As a work at home mama, I use my slow cooker several times a week. It cuts down on dishes and usually requires less time, while still allowing me to provide great, healthy meals for my family. Bonus points when you can prep the recipe and freeze it ahead of time! My all time favorite slow cooker recipe is salsa chicken. We have it 2-3 times a month! It’s delicious, inexpensive, healthy, gluten & dairy free (depending on your choice of fixings), and everyone in our house will eat it (including my very particular 3 year old). Holla!!!
Delicious, easy, healthy, affordable = meal time success!
The best part of this meal is that you can customize it to your family’s preferences! For example, we used to add one cup of sour cream with the corn and beans, but decided to leave it out after realizing our daughter has a dairy sensitivity. Don’t like black beans? Skip them! Make your own salsa or taco seasoning? Use them! I also recommend trying this recipe with different kinds of salsa, because it tastes completely different depending on the type!
your new favorite slow cooker recipe
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Prep time for Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa is about 10 minutes total, with between 6-8 hours of time in the slow cooker. A delicious meal without spending all day in the kitchen? SIGN ME UP! I have several slow cookers, but my most used one is 3qts and similar to this one.
Start by trimming 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, and add them to the bottom of your slow cooker. We usually buy our chicken in bulk when it’s on sale, trim it, and then separate it into freezer bags in sets of 3. That way, any time we plan a meal that requires chicken, it’s already trimmed. All we have to do is defrost and then it’s ready to go. Once the chicken is in the slow cooker, mix together a 16oz jar of salsa + one pack of taco seasoning. Then pour that mixture over the chicken. I like to make sure that the chicken is covered by the mix, so I use a spatula to spread it out if needed. If you have a large family, you can definitely add more chicken, just be sure to use more salsa, too.
Once you pour the salsa & seasoning mixture over the chicken, put the lid on. Then set your slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. From there, it’s time to shred our chicken (check out this post for the fastest way to shred cooked chicken!). Once you shred the chicken, add it back to the crock. At this point, we usually add a can of corn (drained) and a can of black beans (drained & rinsed). Both of these are totally optional, but they are delicious! They also make the salsa chicken go much further. Stir everything together & put the lid back on. Then turn the slow cooker up to high and cook for another of 15-30 minutes (just enough to heat everything all the way through).
Top off your salsa chicken with your favorite fixins’
Once the beans and corn are warmed up, you get to enjoy the salsa chicken! The first night, we usually serve it as “tacos” in tortilla shells, with a side of rice, or scoop it up with tortilla chips. My husband loves to add a dollop of sour cream and some cheese, while my daughter and I eat it as is. With the leftovers, we usually make quesadillas or bake a couple potatoes and serve it on top. The sky is really the limit and you can customize it to fit your own preferences.
salsa chicken is easy and affordable
Speaking of leftovers, the number of servings here really varies. When we use 3 chicken breasts, it feeds our family of 3 for 2 dinners and a lunch or two. Adding the beans and corn really stretches the recipe and makes it that much more economical. I estimate that each servings ends up being about $1.25, possibly less if there are good sales on chicken and/or salsa.
salsa chicken is also freezer friendly
The great thing about salsa chicken is that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it. Simply add your trimmed chicken breasts, the salsa, and taco seasoning to a freezer safe container. Then put it in your freezer for up to 6-9 months. When you’re ready to make the salsa chicken, I recommend taking it out of the freezer the night before and putting it in the refrigerator to give it time to defrost. It’s totally fine to put it in the slow cooker frozen. However, depending on the freezer container used, the lid may not go on while it’s frozen in a big chunk. When I make this ahead of time, I usually make a few bags of it at once. That saves me a ton of time!
Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
- 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups Salsa Use your favorite!
- 1 pack taco seasoning
- 1 can corn
- 1 can black beans
- 1. Add chicken breasts to the bottom of the slow cooker (frozen is fine).2. In a small bowl, mix together the salsa and taco seasoning. Pour this mixture over the chicken.3. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.4. Shred the chicken and place back in your slow cooker. Drain the corn, drain and rinse the black beans, and add both to the shredded chicken. Stir everything together.5. Cook on high 15-30 minutes until the corn and beans are heated throughout.6. Serve with your favorite fixings in tortilla shells, over rice, or with tortilla chips.**To make this a freezer meal, add the trimmed chicken breasts, salsa, and taco seasoning to a freezer container. Do NOT include the corn and beans at this step. Keep in the freezer for 6-9 months. Put in the refrigerator the night before you want to make it to allow it to defrost. You can place it in the slow cooker frozen, it just might not fit when it’s solid.
That’s it! If you make this, please leave us a note in the comments telling us how you liked it!