls of the juices from the pot, of course!). So, you don’t have to get all fancy with the “bowl” concept like I did, if you don’t want to. ;)

What Type of Green Salsa is Best?

There is no right answer here. Just make sure it’s a green salsa that you’ve tried and that you know you like, as the salsa is the main flavor in this dish. I used Goya this time around because it was the most budget friendly. You can see a photo of the bottle in the step by step photos below the recipe.

 
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4.89 from 18 votes

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Verde Bowls

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken is a fast, easy, and flavorful dinner full of southwest flavors. Serve over rice or build it into a bowl meal.
Keyword: Salsa Chicken, Slow Cooker Chicken, Slow Cooker Recipes
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Equipment
  • Slow Cooker
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

SLOW COOKER SALSA VERDE CHICKEN

  • 1 yellow onion ( $0.25)
  • 1 bell pepper ($0.87)
  • 2 lb. chicken pieces*, skins removed ($4.22)
  • 1 tsp cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ( $0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • Freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • 16 oz. salsa verde ($2.69)

BOWLS

  • 4 cups cooked rice ($0.64)
  • 15 oz can black beans ($1.00)
  • 1 jalapeno ($0.20)
  • 2 oz. queso fresco** ($0.60)
  • 1 lime $0.33 ($0.33)
  • Handful fresh cilantro ($0.25)

Instructions

  • Slice the onion and bell pepper, then lay them into the bottom of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Place the chicken pieces on top of the onion and bell peppers. Sprinkle the cumin, salt, garlic powder, and some freshly cracked pepper onto the chicken pieces. Pour the salsa over top.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for 8 hours.
  • After cooking, carefully remove the chicken pieces with tongs. Use the tongs to retrieve the onion an d bell peppers from the liquid in the slow cooker. Serve the chicken with the onion and bell pepper, and a spoonful or two of the juices from the slow cooker.
  • To build the bowls, thinly slice the jalapeño and crumble the queso fresco. Drain and rinse the black beans. Place a cup of cooked rice in a bowl, add one or two pieces of chicken, 1/4 of the beans, a few slices of jalapeño, a little crumbled queso fresco (about 1/2 oz.), and some fresh cilantro leaves. Cut a lime into wedges and squeeze the juice over top just before serving.

Notes

*You can use any type of chicken you like (drumsticks, thighs, breasts), bone-in or boneless. Just be sure to remove the skin before cooking.
**Monterey jack or cheddar would also be great with these flavors if you can't find queso fresco.

Scroll down to see the step by step photos!

A fork pulling the meat from a Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken drumstick in a bowl with rice, beans, and cheese

Green sauce being spooned onto a piece of Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken in the bowl

Step by Step Photos

Onion and Peppers in Slow Cooker

Slice one yellow onion and one bell pepper. Place the slices in the bottom of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.

Seasoned Drumsticks in the Slow Cooker on top of the onions and peppers

Place 2 lbs. chicken pieces (skin removed) on top of the onion and bell pepper, then sprinkle 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, and some freshly cracked pepper onto the chicken. You can use any type of chicken pieces here, bone-in or boneless. Just make sure to remove the skin. Usually the skin can just be easily peeled off by hand.

Green salsa being poured on top of the chicken

Pour one 16oz. jar of salsa verde over the chicken.

Goya Salsa Verde bottle

Just because I know you’ll ask–I used this Goya salsa, mainly just because it was the best priced salsa at the store. It’s actually a 17oz. jar, but 16oz. will be plenty. 

Salsa Verde Chicken in the slow cooker, Ready to Cook

The salsa will not completely submerge or cover the chicken, but as the pot cooks the chicken and vegetables will release moisture and create enough moisture for the chicken to “stew” in the pot. Place the lid on the cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

Cooked Salsa Verde Chicken in the slow cooker

After which time it will look like this! The chicken will be SUPER tender at this point, so you have to carefully lift it out of the juices with tongs. You’ll want to fish out the onion and bell pepper with the tongs as well. The liquid in the pot is really delicious and flavorful, so you can use that to spoon over the chicken and whatever you serve it with.

Toppings - cilantro, queso fresco, jalapeño

I decided to use my chicken for “bowl” meals, so I prepped some toppings: fresh cilantro, queso fresco, and fresh jalapeño. Slice the jalapeño very, VERY thin. Oh, I also used one 15oz. can of black beans. Just drain and rinse the beans (sorry, forgot a photo!).

Queso Fresco package

This is what the queso fresco that I used looks like. It’s salty, crumbly, and tastes kind of like fresh milk. Very yummy! If you can’t find something similar, Monterey jack or cheddar would also be good.

A bowl of Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken with rice, beans, queso fresco, and cilantro. A fork pulling the meat from the bone.

To build the bowls, just put one cup of cooked rice in a bowl, add a piece of chicken (or two) and some of the onions and peppers from the bottom of the pot. I also spooned some of the liquid from the pot over the chicken and rice. Then add some black beans, queso fresco, a few slices of jalapeño, and fresh cilantro. Cut a lime into wedges, then squeeze the juice over the bowl just before serving!