Mexican Chicken Recipe in a Slow Cooker

When you are looking for a versatile recipe that will make more than just one dish, this Mexican Chicken Recipe will do just that. With this recipe, you can use it in a Mexican Tortilla soup, Chicken Taco Salad Bowl, or even atop of your favorite Mexican rice. You are sure to enjoy this Mexican chicken slow cooker meal.

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Mexican Chicken Recipe

Why Make this Mexican Chicken Recipe in the Crockpot?

My answer to that is why not? Everyone is busy it seems these days whether it is working outside the home, or inside the home. Running kids to their after school activities, shopping, playdates and more. Who has time for a meal that keeps you in the kitchen for hours in your day?

My second answer to this question is chicken in the crockpot is so much more tender than on top of the stove. You will find your chicken falls apart without any effort after it cooks in your slow cooker. Not to mention the seasonings throughout your meat.

What Can I Serve as a Side with my Mexican Chicken Recipe?

If you are making it a festive night you can make Spanish Rice, Queso, and tortilla chips, or a tasty black bean soup. For dessert, you can make Fried Ice cream which is something we always had when we went out to dinner at our local Mexican restaurant. Drizzled with honey and rolled in cinnamon. Yum. It is the perfect ending to a perfect Mexican meal.

mexican chicken slow cooker

Do I Have to Use Chicken Thighs?

No, you don’t but if you use boneless, skinless chicken breasts I would cut them in pieces (vertically) so they would be the size of your chicken thighs. Also if you would rather have white meat vs dark meat this can be another reason to do chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs.

mexican chicken slow cooker

What Ingredients Will I Need for Mexican Chicken Recipe?

You will want either 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts your choice). Two- 10oz cans of Rotel fire-roasted diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained. Two-15oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained,

Three to four cloves of garlic, minced, as well as 1 small jalapeno pepper, finely diced. and 1 -1/2 tablespoons of hickory-flavored liquid smoke.

For spices, you will need 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, salt & pepper to taste.

Mexican Chicken Recipe in a Slow Cooker

Mexican Chicken Recipe in a Slow Cooker

This delicious, healthy slow cooker recipe is as easy as it is versatile. This flavor-packed chicken is perfect for burrito bowls, lettuce wraps...

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes


  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • 2 10-oz. cans Rotel fire-roasted diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained
  • 2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 1½ T. hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • 2 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • ¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped


    1. Unroll and add chicken thighs to the bottom of a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker crock. Top with tomatoes, black beans, garlic, jalapeno pepper, liquid smoke, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir to combine, making sure the chicken thighs are coated and submerged in the liquid. 
    2. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. 30 minutes before done cooking, remove the lid and shred chicken while in the slow cooker with two forks. Stir to combine shredded chicken with other ingredients. Cover and cook for the remaining 30 minutes to allow the chicken to absorb the flavors. 
    3. Remove lid and squeeze fresh lime juice into the crock. Add cilantro and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired.
    4. To serve, spoon chicken mixture over plain brown rice or white rice. Enjoy!


Cooking time can be 3-8 hours depending on if you are going out for the day and want it to cook longer just put it on 6-8 hours on Low OR if you are short on time 3 hours would be fine on high.

What Size Crockpot Should I Use?

For this recipe, I would use a 5-quart crockpot. You may also want to use a crockpot liner which allows for less mess when it is time to clean up. If you want to double your recipe a 10-quart crockpot may be more what you are looking for.

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Mexican Chicken Recipe

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