family style slow cooker chicken tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Tacos

  • Author: Amy Palanjian
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 7-8 hours
  • Total Time: 7 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican


The combination of vegetables listed below delivers really nice flavor and consistency to the sauce, but if you want to simplify, you can just use 2 of the options. This recipe was updated in September 2019 to add an Instant Pot option.


  • 2 cups diced veggies such as onion, carrot, red/yellow/orange bell pepper, and/or sweet potato
  • 3/4 cup mild salsa
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound chicken thighs
  • 2 cups (or one 14.5 ounce can) garbanzo, black, or pinto beans
  • 8 small corn or flour tortillas
  • Cheese, salsa, guacamole, avocado for serving


  1. Add the vegetables, salsa, cumin, and salt to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  2. Spread the chicken thighs over the top in a single layer.
  3. In the slow cooker: Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours in the slow cooker.
    In the Instant Pot: Add 1/4 water to the vegetable mixture. Seal and cook on HIGH for 8 minutes, naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes, then quick release.
  4. Remove chicken, set aside on a plate, and shred with 2 forks.
  5. Puree the vegetable mixture with an immersion blender or by transferring to a regular blender.
  6. Return to the slow cooker with the chicken. Add the beans and stir to combine. Cover and let sit on warm until ready to serve.
  7. Serve with tortillas and any taco toppings your family likes.


Use a mild salsa you like the flavor of. (You can use a medium spice one if your kids like spiciness more!)

Place the chicken in an even layer.

Use chicken tenders instead of chicken thighs if you’d like.

Try pinto beans, chickpeas, or black beans depending on what your family likes.

Serve the chicken mixture over rice for an easy take on burrito bowls.

Serve with tortillas, shredded cheese, and any other taco toppings you like.

Serve deconstructed with the taco ingredients side by side for younger toddlers who may not be able to hold and eat a taco just yet.

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