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2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

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2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken |

Oh good grief.

I have been making slow cooker shredded chicken for years. And I have been making homemade salsa for years and years and years. But it was not until this year that the lightbulb finally decided to click on, I realized that chicken and salsa were a ridiculously obvious match made in crockpot heaven.

Brilliant or obvious? You decide.

Either way, if you love Mexican shredded chicken, this one falls in the must-try category. Why?

It only requires 2 ingredients. It takes less than 2 minutes to prep. And then once your slow cooker has worked its magic, it takes less than 2 minutes to shred. And then this wonderfully seasoned, simple, juicy, flavorful chicken is yours “2” enjoy on countless dishes. (Couldn’t resist.)

Here’s the how “2”. (Ok, somebody help me.)

2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken |

Sorry, I still can’t get over the fact that it took me until I was 30 to think of this. Moving on…

2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken |

To make this salsa chicken, just pop some raw chicken in a slow cooker. (I didn’t want to mess with bones, so went with chicken breasts for easy shredding.)  Then cover it with lots of your favorite salsa. (I used the restaurant-style salsa that I posted yesterday.)  Season it with some extra salt and pepper, give it a stir, and then let your slow cooker do its thing.

2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken |

After about 4 hours (or all day long while you’re at work), pop off that lid, and the chicken should fall apart into shredded, juicy, salsa-y perfection.

2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken |

I popped half of mine into some tortillas along with avocado to make these simple chicken soft tacos. But the salsa chicken would work perfectly on just about any other Mexican chicken dish you can imagine — quesadillas, taquitos, salads, chimichangas, you name it.

2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken |

The key is just to use really good salsa, since the seasonings in the salsa are obviously what will flavor the chicken. Remember, too, that the chicken will release plenty of its own juices during cooking. So don’t be afraid to use some salsa with an extra “kick”, since the intensity of its flavor will get watered down slightly while cooking. I also recommend seasoning the meat with extra salt and pepper before cooking. (And if you like heat, feel free to throw in an extra jalapeno too.)

I mean seriously. Shredded Mexi chicken could not get any easier. You’ve gotta try it.

2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken |

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2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 30 reviews
  • Prep Time: 1 minutes
  • Cook Time: 240 minutes
  • Total Time: 241 minutes
  • Yield: About 6 cups shredded chicken 1x


All you need are 2 simple ingredients to make this slow cooker shredded chicken — good salsa and chicken!


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs total)*
  • 2 cups favorite salsa
  • salt and pepper
  • (optional: fresh lime wedges for serving)


  1. Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker and cover with salsa. Toss until the chicken is covered.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 6-8 hours), or until the chicken shreds easily with a fork. Shred the chicken in the slow cooker and toss with the remaining salsa and juices until well-mixed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. (This chicken also freezes well.)
  3. *You can really use just about any cut of chicken for this recipe. For easy shredding though (so that you don’t have to mess with bones), I recommend boneless chicken breasts or thighs. This should be about 2 lbs of chicken total.

2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken |


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145 comments on “2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken”

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  1. This is absolutely drool worthy, Ali! I need to plan it for dinner soon. :)

  2. Salsa and chicken in the slow cooker is a staple in my house, but I’ve never attempted to make homemade salsa. You’ve officially got my gears turning (and my stomach growling.)

  3. Been making this for quite a while now and have always used store bought jarred salsa. Going to try it with freshly made salsa next time! I bet mango salsa would be good too!

  4. I love 2 ingredient recipes because they r super simple! This chicken looks delicious!

  5. Girl, you are wicked smart. Why didn’t I think of that?

  6. Recipes like this make me wish my husband ate tacos. I could eat this daily!

  7. Yum, I need to make this asap! Do you think you could make a big batch and freeze some?

  8. my idea of amazing dinner and lunch..even breakfast!!!

  9. So simple! Who would have thought? I can’t wait to try it. I might cheat and use a store bought salsa =)

  10. My hubby made this for supper tonight!!!! It was so good!!! Love this recipe. We will be adding this to our list of things we love to eat!!!!!

  11. These tacos look incredible, just what I want for dinner!

  12. Great minds think alike! I have a very similar recipe coming up in a few weeks — but mine has 3 ingredients. ;)

    Love easy recipes like this! I have a few bags in the freezer for those hectic nights…

  13. This is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken in the slow cooker!

  14. Can the chicken be frozen or do you need to thaw first?

  15. This sounds seriously yum! And so easy!
    Glad I stumbled by from Dixya’s page :)

  16. Just made it and loved it. Bliss

  17. I’ve been making this for a long time, but I like to check other people’s interpretations on the recipe and see if I can get some new variations on the theme. I know this is a great way to cook some shredded chicken, but I wanted to weigh in just because of how gorgeous your pictures are. Great photography!

  18. This is a brilliant idea and made a fabulous easy quick meal for the two of us , with left overs for the next day…many thanks…Cat

  19. I made this today and it was SO GOOD. Flavorful and tender chicken with no work. Added to the weekly menu, thanks for sharing!

  20. Made this for dinner tonight and my kids (5&7) devoured it! It is definitely a recipe to keep in regular rotation. Thanks so much for the delicious & easy meal idea!

  21. Holy moly! This is easy enough for me to try! My slow-cooker scares me.. but this sounds too tasty to pass up.

  22. Chicken w Salsa….

    Dinner meal….

    What do i serve this with?

    • If you want to make tacos, I recommend making chicken tacos with corn tortillas, chicken, cilantro and chopped white onion. Then you could serve those with sides like a Mexi salad, veggies, or beans. Enjoy!

  23. Hi Ali,
    Just wanted to let you know that I made both your salsa and this shredded chicken, and both recipes were AWESOME! I used the chicken in burritos, quesadillas and wraps for lunches & dinners. I definitely am keeping this recipe in my regular rotation. Thanks for the delicious recipe… I now have bookmarked many of your others to try!


  24. I followed your guide and used one jar of Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde and one jar of Trader Joe’s corn salsa. Shredded the chicken and used it for tacos with all the fixings. Family and friends raved. They all thought it must have a been a complicated prep. Anything but! Literally threw chicken breasts and two different kinds of salsa in the slow cooker and 4 hours later, the house smelled amazing and we had a delicious meal that could not have been any easier. Thanks so much!

  25. What a great recipe! It’s easy & it looks delicious. I’m definitely going to have to make this SOON! :) 

  26. Also try the  2 ingredients but add condense cream of chicken and some taco seasoning. 4hrs on high . After that shredded the chicken and add some sour cream . Awesome!! 

  27. salt pepper lime cilantro and avocado are all ingredients…

  28. Doing this tonight. See how well it goes.

  29. I have been making this for years and I make this monthly.. i just sprinkle taco seasoning in it also.. and i serve over rice…  perfect everytime.. i have even thrown frozen chicken tenders in and it still cooks perfectly….

  30. I make this but with green (verde) salsa – it is heavenly! Just make sure that the verde salsa you buy has tomatillos as the first ingredient because some use green chilies instead. I’ve made homemade tomatillo salsa and it’s really good with the chicken also. My co-worker made this & I got the recipe from him.

    • Thanks Rhonda, we’re glad you enjoyed it! Thanks also for your tip on the salsa verde, that’s good to know! :)

  31. The chicken looks delicious but flour tortillas? Guess that’s just the standard Americanization of foreign foods. Use corn soft tortillas people for tacos, they’re much much much better. 

    • Hey Nick, we realize corn tortillas are historically more authentic. We used flour because that was our personal preference. Certainly feel free to use corn tortillas if that’s your preference! :)

  32. Clever and so easy!  I just plopped some chicken in the cooker and splashed in some salsa and VOILA, I’m done!  I’m looking forward to tacos tonight.  Thanks for this recipe.

  33. I also sprinkle one package of taco seasoning  on the chicken.  Delicious!

  34. This looks amazing! I don’t have a crockpot unfortunately…do you think I could put it in a pot on low heat? For a few hours? Thanks!

  35.  Two ingredient slow cook chicken salsa 

     I made this recipe over the weekend very  healthy and delicious!  It was so easy to make just like the recipe says just put everything in the crockpot and let it cook. Everybody loved it . 

    Thanks again for the delicious recipes

    • Kathy, we’re so happy to hear you and your family enjoyed this, thanks for giving it a try! :)

  36. Any thoughts on using boneless skinless chicken thighs instead?!

  37. This is a great recipe just by itself. It gets even better to spend a couple of extra minutes to throw in a diced bell pepper (red or yellow), a chopped onion, and a can of black beans (rinsed). In my cooker 6 hours on low is enough – no need to shred the chicken, it will fall apart when you stir it. Although with the extra ingredients it’s a little runny, so I toss in one cup of instant rice the last few minutes. Serve on totillas with some shredded cheddar to make burritos and it’s a family favorite.

    Just curious though – has anyone tried this with beef/steak?

  38. Hello, can I make this with frozen boneless chicken breast? If so, what adjustments should I make to the cooking time ? 

    • Hi Jon! You never want to put frozen items in a slow cooker, especially frozen meats. Doing so creates a really good environment for dangerous bacteria growth, and it will through off the temp of other ingredients in the slow cooker, preventing things from cooking safely and thoroughly. You can certainly use chicken that was previously frozen. Just make sure you thaw properly. We hope this helps, and that you enjoy!

  39. My husband and I eat this all the time. We eat it over homemade Spanish rice (rice, chicken broth, rotel, cumin, and a bit of butter all thrown in a rice cooker). It’s an AMAZING combination!

  40. Thank you for sharing! I’m trying this for the first time today. I never thought of putting salsa and chicken together. 

  41. I made this using corn & black bean salsa & it was awesome!!

  42. What if I don’t have a slow cooker?

    • Hi Emily! You really need a slow cooker for this recipe, but we think the next best thing would be to just shred some rotisserie chicken and mix it with your favorite salsa. It will almost identical to this recipe, the chicken just won’t be quite as moist. We hope this helps!

  43. If I were to use chicken thighs, how many would I need to be the same amount of 4 chicken breasts? Would increasing the amount of meat affect cooking time?


    • Hi Rachel! About 3 chicken thighs would be equal to one chicken breast, so we would say 12 chicken thighs for this recipe. We think the thighs will probably need to be cooked on low for about 6 hours. We hope this helps!

  44. Please try to use more accurate measurements than “4 boneless skinless chicken breasts.” I have no idea why so many recipes do this. Any store you go to and buy such a thing at, you will see that each and every package will have a different weight. I like to use about 1:2 salsa to chicken ratio (ie 2 lbs chicken = 2 cps salsa). It looks like in your recipe it is closer to 1:1. I think this leaves you with a more “soupy” or “saucier” outcome which is okay, but if you use just the right amount you will be left with a perfectly juicy salsa chicken broth/sauce that you can ladle right over your rice without having to strain or anything.

    I think the nuance of this dish if getting the ratio right. I’ve used too much salsa and the juices from the chicken get incorporated into the salsa and lose their flavor, so you end up with a bunch of salsa with salsa-infused chicken resting on top. Good but not optimal. Use too little, and the chicken will actually dry up. This is the worst outcome because a lot of the flavor will evaporate from the dual marination-cooking process and the chicken will taste tough and none too flavorful. Strike the perfect ratio, and you get this irreplaceable mixture of salsa and chicken juices that makes one of the best tasting chicken dishes you’ll experience. Using taco seasoning is common, but I’m a fan of keeping it simple. Make sure you season with salt and pepper DURING THE COOKING PROCESS or your dish will not turn out correctly.

    In any case this is a staple meal for me. Finding the right salsa for the job and the right ratio is what makes it yours. I might even try homemade salsa one of these days.

  45. Kinda new at my crock pot so give me some slack but do I need some liquid at the bottom exp: chicken broth or water or is it good as is

    • No worries Shaula! You shouldn’t need to add any extra liquid than what’s listed in the recipe. Just make sure your crockpot is large enough for the quantities in this recipe. (We used a 6-qt for this one.)