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Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken Tacos

Tyler Essary / TODAY
Cook Time:
6 hrs
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

Tacos are always a great dinner option, and this is as easy as it gets!

Technique tip: Make this the day before so you can just easily reheat in minutes.


Pulled chicken thighs
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • One (14.7-ounce can) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
Homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Hatch chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pickled jalapeños
  • cup jalapeños, sliced
  • 3/4 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Spanish onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
Pico de Gallo
  • 1 small beefsteak tomato, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 8-12 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups pickled jalapeños (recipe above)
  • 2 cups pico de gallo (recipe above)
  • 1 cup crema (recipe above)
  • 1 cup scallions, sliced


For the pulled chicken thighs:

Place chicken thighs in slow cooker and season with homemade taco seasoning. (You can absolutely use store-bought seasoning to save time.) Add in the diced onions, fire roasted tomatoes and water, cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is tender and begins to pull apart. Remove the lid and, using 2 forks, shred the chicken to desired size and mix into all the juices of the slow cooker and serve. Eat as is, in a sandwich or make tacos.

For the homemade taco seasoning:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and using a small whisk, whisk the ingredients to combine. Transfer to an airtight container until ready to use.

For the pickled jalapeños:

Combine sliced jalapeños, carrots and onions in a large, non-reactive food-safe container. In a medium pot, bring vinegar and sugar up to a rolling boil. Once the vinegar and sugar is boiling, pour over the vegetables and place a lid on top. Allow the pickles to cool at room temp for 1 hour then transfer to the refrigerator to fully cool. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

For the pico de gallo:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and transfer to a non-reactive, food-safe container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the crema:

Whisk all ingredients together, transfer to a food-safe container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble:

Warm a medium-sized skillet over medium heat and toast the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side. Transfer to a plate and cover with a very damp, warm paper towel to keep them warm while toasting the others. Once all the tortillas are toasted, begin assembling tacos. Place desired amount of pulled chicken, top with desired amount of garnishes, and serve!