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Smoky Chicken Tacos

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You will love the smoky flavors in these slow-cooked chicken tacos. Each bite is a perfect mix of tender chicken, zesty salsa, and a kick of chipotle. Elevate your taco night with this smoky chicken tacos recipe!


Main image for Smoky Chicken Tacos


This recipe is at the top of this week’s fuss-free recipes a lot. Perfect smoky chicken tacos cooked in a slow cooker are one of my favorite recipes.

It has great flavor, is an easy taco recipe that comes together so quickly, and lets everyone make their perfect taco with their favorite toppings.

Whether you have a great taco game or just need a new recipe card to keep the whole family happy after a long day, these crockpot chicken street tacos are really good food for everyone, even those with serious allergies.


All ingredients for smoky street tacos laid out on counter


What is a Chicken Street Taco?

Chicken street tacos crock pot are a kind of Mexican food featuring small, soft tortillas generously filled with seasoned, shredded chicken and delicious toppings but cooked in a slow cooker.

The street taco style are small handheld tacos that are perfect for a flavor-packed experience.


Raw chicken breasts with seasonings in crockpot


What is the Difference Between Chicken Tacos and Smoky Chicken Tacos?

While traditional chicken tacos are savory seasoned chicken, these tacos stand out with their smoky chipotle kick.

Slow cooking in adobo sauce gives this chicken street taco recipe a bold, smoky sauce flavor, setting them apart from a traditional shredded chicken taco recipe.


Onions, chiles, and adobo sauce all added to crock pot


What Ingredients Are in Smoky Chicken Tacos?

  • Boneless Chicken Breasts: the perfect protein base for the tacos.
  • Onion: Adds depth to the slow-cooked chicken.
  • Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce: gives a smoky, spicy flavor.
  • Cumin: my favorite Mexican food spice
  • Salt and Pepper: Seasonings enhancing the chicken’s taste.
  • Chicken Broth: Provides moisture for slow cooking the smoky chicken
  • Flour Tortillas: use your favorite ones to hug the street tacos chicken

Pro Tip: Homemade chicken stock will add more flavor to your chicken meat, but use whatever you have on hand.


Smoky Taco salsa ingredients in a bowl, unmixed


How to Make Smoky Chicken Tacos:

  1. Spray the slow cooker, place chicken, seasonings, add onions, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and cup of chicken broth.
  2. Cook on high until done.
  3. Shred cooked chicken.
  4. Strain juices, and pour some back over shredded chicken to keep warm and moist.
  5. Make fresh salsa and pickled onions if using as toppings.
  6. Assemble tacos by filling warm tortillas, with chicken, salsa, pickled onions, cotija cheese, and cilantro.


Salsa in a bowl, mixed up and ready to


What is the best fresh salsa recipe?

I have included my favorite homemade salsa on the recipe card. All you need is cherry tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, garlic, green onions, lime, salt, and pepper. 

It is one of those perfect fresh recipes that you can make a small bowl really fast or a large one to feed a crowd and it comes out perfectly.


All taco ingredients laid out and ready for assembly


Are Smoky Chicken Tacos Healthy?

Yes, smoked chicken tacos are healthy! They are made with lean chicken, topped with fresh salsa, and have minimal cheese while still tasting great.

These tacos are a tasty and balanced healthy meal.

Adjust the toppings used to suit your nutritional preferences.

Shredded cabbage is a great bed for the smoky chicken meat!


3 tortillas in a taco stand filled with shredded chicken


What to Serve with Smoky Chicken Tacos:

Serve your favorite Mexican dishes with these Slow Cooker Chicken Street Tacos. Here are some of my favorite things to serve with them:


3 tacos with shredded chicken and salsa


When to Serve Smoky Chicken Tacos:

This Chicken Street Tacos Recipe makes a perfect meal for Taco Tuesday or any day of the week you are ready for tacos.

Because they cook in the slow cooker all day, they are perfect for lively gatherings, family dinners, or meals on busy days.


3 tacos with shredded chicken, salsa and pickled red onions


Can You Make Smoky Chicken Tacos Ahead of Time?

Yes you can make smoky slow cooker chicken tacos ahead of time!

Prepare the chicken and toppings in advance and reheat before assembling tacos. 

But also since this is a crockpot chicken street tacos recipe, you can make them in the morning and have them ready to eat that night.


3 tacos with shredded chicken, salsa, pickled red onions and cheese


Can You Freeze Smoky Chicken Tacos?

Yes you can freeze street tacos with chicken! Freeze the cooked shredded chicken, then thaw and reheat when ready for tacos. Fresh salsa and toppings are best prepared fresh.

Pro Tip: You can also freeze everything raw so it is ready to dump in the slow cooker or instant pot. Just put everything that goes in the slow cooker chicken street tacos recipe in a bag. 

Label with cooking directions, and freeze in a freezer safe zip bag. The night before, pull your bag out of the freezer and in the morning, dump the ingredients straight into your slow cooker.

You can also pull it straight from the freezer to the pressure cooker and cook from frozen there.


zoomed in image of taco on a plate on it's side showing filling


How to Store Leftover Smoky Chicken Tacos:

Store leftover chicken tacos in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Be sure to store chicken and toppings separately. Reheat the chicken before assembling fresh tacos.

Are Smoky Chicken Tacos Gluten-Free?

Yes, these smoky chicken tacos are gluten free!

Be sure to use gluten free tortillas (corn tortillas are great!) to make this a perfect gluten-free meal.

Pro Tip: Always check the ingredient contents of every prepackaged dish before serving your gluten-free friends a meal. Sometimes packaging companies sneak gluten in as a substitute ingredient.


hand holding a taco, showing off filling


These smoky chicken tacos are the perfect dish when you need an easy chicken recipe everyone wants to eat. This is also a great recipe when you need an easy meal on busy nights without a lot of work.


3 tacos with shredded chicken, salsa, pickled red onions and cheese

Smoky Chicken Tacos

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours

Spice up your taco night with Smoky Chicken Tacos! Chipotle-infused, slow-cooked chicken meets zesty salsa in a flavor-packed fiesta!


  1. You can either buy or make your pickled red onions. If you are making, do now.
  2. Coat the inside of the slow cooker lightly with a cooking spray.
  3. Place boneless chicken breasts into the ceramic pot, sprinkling with cumin, salt and pepper.
  4. Add the chopped onions, chipotle chiles, and adobo sauce. Top with 1 cup of chicken broth.
  5. Set your timer to 4 hours on the high setting.
  6. When chicken is done cooking, shred the chicken with two forks.
  7. Strain the leftover juices and broth; then pour 1/2 to 1 cup back over the chicken and toss to mix. Keep the chicken warm in the slow cooker until ready to make the tacos.
  8. To make the salsa, combine together tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, green onions, and lime. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. Taco Assembly: 
  10. Keep taco shells soft by wrapping a stack of them in a damp paper towel or damp clean dish towel and microwaving them for a 45 seconds to a minute or so. If you are warming them in the oven, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wrap stacks of 5 tortillas in tin foil and warm them for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Add 3-4 tablespoons shredded chicken to each warmed tortilla.
  12. Top with fresh salsa, and garnish with spicy pickled red onions, cotija cheese, and chopped cilantro. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 977mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 32g
Originally Posted: May 7, 2021

Photos & Text Updated: February 23, 2024

Smoky Chicken Street Tacos



Sunday 17th of April 2022

Fantastic chicken tacos. Simple and delicious. For next Saturday. Thanks for sharing.


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

So glad they were a hit Vicky! Thanks for the kind comment!

Bella Adams

Monday 21st of February 2022

A very delicious recipe, it goes into my favorites!


Wednesday 4th of October 2023

Thanks Bella for the kind comment.

Patricia @ Grab a Plate

Friday 14th of May 2021

These are sure to be a weekend (or anytime!) favorite! I love the smokey flavors!


Friday 14th of May 2021

Tacos are my favorite food group!! I knew that I needed to make these the moment I laid eyes on them! So happy that we did!! These will be going into our regular rotation! thanks!


Friday 14th of May 2021

This is such a great taco recipe! Its on our regular meal rotation!

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