This slow cooker chicken tinga cooks low and slow with chipotle peppers, tomatoes, and onions. This shredded chicken tinga recipe is perfect for making chicken tinga tacos!
If you’ve made some of my other Mexican inspired dishes, you know my love for using chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These peppers not only pack some heat, but so much flavor. When I found out that was the primary driver of flavor for chicken tinga, I knew I would love this dish.
Although we are using the crockpot/slow cooker, I take 5 minutes to sauté my sliced onions and garlic. Sautéing the onions give them an extra depth of flavor rather than just a raw onion taste. I toss the garlic in for the last minute until fragrant.
After adding the onions, garlic, and chicken breast, I added fire roasted tomatoes. I love using fire roasted tomatoes over regular tomatoes in this recipe, because the fire roast adds another level of flavor. With the chipotle peppers in adobo, we LOVE spicy so I chopped up 4 peppers, if you only like mild use two chipotles. Add cumin, oregano, pinch of salt, and fresh ground pepper, then use tongs to toss all together.
Set your crockpot/slow cooker on low for 6-7 hours and go about your day! You can cook the chicken on high for 3-4 hours if you’re in a time crunch, but I’ve found that the chicken sometimes gets dry/tougher when cooked on high.
You can’t have chicken tinga without shredded chicken, so time to shred! I simply use two forks to easily shred apart the chicken. I like to do this on the cutting board and then add the chicken back into the sauce afterwards. Since the crockpot is hot, it is challenging to shred it while in the pot.
Once you add the shredded chicken back into the crockpot, give it a good stir to coat all of the chicken. Let it soak in the sauce on the warm setting for a few minutes.
Chicken Tinga Tacos
Chicken tinga is typically served as a taco or tostada. I used a grill pan to grill my corn tortillas, you can also fry them to make them tostadas.
Along with the corn tortillas, I spread refried beans on the bottom, followed by shredded lettuce, then the chicken tinga, avocado, crumbled cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro.
After this recipe, I had left overs and boy did I put them to good use! This slow cooker chicken tinga is so versatile you can also make nachos with them, quesadillas, a burrito/burrito bowl, it’s so great for meal prep.
I hope you enjoy this slow cooker chicken tinga recipe!
Love Mexican inspired dishes? Try these:
- Shredded Chicken Enchiladas
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Shredded Chicken Fajitas
- Mexican Garden Chicken Salad
- Mexican Shredded Chicken
Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 1 ½ lbs
- 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce chopped (see note)
- 14.5 ounces crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Corn tortillas
- Refried beans
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced avocado
- Cotija cheese
- Fresh cilantro chopped
- In a medium skillet, over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and sliced onions. Sauté for 4 minutes until they begin to soften. Add in the minced garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant.
- Add the onions and garlic into a crockpot/slow cooker, followed by the chicken breasts, fire roasted tomatoes, chipotle peppers, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Using tongs, mix ingredients until all combined. Set crockpot on low for 6-7 hours.
- Remove chicken breasts after time is complete and set on a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Add the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and mix with all of the juices.
- You can make tacos with the shredded chicken tinga by grilling the corn tortillas or you can fry them to make tostadas. Then spread refried beans on the tortilla, followed by shredded lettuce, then the chicken tinga, topped with avocado, cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro.
- If you do not like very spicy, only use 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Time crunch? Cook on high setting for 3-4 hours, internal temperature of chicken should be 165 degrees F. I recommend utilizing the low setting and longer cooking time for flavor and texture purposes.
We made this yesterday. So easy and full of depth and spice. The chipotle really makes the difference. Delicious on a cold winter night!
I’m so glad you loved the recipe! I always have a can of chipotles on hand in the pantry 🙂
Does the cooking time change if I use boneless thighs ?
Hi Anne, the cooking time shouldn’t change if they are boneless.
Made this tonight for dinner. AMAZING!!! Could literally eat this every day. Will never use another recipe.
I’m so glad you loved it! Thank you for making it
I was wondering in the top photos you have a carton of chicken stock but I don’t see it in ur recipe notes did I miss something? I just started it in the crockpot so I have time to add it if it’s needed! Can’t wait for dinner tonight looks and smells so good! 😊
Hi heather! That’s an error I’m so sorry, I’ll replace the photo! Thanks for catching that and I hope you enjoy it.
This recipe is my new favorite for Taco Tuesday! It’s super easy to make, I do a quick prep in the morning with my breakfast and let the chicken cook all day when I’m at work. I’ve made it for friends and family and they love it too!