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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)

berenise: Your crockpot size shouldn't matter. Hope it turns out great!

07.18.2012 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

I prepared this tonight and it was delicious! It is permanently in my recipe book. Thank you!

So good and full of flavor!! The best part, so simple to make!

07.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara

My peeps and I at work make something to take in for lunch every other weekend. I have this in my crock pot for tomorrow.....Can't wait to try this and share with the girls!.....

07.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlene

Have it in the crockpot right now. The house is filling up with this wonderful aroma. Can't wait to try

08.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatty lamb

Loved this post! I combined your recipe with another one to create a mash-up on my blog =] Thanks for the inspiration!

08.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

What if I only have a 16 oz jar of salsa... Should I add water to the crock pot too?

08.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Hi Rachel...Nah, this is a pretty forgiving recipe. Add what salsa you have and I think that should work just fine!

08.22.2012 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

If you want a variation on this, here's what I do in my small crock pot/slow cooker:

Chop 1/2 onion and 2 cloves garlic set aside
Take three large pieces of chicken and brown them on both sides
Put about 24 oz of canned diced tomatoes
Add a good handful of cilantro
Reserve 1/4 cup of cilantro and the juice of 1 lime ( to be added just before serving)
Add 1/4 cup Raspberry Chipotle sauce (available at Costco, Trader Joes etc--in the aisle with the steak sauces)
Add raspberry chipotle sauce to pot
Add browned chicken and submerge them in the liquid in the pot
Sautéed onions and garlic in regular olive oil (extra virgin and virgin scorch at high temps so don't use them for this)
Add onions and garlic to pot
Season with salt and pepper
Cook the hell out of it and enjoy it when your nose tells you it's done.
The slow cooker should be set on high.

08.23.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea

Thanks for sharing this recipe! I found it on pinterest, and it's become a regular addition to our dinner menu. Sometimes we serve it in tortillas, while other times we eat it on rice. No matter what, it's always delicious. Great blog!!!

08.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDRB

I do the same thing but all I use is a can of diced tomatos and a can of green chillis and pak of taco seansoning and throw that all in a it is the same soooooo tender and awsome!! I use it for taco filling or on a salad!!

08.27.2012 | Unregistered Commenterwendy

Hi! This looks amazing! Making it tonight! Could you cook this on high for less time?

09.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Marie

My daughter got this recipe on Pinterest and made it for a family get to gether last nite! It was FANTASTIC! I cant wait to make it myself! She also made rice with it, added beans, cilantro and lime. She served it with the sour cream and chips as suggested on the recipe. EVERYONE raved about it.

09.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie George

How do get the chicken from staying juicy and not drying out? That's been my problem with the slow cooker lately. :(

09.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKiki

Say I'm running out of time and I would like to speed up the cooking process, would I be able to cook it on medium for 4 hours?

09.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterZina

Hi Zina! I hope I'm not too late, but can definitely cook on medium for 4 hours. Hope it turns out great!

09.18.2012 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

Made this for dinner tonight, it was delicious! I wouldn't change a thing. I decided to make chicken soft tacos with it and when I took the chicken out to shred, it just kept falling apart. Very moist and juicy. So many possibilities with this recipe...chicken nachos, taco salad, enchiladas. Looking forward to making it again. Thanks so much for sharing with us!!!

09.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterShell

Megan, I made this recipe for dinner and my husband loved it. As did I. It was amazing. thanks for sharing this great recipe.

09.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterZina

Great recipe, thanks for sharing!!

09.29.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzy

This was delish! I used leftovers to make soup and OMG, new fav!

10.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Awesome! Absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing!

10.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I work pretty long hours and don't have a programmable crockpot. Generally any crockpot meal I make stays in for 10 hours which can lead to dry ingredients. Any recommendations for stretching the time out on this recipe? Frozen chicken? Additional salsa or water? Hoping to try your recipe this week-it looks amazing!

10.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Hi Jen! Hmm, not sure what to suggest. You can give the frozen a try. Hoping for the best for you! Let me know how it goes..

10.16.2012 | Registered CommenterMegan Porta

Just finished getting this into the crock pot! Can't wait to dig into tonight. Thanks for a super simple recipe :)

10.19.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjonna

I make this all the time and tried it with a small beef chuck roast the other night and made shredded beef tacos. It was AMAZING!

11.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeana

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