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Slow cooker cilantro lime chicken

My husband and I adore our slow cooker, especially in the winter-time. And guess what? It is winter-time! I had to bust out my fluffy pink driving mittens yesterday morning for the first time since, well, since last May. Last winter was a long, cold one here for us in Minnesota. Hopefully this winter won't be quite so brutal!

To help ease some of the pain involved in facing winter again so soon (it seems), we threw some ingredients into our slow cooker for a comforting, delicious meal. And listen, friends, I have never eaten such tender chicken in my life! I was pretty much able to shred it by just looking at it. And the flavor? Mmmmm, the flavor. Delicious! There is plenty of room to turn up the heat on this recipe, if that's what you prefer, and it's also easy enough to keep it on the mild side. Tailor it to your liking!

In a slow cooker, mix together:

One 24-ounce jar medium or mild salsa

Juice from one lime

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

One 1.25-oz. package taco seasoning

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)

Add 4-6 boneless chicken breast halves (completely defrosted) to the slow cooker and coat with the salsa mixture. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours.

Serve the chicken with the salsa mixture spooned over the top. If you're feeling crazy, throw a dollup of sour cream on top with some crushed tortilla chips.

This is also delicious as a taco filling or in a taco salad. 

Gotta go find my Snuggie!

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

This chicken is my most popular recipe for good reason! It is flavorful, delicious and EASY to make!

Contributed by Megan Porta from

Published Nov 18, 2011

Serves: 1

Total time: 6 hrs 15 min

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
  • 24-oz. jar medium salsa
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1.25-oz. package taco seasoning
  • 2 jalapeños peppers, finely chopped (optional)
  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves, defrosted
  1. In a slow cooker, mix together the salsa, lime juice, cilantro, taco seasoning and jalapenos. Add the chicken and coat with the salsa mixture.
  2. Allow the chicken to cook, covered, in the slow cooker on Low setting for 6 hours. Serve chicken with salsa mixture spooned over top, or shred and use as a taco filling.



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Reader Comments (186)

Can't wait to try this recipe this week! Looks great! PS I love that you do a printer friendly version! Keep up the good work!

12.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Made this last by putting the chicken in soft tacos... Yum! Can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today. Definitely will make this again.

12.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Throwing the ingredients into the crockpot now! Sounds yummy. I don't have fresh jalapeños but my salsa is "hot" so I am sure it will be fine. Planning on serving over rice with a salad! Woohoo, easy, healthy and delicious.

12.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

We weren't crazy about just the chicken with the salsa on top (ate this over rice the first night for dinner.) However, I just had the last 1/2 breast of chicken for my lunch, shredded it, had some of the salsa mixed in with it, put it in a big burrito sized tortilla shell with rice and shredded cheese and nuked for about half minute.) Yum! Wish I had served it this way the first night. I will keep this recipe to use for shredded chicken burrito night---maybe I will make it like a buffet and put bowls of stuff that my fam can choose from. Beans would have been good but didn't have any!

12.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

Great filling for tacos - tender and scrumptious! Thanks!!

12.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Not only is this an incredibly simple recipe--it's an outstanding dish. Made this last night--my hubby made fresh corn tortillas. I HIGHLY recommend this dish. The flavor is amazing!

If I am only making two chicken breasts how long should I cook it on the low temperature setting?

01.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

What would be a good side dish for this recipe?

01.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBri

Hannah: I would cook 2 chicken breasts on low for 4-6 hours.

Bri: Rice is great with this chicken! I also love cooked peppers. It is also great shredded up and used in tacos.


01.5.2012 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

One if not the best internet recipes I have tried. Thanks!

01.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKiki

Found this on pinterest and its in the Crockpot now, I hope I can wait the full 6 hours! It smells delicious!!!!!!!!

01.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie B

I just made this delicious dish!! I loved it - though mine didn't look half as pretty as yours. I posted about it on my blog, gave you credit, and linked back. In case you are interested:


01.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

I made this for dinner last night. I followed the directions perfectly and it turned out AMAZING. One of the best slow cooker recipes I have ever tried. I served the chicken in a warm tortilla with a little cheese. DELICIOUS!!! Thanks!!

01.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan M

Iam trying it right now.It looks so good and smells great cant wait to eat it.

01.11.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbc

Iam making this right now, It smells great,Cant wait to eat.

01.11.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbc

Made this on Sunday and have had it in soft shell tortillas, over salad and over spanish rice. It was SO easy to make and super flavorful. Thanks for the recipe! It will be in regular rotation at my house.

01.11.2012 | Unregistered Commentercarrie

Making this for the second time tonight. My husband absolutely LOVES this recipe. His favorite part is the leftover cooked salsa/sauce it makes. Thank you for posting this recipe!!

01.11.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaitlin

DELISH! We had it tonight and I added black beans and used a 1/2 c lime juice, rather than a lime (didn't have one), and what a great dinner! Put it over some rice, and the flavor was superb!

01.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMel S.

Made this tonight. Even my picky 10 yr old son liked it! Thank you for posting the recipe!

01.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngYKY

Am trying this tonight. looks fantastic! i wrapped a pork tenderloin in applewood bacon....and mixed honey, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sauteed leeks, sauteed fresh garlic, red wine,brown sugar....and cooked all in crock pot ( 2 nights ago) and it worked! was really good. served with baked sweet potato and baked brown sugar apples and a coarse slaw.
thanks for the recipe!

01.15.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjerri blanton

I just made this and it was so delicious! It was a little bit dry, simply because my crock pot is new, so still trying to figure out timing differences from recipes and my unit. But SO yummy! As a side I made quinoa and black beans with Fiesta Lime seasoning and a dollop of plain fat free greek yogurt as a substitute to sour cream!

01.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrianne

I also found this recipe on pinterest, and boy am I glad I did!! I assembled the salsa, cilantro, and jalepenos the night before and let the chicken marinade in the mixture overnight. Then I threw it all in my crock pot yesterday morning and had it for dinner last night. It is SO GOOD. I love that the ingredient measurements don't have to be perfect, and you can just throw it in a crock pot for as long as you want- an extra 3 hours doesn't hurt it at all. I put mine in a warm tortilla with a little bit of cheese, greek yogurt (which is like a mix of sour cream and cream cheese but it manages to actually be healthy), and avocado. It is one dish that I took a bite of and thought, "Did I really make this? It is SO DELICIOUS!" Thanks for sharing!!

01.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

can I use bone IN chicken breasts? thats all I have at the moment.

01.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Tracy, Yes! The bone-in breasts would be great!

01.17.2012 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

We had this for dinner, and it was a wonderful treat - my whole family loved it, even my picky 9 year old! It smelled so good as it was cooking, and as you promised, it shredded beautifully. Served with a green salad and rice - the sauce was great with the rice and on the chicken. I will make it with low sodium taco seasoning next time (and I don't usually avoid salt) - I think this will balance it out a bit. I used Tostitos restaurant style salsa as it is a bit watery but has great flavor - I think the watery base helps when something is cooking for 6 hours. Mixed it with Pace regular salsa to make the 24 ounces of salsa.

Thank you so much for this recipe!

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