This Cheesy Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken is a flavorful way to spice up your family's weekday dinner. This recipe is super easy and calls for a simple 5-ingreident salsa, chicken and of course some cheese, all tossed together and cooked while you are at work or wrangling the kiddos. The hardest part, is deciding how to eat it. Don't worry, I included some of my favorites down below.
Well hello there big ol' pile of shredded chicken. I probably should have jazzed you up with the perfect sprinkle of cheese or cilantro on top, but this chicken isn't fussy. It doesn't want to play those pinterest worthy games.
The only game this chicken wants to play is how can it get into your mouth in the fastest way possible.
And in as many ways as possible.
It wants to be devoured by you and your little ones.
It's goals are that simple.
Is it weird that I am talking about a chicken dish like it actually has goals and feelings???
Yup. Okay then, let's switch it around. The only goal I have in life on a busy Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday night is how I can get more of this cheesy slow cooker salsa chicken into my mouth.
Because you guys, this super easy chicken recipe was made for those nights when you are short on time but still want a healthy and delicious meal - aka every night of the week!
And I am not joking when I say that I have made this recipe 4 times in the last 3 weeks <------- which I am not at all sorry about.
Let me start by saying that I have been making slow cooker salsa chicken for years. It's easy and handy and best of all it is done when you get home from work, or in my world when I get finally get home from a very loooonnnnnnggggg after school library adventure with two crying toddlers.
But for years, I made this recipe with a jar of pre-made salsa and chicken. And let's be clear here, that simple chicken recipe is good and you can't beat any 2 ingredient slow cooker meal that cooks itself.
Then one day I got all crazy and decided I needed to make it with homemade fire-roasted salsa and wait for it... a handful of shredded cheese. Mind-Blown-FOREVER!!
It was that good!
If the words homemade salsa are making you think that this recipe is super labor intensive, don't worry, I promise it isn't. The salsa is made with 5 ingredients (If you want to get all accountant on me, it has 8 ingredients, but I am not counting spices I know you already have on hand) and can be whipped up in a blender or food processor.
This recipe is easy to toss together early in the morning before work or during nap time (the kids nap time, not yours) and because the flavors of the homemade salsa or so fresh and vivid with just the right amount of smoky spice, it is perfect for the little ones as well as the adults.
The game is on, what are you going to make using this delicious and easy Cheesy Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken?
Yummy ways to use this Cheesy Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken:
Used as a filling (mixed with some black beans) for hearty chicken enchiladas. I would use this Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce (maybe go light on the jalapeño) and of course top with some more cheese.
Served over brown rice and beans with sautéed peppers for a simple meal.
Use as the protein for DIY taco or salad night. I favs bowls include - bowl of cheesy slow cooker salsa chicken, black or pinto beans, shredded lettuce, limes cilantro dressing, shredded cheese, sour cream or greek yogurt with lime juice, chopped tomatoes, picked radishes, shredded purple cabbage and taco shells.
Used for an easy finger food for baby (omit jalapeño pepper)
Sprinkled on some tortillas chips, slathered in shredded cheese and boiled for 10 minutes for a Friday night nacho-loving meal. Of course, beans, corn, chopped cherry tomatoes and avocado are all required. Freshly shaken margarita is also recommended.
Rolled up in a whole wheat tortillas with a layer of spinach and red peppers and cut into pinwheel slices for a fun toddler/kid/momma lunch.
Use as a filling for quick lunch quesadillas.
Cheesy Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
1 tbsp mild green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1/4 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. In a food processor or blender, chop the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño pepper, green chile peppers, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper until slightly chunky. Reserve 1/2 cup of the salsa for chip dipping or another future use.
2. Pour salsa into a slow cooker.
3. Sprinkle the chicken with the chili powder, salt and pepper and submerge in the salsa until almost covered.
4. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. The times may vary per slow cooker. I find that 4 hours on low provides a great moist chicken with my slow cooker, but my slow cooker cooks on the high side.
5. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks and then add back into slow cooker.
6. Add in cheese, and let melt for 10-15 minutes on warm or low setting. Stir and serve.
Yield - roughly 4 cups of chicken or 8 adult servings
Storage - Lasts 1 week in fridge