As I sit here typing this, my stomach is rumbling in the worst way–mostly due to the fact that it’s late, and I really should be in bed, which means it’s been a while since I ate. But also because I just made a batch of the most delicious, moist, flavorful chicken EV-AH. And it smells SO good. I just had to pop on and share the “recipe.”

My sis-in-law actually turned me onto this idea when she brought multiple meals over for us during the craziness that was packing/getting the new house ready/moving…because she’s awesome like that.

So, is your pen poised yet?

Here’s what you’ll do:

Place a package or two of chicken (breast, thighs, whatever) in a crock pot and cover with enough jars of the salsa of your choice (I just use the mild picante style) to completely submerge the meat. I usually add a dash of chili powder, granulated garlic, and cumin, but the salsa adds plenty of flavor on its own.

Hit start on that bad boy and let it go until your kitchen is filled with the slightly torturous fragrance of melt-in-your-mouth, fall-apart chicken goodness.

That’s IT!

Once the chicken is cooked through (it could go all day on low, but I usually have mine on high for about 4 hours), shred it using a couple of forks, making sure to retain all of the juices and get them nice and mixed through the meat.

Trust me: you will LOVE this stuff. All of my kids do. Most of them prefer it in easy “chicken roll-up” form (flour tortilla, shredded chicken, grated cheese…heated…BOOM). In fact, everyone who’s had it in this form has gone nuts for it (I took it to a family potluck, and everybody was raving and asking me for the recipe, and I was almost embarrassed to admit how easy it was).

But Simon and I prefer it on top of THEE best nachos either of us has ever tasted.


Seriously. Just the chicken, cheese (we use sharp cheddar), and chips (On the Border, baby) are delish, but add you some tomatoes, purple onions, cilantro, and avocado, and it’s out-of-this-world good.

It would also make a great base for Chicken Tortilla Soup, enchiladas, or a taco salad. You really can’t go wrong.

Plus! If you’re like me and trying to eat clean (it’s a process, y’all; definitely not perfect), as long as you pick a salsa that doesn’t have any sugar, there’s literally nothing objectionable about the chicken itself.

Anybody else ever done this easy crock pot hack?

Got any more for me? I’ve been in a bit of a cooking slump lately, and, as much as this staple is saving my bacon, er, chicken, I’d welcome any other easy, healthy suggestions you have.

P.S. I have a “grocery shopping for large families” post in the hopper. Get excited!


  1. I add a pack of taco seasoning when I cook my chicken like that. I use it in burrito bowls, enchiladas and tacos. I do the same thing g with a pork roast and salsa verde for carnitas.

  2. We love an easy Pepperoncini Beef recipe. I put a beef roast in the crock pot and cover it with a jar of whole pepperoncini peppers and one can of beer. Cook all day long on low. So good and tender! Awesome on a sub roll with grilled peppers and onions!

  3. A friend turned me onto the chicken and salsa in the crockpot thing several years ago. I’ve also done chicken and barbecue sauce, chicken and ranch dressing, chicken and teriyaki sauce…

    I just recently discovered that if you forget about the crock pot until almost dinner time, you can do the same thing in the pressure cooker in just a few minutes!

  4. My family needs to eat gluten free but one of my quick meals is baking frozen tilapia and serving it with some kind of carb like rice or baked potatoes. The tilapia bakes in less than 15 minutes and you can make baked potatoes in the crockpot. You just wash the potatoes, rub them lightly with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and cook on high for four hours. I season the fish with a little lemon juice, melted coconut oil, salt, and Old Bay seasoning. It’s pretty yummy! The family also loves it when I take a pork tenderloin, cover it with with garlic infused olive oil, salt and pepper and use a meat thermometer to bake it in the oven. It usually takes around an hour and a half and it is moist and so flavorful.

  5. This sounds amazing can’t wait to try it! I have an Asian flair to this recipe I make at home….try adding peanut butter, the juice of a lime, powdered ginger and soy sauce to the salsa and chicken….and presto! You have saucy Asian chicken! We eat ours with rice. Use boneless skinless thighs as it makes a richer sauce and I also cook it using the same temperature/time directions you used.

  6. Awesome tip: you can shred chicken with a hand mixer or by smashing it with a potato masher (or jar, or can, or even a hammer, lol).

  7. I’ve done the same with BBQ sauce in the instant pot or crockpot. Great with cabbage and sourdough as a simple sandwich or on a baked sweet potato.

  8. I’ve seen this idea before but never tried it. Now that we are back to school I’m definitely gonna give it a try. Sounds delish and family friendly! Mel’s Kitchen Cafe blog has a wonderful recipe for slow cooker refried beans that I make often. My kids love them in bean & cheese burritos or bean & cheese quesadillas for easy lunches. I just freeze the leftovers and it’s so easy to defrost for a quick lunch.

      1. I’ve poured all kinds of salsa on pork butt and roasts and they’re delicious. The roast works well in enchiladas. Roast in the Crock-Pot then roll into enchiladas, pour the salsa from the Crock-Pot over them, add cheese, and bake for 20 minutes.

      2. The salsa on beef gives it a great flavor. Most of the time I don’t even need to add any water but sometimes I do if the salsa is thick. I cook it on low all day.

  9. Just made it this week. I switched over to making it in the pressure cooker. Frozen chicken, salsa, I add a little bit of water in the pressure cooker and also add a few spices. 40 or so minutes later… pure yumminess. Leftovers from our tacos/burritoes go into green chili chicken enchiladas.

  10. I admittedly haven’t checked the sugar content in the salsa, but we love this recipe with Mrs. Renfro’s peach salsa or pomegranate salsa. We also love the citrus pineapple salsa, I think it’s by Pace, and we pour it over cauliflower “fried rice” and stir-fry veggies. Yum!

  11. My family loves this too! I add one extra ingredient: cream cheese! After the chicken is cooked I remove it and add softened cream cheese to the salsa, blend it in with a whisk, then add the shredded chicken back in. So creamy and delicious!

I love hearing from you guys!