Apr 14, 2014

Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Black Bean Taco Salad


Filling and delicious – under 300 calories!

This simple slow cooker chicken taco salad is high in fiber and protein which means it's very satisfying – all for under 300 calories. Trust me, you won't miss the tortillas!

I'm on a salad kick now that Spring has sprung. Last week I whipped this salad up for dinner, and it was so good and simple I knew I had to make it again to share. I basically added chicken breasts and black beans to the slow cooker, seasoning it with taco seasonings and topped it with salsa. Doesn't get easier than that! A few hours later I shredded the chicken and combined everything for this wonderful topping to this salad.

Filling and delicious – under 300 calories!

I also whipped up some of my favorite zesty avocado cilantro buttermilk dressing for the perfect salad that's so satisfying and super easy to make.  Try this for taco Tuesday!

And since so many are asking, I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker. I love it because you can adjust the time you want it to cook, and it automatically turns to warm when it's done. It also has a probe for meat that automatically shuts off when done. I hated my old crock pot, it burnt everything and my food had a weird taste. This crock pot is so great, I actually own two!



Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Black Bean Taco Salad
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 salad  • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 290 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 20 g • Fiber: 8 g • Protein: 34 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 521 mg • Cholesterol: 69 g


Ingredients:

  • 2 (16 oz total) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup chunks salsa

For the Salad:



Directions:

Place the chicken in the slow cooker and season with taco seasoning and cumin. Pour the beans over the chicken and top with salsa.


Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours, or until the chicken is tender and easily shreds with 2 forks. Shred the chicken and combine with the beans and sauce, keep warm until ready to eat. Makes 3 1/2 cups.



To make the salad, place 1 1/2 cups lettuce on each plate, top with 3/4 cup chicken and bean mixture, 1 tbsp cheese and 2 tablespoons zesty avocado buttermilk dressing.

110 comments :

  1. Can you use frozen chicken breasts?

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    1. Per the USDA guidelines, frozen chicken should not be cooked in a slow-cooker or a microwave. It can only safely be cooked in the oven or on the stovetop.

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    2. i've cooked frozen chicken in the crockpot lots of times! it turns out great every time

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    3. Me too. I've also cooked frozen chicken in the crockpot. It has turned out very well each time, and no one got sick from it. I guess the USDA is erring on the side of caution.

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    4. As long as the chicken is brought to a safe temperature (180F for poultry) I don't see the problem? We also do frozen chicken in the crockpot all the time, have for years.

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    5. The meat should always be thawed first to ensure it cooks properly. It also effects the way the crockpot works.

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    6. I've been putting frozen chicken in the crockpot for years. Maybe the rule is there because some crockpots can't reach an appropriate temperature. I had a couple that couldn't get a few bubbles going if they were really full no matter how long I left them on. The last few pots I've had will get too hot if left on high too long, though. The temperature is more than enough to cook the frozen meat thoroughly.

      In this recipe, you need to shred the chicken. If it wasn't cook enough, you wouldn't be able to shred it, right? That would seem to make it easy enough to determine if it's cooked enough.

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    7. Putting very cold or frozen items in the crockpot can also crack the ceramic. Happened to mine. Learned the hard way!! Was a mess too!!!

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    8. I use frozen chicken all the time and it works great!!! It has never caused damage to my crockpot or slow cooker and it tastes awesome. Of course, it you are the person who follows every precaution in the book, then you would not listen to our results. Just saying.....

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    9. I use all frozen meats in my slow cooker i find it makes it juicer so i cut back a little if i am adding any liquids to the recipe

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    10. My guess is that frozen chicken may not get to the required temp soon enough. Meaning that it may be sitting at unsafe temps for too long of a time before actually reaching the desired temp.

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    11. The issue is that if using frozen ingredients, slow-cookers are unable to quickly heat the contents past the "danger zone" of temperature at which bacteria multiply most rapidly. Even if the food is heated well past the danger zone afterward, thus killing bacteria, tasteless toxins produced by the bacteria will still remain.

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  2. what is a good salsa to use? I always have trouble finding one I like, other than making your roja

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    1. Personally, I think Fresh Salsa is best. You can find different brands usually in the produce section.

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    2. When I need jarred salsa and not fresh, I use Herdez. No preservatives and it's pretty yummy.

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    3. Garden Fresh Brand is good. Try the jack's Special Salsa line.

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  3. This looks great and I'm especially intrigued by the dressing - I love creamy dressings that have been made healthier. I'm thinking that if I wanted to make this for a workday I could potentially start with frozen chicken breasts so they don't get dried out by the end of the day. Thanks! :D

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  4. This looks yummy. What could I substitute for the black beans my son will not eat black beans?

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    1. Pinto Beans

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    2. I use white navy beans - they are smaller in size and less obvious as I am not a fan of beans. Most often I never even notice them.

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    3. I used White navy beans and it turned out fantastic!

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  5. I have no crockpot, so how can I prepare the chicken mixture stovetop?

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    1. I would imagine it would be fairly easy to just cut the chicken into strips and sear it in a soup type pot. Then add the black beans and everything else and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or so. (Longer you can cook it the better I'd imagine)

      Or you could cook the chicken in a casserole dish with everything on top in an oven set to 375. If you have a food thermometer you can check internal temp of chicken to ensure done-ness.

      Either way good luck!

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  6. proudmomto34/15/14, 9:20 AM

    I wish people would comment AFTER they try it, that would be helpful in knowing how well it is liked and if any adjustments would make it better.

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    Replies
    1. OMG I agree lol I could careless if you want to make it tonight or not I care about AFTER you made it lol

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    2. Thanks you; yes!

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    3. Was just thinking the SAME thing as I'm scrolling comments looking for actual feedback about the actual recipe! Couldn't agree with you more.

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  7. place it in your oven, covered, 325 and check on it now and then. when the chicken is done the rest will be also.

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  8. Suggestion: It is always helpful with crockpot recipes to specify what size crockpot was used. I'm guessing that this is made in a smaller one, and would need to be doubled for use in a larger one or it could burn.

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  9. Does the Nutrition Information include the dressing?

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  10. I am also on a big salad kick this spring. I love how easy this recipe is to make. Will definitely give it a try.

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  11. My children don't like salad...any other suggestion to serve with the chicken mixture?

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    Replies
    1. Rice...Tortillas....or just plain.

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    2. baked potatoes or sweet potatoes

      Corn chips like nachos :)

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    3. Don't eat it with your kids. Lol, some of these questions are just ridiculous.

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  12. Tacos are my favorite with a fresh salad and this recipe is awesome. I usually eat tacos on Tuesdays so this recipe is perfect for today.

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  13. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! The only thing I did differently was allow myself a little more dressing. This will definitely become a staple in our household.

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  14. Yum! This recipe makes me want to start using my crockpot again! It looks delicious!

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  15. Made this tonight sans the cheese. And made the dressing with plain greek yogurt rather than buttermilk. Very good!

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    Replies
    1. Oh how did it come out with the Greek Yogurt? I always forget I can use that! I hate buttermilk b/c I can only buy a big container that I always end up throwing out

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    2. I thought it was great. I put all the ingredients in a blender and just added a few splashes of milk and then blended. I haven't had the version with buttermilk so I can't speak to that but I loved the version I made!

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  16. Made this tonight and used 1.5 pounds of frozen chicken breasts and put in slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Served with pico de gallo sauce. Used powdered buttermilk for the dressing and it was wonderful. This is defintely going into the "keeper" binder.

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  17. This was SO GOOD! Agreed with anyone who says this recipe is going in the "keeper" file. My husband & I liked it so much we couldn't stop talking about how good it was while we were eating it. :)

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  18. what would the points+ be if you left off the cilantro dressing?

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  19. Two questions: 1. What size crock pot? 2. How much longer if using frozen chicken?

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  20. Any suggestions for making this without a crock pot?

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  21. Yes just did this last night. Cook your chicken in a skillet -- dust with chipolte powder and salt. Chop into bite size pieces when cooked. Make the black beans separately and arrange on bed of lettuce. I added in fresh scallions and tomatoes. The avocado dressing is perfect.

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  22. Made this for lunch today and my husband and I both loved it. I followed the recipe except that I used Bolthouse Salsa Ranch dressing. Definitely a keeper.

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  23. Made this last night and it was wonderful! Threw in some onion, red, yellow and green peppers with the chicken, beans and salsa and my kids ate it like fajitas in tortillas.

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  24. Super yummy! I even forgot the cheese & it was still delish!

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    1. I forgot the cheese as well and I agree with you it was so delish!

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  25. Looks great. Can't wait to try it.

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  26. This was fantastic. Served with baby lettuces in a tortilla bowl baked in the oven. And used salsa yogurt ranch dressing. Loved how easy and delicious it is. Even my kids (6 & 3) ate it. Thanks for a great recipe.

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  27. I'm eating this right now. OH MY GOODNESS it's so amazing. The flavours in the sauce complement the chicken perfectly. I gave my boyfriend a bite and he's going to be making this in the next few days too.

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  28. The chicken was delicious. I think I put it on my salad too soon though. It made the lettuce warm, and it just didn't taste amazing together.

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  29. I made just the chicken mixture and it was so delicious! I will definitely make it again, and it was so easy! I was also told it was one of the best things I've ever made, so thanks!

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  30. I made this for the family dinner tonight and it was amazing... thanks for the recipe, will definitely put it in my rotation!!!!

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  31. Made this tonight. So yummy!! Instead of the dressing I just made my own guacamole and topped the salad off with it. Really loved the ease of this one. :)

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  32. I made this last night. It is FAN-tastic. I wouldn't change a thing. Me and the hubby even brought left-overs to lunch. I can't wait to try the dressing in other ways. I may mix it up with my avacado/tomato salad. Thank you for this easier than easy recipe. It is definately a keeper.

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  33. Winner, winner chicken dinner! This was so, so good! I used homemade taco seasoning (Alton Brown's Taco Potion #19). The buttermilk avocado dressing put it over the top! Thanks Gina for another great recipe.

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  34. Think you can cook this on High for 3 hours and it will a.) cook properly and b.) not burn to a crisp?

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    1. I just made this delicious recipe. In my crock pot I think it would be cooked thoroughly on LOW after 3 hours. High would probably dry it out a bit, but then that would be a good excuse for more awesome buttermilk avocado dressing!

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    2. I think low for 3 hours would be fine. I checked mine at 3 1/2 hours and the chicken was falling apart. I guess it would depend on how thick the chicken breast is.

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  35. Hi there! My name is Rolen and a mother of four kids. Thanks for sharing all your recipe! They're so good and healthy! :)

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  36. This was amazing. I've been trying to find healthy recipes for my family. I usually try something that looks tasty but when I've made it, I don't like the taste. This was so easy and yummy. It's my favorite kind of food. Thank you for sharing.

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  37. This recipe is soooo yummy! Made it for dinner tonight and all four kids loved it. They are not salad eaters so served their meat/bean mix in hard taco shells. I had mine over lettuce. Skipped the dressing just because I didn't have time to make it, but added some diced avocado, red onion and tomatoes to the salad mix. It was so flavorful-- didn't even need the dressing (though I'm sure with the dressing it would be even more divine)! This one is a keeper for sure.

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  38. So yummy!!! I added orange bell pepper, onions, and chopped garlic to it and used mango salsa. It was very delicious and the chicken just fell apart. I didn't make the dressing, just used some guacamole. Its so simple ingredients wise, I think I will be making this often. I'm pretty sure I could just put it over rice or make it into a taco if I don't have lettuce either.

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  39. Made this for dinner last night. Super easy to make and was very good! Had leftovers today for lunch in a whole wheat tortilla as a wrap.

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  40. Question. Does the nutrition information for this dish include the avocado dressing? Trying to figure out if I accounted for everything correctly in MFP last night. If it already includes the dressing, I put too many calories for last night.

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  41. Really great dish. I did add a little extra cumin and taco mix but no other adjustments. Even the boyfriend really enjoyed it as well.

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  42. Whats the serving size for this? I know it says one salad but does that mean a cup of the chicken?

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  43. This was *really* fantastic. I made taco seasoning from the dry seasoning in this recipe: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/04/turkey-taco-lettuce-wraps-3-pts.html, made my own buttermilk for the dressing (1 c. milk + 1 tbsp of lemon juice). I also added red onion and corn to the salad.

    Co-workers were salivating at the dressing. So they're bringing in chips & their own salads to help finish off the dressing this week.

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  44. I made this last night and brought it for work today. It reheated really well and instead of a salad, I wrapped it in a low-fat, high-fiber tortilla. Great and filling!

    For those asking about WW PP, it came out to 5 PP when I put it through the recipe builder without the dressing and cheese (4 servings). So, for the person who asked about the nutritional information, my guess is that what's on here includes the dressing and cheese.

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  45. FANTASTIC! WOW was this ever good! I used boneless thighs not breasts because that is what I had - it was so very good! My hubby and I ate it as a salad, and my children had a tortilla bowl! Everyone cleaned their plate.

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  46. This was amazing made it tonight and I think I could eat the zesty avacado dressing on anything!!! Cannot await for you cook book to come out!!!

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  47. This was a fantastic recipe and so easy. I used chicken thighs as I think they have more flavor than breasts and it turned out great. I had mine on a salad and my husband made a burrito and loved it. The avocado dressing was a wonderful addition to the salad but I think I put too much lime juice in it because it was a bit tart so I’ll reduce the lime juice the next time.

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  48. This was incredible. I added the cilantro lime rice and it was, no kidding, exactly like going to chipotle. My husband LOVED it!

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  49. We made this last weekend and loved it! Used a combination of green salsa (Herdez) and some diced fire roasted tomatoes and got a nice bite to it! Super filling for only 300 calories - will definitely stay in our recipe box!!

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  50. Im going to double the recipe, should I cook for 8 hours instead of 4?

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  51. Made this when my MIL was visiting last week, she is very wary of anything seasoned with more than salt and pepper so I kept it to a very mild commercial salsa and skipped the dressing. It passed the MIL test and DH and I were pleased at the good flavor even 'toned down' can't wait to make it with my own salsa and try the dressing that gets such rave reviews.

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  52. I am making this recipe tomorrow and bought about 2 pounds of chicken, essentially doubling the recipe, what is the recommended cook time? Does 8 hours on low work?

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  53. What the nutrition value fire just the chicken?

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  54. This was amazing! I made if for dinner and had it in tortillas because i forgot lettuce at the store. Tomorrow I will make the dressing and have the leftovers in a salad. Then for dinner I'll probably make a burrito bowl with brown rice! So versatile and EASY, thanks Gina!

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  55. I've made this twice now and I LOVE how easy it is! I used a whole can of black beans instead of just a cup, which I'm sure raises the points just a bit. I think it's even better the next day after the flavors meld a bit more. Awesome recipe!

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  56. Made this and we LOVED it!! The hubby wants to make it again!! It was a huge hit!

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  57. This was so delicious, and filling too! Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes and pictures, Gina!

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  58. AMAZING RECIPE! So easy my 7 yr old made it! She was the only one that did not like the dressing, she doesn't like cilantro, so she had a dollop of sour cream on top of hers instead. Thanks for the continued hits!!

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  59. This was so good - even my picky 13yo had 3 helpings! I used my own homemade salsa.....and didnt make the dressing, but will try it next time. Definitely a keeper recipe!

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  60. We are having this tomorrow night for dinner and I cannot wait, especially for the avocado dressing. I have had so much fun trying out your recipes, that I decided to feature all skinny taste recipes of my weekly meal plan blog post!
    Come check it out :)

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  61. We are having this tomorrow night for dinner and I cannot wait, especially for the avocado dressing. I have had so much fun trying out your recipes, that I decided to feature all skinny taste recipes of my weekly meal plan blog post!
    Come check it out :

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  62. Can I use this same recipe but replace chicken with pork tenderloin?

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  63. Tried this recipe for first time today....loved it. I will definitely make again. I think I may try adding some additional salsa and corn and then serve over rice (my husband thinks all food tastes better with rice). Thanks for the recipe,

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  64. Ok, just threw the chicken in the crockpot and can't wait to pull it all together when my hubby gets home!! I love the ease of your recipes and the minimal ingredients. Just so easy to prepare and to afford! I can't recall the first time I discovered your website, but I am so grateful to have found it! It's just so easy to eat right with enticing recipes you post.

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  65. This has become a staple in my house, at least 3x a month! I double the recipe and instead of adding 2cups of salsa, i do one cup and a small can of organic diced tomatoes so it doesnt get too spicy for my picky teenager. Usually i just serve over lettuce, but sometimes we make tacos or burritos with it. And it's so easy and quick! My fav recipe by far!

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  66. this looks soooooo good an healthy! I'm starting the first of the year to get on a healthy eating to lose weight and this is my type of recipe!

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  67. I'm wondering if it would work to cook the chicken on HIGH for TWO hours instead? I'd like to make this during the week and this way I can start it as soon as I get home form work. Otherwise, if I made it as written, I'd have to cook it the night before and reheat it for dinner the next night. I'd prefer to eat it fresh. Thoughts on this?

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  68. Made this last night and it was great! The chicken becomes very tender like rotisserie. Ate it for breakfast and dinner after letting it cook on low all night in my small slow cooker. Super easy to make.

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  69. How many Calories is in just the chicken & bean mixture?

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  70. This was so delicious! I used the "lazy version" of this dressing that Gina mentioned in the post for the Santa Fe lettuce wraps (mash an avocado in ranch dressing), as I don't like cilantro and that's a really delicious, easy taco topping. All of the flavors mixed together were phenomenal. The only change I'd make is I might add more beans next time.

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  71. This recipe was amazing! It's not everyday I can please the whole family but this recipe did! Easy and so delicious! The creamy cool of the dressing went well with the spices of the chicken mixture. The portions were also very generous. I am a relatively new skinnytaste reader (this is the second recipe I've made) and I'm already sold!

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  72. Another great recipe! This is definitely one I will make over and over again. Also, since I live alone, I freeze some of the leftover shredded chicken and it's just as good thawed and reheated as it was the first day. Thank you Gina!

    Michele

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  73. Can the dressing be made a day ahead?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Others comments it lasts well even days later.

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  74. How many points should i deduct for the dressing? I am going to have it without the dressing.

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  75. This was delicious! I made this with deli rotisserie chicken cut in small pieces. I put the chicken, beans and other ingredients in a bowl around noon so the ingredients could meld flavors. It took minutes to prepare this way; which makes it a very fast after work meal.

    Many people comment on leftover buttermilk. I freeze leftovers in one cup freezer dishes so I always have some on hand. To thaw in about an hour, place the container in a bowl of cold water. I see others using powdered buttermilk; another good way not to waste buttermilk.

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    1. Thanks for leaving a comment!! So haooy you enjoyed it, I recently started using powdered buttermilk myself!

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  76. This was a delicious salad. We will definitely be using it again. Thank You!!

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  77. I used the avocado dressing from your tuna lettuce wraps since I had some left over, and it was delicious!

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