Crockpot Shredded Chipotle Chicken

This spicy shredded chipotle chicken cooks in a crockpot for easy big batch meal prep! You can use it for sandwiches, tacos, salads, and more.

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We love a good, easy, hands-off recipe like this crockpot shredded chipotle chicken! There’s nothing better than a big batch protein you can use for virtually any meal – from sandwiches and wraps to tacos, burrito bowls, and salads – especially when it basically cooks itself. Made in a slow cooker, this spicy, saucy chicken recipe is perfect for meal prep.

A serving dish of shredded crockpot chipotle chicken

Shredded Chipotle Chicken Recipe Ingredients

Our crockpot shredded chipotle chicken recipe is fairly straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need to make chipotle chicken at home:

  • Chicken breast
  • Vegetable oil
  • Chipotles in adobo
  • Fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • White onion
  • Diced green chiles
  • Lime juice
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Chipotle powder

We recommend using fresh chicken breast for this recipe, not frozen. Since this shredded chipotle chicken cooks in the slow cooker, any juices or excess liquid from the chicken makes its way into the sauce. We’ve found that with frozen chicken, the sauce becomes too watery during cooking – even if you defrost the chicken ahead of time – and the chicken loses some of its tenderness.

The fire roasted crushed tomatoes give our chipotle chicken an extra spicy kick. If you want to cut down on the heat in this recipe, opt for regular crushed tomatoes instead.

Shredded chipotle chicken in a serving dish

How To Make Crockpot Chipotle Chicken

Slow cooker recipes are the best because you can easily make a big batch of food with very little effort. All you need to make our shredded chipotle chicken is a blender, a large crock pot (5-qt or bigger), and about 10 minutes of hands-on time. 

Here’s how to make chipotle chicken in a crock pot:

  1. Remove the canned chipotles from the adobo sauce and roughly chop them. Then, add them to a blender along with the rest of the adobo sauce.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, onion, diced green chiles, lime juice, garlic, salt, and chipotle powder to the blender. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Next, add a thin layer of vegetable oil to the slow cooker (aim for about an eighth-inch of oil). Lay the chicken breast flat on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  4. Pour the sauce from the blender over the chicken. Cover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for about 4 hours, or until the chicken is tender.
  5. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred with two forks. Return the shredded meat to the crockpot, stirring it back into the sauce until combined.
  6. Keep warm until ready to serve, or let cool and store in the fridge for later.

It’s important to chop the chipotles before adding them to the blender – they have tough skin and most blenders don’t do a great job of breaking them up. We like to chop them crosswise so that they’re roughly diced.

Crockpot temperatures vary, so keep an eye on your chicken the first time you make this recipe. We highly recommend having a digital meat thermometer like this one handy so you can easily check if the chicken is done cooking.

Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Serving Suggestions

There are so many ways you can serve this shredded chipotle chicken throughout the week:

  • Make chipotle chicken sandwiches or wraps with pepper jack cheese and red onion
  • Use it in our chipotle chicken melt panini recipe
  • Add it to a salad for extra protein
  • Serve it in a burrito bowl with rice, beans, peppers, and tomatoes
  • Enjoy it over brown rice for a healthy high-protein lunch
  • Make chipotle chicken tacos with refried black beans and guacamole
  • Add it to these loaded sheet pan nachos for a fun game day snack
  • Use it to make a restaurant style quesadilla with cheese, peppers, and onions
Shredded chipotle chicken made in a slow cooker

Storing & Reheating Shredded Chipotle Chicken

This big batch recipe is perfect for Sunday meal prep – you can make a ton of shredded chipotle chicken and store it away for easy reheating throughout the week.

Store shredded chipotle chicken in the sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat single servings in the microwave for about 1 minute, stirring halfway through, or in a frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

This saucy chipotle chicken also tastes great cold! Add it to a sub roll or multigrain bread with cheese and red onion for a delicious, easy chipotle chicken sandwich you can take on the go.

Try our recipe for crockpot shredded chipotle chicken and let us know what you think by leaving a rating and a comment. If you love this recipe, check out our other easy slow cooker meals here!


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Crockpot Shredded Chipotle Chicken

This spicy shredded chipotle chicken cooks in a crockpot for easy big batch meal prep! You can use it for sandwiches, tacos, salads, and more.
Servings 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 7 oz canned chipotles in adobo
  • 14.5 oz canned fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium white onion quartered
  • 4 oz canned diced green chiles
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 lb chicken breast

Instructions

  • First, remove the chipotles from the adobo sauce and roughly dice them. Then, add them to the blender with the adobo sauce.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, onion, green chiles, lime juice, garlic, salt, and chipotle powder to the blender. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Next, add a thin layer of vegetable oil to the crockpot (aim for about an eighth-inch of oil). Lay the chicken breast flat in the bottom of the crockpot in the oil, then pour the sauce from the blender over the chicken.
  • Cover the crockpot and cook on HIGH for about 4 hours, or until the chicken is tender.
  • Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred with two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the crockpot, stirring it back into the sauce until combined.
  • Keep warm until ready to serve, or let cool and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

Chipotles in adobo: It’s important to dice the chipotles before they go into the blender – they have tough skins and most blenders don’t do a great job of breaking them up. Just make sure to keep all the delicious adobo sauce from the can and add it to the blender along with the peppers after you chop them!
Cooking chicken: We highly recommend having a digital meat thermometer around to accurately tell when the chicken is done cooking. Crockpot temperatures vary, so keep an eye on the chicken the first time you make this recipe as the cook time may vary.
Serving suggestions: You can use this shredded chipotle chicken in so many ways! Make sandwiches or wraps, add it to a salad, burrito bowl, or quesadilla, use it for chipotle chicken tacos – you name it. Check out our blog post above for more suggestions, and let us know your favorite ways to use it in the comments!
Storing & reheating: Store shredded chipotle chicken in the sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat single servings in the microwave for about 1 minute, stirring halfway through, or in a frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Or, use it cold on a sandwich!
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Author: Nicole
Calories: 187kcal
Course: Dinner, Ingredients, Lunch
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: big batch, chicken breast, chipotle powder, chipotles in adobo, crockpot, fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, green chiles, lime juice, meal prep, slow cooker, vegetable oil, white onion

Nutrition

Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 549mg | Potassium: 612mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 202IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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