Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice


Everyday Culinary Delights 👩‍🍳


Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice” is not only a comforting meal but also a testament to the convenience and versatility of using a slow cooker. Ideal for busy households, this dish combines the robust flavors of Mexican cuisine with the simplicity of a set-and-forget cooking method. Whether you’re new to slow cooking or looking for an effortless weeknight dinner option, this recipe promises to satisfy your cravings with minimal effort.

Ingredients List

  • Chicken Breasts: 3 or 4 boneless skinless pieces (about 2 pounds) provide the perfect base for the dish.
  • Taco Seasoning: 1 package (1-oz) adds the essential spicy and savory flavors characteristic of Mexican cuisine.
  • Cream of Chicken Soup: 1 can (10.5-oz), preferably unsalted to control the sodium content, enriches the dish with a creamy texture.
  • Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles: 1 can (10-oz) undrained, infuses the chicken with a tangy and slightly spicy flavor.
  • Cheesy Mexican Rice: 1 box (7.6-oz) complements the chicken with its cheesy goodness.

Cooking Equipment Needed

Preparing this delicious meal requires minimal kitchen equipment, making it perfect for those with a busy lifestyle or limited kitchen space. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6-qt Slow Cooker: The centerpiece of this recipe, a large slow cooker allows for all ingredients to be cooked evenly and thoroughly.
  • Mixing Bowl: Used for combining the taco seasoning, cream of chicken soup, and tomatoes before adding to the slow cooker.
  • Forks: Needed for shredding the chicken once it is fully cooked.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Essential for accurately measuring the ingredients, ensuring the perfect flavor every time.

In just a few steps, using basic kitchen tools, you can set your slow cooker in the morning and come home to a fully prepared meal. This method not only simplifies meal preparation but also enhances the flavors through slow cooking, making the “Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice” a favorite for family dinners. To learn more about the benefits of slow cooking, consider visiting this Wikipedia article on Slow Cookers.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Preparing “Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice” involves simple steps that maximize flavor while minimizing hands-on time. Here’s how to bring this dish to life:

  1. Preparation of Chicken:
    • Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
  2. Creating the Sauce:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine the taco seasoning, cream of chicken soup, and the diced tomatoes and green chiles. Mix well to blend the flavors.
  3. Combining Ingredients:
    • Pour the mixed sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker, ensuring it’s evenly coated.
  4. Cooking:
    • Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours. This slow cooking process allows the chicken to become tender and flavors to meld beautifully.
  5. Shredding the Chicken:
    • Once the chicken is cooked and tender, use two forks to shred it directly in the slow cooker. This method of shredding in the pot captures all the juicy flavors.
  6. Final Touches:
    • Prepare the Cheesy Mexican Rice according to the package instructions. Once cooked, stir it into the shredded chicken mixture until well combined.

This recipe’s ease is matched by its versatility. Feel free to add vegetables like corn, black beans, or bell peppers to introduce new textures and nutrients. For more rice dish varieties, you can explore this Wikipedia entry for Rice Dishes. Additionally, enhancing your slow cooker repertoire can be inspired by this curated Pinterest board on Crockpot Recipes.

Additional Tips and Tricks

To ensure the “Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice” turns out perfectly every time, consider these tips:

  • Sodium Control: Opt for unsalted cream of chicken soup to manage the dish’s salt content. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Thickness Adjustment: If the mixture is too thick after cooking, add a bit of chicken broth to reach the desired consistency.
  • Advance Preparation: The rice can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator, which can help streamline mealtime preparations.

These adjustments not only personalize the dish but also cater to various dietary needs and preferences. For those interested in different types of cooking techniques, this Pinterest tips on Cooking Techniques can offer additional insights and ideas.

Serving Suggestions

“Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice” is a hearty dish that stands well on its own, but it can also be complemented with various sides to create a full meal. Here are some serving suggestions to enhance your dining experience:

  • Taco Toppings: Elevate your dish by offering a variety of toppings such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocados, chopped onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa. This allows everyone to customize their plate to their liking.
  • Salad: Pair the chicken and rice with a light, refreshing salad. Consider a Mexican chopped salad with ingredients like corn, black beans, tomatoes, and avocado dressed in a lime vinaigrette.
  • Beans: A side of black beans or pinto beans seasoned with a hint of chili powder and lime juice complements the flavors of the taco chicken beautifully.
  • Dips: Serve with a side of guacamole or a creamy jalapeño ranch dip to add a cool, creamy texture that balances the spice of the taco seasoning.

For more creative side dish ideas that are perfect for complementing Mexican-themed dishes, explore this Pinterest ideas for Dinner Parties, which includes a variety of recipes that can elevate any gathering.

Creative Variations to Enhance Your Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice

While the classic “Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice” is always a crowd-pleaser, experimenting with variations can refresh the dish and tailor it to different tastes and occasions. Here are some creative twists that you can apply to the base recipe to keep it exciting every time you serve it:

  • Spicy Chipotle Version: For those who favor a smoky kick, adding a couple of minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can transform the dish. This addition infuses a deep, smoky flavor and adds a noticeable heat that pairs wonderfully with the creamy elements of the recipe.
  • Creamy Avocado Lime Rice: Instead of traditional cheesy Mexican rice, try mixing in a puree of avocado with lime juice and cilantro into your cooked rice. This variation adds a creamy texture and a zesty flavor that complements the spicy chicken beautifully.
  • Seafood Substitute: Swap the chicken for shrimp for a delightful seafood version. Add the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cooking to ensure they are cooked through but remain tender and juicy.
  • Vegetarian Delight: Replace the chicken with a hearty mix of beans such as black beans and kidney beans, along with chunks of sweet potato. This vegetarian option offers a satisfying texture and is packed with fiber.
  • Barbecue Twist: Mix in a half cup of your favorite barbecue sauce with the tomatoes and taco seasoning for a tangy twist. Top with crispy fried onions for added crunch and a punch of flavor.
  • Mediterranean Fusion: Use a Greek seasoning blend instead of taco seasoning, swap the rice for orzo, and add diced Kalamata olives and feta cheese to the dish. This Mediterranean variation is unexpectedly refreshing and offers a completely different flavor profile.
  • Breakfast Bowl: Believe it or not, this recipe can also be adapted for breakfast. Add diced potatoes in with the chicken, and serve the finished dish with a fried egg on top for a hearty breakfast bowl.

Each of these variations not only enhances the versatility of the classic “Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice” but also allows you to cater to different dietary preferences and spice tolerances. Whether you’re cooking for a family meal or a special occasion, these creative twists ensure that your slow cooker dish remains a staple in your culinary repertoire.

The Role of Slow Cooking in Modern Kitchens

In today’s fast-paced world, the slow cooker is a paradoxical kitchen hero. It allows for slow, low-temperature cooking that actually fits perfectly into the lifestyle of busy people. The “Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice” recipe is just one example of how this method can be a game-changer in meal planning and preparation. Here’s a deeper look at the benefits of slow cooking and how it can simplify your culinary life:

  • Flavor Enhancement: Slow cookers are excellent for melding flavors, allowing herbs and spices to infuse the food over several hours. This cooking method is especially beneficial for dishes like taco chicken, where the richness of spices is key to achieving that authentic taste.
  • Convenience: Perhaps the most significant advantage of slow cooking is the ability to ‘set it and forget it.’ Busy cooks can assemble their meal in the morning, leave it to cook during the day, and return to a ready-to-eat dinner. This convenience factor is invaluable for those with limited time to spend in the kitchen.
  • Energy Efficiency: Compared to ovens, slow cookers use less electricity over extended cooking times, making them an eco-friendly choice in the kitchen. This efficiency can help reduce household energy bills, particularly when used regularly.
  • Nutrient Retention: Cooking at lower temperatures generally helps in retaining more nutrients compared to high-heat methods like frying or boiling. Slow cookers lock in the nutrients within the food, particularly beneficial for cooking vegetables and lean meats.
  • Versatility: Slow cookers are not just for making soups or stews. They can be used for a variety of meals, from breakfasts and desserts to entrees like “Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice.” The ability to cook a wide range of recipes makes it a versatile tool in meal planning.
  • Healthier Meals: The slow cooking process allows for the use of less oil and fat, promoting healthier eating. Dishes can simmer in their own juices, reducing the need for additional fats for flavoring.
  • Year-Round Utility: While often associated with hearty winter meals, a slow cooker is also perfect for summer use because it doesn’t heat up the kitchen the way an oven would. Enjoy delicious meals without adding extra heat to your home.

Understanding these benefits can transform how you approach mealtime, making cooking less of a chore and more of a pleasure. Whether you’re preparing a simple family dinner or something special for guests, incorporating a slow cooker can elevate your cooking game without complicating your life. Explore further insights and tips on making the most of your slow cooker with this comprehensive guide to slow cooking techniques available on Pinterest.


When it comes to making “Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice,” several questions commonly arise. Here are some answers to help you perfect this dish and add your personal touch:

  • Can I use pre-cooked chicken in this recipe?
    • It’s best to use raw chicken as it absorbs the flavors during the slow cooking process and becomes very tender. However, if you have pre-cooked chicken, add it towards the end of the cooking time to heat through without drying out.
  • Is there a substitute for Cheesy Mexican Rice?
    • Absolutely! You can use any type of cooked rice. For a healthier alternative, try cauliflower rice or quinoa. Adjust the seasoning based on your choice to maintain the flavor balance.
  • Can I make this dish in an Instant Pot?
    • Yes, this recipe adapts well to an Instant Pot. Combine all ingredients in the pot, secure the lid, and set it to high pressure for 8 minutes. Allow natural release for 12 minutes then quick release any remaining pressure.
  • How can I reduce the liquid in the dish if it’s too watery?
    • After cooking, if there’s too much liquid, you can drain some off or let it cook uncovered in the slow cooker on high for an additional 20-30 minutes to thicken up.
  • What are some good vegetarian alternatives for the chicken?
    • For a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken with canned chickpeas or firm tofu. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as these will not need as long as chicken.
  • How long can I store leftovers?
    • Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water if the rice has dried out.

For additional storage tips and how to preserve the quality of your meals, consider this Wikipedia info on Food Preservation. Moreover, if you’re looking for further inspiration on how to utilize leftovers creatively, check out this Pinterest collection of Chicken Recipes.

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Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice

  • Author: Naomi
  • Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice” is a quintessential comfort food that marries the ease of slow cooking with the vibrant flavors of Mexican cuisine. This recipe is designed for maximum flavor with minimal effort, making it perfect for busy weeknights or when you simply want a delicious meal waiting for you at home.


3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1 (1-oz) package taco seasoning
1 (10.5-oz) can Unsalted Cream of Chicken Soup
1 (10-oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1 (7.6-oz) box Old El Paso Cheesy Mexican Rice


Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
In a bowl, mix together the taco seasoning, cream of chicken soup, and undrained tomatoes. Pour this mixture over the chicken.
Cover and set the slow cooker to LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Once cooked, shred the chicken in the slow cooker using two forks.
Prepare the Mexican rice according to the package instructions. Stir the cooked rice into the shredded chicken in the slow cooker.
Serve hot, garnished with your favorite taco toppings such as salsa, cheese, and sour cream.


  • Ingredient Flexibility: This recipe is highly adaptable. You can substitute the chicken breasts for thighs, which are more flavorful and juicier. If you’re looking to add more vegetables, bell peppers, onions, or diced zucchini can be layered in before cooking.
  • Dietary Adjustments: For a lighter version, use low-fat cream of chicken soup and a reduced-sodium taco seasoning packet. Additionally, the Cheesy Mexican Rice can be replaced with brown rice or a whole grain alternative to increase the dish’s fiber content.
  • Cooking Tips: To avoid a watery consistency, make sure to use undrained diced tomatoes as the extra liquid is needed for the rice to cook properly in the slow cooker. If you find the dish too liquidy at the end of cooking, setting the slow cooker to high and leaving the lid off for a bit can help thicken it.
  • Serving Suggestions: This dish is robust on its own but can be enhanced by serving with a side of crispy tortilla chips, a fresh salad, or steamed vegetables to add a bit of crunch and freshness.
  • Storage: Leftover “Slow Cooker Taco Chicken & Rice” can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for up to three months. To reheat, simply warm in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a splash of chicken broth if needed to loosen up the rice.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the heat by choosing mild or hot versions of the diced tomatoes and green chiles. Adding a chopped jalapeño or some chili flakes can also increase the spiciness if desired.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Slow cooking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 450 kcal

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