Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Southwestern Shredded Chicken

Trying *real hard* to get back to Slow Cooker Sundays this summer…

To get back into the swing of things, I’m starting off with a southwestern-style shredded chicken dish.  This was a relatively quick dish to prepare before throwing into the slow cooker…just a little chopping and you’re good to go.  A little more work goes into the meal when there’s about 40 minutes left on the slow cooker’s timer.  At this point, you need to make some rice, remove the chicken from the slow cooker, shred it, and dump it back in.  Then, shred up some cheese and quickly chop some toppings.

*highly recommend* using fresh toppings.  It really brightens and freshens the flavors up!

  • Start by pouring about 1.5 cups of chicken broth into your slow cooker.  (As you can see, I used 2 cups, but thought my end result was a little too liquidy, so I recommend just using 1.5 cups.)
  • Next, open and add some key ingredients: frozen corn, black beans, and fire-roasted diced tomatoes.  (Next time, I will go with a can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Chiles for some heat.  Or I’ll just add a small can of chiles…)
  • Chop up half a bunch of scallions and add them to the slow cooker.
  • Chop up about a 1/2 of cup of cilantro and sprinkle it in with the rest of the veggies.  (A rough chop is just fine.)

  • Stir to combine everything.

Next, season the veggie mixture…

  • Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
  • Add 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • Finally, add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  • Stir to mix all ingredients.

The last part is the chicken…

  • Season about 1.75 pounds of chicken breast with s&p and place it on top of the vegetables.  (Here’s a hint: Season one side, and place that side down in the slow cooker.  Then, just season the top.)

  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours or high for 5 (like me…I always intend to get my slow cooker on early in the morning and go low and slow, but that just never seems to happen!).

When there is about 40 minutes left on the slow cooker, start making some rice.  I used Zatarain’s Yellow Rice (and could not stop hearing the commercial sing “Zatarain’s!” in my head all night long!).  When there is about 30 minutes left on the time, remove the  chicken from the slow cooker.  (Put the cover back on immediately.)

  • Place the chicken in a large bowl and shred using two forks.
  • Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker.  Stir to coat it in the sauce.
  • Recover and let cook for the remaining time on the slow cooker.
  • While you’re waiting, shred up some cheddar cheese.  (You can buy the pre-shredded bag, but we all know ultimately it’s cheaper to shred your own!)
  • Chop up the remaining 1/2 bunch of scallions and a little more cilantro.

Your toppings bar is now ready to go:

Hopefully you’re timing is right (luckily, mine was) and the rice should be ready just as the slow cooker goes off.

To serve, start with some rice on the bottom of your plate:

Top with the shredded chicken mixture…

Add however many toppings you’d like and enjoy!


I'm a middle school math teacher by day and a total food enthusiast by night.

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