Mexican Shredded Chicken

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This Mexican shredded chicken is my favorite filling for all kinds of Mexican dishes. Just throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker and you will have perfectly shreddable chicken by dinnertime.

Mexican Shredded Chicken in a bowl.

This shredded chicken is my go-to recipe for just about every Mexican dish. I literally make it all the time. It is one of those easy recipes where you can make a ton at once and then use it in different recipes throughout the week. I use it in enchiladas, tacos, burritos, salads, quesadillas, tostadas, nachos, soups, rice bowls, and pretty much any Mexican dish you can imagine. It only takes about 5 minutes of prep time and the slow cooker does the rest. Try it and you will see just how easy and delicious this chicken is.


In addition to the chicken, you will need a variety of seasonings to flavor the chicken as it cooks:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts – If you prefer the added moisture of dark chicken meat, boneless skinless chicken thighs can also be used.
  • Good Seasons Italian Seasons Packet – This seasoning adds so much great flavor. I just use one packet.
  • Dry Ranch mix – One tablespoon is all you need.
  • Paprika – For color and a slight peppery taste. Did you know paprika is ground red pepper? Smoked paprika can also be used.
  • Taco seasoning – This adds a huge amount of flavor, so many spices combine to create the perfect blend of seasoning mix. Because taco seasoning Essential for this chicken recipe!
  • Chili powder – A little bit of chili powder for spice. Made up mostly of cayenne powder, chili powder is moderately spicy with an earthy taste.
  • Cumin- You just need a teaspoon of this lightly sweet, savory spice, perfect for adding depth to many dishes.
  • Minced garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Vegetable oil
Ingredients to make Mexican Shredded Chicken including chicken breasts, chicken broth, oil, ranch seasoning mix, Italian dressing recipe mix, taco seasoning, garlic and additional seasonings.

How to Make Mexican Shredded Chicken

  1. Begin by placing the raw chicken breasts at the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Next, pour the chicken broth and vegetable oil on top, followed by all of the seasonings.
  3. Then, cover with the lid and simmer on high for 3-4 hours.
  4. Using two forks, shred the chicken in the slow cooker.
  5. Finally, cover and simmer a final 45 minutes to allow the shredded chicken to soak in all the juices.
Shredding Mexican Shredded Chicken in a crock pot with forks.

Make it in the Instant Pot

Make your Mexican shredded chicken even faster in the Instant Pot! Follow these simple steps:

  • Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot.
  • Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  • Release the pressure.
  • Using two forks, shred the chicken.
  • If your chicken isn’t shredding easily, add it back to the Instant Pot for an additional 10 minutes
Crock pot with chicken breasts with seasonings and liquid.

Flavor Variations:

Add hot sauce or cayenne to give it more heat.
Stir in chopped cilantro at the end for more flavor.
Cook with adobo sauce for a smoky variation.
Add salsa when cooking for texture and flavor.
Squeeze of lime juice at the end for some zest.

Storage Tips

When refrigerating, be sure to close up tight in Tupperware or a Ziplock. Your leftovers will last 3-4 days, according to the FDA. Include any extra cooking liquid to keep your chicken as moist as possible.

When freezing, place your shredded chicken in a Ziplock back, push all the air out, and don’t forget to label and date the bag. The chicken will last 4-6 months in the freezer, according to the FDA. When you’re ready to enjoy your chicken, place the bag in the fridge to thaw for about 6 hours.

Tongs placing Mexican Shredded Chicken onto a tortilla.

How to Serve Mexican Shredded Chicken

One of my favorite ways to serve Mexican shredded chicken is in a burrito bowl. It is a quick meal and easy to customize. Start with a seasoned rice like cilantro lime rice or Mexican rice, then add black beans or pinto beans before layering on the shredded chicken. Top with guacamole, sour cream, chopped or grilled onion, cheese or queso fresco, pico de gallo or diced tomatoes. Combine your ingredients in any way you wish, just like at Chipotle, and you have a healthy, high protein bowl that fills you up and keeps you full!

As a filling, serve this Mexican shredded chicken in any of the following recipes:

Cafe Rio Salads
Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Tacos
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Chicken Taco Salad

Tongs holding up Mexican Shredded Chicken.

Mexican Shredded Chicken

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Use this perfectly cooked and seasoned Mexican shredded chicken in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, and on top of nachos.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 8


  • Crock Pot (Slow Cooker)



  • Place chicken breasts on the bottom of the slow cooker.
    Crock pot with three chicken breasts.
  • Pour the chicken broth and vegetable oil on top followed by all the seasonings.
    Crock pot with chicken breasts with seasonings and liquid.
  • Cover with lid and simmer on high for 3-4 hours. (Chicken should shred easily)
    Crock Pot of Mexican Shredded Chicken set to High with lid.
  • Remove the lid and shred the chicken as best as you can in the slow cooker using forks.
    Shredding Mexican Shredded Chicken in a crock pot with forks.
  • Cover and simmer for another 45 minutes allowing the chicken to soak up the juices.
    Mexican Shredded Chicken in crockpot with tongs.


This recipe makes about 4 cups of shredded chicken. 
We used refrigerated chicken breasts in this recipe. If you use frozen chicken breasts, be sure to add an additional 1-2 hours of cooking time. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 228kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 33gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 459mgPotassium: 642mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 932IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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