Slow Cookers are kitchen bosses.

I absolutely love mine, though I’m not one of the fanatics who think you can and should make everything in them. If I want lasagna, or say, brownies, I still think the regular old oven is the way to go. But there are some things slow cookers do better than anything else.

Mine used to get the most action in the winter, naturally.  I could never figure out a way to use it in the warmer months, even though I rarely want to turn on the oven in the summer. Then I discovered a way to make the most delicious spicy shredded chicken – with literally almost no work.

It may be a bold claim, but I believe that with this recipe, you will make the best homemade tacos you’ve ever had without touching your stove. Plus the leftovers can make even more oven-free meals – sandwiches, salads, burritos! Taco Night, I didn’t think I could love you more.

Make these for your family on Cinco De Mayo, and it may just become your new favorite holiday.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Serves 4-6 (with leftover chicken!) You need a 4 qt or larger slow cooker

For the chicken

  • 3-4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1  4.5 oz can of Chipotle peppers in Adobo (found in the salsa section)
  • 1 tsp of salt

Put the chicken in the slow cooker and sprinkle with the salt. Add the chipotles with their sauce.

My family loves the spice, so I use the whole can. If you want your chicken more on the mild (but still delicious) side, use half the contents of the can and save the rest.

Close it up and set it for as long as you can. I find the longer you can leave it in there the better. I like to try to get it going before the kids leave for school and set it for 8 hours, but in a pinch 4 hours will get the job done.

When  the time is up, open carefully to let the steam escape.

Using tongs or a fork, remove the peppers and discard.

Use a ladle or large spoon to remove about a cup of the liquid from the cooker.

Then use two forks to shred the chicken. It should be very very tender and practially fall apart. Keep warm in the slow cooker until you’re ready to serve.

For the red cabbage slaw

  • 4 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup green or savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup kale leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced horizontally (divide in half and use half for garnishing the finished tacos)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 small lime
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • generous sprinkling of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so if you can before serving to let the flavors really come together.

For garnish (use any or all of these, in any combination)

  • crumbled goat cheese
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • salsa or hot sauce
  • sliced scallions
  • Roughly chopped cilantro leaves

To serve

Use small flour or corn tortillas – as many as you think you’ll need. My family members eat an average of 3 tacos each, but admittedly we have big appetites. Do your own math. I usually buy a 10 count package of each so we’ve got tortillas for leftovers the next day.

Warm the tortillas slightly in a low oven for a few minutes before serving. Set everything out on the table and have at it.

Have a go-to taco night recipe at your house? We’d love to hear about it!