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.
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.
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:
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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. :)
This 4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken is simple to make and full of amazing flavor!
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups salsa verde
1 bottle beer*
2 teaspoons cumin
salt and black pepper
(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 and season with a few generous pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper. 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:
I love your recipes. I think you must be local if the beer is anything to go by. : -)
Thank you Tamara, we hope you enjoy this! :) Do you live in KC?
Since chicken breasts come in so many different sizes… About how many pounds do you think you used? It looks like 2.5ish from the photo…
Yummy, will definitely try this one. Storing it preserves the taste well? Planning to weekend make those for during the week.
Thanks Marco, we hope you enjoy! And yes, this holds up well in the fridge after it’s made (for a few days or so).
do you think ginger beer might be a good fit (as substitute) for standard beer?
Hmmm, we love ginger beer, but we haven’t tried it in this recipe and probably wouldn’t, as we think it would be a clash of flavors. We like Negra Modelo and Tecate! We hope you enjoy! :)
Ok probably a stupid question, but kids can eat this right? The alcohol will get cooked out? Does it taste “beery”
Hi Valarie, yes this should be totally fine for your kiddos to eat, as the alcohol in the beer definitely cooks out. We hope you enjoy!
Can you make this recipe with out any Beer and what would be a good substitute for it if needed?
Hi Carolyn, at the bottom of the recipe, we state that you can use chicken broth as a substitute for the beer if you like. We think that would be your best bet if you want to skip the beer. If it’s not because you don’t care for beer, but more of a gluten issue, you can use a gluten-free beer. We hope you enjoy! :)
I have made this time and time again. The most recent time was with pork! I definitely prefer chicken, but it’s absolutely scrumptious. I’m all for simple recipes! I put it on tacos with onion, sour cream, some spicy red salsa, cilantro, and lime. Will definitely be a staple dish in my life, especially for entertaining. Thank you for this WONDERFUL idea!!!
We’re so glad to hear you’re a fan Molly! :D
Love this recipe! I’ve made it wirh a Grapefruit Shandy and a Lemon Shandy and both tasted great. My favorite was the Grapefruit Shandy. Very quick easy and tasty. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for sharing Debbie — we’re happy you enjoyed it, and that grapefruit shandy sounds amazing! :)
How much beer and salsa Verde do I use if I want to use 3-4 chicken breast?
Hey Melissa! So just to clarify, we used three whole breasts for this (we consider it 6 breasts). But if you want to use 3-4 breast halves, then you should do half the recipe. We hope this helps and that you enjoy! :)
I love this recipe. I made it for Christmas tacos a few years ago, and we’re making it for our wedding next weekend (woohoo, taco bar!!) Thanks for being so on point with your recipes ALL THE TIME.
Thank you Stacy — we’re so glad to hear that! :D
Can you use regular salsa by chance. I don’t have any salsa verde on hand!
Yes, you definitely can, in fact, we did a red salsa version as well!
This looks incredible! Verde salsa has always been my favorite and I was just looking for something to put into the crockpot while working tomorrow! I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing! :D
Thanks Angela — we hope you enjoy this! :D
Hi there! I amin love with this recipe… and so is everyone who gets to taste the results! I have never made it with chicken drumsticks , and I was wondering what sort of variations I would have to make to use them. Thanks so much for this delicious dinner idea.
Sure, you’re welcome to use drumsticks for this! Just know that the chicken will get super tender and may fall off the bones during cooking.
This. Recipe. Is. Amazing.
Football sunday. I put it in before the 1pm games started, plan on eating at the halftime of the 4pm games. Used Corona and Trader Joe’s salsa verde. I also throw in a small yellow onion and 1 diced jalepeno for taste. Going to grill up some peppers and portabella mushrooms as sides/toppings.
I just shredded the chicken and put it back in the crock pot on low, but I cant keep picking out little pieces of chicken it’s so good. The meat shredded easily, it basically fell apart when I poked it with a fork. Will definitely be making this reciple again.
Awesome, sounds delicious!!
I made this recipe last night and loved it! I used chicken broth instead of beer and it made it a little richer tasting. Served with black beans and rice and a lot of cilantro…….wonderful dinner! Thanks for sharing!
We’re so glad to hear that, Claiew, and good idea on the black beans, rice and extra cilantro! :)
Just had to say how much I adore this recipe! This is my 3rd time making it. I have never had such melt in your mouth tenderness from boneless, skinless chicken before. I use the Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde, beer, cumin & a chipotle pepper (even more smokiness) I ate it straight out of the pot (low carb) Street tacos for my friends & I froze the meat and the leftover sauce independently to make the best Salsa Verde enchiladas I’ve ever tasted! This time I’m adding vegetables to the leftovers for an easy soup because this sauce it creates is totally awesome.
Thanks for sharing! It is literally the best tasting & easiest recipe ever!!
Yay, I’m so happy to hear that you love it! :)
Made this yesterday and served over brown rice and sauteed peppers and onions. I used Corona beer, and also added some cayenne pepper. Garnished with some fresh cilantro… so good!!
That all sounds fantastic, and we’re so glad to hear you enjoyed it, Jehan!
I’m lost. 6 breasts but you consider it 3. That makes zero sense. Do I go to my butcher at the grocery store and get 3 breasts. Doesn’t look like your photos so I’m guessing it’s 6 breasts. One for each “boob” of the chicken? Ugh. I already started cooking now I have to flash defrosted these 2 extra breasts and add it in
Hi Priscilla — 6 breasts is correct. We apologize for any confusion!
How much chicken broth if you don’t use the beer?
Hi Monica! If you want to use chicken broth instead of beer, then you’ll need 12oz (1 1/2 cups). We hope you enjoy the recipe!
I have made this agin and again and love it. Everyone will eat it, including baby! That never happens at my house. I do have a question. If I was to half this recipe would cook time stay the same or be adjusted? Thanks!
Thanks for sharing, Ashley — we’re so glad it’s a hit in your house! And the cook time should still be about the same. :)
Question! I’m making this tonight and plan on freezing half. How would I go about reheating it, so as to preserve the flavor? Oven, stovetop, microwave? Should I thaw it in the fridge before reheating?
Hi Bonnie! Good question. For best results, we would recommend thawing this in the refrigerator before reheating, and we’d suggest just reheating on the stovetop. We hope you enjoy!
Any thoughts on how I could use the leftovers of this to make a second dinner of white chicken chili?
Totally! I’d just pop the chicken in this recipe — https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/5-ingredient-easy-white-chicken-chili-recipe/ :)
This was so easy and makes THE best chicken tacos!! Definitely a family fav!
I think I make this dish at least once a month. My two picky eater little boys LOVE this recipe for chicken tacos. Its wonderfully easy and very flavorful! I usually use whatever beer we have on hand, and it always tastes great.
I made this yesterday, and i used the chicken bouillon instead of the beer, and it turned out awesome. It had so much broth left that i turned it into a kind of chicken tortilla soup. I shredded about a half of a chicken breast from the salsa verde chicken, and i added a little corn, and cooked star pasta and shredded jack cheese on top. It was amazing!! I will definately make this again, and use the broth for a second meal. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!!
First of all, I love this recipe, as does my whole family! My mom loves it so much, she commissioned me to make it for a large group of people and wants me to double the recipe. Would the cook time still be about the same? I literally make this recipe at least every other week! I love it!
Used boneless skinless chicken thighs , Herdez tomatillo salsa and a bottle of Guinness stout that was on hand. Cumin and a bit of garlic powder. Threw in 3 big whole jalapenos for flavor but they proved to be a bit hot. Even better!! The broth so delicious I served it as soup with some baby spinach in the bowl. Sooo good and so easy! You will want to lick the bowl.
I plan on making this recipe tomorrow! How many ounces of beer did you use?
I LOVE this recipe!! It’s delicious! And ideas how to make it in the instant pot? I’d love to know how to make it faster lol. It’s so good! Thanks for sharing it!
Recipe looks delicious! Definitely going to try it this weekend :)
Hi! I have a question! We get our boneless, skinless chicken breasts from our local grocery butcher… the breasts are either thin cut or REALLY big breasts…so do 6 really big half breasts work? Want to shop tonight! Thank you!
I have a question. Do you think substituting pork loin to shred after slow-cooking would work in this recipe?
I plan on making this tonight! I only have two large chicken breast. Also I have hoppy poppy or colors light, which would be best?
I made this with one package of thighs and one of breast meat. Was delicious! Also added pinto beans. We ate tacos and rice bowls with this, and I even made a yummy bowl of soup one lunch by adding a cup of broth.
I have been making this at least once a month for years – we love it. Do you have a recommendation as to how long to cook it in the instant pot? I thought I would try it in there. Thank you!
This recipe was one of my go to recipes when my kids were still all living at home. Now that it is just my husband and I, it is way to much. Would you be able to help me convert this recipe for 2 servings?
I’ve been making this recipe for several years now. I used to substitute chicken broth for the beer and now I substitute chicken bone broth for the beer. I’ve made it with chicken breasts, chicken thighs and even chicken breast tenderloins. It is delicious every time. I save the sauce from the recipe and make soup. Thank you for a great recipe!