Slow Cooker Shredded Chile Chicken

shredded chile chicken in bowl with forks

5 from 11 reviews

Deliciously tender and flavorful shredded chicken seasoned with green chiles, chili powder, cumin and garlic. Perfect for easy meal prep lunches!


Units Scale
  • 2 pounds (.9 kg) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 ounces (227 g) canned diced green chiles (mild or hot)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup (16 g) chopped cilantro, or more to taste (optional)


  1. Cut chicken breasts into large chunks (approximately into thirds for small chicken breasts and quarters for large chicken breasts).
  2. Add chicken pieces to the bottom of a 6 quart (5.6 L) slow cooker. (See note 1.) Add the kosher salt, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin on top. Use tongs to stir the chicken and spices until all of the spices have evenly coated the chicken. 
  3. Evenly distribute the spiced-covered chicken pieces into one layer in the bottom of the slow cooker. (Chicken pieces should not be piled on top of each other.) Pour the green chiles, including the liquid from the can, evenly over the chicken.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the chicken pieces reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). (See note 2.)
  5. Remove the chicken and chiles from the crock pot with a slotted spoon and place in a medium bowl. (See note 3.) Do not discard the cooking liquid in the crock pot!
  6. If needed, let the chicken cool down for a minute or two, until it's cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, chop the cilantro and cut the lime in half.
  7. Shred the chicken with clean hands or two forks. Squeeze the lime juice into the bowl and add in the cilantro. Mix in as much liquid from the crock pot as you like to moisten the chicken to your personal taste. 
  8. Taste the chicken and add more cooking liquid, kosher salt, cilantro, or lime juice if desired.


  • It's important to use a larger crock pot/slow cooker that allows you to spread the chicken in one even layer in the bottom of the crock pot. That way, each piece will have contact with the heating element at the bottom of the pot. If your chicken is piled together, there is a risk some spots won't get cooked enough.
  • Since each slow cooker/crock pot is a little different, the exact cooking time may vary. Check the internal temperature of the chicken pieces after 2 1/2 hours; if they haven't yet reached 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), replace the lid and check again in 30 minute increments until the chicken reaches a minimum of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Avoid lifting the lid repeatedly however, because this will allow heat to escape, slowing down the cooking process.
  • If you don't mind having some extra liquid in the final dish, you can save time on prep and just shred the chicken inside the slow cooker. 
  • The chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 - 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 - 4 months. For fresher flavor when freezing, you can omit the cilantro beforehand, and instead mix it in right before you enjoy the reheated chicken.
  • The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full disclosure policy.


Keywords: slow cooker shredded chicken, crock pot shredded chicken