This recipe for Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken is super easy, delicious and perfect for meal prep. It’s flavored with cilantro, lime, green chilis and just a hint of cumin, so it’s got a little kick but is mild enough to work great in a variety of dishes.
Easy Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken
Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken is one of our favorite all-purpose recipes for meal prep because it can be used as the basis of so many lunches and dinners throughout the week and it is so dang easy. Making your own shredded chicken is also much more budget-friendly than purchasing a rotisserie chicken from the store. Best of all, it freezes well, so you can make a large batch and have an easy freezer meal dinner solution anytime you need.
The flavoring of this Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe is deliciously mellow and very adaptable, so it can be used in so much. Try adding to soups, casseroles, pizza, sandwiches or our personal favorite… tacos!
If you're looking for more chicken recipes, you’ll love this recipe Crockpot Tuscan Chicken, Cheesy Chicken and Rice, Mississippi Chicken, and Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls.
Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
This Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken is a great way to get any taco, burrito, or enchilada started. The cilantro, lime, and chile flavors are mild enough not to overpower an enchilada sauce, but it has just enough kick to make a killer taco, too.
One of our favorite ways to serve this recipe is to mix a little Salsa Ranch Dressing with some pre-shredded coleslaw and spoon it over the cilantro lime chicken in your favorite taco shell. The combination of crunchy vegetables, spicy dressing, and moist shredded chicken is insanely good.
You can also make this into a creamy cilantro lime chicken recipe by simply adding in an 8oz cube of cream cheese when the chicken has finished cooking, shred the chicken and the combination of the hot chicken and the little bit of broth in the slow cooker will melt the cream cheese. It's so yummy!
Some other topping ideas for Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos include...
- Easy Homemade Salsa
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Sliced jalapeños
- Black olives
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Taco seasoning
- Cheesy Bean Dip
More Serving Suggestions
If you are looking to mix it up a little, burritos are a quick, delicious, and filling alternative to any taco night. Just fill a large flour tortilla with your shredded chicken, Cilantro Lime Rice, refried beans, cheddar cheese and sour cream, and you’ve got a perfect weeknight dinner.
You can also use this shredded chicken in your favorite enchilada recipe, in nachos smothered with Cheddar Queso Dip, or how about taco salad? It’s even delicious served over rice with your favorite sauce, or tossed into soups, salads, sandwiches and more. The possibilities are literally endless!
Did we mention how this is our favorite meal prep recipe?
Ingredients in Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Chicken - this recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. If you want, you can try half breasts and half chicken thighs. Make sure your chicken is thawed completely before adding to the slow cooker, for safety reasons.
- Chicken Broth - a good rule of thumb is about ½ cups of chicken broth per pound of chicken.
- Garlic - fresh minced is best.
- Cumin - this adds great earthy flavor and characteristic Mexican flavor.
- Onion Powder - onion powder adds a nice sweet and savory element.
- Cilantro - use fresh, chopped cilantro. You may want to add a little extra to sprinkle over the top just before serving. Or, if you don’t love cilantro like we do, feel free to leave this ingredient out.
- Green Chilis - any brand of canned green chiles works great.
- Lime Juice - for the best flavor, use fresh squeezed lime juice.
How to Make Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe
- Add ingredients to slow cooker and cook. Into a crock pot, add the chicken breasts, chicken broth, garlic, cumin, onion powder, cilantro, canned green chilis and salt. Add the lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours.
- Shred the chicken. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place into a bowl. Use two forks to shred it, then return the chicken to the slow cooker. Mix it into the cooking liquid and let it soak up the remaining juices for a few minutes.
- Serve or store. When you are ready to serve, finish with fresh lime juice and cilantro and serve in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or let it cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
How to Make the Best Cheese-fried Corn Tortillas
While we're on the subject of tacos, let's talk about taco shells. Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to taco shells. Personally, we love a good flour tortilla. But, if you're willing to put in a few extra minutes, these cheese-fried corn tortillas will knock your socks off. We like to finish them with a little sprinkle of salt to make the flavors more intense. Talk about taco heaven!
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a couple teaspoons of avocado oil (or you can use olive oil or another cooking oil). You don’t want to pan too hot or it will burn the cheese.
- Sprinkle a little cheese (Parmesan is really good, or any other type of semi-hard cheese will work) in the bottom of the pan in a circle that is about the size of your tortillas, let it melt just slightly.
- Place a corn tortilla on top of the cheese, and cook gently until the cheese is lightly golden, then use a spatula to remove your tortilla.
- Repeat the process for the other side of the tortilla.
- Once both sides are cheese-fried, remove from the pan and sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat for as many tacos as you want to use.
- Keep the cheese-fried tortillas wrapped in a towel to keep them warm until you are ready to use. So delicious!
The most common way to shred chicken is by using two forks. With one fork in each hand, shred the warm, cooked chicken either in a bowl or on a cutting board, until you get the pieces the size that you want.
You can also use your hands if you don’t mind getting them a little dirty. Just make sure your chicken is cool enough to handle and shred until you get the pieces the size you want.
Chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees at the thickest spot to be considered cooked, so no matter what always check by using your trusted thermometer.
For this recipe it will take about 3-4 hours cooked on high, or 6-7 hours cooked on low. Of course, the more chicken you are cooking, the longer it will take and smaller pieces will cook faster so the cooking time is truly just a guideline. Always be sure and check the temperature to make sure the chicken has cooked to 165 degrees F, or that it shreds easily.
It is not recommended to put frozen chicken into the crockpot because it isn't able to get up to temperature quickly enough and will remain in the "temperature danger zone" for longer than the recommended time to be safe to consume.
Crockpot Shredded Chicken will last for up to 5 days in the fridge, or up to 6 months in the freezer. To store, just cool completely and put in airtight containers or freezer bags.
Storing and Reheating Instructions
- Refrigerator: cool completely then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: cool completely then transfer to freezer bags and store frozen for up to 6 months.
- To reheat: you can reheat in the microwave, or add to a pan with a splash of water or chicken stock and reheat over medium low heat until warmed through.
Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe
- 3-4 large Chicken Breasts boneless, skinless
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Cilantro chopped
- 1 4.5-oz can Green Chilis
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Cup Lime Juice fresh squeezed
- Into a crock pot, add the chicken breasts, chicken broth, garlic, cumin, onion powder, cilantro, canned green chilis and salt. Add the lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place into a bowl. Use two forks to shred it, then return the chicken to the slow cooker. Mix it into the cooking liquid and let it soak up the remaining juices for a few minutes.
- When you are ready to serve, finish with fresh lime juice and cilantro and serve in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or let it cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
More of the Best Shredded Chicken Recipes
- Mississippi Chicken
- Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken
- Easy Crockpot Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken
- Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
- Salsa Chicken
- Slow Cooker Tangy Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
- More Chicken Dinner Recipes
- More Crockpot Recipes
If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate it and leave a comment on this post. I love hearing feedback from you helps me and other readers too! If you love Pinterest, feel free to leave a comment and photo there too. Also, if you like to share, use the hashtag #thecarefreekitchen on Instagram and tag me @thecarefreekitchen so I can find you and give your post some love. You can also find me on Facebook at The Carefree Kitchen. Thank you!!
The flavoring of this Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe is deliciously mellow, and very adaptable, so it can be used in so much. Try adding to soups, casseroles, pizza, sandwiches or our personal favorite… tacos!
Made as directed, with 4 bone-in chicken breasts, was pretty dry. If I make again will use thighs.
The Carefree Kitchen
I'd love to know what you made with this cilantro lime chicken recipe, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, or enchiladas?