Easy Mexican Shredded Chicken

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I love a meal prep moment and this easy Mexican Shredded Chicken is one of my favorite weekly staples!

Move over pulled pork, there’s a new shredded chicken in town and it’s easy to make! This Mexican shredded chicken is perfect for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or just served on its own with rice and beans. Best of all, it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish! So what are you waiting for?

Mexican Shredded Chicken can be made in a slow cooker or a heavy bottom dutch oven! Both recipes are listed below – but the Dutch Oven takes only 20-30 minutes total so when I’m in a rush, that’s my preferred method. Once it’s done you can use this on just about everything (which, as you know, is one of my favorite perks of certain recipes)

Easy Mexican Shredded Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

I’ll mix this into some cooked quinoa and top it with some guacamole. Or I’ll fold it into some cheese and make chicken enchiladas. It would be equally as delicious tossed with some pasta and veggies. Or even thrown onto a pizza. Basically any way you mix it, it’s going to work. That’s what’s so wonderful about something like this. In less than 30 minutes you’re going to have a perfectly cooked protein that you can use for just about anything!

Easy Mexican Shredded Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

And feel free to use any variety of my salsas! You can mix and match them up and your chicken will just take on the flavor of whatever type of salsa you choose!

Easy Mexican Shredded Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

What is in Mexican Shredded Chicken?

Four ingredients, thats it. Don’t you just love a simple recipe?

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Chipotle Salsa or your favorite store bought salsa

Is Mexican Shredded Chicken Spicy?

The beauty with this recipe is that the spice comes from the salsa you decided to cook the chicken in. If you want to go hot I would suggest a habanero or Jalapeño based salsa. If you want to go mild, I would opt for a chipotle salsa or any mild salsa you can find in the grocery store. I love this one from Trader Joes.

Easy Mexican Shredded Chicken from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Easy Shredded Chicken

4.7 from 3 votes
The easiest Shredded Chicken recipe that works for tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas etc.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican, Tex Mex, Southwestern
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Chipotle Salsa or your favorite store bought salsa

Instructions
 

For a slow cooker (5-6 hours)

  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Add the chicken into a slow cooker along with the olive oil and salsa. Turn to high heat and cook for 5-6 hours until the chicken is falling apart. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken while still in the slow cooker and let it rest in the salsa before serving.

For a Dutch Oven (30 minutes)

  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Place a large skillet with olive oil over high heat and let the oil heat for a moment. Using a pair of tongs, add the chicken to the skillet and sear the chicken on both sides for 3 minutes each so that each side is golden brown.
  • Add the salsas to the skillet and cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid. Reduce the heat to medium and let the chicken cook for 25-30 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, using a pair of tongs, flip the chicken over to the over side and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and using 2 forks, shred the chicken and then use as needed.

For an Instant Pot

  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Turn an instant pot onto the saute setting. Add the olive oil and let the oil heat for a moment. Using a pair of tongs, add the chicken to the instant pot and sear the chicken on both sides for 3 minutes each so that each side is golden brown. Add the salsa on top, close the lid and make sure it’s sealed, and set the instant pot to poultry. Let the chicken cook and remove once the instant pot is done. Shred with 2 forks and serve as needed.

88 Comments

  1. It says one cup salsa but then says add two types of salsa- do I add a 1/2 cup each? 1 cup each, two different kinds? Am I over thinking this?? Thanks!

  2. I would like to make this in advance and freeze and then reheat in a crock pot for a large group? Have you ever done that before with this recipe? Any suggestions?

    1. I haven’t – but that would totally work! Just add some extra salsa to the crock pot before you re-heat

  3. Hi Gaby, I clicked on the “What’s Gaby Cooking Salsa” link and it took me to Williams Sonoma website, but not to a particular product. A quick search on their site shows several Gaby Dalkin products but not salsa. Can you tell me what kind of salsa it is (red, green, taco sauce style, etc) or where it can be purchased? Or, is there a recipe on your webite for it? Thanks!

    1. it’s sold at williams sonoma! my own salsa! but you can use any salsa you prefer as long as it’s not chunky

  4. That looks easy and delicious for a busy upcoming week. If I double the chicken amount would I also double the other ingredients?

  5. 4 stars
    Oh this is such a good one! Works a treat in the Dutch oven, so so very simple and tasty. I used thighs with skin on, then removed the skin at the end just before shredding, so you get that extra taste hit. Two thighs was enough for 4 quesadilla. Thanks, this is now joining the regular rotation!

  6. Just watched your video for Mexican Chicken and going to buy chicken thighs for sure today to make this for dinner. I have to question love your Dutch Oven can you tell me what brand it is? I need to buy a new one and really like yours. The other question what was the name of the sauce in the jar that you added with the chicken?

  7. 5 stars
    Holy cow!!! Used your homemade chipotle salsa recipe that was linked (amazing), cooked it in a deep enameled cast iron skillet and then garnished our tacos with avocado, red cabbage, cotija, picked red onions, and cilantro. Can it wait to make it again. So easy and so good!!!!

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