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Slow cooker chicken fajitas
September 5, 2017, 4:04 pm

These slow cooker chicken fajitas could not be any easier to make or more delicious to eat. The best part about preparing them is that the recipe makes for several servings, which means you can feed your whole family or freeze the left overs and have ready-to-go meals all week.

All you need to know: Usually, chicken fajitas are made by marinating chicken breast in warm spices and then quickly searing them on a hot cast iron pan or grill. They can be quick to prepare, but also require hands-on cooking, which is not always the option you need. Slow cooker chicken fajitas are completely hands-off, save for opening a few cans and chopping some peppers, onions, and garlic. They can be left unattended for hours while the chicken marinates and cooks at the same time.

Cook the chicken in a flavorful liquid: Combining canned tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and a few spices makes for an incredibly flavorful liquid for slowly cooking the chicken. You could easily use your favorite jarred salsa in place of the canned tomatoes too.

Layer the ingredients to avoid overcooking vegetables: Line the slow cooker with half of the tomato mixture and then add the chicken breasts. The remaining tomato mixture and the sliced vegetables go on top of the chicken so the chicken is closer to the liquid that accumulates during cooking and the vegetables steam rather than braise in the slow cooker.

Shred the cooked chicken: One of the benefits of using the slow cooker for fajitas is that there is no need to cut the raw chicken before cooking, as the chicken breast shreds easily when it is done cooking. The easiest way to shred the chicken is right in the slow cooker's crock with two large forks.

Chicken breasts makes better slow cooker fajitas: Fajita means ‘little belt,’ a reference to the dish's traditional use of skirt steak. Chicken breasts make for better fajitas than chicken thighs as the breasts are leaner and have a natural grain closer to steak than thighs. Chicken breasts also gives the tacos more texture which in turn makes for a juicy finished fajita.

Three ways to serve

Traditional: Fajitas are commonly served on warm flour tortillas with sour cream, but feel free to add your favorite salsa, cilantro, or even cheese.

Bowl: You can turn slow cooker chicken fajitas into a sort of burrito bowl by adding the cooked chicken mixture to a bowl of brown rice and topping with sour cream.

Salad: Top a hearty lettuce like chopped romaine with this chicken mixture and finish with chopped cilantro and extra lime wedges for dressing.


Slow Cooker Fajitas

Serves 6 to 8

1 can diced tomatoes
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1 kilogram boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 medium bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

Options for serving: Warm flour tortillas, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, lime wedges, salsa, guacamole

Measuring cups and spoons
Chef's knife
Cutting board
Medium bowl 
6-liter or larger slow cooker
2 large forks


Place the tomatoes, chipotle pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and coriander in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

Spread about 1/2 of the tomato mixture onto the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the chicken breast in a single layer. Top with the peppers and onion, and finish with the remaining tomato mixture.

Cover and cook until the chicken is pull-apart tender, 6 to 7 hours on the LOW setting, 3 to 4 hours on the HIGH setting.

Use two large forks to shred the chicken breasts right in the slow cooker. Add the lime juice and stir to combine.

Serve with warm tortillas, guacamole, and sour cream, or other desired toppings. 


Recipe Notes

·         Gluten-free: To make this dish gluten-free, look for wheat-free canned chipotles in adobo sauce, and serve with corn tortillas.

·         Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.


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