Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with Mexican Rice


Crock Pot Chicken Tacos couldn’t be easier, nor more crowd-pleasing!

We’ve got a code red here, people! Or is it a code blue? I can never remember which one requires immediate attention be paid to the situation at hand…probably both, now that I think about it.

Screw it – we’ve got a code crock pot here, people!

I need to inform you of one of the easiest, most delicious crock pot recipes I have ever come across, so you can go get the ingredients to devour Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with Mexican Rice ASAP!

Lean chicken breasts are seasoned and spiced with just 2 ingredients – taco seasoning and jarred salsa – then cooked low and slow in a crock pot until they’re so tender they simply fall apart.

The juicy, shredded chicken is then layered in crunchy taco shells with shredded cheese, and popped into a piping hot oven to warm, melt, and create an irresistibly cheesy NACHO-ESQUE taco. I KNOW.

Served alongside savory, fluffy Mexican Rice, this was one of the best meals I’ve had in ages!

Get your crock pots out, and appetites ready – it’s taco time!

Start the Crock Pot Chicken Tacos by making the crock pot chicken, which could not be any easier. First slice 4 large chicken breasts in half. We’re aiming for 2lbs of chicken total.

Lay the chicken halves into the bottom of a crock pot in one layer, then sprinkle on 1 packet taco seasoning (or a double batch homemade taco seasoning,) and pour in 1-16oz jar gluten-free salsa. I died a little inside when I had to say goodbye to this entire jar of Tostitos Restaurant Style Salsa (my kryptonite) but I knew it was for a good cause…sigh! ;)

Place a lid on top, then cook the chicken on low for 4-6 hours, or high for 2-3 hours, or until it’s super tender. Shred the chicken then add some or all of the cooking liquid back in. That’s it. Juicy, tender, and unbelievably delicious – you would never know this only has 3 ingredients in it!

30 minutes before you’re ready to dine, cook up a big, fluffy batch of Mexican Rice. Just saute 1/4 cup minced onion in 1 teaspoon olive oil until tender, then add in 1 cup gluten-free salsa, 1 cup gluten-free jasmine rice, and 2 cups gluten-free vegetable broth.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then place a lid on top and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

When the rice has a few minutes left, place some of the shredded chicken into corn taco shells, top with shredded cheese, then bake at 425 degrees for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese melts. This step does double duty of warming the shell AND melting the cheese!

Add the toppings of your choice (chopped tomatoes, green onions, and truck loads of salsa for me,) then chow down!

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with Mexican Rice

Serves a crowd


Crock Pot Chicken Tacos couldn't be easier, nor more crowd-pleasing!


  • 2lbs chicken breasts (about 4 large, or 5 medium,) cut in half
  • 1 packet gluten-free taco seasoning (or a double batch of homemade taco seasoning - recipe in notes below)
  • 16oz jar gluten-free salsa
  • Gluten-free corn taco shells
  • Taco toppings: chopped tomato, lettuce, green onions, cheese, black olives, etc
  • For the Mexican Rice:
    • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup minced onion
    • salt & pepper
    • 1 cup gluten-free salsa
    • 1 cup gluten-free jasmine rice
    • 2 cups gluten-free vegetable broth


    1. For the Chicken Tacos: Lay chicken breasts in a single layer in bottom of crock pot. Sprinkle on taco seasoning then pour in salsa. Lift chicken breast halves to get salsa underneath. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or high for 2-3 hours, or until chicken breasts are tender. Shred then mix with some or all of the cooking liquid.
    2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add shredded chicken into the bottom of taco shells then top with cheese. Bake on a foil-lined baking dish for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with desired toppings.
    3. For the Mexican Rice: Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt & pepper, then saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, rice, and vegetable broth then bring to a boil. Lower heat then place a lid on top and simmer until rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes.


    Mexican Rice from The Fitnessista

    This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

    I could hardly control myself around this chicken – it is so flavorful, so tender, and so juicy. Plus, hello, it’s surrounded by melted cheese. How bad could that be? ;)

    The Mexican Rice definitely gave the tacos a run for their money, though. I’ve had the recipe from The Fitnessista in my back pocket for over a year, and could just slap myself for waiting so long to use it. Creamy, fluffy, and sooo yummy.

    If your crock pot doesn’t have a timer on it, cook the chicken on the weekend or at night. That way it’ll be ready and waiting for yummy chicken tacos any night of the week. Tacos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using this chicken, though. Try it on top of nachos, or in salads, burritos, or southwest egg scrambles! (Random…)

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    1. Lindsey 09.27.2012


    2. Sarah 09.27.2012

      These look so delicious and easy!

    3. Beth W. 09.27.2012

      I just made these chicken tacos for a taco bar for my sister-in-law’s baby shower (didn’t bake them though)! YUMMY! I have some leftover meat that I froze and now I’m going to have to try to bake them with the cheese and make the rice! Such an easy recipe! Can’t wait to try the rice!

    4. Melissa 09.27.2012

      You are so stinkin’ cute in your cooking segments–love that recipe, too! :)

    5. KristinP 09.27.2012

      I didn’t realize you were also a Kristin P! No wonder I like your recipes so much! I certainly hope my screen name didn’t come across as something bizarre and stalker-like :-)

    6. those look deee-licious. wish i was closer to des moines to join in on the panera fun :)

    7. Lauren 09.27.2012

      Well a big thank you for dinner this weekend! My these look outstanding!
      And congrats on the news segment! You’re such a natural. ;)

    8. Pamela 09.27.2012

      Wish I would have seen this before I went to the grocery store. I’ll pick up some salsa tomorrow, thank you!

    9. jennyv 09.27.2012

      We call this recipe simply, ‘Salsa Chicken’ in our house — definitely a staple! I always do a homemade taco seasoning and we go with the Trader Joe’s Salsa Authentica b/c it’s so darn cheep and it has a nice spice to it! Tacos one night, burrito bowls the next! :)

    10. I LOVE making shredded chicken in the Crockpot! I usually cook mine with beer, tomatoes & peppers, and taco seasoning. Soo good. I love the melted cheese on those tacos!

    11. Kelley 09.27.2012

      Think this would work with pork? My hubs is allergic to chicken.

      • Iowa Girl Eats 09.29.2012

        Oh for sure! Maybe some pork butt or shoulder. Might take an hour or two more because it has more fat to break down.

    12. Brittney 09.27.2012

      I would probably have a you with Morimoto-like experience if I ever met you, but alas, I have Farrell’s at that time & a wedding dress to fit into!

      • Cathy 09.27.2012

        Yes I would too.. I recognized Morimoto on the CHEW the other day, celebrating their book release. He made a Sushi cake. All I could think of was IGE :)

    13. Yet another reason why I need to invest in a crockpot!

    14. Cori 09.27.2012

      No matter how cook chicken, I can NEVER get it to shred. What’s your secret?!!

      • Iowa Girl Eats 09.29.2012

        I find if I cook it too long it gets tough (because there’s no fat.) 4 hours on low for 2lbs is always a winner for me!

    15. Aggie 09.27.2012

      I need recipes like these in a bad way right now!! Thanks for sharing…and the rice too! Good stuff!

    16. Jim Simmons 09.27.2012

      will have to try this one for sure. i like the few ingredient meals.

    17. Tricia H 09.27.2012

      Love the tip to heat the shells with the cheese! Looking forward to trying your rice recipe too!

    18. Jamie 09.27.2012

      I’ve made this for a while with your taco seasoning recipe, a can of black beans and frozen corn. I put the shredded chicken back in the juice in the crock pot for about 30 min before serving. Freezes great.

      • jamie 09.28.2012

        Forgot to add that my recipe also uses lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro.

    19. Rachel 09.27.2012

      Count me in on seeing you at Panera! So excited to meet you!

    20. Melanie 09.27.2012

      Would love to meet you at Paneea!

    21. Kristen 09.27.2012

      This recipe is worth purchasing a crock pot this weekend…sounds so yummy!

    22. Aimee 09.27.2012

      Free Panera and IGE, count me in! :)

    23. Lauren T 09.27.2012

      I like how the KCCI cast was sneaking fries… Haha I wish I lived in Iowa. I would come visit you at Panera. Maybe one of these days you will make it down to KY again :)

    24. Christy 09.27.2012

      I’ll be at panera!

    25. Erin 09.27.2012

      That sounds great! I”ll be there.

    26. Rachel 09.27.2012

      My friend wants to come too!

    27. Prairie Bee 09.27.2012

      Any chance Panera will put you on a traveling circuit? Come up to Minnesota and I’ll come find you! :)

    28. I’m so making these tacos for dinner this weekend. They look scrumptious! As always, your pictures are fabulous. I wish I could come to the “meet and greet”, have fun, and have an extra ribbon bagel in honor of me. :-)

    29. Diana 09.27.2012

      Thank you for sharing this recipe! I think it might be the first one I will make! Eek! ;)

    30. Brenda 09.28.2012

      Would love to come see you at Panera! Are Little Ones welcome? If so, count me as one and a half!

    31. Ahh why is Iowa so far from me??? Can you have a Panera meet & greet in D.C. pleaseee???

    32. Jessica C. 09.28.2012

      Yay! I will be at Panera (and my mom may come too!)

    33. Lara 09.28.2012

      Sad that Iowa so far from California – I love Panera and love Iowa Girl Eats even more! I’ve printed so many of your recipes, they need their own binder.
      I know I’ve commented this before but you are a great food photographer – even down to the little details, your photos are amazing! Thanks!!

    34. Kalamity Kelli 09.28.2012

      Several years ago I was at the dentist office and found a recipe for Taco Chicken. I read it as chicken and Taco seasoning – in the crock pot. So I made it. Can you imagine how that tasted? It was bad. Even the dog turned his nose up. It’s been a family joke ever since. I always knew there was another ingredient – It was Salsa! Thank you so much. I want to redeem myself so I have pinned it and will fix it soon! Thanks.

    35. Lisa 09.28.2012

      I am pinning these to my Pinterest board. Can’t wait to try! Here in Texas we eat lots of Mexican food :-)
      Great job on the TV segment with the Harvest Turkey Burgers…they look great too.
      I’m the one who commented on your twitter about the Kale salad. I have that saved to try as well… Just bought the Kale at the store. And yes, it does taste bitter, but I assume it won’t in the salad. I just had to tell you the produce man, who said he has been a produce manager for over 25 years said they sell so much Kale now, all because of Dr. Oz! (and what the produce guy says is propaganda…LOL I’ve read how healthy it is…so I’m gonna believe it and give the salad a try. I love salad! Love your blog/recipes…and now because of this TV segment I just watched, I have a voice to go with you, your personality and humor. Good job!

    36. dawn h 09.28.2012

      i think these look awesome and can’t wait to try them! also wish i was closer to des moines to join you. keep those awesome recipes coming!!!

    37. Courtney 09.28.2012

      Wish I still lived in Iowa so I could come to Panera! Your video on KCCI is awesome and that recipe looks AMAZING. Each segment you do keeps getting better and better! You go girl!

    38. Meredith 09.28.2012

      Count me (and a friend) in for Panera! Yay!

    39. I will be there at Panera! Excited to meet you!!! :)

    40. If my schedule stays free, I’ll be at Panera!

    41. Natalie 09.28.2012

      Count me in! I’ll probably bring my sister as well!!

    42. Mollie 09.28.2012

      Count me in for 2!

    43. I love this recipe! The video segment was great, and pretty much all of your recipes are amazing!! :)

    44. Becah 09.28.2012

      When you pop them in the oven, if you want them to stand up straight, just prop them in a muffin pan turned upside down. That way you wont lose any chicken/cheesy goodness!

    45. Life's a Bowl 09.28.2012

      Oh em gee, we made a veryyy similar recipe to these last night for my birthday dinner and it was DELIC!!! I love simple meals and Mexican :D

    46. Mindy 09.28.2012

      Count me in for Panera! Made your Autumn Salad tonight for supper – soooo incredibly good! Will definitely be making that over & over again. Thanks!

    47. Melody Laake 09.28.2012

      2 for Panera!

    48. Chelsey 09.29.2012

      I’ll be at panera and my friend will too!!

    49. Melissa 09.29.2012

      Making your chicken crock pot recipe RIGHT NOW! I’ve tried so many different shredded chicken crock pot recipes on the internet, but none that are like yours, so I’m giving it a whirl!

    50. Erin 09.29.2012

      Count me in for Panera. Love your blog!

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