4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

July 25, 2014 by Ali

This 4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken is super easy to make, full of flavor, and can be used in all sorts of recipes.

4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken | gimmesomeoven.com #recipe

I absolutely love food blogging. But I have to confess, there’s one thing about my pre-recipe-developing days that I really miss sometimes about cooking – not measuring stuff.

Before I started sharing recipes with you, I was totally “that cook” who prided herself on rarely pulling out a measuring cup or spoon. Sure, I usually had to do so for baking. But for cooking? I loved tossing in a “glug” of this here, a “pinch” of that there, a “handful” of that here, and a “sprinkle” of that there….you know, “eyeing it”. It’s definitely my favorite way to cook. And arguably, it’s the way that people have cooked for most of history and still continue to cook today in most countries around the world.

But hey, there’s also something to be said for a good, specific, predictable, tried-and-true recipe. So today I thought I’d share one that began as a dump-everything-in-a-crock-pot-and-see-what-happens, and actually turned out so good that I went back afterwards to measure everything in order to share it with you. It’s basically a seriously delicious and easy Mexican shredded chicken recipe made with two of my favorite ingredients — salsa verde and beer.


4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken | gimmesomeoven.com #recipe

I actually made this one for a cooking class I taught a few months ago at my church. I wrote about it on here once before, but basically it was a serious taco-a-thon complete with 3 homemade salsas and 3 homemade fillings.

The salsas included my favorite restaurant-style salsa, tomatillo salsa verde, and 5-ingredient mango salsa. And the fillings included a spontaneous sweet potato and black bean saute and my crispy slow cooker carnitas. And….this chicken.

We only had a little over an hour to cook together, so I prepped the carnitas and chicken in the slow cooker. But I hadn’t planned out how to season the chicken, so I did some experimenting. (Nothing like trying out a recipe on 20 people for the first time.) ;)

Thankfully, it came out even better than I expected! Here are the steps:

4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken | gimmesomeoven.com #recipe

Begin with a bunch of chicken. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but I’d like to try boneless dark meat next time for extra flavor.

4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken | gimmesomeoven.com #recipe

Pour in a bunch of salsa verde, either homemade or store bought. (And if you like spicy food, I would also recommend adding in a jalapeno or two here with the stem removed.)

4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken | gimmesomeoven.com #recipe

Then add in a bottle of beer. I had our local wheat beer on hand, but Modelo Negro or a Corona might be a little more apropos for this recipe.

And then add the step that I didn’t photograph — cumin! You definitely want cumin to help round out the flavor profile and bring in a little of that earthy, peppery goodness.

4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken | gimmesomeoven.com #recipe

Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high heat or 6-8 hours on low heat. Then once the chicken shreds easily with a fork, shred it all up and give it a good toss with those juices that remain.

4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken | gimmesomeoven.com #recipe

And then serve it up however sounds good. I loved this one with just your simple street taco toppings — chopped fresh cilantro and white onion on corn tortillas (which are gluten-free!) . Of course, it’s also all the better when topped with “a few” slices of fresh avocado, a “heaping spoonful” of extra salsa, and a “sprinkle” of some crumbly cheese. Or whatever sounds lovely.

Really, this shredded chicken will taste good with just about anything. So get creative, and give it a try. :)

4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: About 6-8 servings


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups salsa verde
  • 1 bottle beer*
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • (optional: 1 jalapeno, stem removed and diced, leaving the seeds in for extra heat if desired)


Add chicken to the slow cooker. Top with salsa verde and beer, and sprinkle with cumin. Use a pair of tons or a spoon to turn the chicken so that both sides are coated. Cover. Cook for 3-4 hours on high heat, or 7-8 hours on low heat.

The chicken is ready when easily shreds with a fork. Shred the chicken in the slow cooker, and toss with the juices. Then remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and serve warm. Or, store the shredded chicken in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

*If you want to make this gluten-free, you can either use gluten-free beer. Or replace the beer with chicken broth.

Here are some of the other recipes we cooked that night:

Crispy Slow-Cooker Carnitas | gimmesomeoven.com

Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

5-Ingredient Mango Salsa Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com #glutenfree #vegan #mexican

5-Ingredient Mango Salsa

Tomatillo Salsa Verde | gimmesomeoven.com

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Restaurant-Style Salsa | gimmesomeoven.com

filed in Chicken, Entrees, Game day

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

Leave a Reply


45 thoughts on “4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

  1. I found your blog last week when I was looking for an easy recipe to use a jar of homemade salsa verde I got at the farmers market. Lucky me! I made it with chicken breasts and it was great. Then on the weekend we were planning a family birthday brunch. I offered to make more chicken salsa verde with your recipe. My daughter in law suggested we eat it over corn bread waffles with a poached egg. Well, YUM YUM! Word of caution… With the second batch I only had that canned green enchilada sauce and it’s taste was noticeably sub-par — so I called my son to bring some high quality verde sauce. I mixed the two batches together, added the better sauce and the whole thing was very good. Other details: first batch was boneless chicken breasts, second batch was both breasts and thighs. I added onions to both. The beer was Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale. Thank you much! I will make this again!

    - Elaine Anderson

  2. How much chicken broth should I use if I am not using beer? Thanks:)

    - jes

  3. Could I use frozen chicken breasts? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!!

    - Susan

  4. thanks for the receipes for a single guy cooking is a fun thing I like to do……..since I am trying to eat more like the past before processed foods…..I hope you find a good book and a evening to relax. smiles Ken

    - Ken Bush

  5. Just made it and it’s delicious!!! :)

    - Bianka

  6. Love the recipe and I will be making it. However it’s not gluten free if you put beer in it! I’m a Celiac and have found that the only beer I can drink is Heineken. It tests lower than what is legal to be called “gluten free” and doesn’t exacerbate symptoms. Others may need to be more careful. Can’t wait to try it out!

    - Stephanie

  7. Making this right now! I used a Corona Extra, Salsa Verde from Trader Joe’s, organic cumin, cropped up 1/2 an onion, added some garlic powder, salt & pepper & a dash of lime juice. Hoping it turns out great!

    - Nicole

  8. Hi I am trying this tonight and can’t wait, but I only have a crappy Bud Light, will this work?

    - Pamela Gabardi

  9. What is the purpose of the beer? I don’t drink beer- I don’t like the taste and I’m sensitive to gluten but I see this a lot.. Thanks!

    - Ginge

  10. In my slow cooker right now. Can’t wait to eat this. Using Spinach Tortillas and added a ghost pepper chili and mushrooms.

    - Ryan

  11. Just made this tonight. Even easier than it looks and twice as delicious! If anyone who looked at this recipe has hesitated, stop and just make it. It’s great!! Thanks for a recipe I’ll make again and again.

    - Lisa

  12. I made this, but added a block of cream cheese to make it cream – like pollo con crema. was EXCELLENT!!! use boneless thighs and breasts. makes a great filling for chicken enchiladas as well, or even a topping for chicken nachos.

    - olivebranchgal

  13. I made this over the weekend using skinless bone-in chicken thighs. The BF insisted that I let it cook for a full six hours without lifting the lid to check on it, which might have been an hour too long. Still delicious as a taco filling.

    The next day, I skimmed off the chicken off the refrigerated broth and simmered it unless it reduced to a thick sauce. I mixed that with some of the leftover chicken, shredded cheese, cilantro and minced scallions and used that mixture in flautas.

    I’ll be making this again.

    - DPChurch

  14. This sounds perfect to throw in the crockpot Sunday morning before church. Thanks! I only have (hard) cider on hand. Do you think that would be okay or should I buy beer? Thanks!

    - Drea

  15. Crockpot salsa chicken is one of my go-to recipes, but I LOVE the addition of beer! Sounds delicious!

    - Allison @ Lighten Up!

  16. Always looking for ways to use my slow cooker! Looks good!

    - Jenny @ The Peachy Pair

  17. I know NOTHING about beer, so would a Boston Logger work?? I keep that on my pantry shelf for beer bread:)

    - Lacie

  18. Yay Boulevard Beer!

    - Martha in KS

  19. What brand of salsa verde do you recommend if I don’t make it homemade?

    - janine

  20. Measuring takes out all the fun! Great, easy recipe that you can make so many different ways :-)

    - Cara @ Chickadee Runs

    • I’m a nonintuitive cook … measuring ensures that the end result will be fun for me :) I envy you folks who can just improvise!

      - Sadye

  21. I have been wanting to throw a taco and margarita night with my girlfriends and this chicken would be perfect!

    - jenna @ just j.faye

  22. I’m totally that cook too who just puts in “a bit of this” – when I try and write down what I’ve just made I’m like “ermm about a tbsp??” Haha, maybe this is why I ten to stick to sweet stuff on my blog! This looks fab though and it is great to have a good recipe with amounts :)

    - Annie @ Annie's Noms

  23. I love cooking chicken like this in the slow cooker! And my hubby is pleased as punch when he can make tacos, burritos, quesadillas and anything else he wants with that delicious shredded chicken! Such a simple recipe that can tweaked to suit anyone’s taste. And I too cook by eye with a dash of this and a splash of that! Then something turns out amazing and you hope you can remember everything you threw in there while trying to write it down so you make it again!

    - Pamela Heady

  24. I LOVE cooking without measuring, too! It always feel so fun and free.
    Definitely pinning this recipe – I’ve been looking for more slow cooker recipes and this one sounds delicious!

    - Kristin @ Tastefully Gluten Free

  25. I’m jealous of your Boulevard Wheat Beer! It’s my favorite. I live in Tennessee (I’m from Iowa) and we can’t get it here. I love salsa verde chicken and this recipe looks quick and easy, I can’t wait to try it.

    - BeccaV

  26. Simple dinner recipes like this are my favorite!

    - Cookbook Queen

  27. You always amaze me with your minimal ingredient recipes. Always so simple BUT so tasty!

    - Tieghan

  28. These photos are seriously gorgeous! I don’t use my slow cooker nearly enough!

    - Sues

  29. Slow cooker recipes are just what this busy mom needs. I love when a simple recipe surprises me like this one!

    - Maryea {happy healthy mama}

  30. I was TOTALLY the same way before. I still have to make sure that I remember to measure and write down ingredients when I am developing a recipe.
    Having said that, I really need to use my crockpot more…especially since I have 3. Why? I don’t know. You are the queen of easy meal Ali! Pinned! :)

    - Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness