An easy recipe for flavorful shredded chipotle chicken made in the slow cooker. Use it in burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and more!
Please don’t judge this chicken by its appearance. It’s hard to make shredded chicken look pretty. Plus, my family was hungry, and ready for tacos RIGHT NOW, so I snapped a few photos and then we dug in.
Actually, this is one of the reasons I haven’t shared many dinner recipes here. Although I cook dinner most nights of the week, I find it hard to find the time to take pictures when my family is waiting
impatiently to eat. I feel bad making them stand around and watch me take photos of their dinner. Any food bloggers out there who are willing to share how you make this work – please do!
I wanted to get this recipe to you in case you’re looking for a Mexican inspired recipe for Cinco de Mayo (or any night of the week!). This slow cooker chipotle chicken is a regular in our dinner rotation. It’s easy, delicious, and you can do an endless number of things with it. Stuff it into tortillas for tacos, throw it over some chips for nachos, add it to a salad, put it in a quesadilla, mix it into scrambled eggs, use it in soup (it’s great in tortilla soup). It’s super versatile, and it’s healthy too! The same can’t be said for the pound of chips I consumed with it.
I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. I am usually a white meat girl, but for this recipe the chicken thighs are perfect. They are moist, tender, and literally fall apart. Fire roasted tomatoes, paprika, and chipotle peppers in adobo add flavor to the chicken. The chipotle peppers in adobo add a smoky, deep, mild heat. The chicken is only slightly spicy, you can add more or less heat based on how much chipotle is added. If you’re concerned about heat, I suggest starting with a little less. You can always add more once the chicken is cooked.
Throw the ingredients in your slow cooker, give it a few hours, and before you know it, you’ll have delicious chicken waiting for you!
Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken
- 5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 )
- 1 medium carrot finely chopped
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- 1 in chipotle pepper adobo seeded and minced plus 1 scant tablespoon adobo sauce
- oz One 15 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes plain crushed tomatoes can be substituted
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and pepper
Place the carrot, onion, and garlic in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle the chicken with paprika, salt, pepper, thyme, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and water.
Cook on high for 3 hours, until the chicken is tender and falling apart. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Stir it around to coat it in the sauce. At this point, I like to cook the shredded chicken for another hour, just to allow it soak up extra juice and flavor. If you don't want to wait another hour, you can serve it now.
Before serving, drain off any excess liquid that has accumulated (this just depends on personal preference and how saucy you want your chicken). Serve with any of the suggested items below.
Recipe NotesFor serving: You can use this chicken in burritos, tacos, quesadillas, as nacho topping, or even in a chicken taco salad.
Garnishes: shredded cheese, avocado, guacamole, diced tomato, shredded cabbage, sour cream, tortilla chips.
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray