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platter of soft tacos with chicken tinga, red onion, cheese, and cilantro

Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga

The most delicious shredded chicken tacos! Flavorful, tender, juicy and smoky, and cooking them is a breeze in your slow cooker.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Simmer time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 205kcal
Cost $10


  • Crockpot or othe Slow Cooker
  • medium skillet
  • garlic press (optional)
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • Blender or food processor


  • 2 ½ 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
  • 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. 


Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 542mg | Potassium: 481mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 292IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg