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4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

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4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken | #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 | #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 | #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 | #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 | #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 | #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 | #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. :)

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4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 240 minutes
  • Total Time: 245 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 6-8 servings 1x


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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. *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 |

Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

5-Ingredient Mango Salsa Recipe | #glutenfree #vegan #mexican

5-Ingredient Mango Salsa

Tomatillo Salsa Verde |

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Restaurant-Style Salsa |

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132 comments on “4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken”

  1. 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! :)

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

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

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

  5. Simple dinner recipes like this are my favorite!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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 :)

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

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

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

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

    • I recommend Herdez. They’re one of my favs!

    • Can I make this without a slow cooker? Looks yummy!

    • Sure, you could also make it in a Dutch oven on the stove (or in the oven).

    • Have you ever tried the GOYA brand salsa verde? I have tried all brands and for a store bought brand it cannot be beat. The difference in the taste of the brands vary a lot. Some are bitter others are more acidity. The GOYA brand is excellent. Please try this brand if it is available to you. We use this in our homemade salsa.

  13. Yay Boulevard Beer!

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

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

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

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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!

    • Hi Ginge, the beer is in there mostly for flavor. You can substitute in chicken or vegetable broth if you would rather. Enjoy!

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

  24. 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!

  25. 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!

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

  27. 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

  28. I just made this in my slow cooker and it came out fantastic. Served it with red beans and rice with an avocado salad on the side.  Thank you for this wonderful and simple-to-execute recipe!

  29. I absolutely hate beer, how much chicken broth would you use instead of beer?

  30. Made this last night (10/28/14). Pretty flavorless and that was with jalapenos! Had to doctor it up with more jalapenos and some garlic seasoning.

    • I initially made this exactly as the recipe is written and found it very flavorless. I ended up adding a bunch more seasonings and lime juice. 7-8 hours on low was also way too long. Mine was ready at 4 hours.

  31. Tried this tonight for dinner. The shredded chicken was very good. But no one liked it with the corn tortillas. So, I quickly cooked up some rice and we had it over rice. Much better. Be sure to save the sauce it was cooked in and spoon the sauce over the chicken and rice mixture once plated. Served with green beans.

  32. This looks easy & delicious & I cant wait to try it!


  33. So delicious and easy! Thanks for sharing!

  34. Thank you for not only giving us this simple and delicious recipe, but also some links for go withs and meal inspirations! 


  35. this was ok, but not as flavorful as I expected. Next time I would increase the salsa, sub chicken broth instead of the beer, add more cumin and maybe some cayenne and other spices.

  36. I can’t wait to make this recipe this week! Quick question- can you estimate (in weight) about how much chicken I need? I buy from our local butcher, and those chicken breasts are normally GIGANTIC compared to what I’d find at the regular grocery store!

  37. Hi! Thank you so much for this recipe! It was amazing…. And easy to do! One of my favorite recipes now. My fiancé and I both loved this one. We used a Corona and even though I don’t like that beer, it went with this recipe perfectly. Thank you so much again! 

  38. This is now one my fave things to cook, so simple and so nice even the next day, truly one to keep in mind ☺

  39. I made this last night for my mom and my step-dad. IT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS. I never post comments but I had to on this one! I used this chicken recipe to make tostadas. I layered sour cream, then refried pinto beans, then the delicious mouth watering chicken, topped it off with cilantro, onion, and avocado. IT WAS AMAZING! I highly suggest giving this recipe a try.

  40. I tried this yesterday. It was great! It’s a tasty, gently-flavored chicken… the toppings add the sparkle. I salted the chicken the night before (chef tip I picked up somewhere). I halved the recipe for my little Cuisinart, used 50% dark meat, still used 1 TBSP cumin (which might have been too much, haven’t decided). Two hours on low was plenty for it to be fully cooked, at least with the amount I had. We used the same toppings as the pic, white onion, cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of lime. Served it with lime-cilantro Mexican rice and the mango salsa. My boyfriend and I really enjoyed it, and it was great to have the afternoon free to do other things while the main dish was cooking!

    • That’s awesome, Laura, thanks for sharing! We’re glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed this!

  41. Making this right now while sipping on a nice cold blend margarita. Can’t wait to see how this taste!

  42. I can’t wait to try this! I don’t know why I haven’t tried salsa verde with my slow cooked chicken tacos before! You’d think it would be a given since green sauce is my favorite!!! Love the Boulevard addition as well! Thanks for sharing this awesome post! 

  43. I bought a large package of Chicken breasts on sale – this sounds like a great way to cook them.
    My question is can the shredded chickenn be frozen to use later?

  44. I have been making this for years with just the Salsa Verde (
    Trader Joes my favorite) but never added the beer or chicken broth, never needed the extra liquid. I just throw in frozen chicken breasts, 1 jar of Salsa Verde & cover & cook on high. Comes out great every time. The beer & Cumin additions sound good so will be trying that soon! Thank you for the recipe!

  45. I used this recipe for a small book club/taco night and my friends could not get enough of it! Someone who said they weren’t even hungry when they came in had 3!! Huge success and such tangy, wonderful flavors. I knew half way through my crock pot time when I took a sniff that it was going to be so fantastic- and it was! 

    Thanks, Ali!! <3

    • Thanks Courtney, we’re so happy you and your friends loved it! Also, we LOVE the idea of a book club taco night! :)

  46. Loved your recipe. Certainly will try it this week. Here is one for you. BarBQ burgers: throw in any meat you prefer along with one whole bottle of your favorite BarBQ sauce. Thats it! Put the crock pot on low, before going to work. When you come back dinner is ready! Just serve meat on buns with sides of pickles and chips or cole slaw and your done. More family time! Hope you like this idea and I hope you share it with everyone else. Sorry no photos I am not computer savy. Enjoy!

    • Thank you Helen, we hope you enjoy! Also, thanks for sharing your BarBQ burgers recipe with us, they sound so easy and awesome! :)

  47. The recipe looks amazing!  Would it be possible to make it in a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) instead?

  48. This sounds yummy, but what is the best way to serve it? Is it best in tacos, or something else? I’m trying to think of something other than tacos since we have that a lot ;) 

    • Hey Kelly! Besides serving this in tacos, we love serving it over some quinoa or cilantro lime rice, and making a taco/burrito bowl out of it (with whatever salsas, veggies and toppings you like). We hope you enjoy the recipe!

  49. Can I make this in a Insta Pot pressure cooker? If so, how can the recipe be adjusted?  Thanks!  And WE LIVE on Herdez green salsa!

  50. This was just delicious. Cooked perfectly and was juicy and delicious. I made chicken enchiladas with some of it. I ate it alone, with some sour cream and guacamole. Wonderful flavor!  Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!!