Oct 10, 2013

Embarrassingly Easy Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Thighs


EASY 2 ingredient crock pot chicken

This is the EASIEST slow cooker recipe EVER! Just TWO ingredients: salsa and chicken plus some spices makes a delicious juicy chicken that can be used in tacos, over rice, over salad and more!

After coming back from a long weekend away in Park City, Utah and no real plans for dinner, I was desperate for something quick and easy. Scouring my fridge and pantry I had some boneless skinless chicken thighs and some chunky salsa, so I threw them in my crock pot along with some spices and crossed my fingers.


What emerged was a delicious, juicy chicken which shredded wonderfully after a few hours of slow simmering – and bonus my husband and daughter enjoyed it!

Last night we had them as tacos with all the fixins, and for my youngest, I served hers over rice. Today I was in the mood for a salad bowl like I often get at Chipotles and simply added some tomatoes, corn, shredded cheese and avocado and it was wonderful. This filling can be used so many ways, and it's too easy not to try. If you make it with chicken breast, you can reduce the cook time to about 2 to 3 hours on low. Use it however you like, tacos, salad, enchilada filling, anything I haven't thought of please share!



Embarrassingly Easy Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Thighs
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 6 • Size: scant 1/2 cup • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 187 • Fat: 8 g • Carb: 3 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 30 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 315 mg • Cholesterol: 127 mg
Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lbs lean skinless chicken thigh filets (Perdue Fit and Easy)
  • 1 cup chunks salsa
  • adobo seasoning (or salt) to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • salt, to taste
Toppings:

  • 12 large taco shells (I used El Paso Stand and Stuff)
  • shredded lettuce
  • shredded cheddar
  • sour cream


Directions:

Season the chicken with adobo (or salt), then place in the crock pot and top with salsa, garlic powder and 1/2 tsp cumin.


Cover and cook LOW for 4 hours. When cooked, remove the chicken and set on a large plate; shred with two forks. Pour the liquid into a bowl and reserve, then place the shredded chicken back into the crock pot, adjust salt to taste and add remaining 1/4 tsp cumin.

Pour 3/4 cup of the reserved liquid back into the crock pot and cover until ready to serve.

Makes about 2 3/4 cups chicken.

83 comments :

  1. This looks awesome! Are your nutrition values based on the chicken alone? Or do they include the toppings? Thanks for another great recipe!

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    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same thing. I'm guessing with the shell.

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    2. Just the chicken since this could be used so many different ways. For the salad I did 1/4 cup tomato, 1/4 cup avocado, 1/4 cup corn, 1 tbsp cheese and 1 1/2 cups lettuce.

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    3. Thanks Gina! This is going in the crock pot today. :)

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  2. You were in Park City! My dad grew up there. Next time you come to Utah you must let me know so we can get together.

    And this looks great!

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    1. It was my first time, loved it! So pretty out by you Kalyn!

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  3. Looks absolutely delicious

    XX Luba

    When fashion Blogger meets a fashion designer, today on
    http://www.well-living-blog.com

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  4. This looks so good and easy to make!! Two ingredients sounds great to me!! :) Can't wait to make this on Sunday!

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  5. I think that would be good on a taco style pizza that has lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and this delicious looking salsa chicken. I've had my slow cooker for approximately 5 years and have never used it. I think my first recipe might be this for Thanksgiving this weekend :)

    Thanks Gina!!

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  6. This is a recipe I've been making for a few years! You can also add rinsed black beans or corn to it. Everyone in my family loves it. :)

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  7. What type of salsa did you use?

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  8. I like to do this using trader joe's salsa verde - it's delicious and so easy!

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    1. Good idea, I was only considering using red chunk salsa. Trader Joe's salsa verde is insanely good.

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    2. Yes, I have another recipe on my site where I use salsa verde and chicken tenders in the crock and make tostadas with it, so good!

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  9. I might have to finally use my crockpot for this one! Question - when you return the shredded chicken and sauce back to the crockpot, do you simply cover it OR do you put it in a low setting and cover it? Thank you!

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  10. I just shred it while its in the crock pot and I keep all the liquid. All seasonings go in at once in the beginning, I also use some other Mexican seasoning I have, and I might cover it and keep on warm only if I'm not serving it right away. Otherwise it's just covered.

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    1. I would def keep all the liquid if I served it over quinoa or rice!

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  11. I have done this many times and it's wonderful. Just be careful of what heat you use for your salsa. It will get hotter as it simmers with some salsas. I also do this with red salsa and pot roast, green salsa and pork roast. Very simple and wonderful!

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  12. I actually did this (with no additional seasoning) this weekend - I feel like I've been "cheating" on cooking all week! It's awesome. :)

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  13. How would you do this in a large pot instead of a slow cooker (if possible?)? Maybe I should just suck it up and get a crockpot...

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    1. I would add a little water and cover in a pot and simmer on the lowest setting about 35 to 45 minutes.

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  14. Nothing wrong with an easy meal, especially around this crazy house during the week!

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  15. Gorgeous photos!! And this looks absolutely delicious! Love those pretty tomatoes!

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  16. Tomatillos look really good in the market but I've never cooked with them. I'm wondering if this might be the right recipe to chop up a couple and throw in. What are your thoughts on this? Would a fresh pico de gallo sub for a bottled salsa? I never buy bottled.

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  17. I got this recipe at my WW meeting a month ago.....They did suggest that you can add one jar of green salsa ( Salsa Verde) and one jar of the red...I have made it at least 3x the family loves it....I serve it with rice....The one with the thighs and a little crushed garlic in bottom of crockpot and then you add BALSAMIC VINEGAR is great too....Thank you for all the great recipes...By the way....HUNGRY GIRL posted your PIZZA LOGS today with a few more spices.....I Love them! Your recipes are true family pleasers :-)

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  18. Can I use chicken breast?

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    1. Yes, in her post Gina says you can use chicken breast-

      "If you make it with chicken breast, you can reduce the cook time to about 2 to 3 hours on low."

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  19. Sounds great! Would be good in empanadas too! Yum!

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  20. I cook this all the time take it to work and they devour it don't know it is low fat and cal I am doing salsa pork loin today

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  21. When the hatch chili's are available in Texas we can buy jars of this wonderful hatch chili stew (basically salsa). I made this with four large chicken breasts and a probably 24 oz jar of the stew/salsa. I threw in a package of low-salt taco seasoning and put it on low in the crock pot for 8 hours. The house smelled wonderful and it was a hit with my family. It allows my family to eat in taco shells or soft tortillas, on salad or just with chips. Lots of options and great left over.

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    Replies
    1. 8 hours is twice the time recommended. And it did not overcook or dry out the chicken?

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  22. What is the point value with breast meat instead? How much thigh meat in oz. is in the portion amount above being that it is shredded? As WW is big in to portion control.

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    1. I measured by cups since it also had sauce.

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    2. But the portion size above states one thigh equals 4 point, what does that equal in cups for this recipe, thanks

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  23. I've been making some variation on this for years - I use thighs or breasts (whichever I have), salsa or canned tomatoes w/ chiles, a generous tablespoon of taco seasoning and usually a can of black beans. We like to eat it as a stew with tortilla chips crumbled on top.

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    1. that sounds really good, next time i should use taco seasoning because it needed a lil something else and the chips crumbles mmm

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  24. Fixed this for lunch today...incredibly delicious!
    Thank you.

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  25. I've been on a crock pot kick lately, and am definitely adding this one to my repertoire.

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  26. I'd like to know what salsa you like best, I'm still searching for a tasty one.

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    Replies
    1. Green Mountain Gringo is a good one-I used the mild one to make this-came out great

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  27. This looks so good and I love that you used the thighs! So much flavor!

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  28. Gina, I am a new (and HUGE) fan. I just made this with chicken breasts, cooked for 2.5hrs. Boyfriend is incredulous at how tasty it is. I guess I'll continue along and make some enchiladas...

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  29. Just what I like an easy recipe that is delicious. It was really, really delicious! Loved it. Thank you!

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  30. I do the same thing all the time. I always add an onion, finely chopped, to the raw mixture. I have done as many of 8 chicken breasts at a time, then bag up and freeze for later. So easy to cook once and have countless meals.

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  31. Any way to make this take longer? I work, so a 2-4 hr crockpot recipe is pretty useless except for weekends (too long to do after work, too short to do during work). Would it be ok to let it go longer?

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    1. am wondering same. I wonder if you started with frozen chicken whether it might take longer? Anyone try this?

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    2. I had a fresh package of thighs, but I also added two frozen chicken breasts. They both cooked through fine after the 4 hours.

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    3. I cooked it overnight on low with boneless chicken thighs and they were delicious!

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  32. Just finished cooking this-really good. It's a keeper! Gina any recipe of yours I've made always come out great.

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  33. BTW-about how much shredded chicken equals a thigh? Thanks.

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    1. I counted 4 oz (1/2 a cup). Also, when I added it up, my total came up to 5 points. Is that right, Gina?

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  34. I made this Monday and my family could not stop talking about it or eating it! You are right, it is embarrassingly simple! What a treasure!!!!! It's going in my recipe file to keep.
    Thank you!!!

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  35. This was fantastic! It's so easy and so good! Thank you!

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  36. Can you cook on high for two hours?

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  37. This was sooooooooooo easy and sooooooo delish!! I added corn and black beans, served over rice with lettuce and a little sour cream! Hubby loved it!

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  38. Do you brown the chicken at all, or just dump it in the crockpot? For some reason I thought meat had to be browned before crockpotting!

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  39. Do I need boneless thighs or can I do bone in skinless?

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  40. Awesome.....Family loved it.....Definitely will make again and again....I give it 5 Stars :)

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  41. Embarrassingly easy BUT amazingly delicious! Great flavor from a small amount of ingredients. Made it this week for tacos. Definitely going into rotation!

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  42. Make this for dinner. Yes, embarrassingly easy, but absolutely delicious. Shredded and made tacos for my kids and they loved it! I have shared this recipe with family and friends. Thank you!

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  43. This was great. Sharing it with my FB community tonight. First salsa chicken that I felt had some taste. Well done.

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  44. I have bone in thighs...would that work? any changes?

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  45. I have bone in thighs... would that work? any changes to make if so?

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  46. Hi Gina, I LOVE your recipes and use them a lot. I can NOT wait for your cookbook :) On this one I am just confused about what the serving size is. You wrote one thigh. But the directions say shred and put them all back and add 3/4 C of reserved liquid. Makes 2 3/4C. I have a feeling that I may feel stupid when you answer but I'm not getting a number for 6 servings. If you can enlighten me I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you! I see your point, it's under 1/2 cup.

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    2. Thank you so much, I can't wait to try this!

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  47. Hi Gina,

    I love your all recipes. specially Salsa Chicken is very testy. I will read Your blog regular.

    Kuntal

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  48. I love that you use thighs! Do you do any trimming to the thighs prior to adding them to the crockpot? They can be quite fatty at times which makes me worry that my points are off.

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  49. Made this yesterday and put it on top of your Cilantro Lime Rice (which is a staple at my house!). I also simmered canned black beans with garlic, onion, jalapeno and spices and put that on top. Delicious and simple, love it!

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    1. lovvvve cilantro lime rice, i use parboiled rice cooked with chicken broth instead of water (low sodium broth of course)

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  50. question -- I can't find adobo seasoning. where do you get it?

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  51. I make this, but use chicken tenderloins and add frozen corn and a can of green chiles! It is so easy and so good!!

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  52. This has become one of my "go to" dinners when the cupboards are bare. I don't even add the extra seasonings most times, just throw the chicken and salsa in the crockpot; it's still very flavorful. I even used a bowl of pico de gallo (uncooked tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapenos) instead of cooked salsa. It always turns out great and there are so many ways to serve it--over rice, on corn tortillas, on tostadas, with beans, etc.

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  53. Yum!!! Going to make this tonight for tomorrow. Thank you so much!

    www.facebook.com/KHWellness

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  54. Hi Gina,
    The nutritional information from above comes to 5 points when I put it into my calculator instead of 4. Can you verify what the point value is?

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