Slow-Cooker Chicken Tomatillo Tacos Recipe

Spicy and tangy, salsa-soused chicken thighs meld into a pitch-perfect taco filler, cooked slow and low. Jennifer Olvera

It's not rocket science that slow-cooked food tastes good—it's given time to build maximum flavor. Fortunately, the effort to prepare it in this case is minimal. Chicken thighs, a forgiving choice, get tender to the point that they're easily shredded. When incorporated into the cooking liquid, there's no need for extra condiments, save cilantro and onions for a bit of brightness on top.

The salsa that serves as the base of this dish incorporates lemon juice instead of lime. I find it works particularly well, but feel free to use the latter in its place if you prefer.

Recipe Facts



Active: 10 mins
Total: 8 hrs
Serves: 6 servings

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  • 3 serrano peppers

  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomatillos, drained, or 15 fresh husked tomatillos broiled until charred

  • 1 large handful cilantro, including stems, plus additional 1/4 cup leaves, chopped for garnish

  • 1 small onion, quartered

  • 3 medium cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lime, plus additional lime wedges for serving

  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken thighs

  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced jalapeños, preferably fire-roasted, drained

  • Corn tortillas

  • Medium red onion, minced


  1. Place peppers in a small pot of boiling water and simmer until color goes from bright green to green-gray, about 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic, lime juice, and vinegar. Season with to taste with salt. Blend or puree until just combined but some texture remains.

  2. Place chicken in the bowl of a slow cooker. Add jalapeños and prepared tomatillo mixture. Set to low and cook for eight hours.

  3. Remove chicken thighs from slow cooker and let cool slightly. Discard skin and bones. Shred chicken using two forks, return to slow cooker, and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt. Serve with warm tortillas, chopped red onions, chopped cilantro leaves, and lime wedges.

Special equipment

Blender, slow cooker

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
442 Calories
12g Fat
55g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 442
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 127mg 42%
Sodium 754mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 43mg 213%
Calcium 115mg 9%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 966mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)