Easy Mexican Shredded Chicken


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Once a week I do a major kitchen day. I go to the market, load up on everything I think we might need for the week and then get to work. More times than not, it consist of different grains like farro, quinoa and/or rice, roasted veggies and a few kinds of protein that he can then mix and match throughout the week like this easy Mexican Shredded Chicken. Watch the video and prepare to be amazed!

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!

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)

Easy Shredded Chicken

4.5 from 2 votes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican, Tex Mex, Southwestern
Servings 4 Servings


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup Chipotle Salsa


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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Heather Christo

    This is the greatest basic ever. I feel like I could leave this in the fridge and use it for so many different weeknight dishes!

  2. Suzanne

    My Instant pot doesn’t have a poultry setting. What is the manual cooking time?

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  4. Becky

    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!

    • Gaby

      1 cup of whatever kind of salsa you prefer! xoxo

  5. denise

    I have a 3 quart instant pot that does not have the poultry setting.
    How should I cook this recipe?

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  7. jennifer

    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?

    • Gaby

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

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  11. Shannon

    Would the cooking time change if I used chicken breasts instead? Excited to try this!!

  12. Stephanie Walker

    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!

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  14. JW

    5 stars
    Love this recipe, it’s quickly become a staple. I make it to keep in the fridge for bowls or salads.

  15. kazy

    What is Gabby’s Cooking Salsa? You list it as an ingredient for the recipe, but where’s the recipe for it?

    • Gaby

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

  16. Ania

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

  17. Sierrazulu

    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!