If you’ve been searching for a healthy and delicious slow cooker chicken recipe, you’ve found it! This Mexican inspired dish is loaded with flavors from South of the border. It is so simple to make and can be served in so many different ways.
It is perfect for burrito bowls, in lettuce wraps, or one of my favorite ways to serve it… over a bed of flavorful cilantro-lime rice. This freezes well so make a double batch and enjoy it for dinner this week and have one in the freezer to heat up on a busy night when you just don’t have time to make dinner for your family. You’ll be so glad you did!
Tip: Don’t skip the squeeze of fresh lime juice after cooking. It really brightens the flavors and pulls them all together. As an added bonus, zest your lime before juicing and save the zest to add a flavor boost to rice, beans, shrimp or even sprinkle on a salad. It really helps the flavors pop!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3–8 hours
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 10-oz. cans Rotel fire-roasted diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained
2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1½ T. hickory-flavored liquid smoke
2 t. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
1 t. smoked paprika
2 t. dried oregano
1 t. cayenne pepper
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 limes, quartered
¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
- Unroll and add chicken thighs to bottom of a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker crock. Top with tomatoes, black beans, garlic, jalapeno pepper, liquid smoke, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir to combine, making sure the chicken thighs are coated and submerged in the liquid.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. 30 minutes before done cooking, remove lid and shred chicken while in the slow cooker with two forks. Stir to combine shredded chicken with other ingredients. Cover and cook for remaining 30 minutes to allow chicken to absorb the flavors.
- Remove lid and squeeze fresh lime juice into the crock. Add cilantro and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired.
- To serve, spoon chicken mixture over plain brown rice or cilantro-lime rice. Top with cilantro-lime sauce if desired. Serve with remaining lime wedges. Enjoy!
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