Slow Cooker Recipe: Chicken Taco Salad

We have a few standby menus that we like to serve to guests, and Taco Salad sits right at the top of that list — taco salad is like the easiest thing to serve ever! Just lay all the toppings out on the table and let guests build their own. This is particularly great if you’re accommodating special diets. Vegetarians skip the chicken. Dairy-free eaters skip the cheese. Everything is naturally gluten-free. Everyone finds something they can eat.

For this recipe we’ve used chicken thighs, which are really great for long, slow cooking because they are more flavorful and tender. It’s a snap to put together too. Just put everything into the slow cooker/crock pot (or Dutch oven — that’s what we use!) and forget about it for a few hours.

Beyond that, the only other prep work is shredding the lettuce and getting the other toppings ready. It may not be a true 30-minute meal in that it cooks for several hours, but it sure comes together in a flash. I love those kinds of meals!

Let’s get cooking.

Slow Cooker Recipe: Chicken Taco Salad   |   Design Mom  #crockpot
Slow Cooker Recipe: Chicken Taco Salad   |   Design Mom  #crockpot
Slow Cooker Recipe: Chicken Taco Salad   |   Design Mom  #crockpot

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Salad Recipe


2. 5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
10 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
4 ounce can diced green chiles
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 head Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced (or 1 bag salad mix)
18 ounce bag tortilla chips

black beans
diced tomatoes
sour cream
fresh salsa
queso fresco (or another cheese)
lime wedges

For chicken – Place chicken thighs into a slow cooker or Dutch oven. Add the tomatoes and green chiles. Sprinkle the salt evenly over everything. Let cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or HIGH for 3-3.5 hours. If using a Dutch oven, cover with lid and place in a 300-325° F oven for about 3-4 hours, or until chicken is tender and shreds easily.

To serve – Layer 1 handful of tortilla chips in a shallow bowl. Top with some shredded lettuce and desired toppings. Serve immediately.

Makes 10-12 servings.

*Note – if using frozen chicken thighs, add an extra half hour to the cooking time.

Photos and styling by Lindsey of Café Johnsonia.

8 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Recipe: Chicken Taco Salad”

  1. This makes me hungry and makes me want to throw a party. Cooking meat is not something I’m great at, so thanks, too, for the timing & tips. Sounds delicious! xox

  2. Such an easy idea! I’ve been cooking chicken thighs in orange juice and simple spices (oregano, cumin, a touch of chipotle powder) in the slow cooker and it’s been coming out well – worth trying too!

  3. I needed this recipe…thank you for sharing! I was put in charge of a dinner for a family reunion in Bend, Or. I was feeling completely uninspired. Thanks to this post, I know what to make.

  4. I made this and it was so delicious! Thanks for the inspiration for chicken thighs, I never know what to do with meat because I was a vegetarian for years. I’m making the orange juice/cumin/oregano recipe today!

  5. It’s in the crockpot now and smells so good! Thanks so much for sharing recipes! It’s great finding simple, healthy ways to feed my family.

  6. Pingback: Slow Cooker Recipe: Chicken Taco Salad | Camano Community

  7. I followed your recipe to make the chicken in our dutch oven, and it turned out beautifully! Definitely a new standard method in our house. We then turned it into a pile of frozen burritos for quick lunches. I’m loving this series!

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