If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner idea, this slow cooker salsa verde chicken recipe is just what you need. This delicious dish takes little time to prepare making it perfect for busy days.
Salsa verde is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of tomatillos, cilantro, onions, garlic, and jalapeño peppers. It is typically served with other dishes or as an accompaniment to other dishes. However, it can be eaten on its own as well.
Why you'll love it
This dish combines the green salsa with shredded chicken. The recipe is made with boneless chicken pieces, a bottle of salsa verde, chicken broth, and some common spices into a crock pot and let it cook.
This slow cooker salsa verde chicken recipe is a great dish to make for weeknight dinners. The salsa verde sauce is so rich in flavor and complements the grilled chicken perfectly.
This is one of the easiest paleo chicken recipes ever. You just throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker and let it cook until done! Then just shred the chicken and blend it into the sauce.
The best thing about this dish is that it calls for simple ingredients. You may even have everything on hand that you need.
The recipe calls for 3 pounds of skinless boneless chicken. I used half breast meat and half thigh meat. Chicken thighs is what I prefer to use, but thought I’d mix it up. It turned out perfect.
To make things easy, I used a jar of salsa verde. However, you can make your own homemade salsa verde and use that instead.
Adding in broth will give the dish a stronger chicken flavor and provide more liquid to keep the chicken moist and juicy and it cooks.
The recipe adds in tomato paste for a richer and thicker sauce.
The dish is seasoned with onion and garlic along with a blend of dry ground spices. If you don't have any fresh onion or garlic on hand, you can substitute with onion powder and garlic powder.
Note: The full list of ingredients with amounts used in located in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Add additional flavors. It’s worth adding a few extra ingredients to make sure that your salsa verde sauce truly stands out. You can add in different herbs, spices or other components like olives to add a unique flavor.
- Stir in some lime juice. The sweet and tangy flavor of lime blends in well with the seasonings in this salsa verde recipe.
- Try using pork shoulder meat. One of my favorites ways to create a new recipe is to switch out chicken with pork. Both work well as shredded meats in the dish.
For this slow-cooked salsa verde chicken dish, you just need to dump all the ingredients into a large pot, slow cooker, or Instant Pot. Then, it’s slow-cooked with the cover off center so the liquid can reduce. Once cooked, the chicken is removed, shredded and returned to the sauce.
Place all of your ingredients in the cooking pot. You can use a crock pot, Dutch oven, large pot, or Instant Pot.
Stir to combine. Make sure you coat the meat well with the sauce before cooking.
Cover and slow cook for 3 on high (or 6 hours low). If using a Dutch oven in a conventional oven, preheat your oven to about 200°F first.
For an Instant Pot, the chicken should be fully cooked after ten minutes at high pressure followed by a quick pressure release.
Allow liquid to reduce
After the initial cooking, adjust the lid so that it's off center. Allow to cook for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hours so the liquid can reduce to a thick sauce.
If using an Instant pot, you may want to transfer to the stove top or oven to reduce the sauce.
Remove the chicken from the sauce and let it cool down slightly. Then shred it with two forks and toss the shredded meat back into the sauce.
You can easily change up the flavor in this Mexican chicken dish by changing up the seasoning.
For a classic salsa taste, try adding in cilantro. If you want to up the heat, you can stir in some chili powder and chipolte pepper flakes.
For more of an Italian flavored dish, you can add in fresh basil, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
️ Serving suggestions
Salsa verde chicken is one of my favorite recipes to make on a lazy Sunday. The ingredients are so easy to get, and it’s the perfect dish for the whole family.
Try topping it with some fresh avocado slices, fresh cilantro, and red onion slices. If you don’t mind dairy, sour cream is great on top too.
This delicious recipe is perfect for making slow cooker chicken tacos. You can also put it on top of a salad or serve it in lettuce wraps. If I have a lot of people to feed, I'll add in a keto taco dip with meat.
Before getting to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post, I wanted to address some questions people often ask about the dish.
It's best to slow cook your chicken in a sauce rather than just putting in the raw meat by itself. If you don't add in a liquid, the meat won't be as tender and juicy. What goes well with salsa verde?
Salsa verde is a green Mexican sauce traditionally made with tomatillos, jalapeños and cilantro. It's often served with enchiladas and tacos. Salsa verde goes well with cauliflower rice, eggs, and tortillas.
Yes, you can overcook pulled chicken in a slow cooker. It takes about 6 to 8 hours to fully cook pulled chicken in a slow cooker on low. If you could it longer, it can become dry and burned.
Salsa verde can be spicy, but not always. The spiciness of the sauce varies depending on the ingredients used. You can make it hot or mild by changing the amount of green chili peppers.
Need a few more dishes with flavors inspired by dishes in Mexico? Here's a few more keto Mexican recipes you can try.
- Zucchini and beef skillet is perfect for when you don't have any good ideas for dinner but want something quick and easy.
- Slow cooker chicken soup is made with just 4 simple ingredients for a cozy meal to come home to after a long day.
- Mexican chicken lasagna provides a comforting blend of flavors to keep you warm in the colder months.
- Keto enchilada sauce can be prepared in just ten minutes with less sugar, salt, and additives compared to a store-bought sauce.
- Cilantro lime riced cauliflower is a nutritious side dish that whips up in just a few minutes.
Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 4-6 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 jar salsa verde 24 ounces
- ⅓ cup chicken bone broth
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 leaves bay
- Preheat oven to 200°F (or use slow cooker crock).
- Place all of the ingredients in an enameled Dutch oven or other large, heavy, oven-safe pot and stir to combine, coating the chicken with the sauce.
- Cover and place into the oven for 3 hours, or until the chicken is fork-tender and pulls apart easily.
- After 3 hours, adjust the lid so that it's off-center and return the pot to the oven for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow the liquid to reduce to a thick sauce.
- Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven (reserve the sauce) and allow it to cool slightly before shredding with two forks or a fork and spoon.
- Toss the shredded meat in the reserved sauce.
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published on September 21, 2016. Updated on February 4, 2021, with additional recipe information and new photos.