Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga

8 servings
3 hr 10 min

Chicken Tinga makes the most delicious shredded chicken tacos! Flavorful, tender, juicy and smoky! Cooking them is a breeze in your slow cooker.

This versatile Mexican dinner idea is a great option for a busy weeknight meal or for a gathering. I mean, who doesn’t LOVE tacos?

I could probably eat Mexican food DAILY! You too? A couple of my favorite Mexican inspired dishes:

You can also use Chicken Tinga in tostadas, burritos, or nachos.

One of the things I love about this dish is it uses mostly staple ingredients and things that are not hard to find.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs– dark meat here is tender and juicy.
  • Onion– one of the main flavor components of the dish, slice it about 1/4 inch thick, doesn’t need to be exact, you just want it thin.
  • Garlic, cumin, oregano– adds key flavors for this dish.
  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes– the base of the sauce.
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce– This is what gives you the smoky spice. Find it in the “ethnic” aisle at your grocery store.
  • Red onion, cotija cheese, cilantro- toppings for the tacos.

How to Make Chicken Tinga

STEP ONE: Prepare the chicken

  • Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper and place it in the Crockpot and set aside

STEP TWO: Saute’ onions

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the sliced onions. Sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and transfer the onions to the slow cooker on top of the chicken.

STEP THREE: Make the sauce

  • Place the tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano, and chipotle peppers, adobo sauce in the pitcher of a blender. Puree the ingredients until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour over the top of the onions and the chicken.

STEP FOUR: Cook and enjoy!

  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for two to three hours or low for four to six hours.
  • When it’s finished cooking, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken.

AFMT PRO-TIP~ A great shortcut to shredding chicken is to use a stand mixer. Place the chicken in the bowl of the mixer. Use the paddle attachment and turn the mixer to ‘stir’ or 1 or 2 (too high will throw the chicken out of the bowl!). After a minute or so, you’ll have shredded chicken! Check out this video to see it in action.

  • Return the chicken back to the slow cooker, and allow it to simmer, on low, in the sauce for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • To make tacos with your chicken tinga, serve on tortillas topped with red onion, cilantro, and Cotija cheese. Squeeze the juice of a lime wedge over the top if desired.

This is truly so flavorful and so easy to make, I think this Chicken Tinga recipe going to become your new favorite for all things taco related.


For pro-tips, notes and variations of this recipe, be sure to visit the blog! Thanks for reading!! icon

Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga
Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 3 Hours Total time: 3 hr 10 min
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  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce plus 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce the peppers are in.
  • Tortillas flour or corn
  • Red onion
  • Cotija cheese
  • Cilantro
  • lime wedges optional

Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place in the Slow Cooker and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add the sliced onions and saute’ until translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer onions to the slow cooker, on top of the chicken.
Add tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano, and chilis in adobo sauce to a blender. Puree’ until blended into a sauce, about 30 seconds.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and onions. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the thighs to a cutting board and shred with two forks. See my tip in the notes for shredding chicken with a stand mixer.
Return the meat back to the sauce. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes on low or warm setting.
Serve over tortillas with red onion, cilantro, cheese, and a squeeze of lime.
  • The heat in this recipe is medium. For mild, use 1 chili and 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce; For hot, use 3 chilis and 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
  • For mild, use 1 chili and 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce;
  • For hot, use 3 chilis and 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
  • This can also be made with boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Shredding chicken hack: If you have a stand mixer, place the thighs in the bowl of the stand mixer, use the paddle attachment, and turn the mixer to ‘stir’ or a low setting, run until chicken is shredded.
  • For the most authentic flavor I recommend the Cotija cheese, but any cheese is fine.
Chellie | Art From My Table
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