Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TINGA

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This slow cooker chicken tinga is a must-try that’s effortless to prepare! The slow cooker makes the chicken incredibly juicy allowing the flavors to blend perfectly. As the chicken tinga cooks slowly, it absorbs all the delicious flavors of the smoky chipotle peppers, enchilada sauce, and aromatic spices. It’s an easy way to create a mouthwatering meal that’s bursting with flavor.

Why You Will Love Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga

  • You can easily make chicken tinga in the slow cooker! There’s only about 5 minutes of prep time!
  • It’s made with simple ingredients.
  • The enchilada sauce and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce infuse the chicken with flavor.
  • It is the perfect balance of heat and smokiness.
  • The spices add incredible flavor to the dish.
  • The chicken turns out juicy and flavorful.
  • You can store leftovers in the fridge or freezer!
  • It reheats well, making it a convenient option for meal prep!

What Is Chicken Tinga?

Chicken tinga is a delicious Mexican dish that consists of shredded chicken in a flavorful tomato and chipotle sauce. It also contains diced onion, garlic, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and spices such as cumin, oregano, and a bay leaf. Instead of crushed tomatoes, we used enchilada sauce and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for incredible flavor!

Also, we made this dish in the slow cooker! The slow cooker does all the cooking for you! The chicken is simmered in the sauce until it’s tender, juicy, and infused with flavor. 

You can serve chicken tinga in a bowl or use it to make tacos, tostadas, burritos, quesadillas, or enchiladas! It’s incredibly versatile, and you can easily make it in your slow cooker with this recipe!

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients for slow cooker chicken tinga
  • Chicken: Use two boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Onion: Use one medium-sized white or sweet onion. Dice the onion for this recipe.
  • Garlic: Add two crushed garlic cloves for flavor.
  • Enchilada Sauce: Use your favorite store-bought or homemade red enchilada sauce.
  • Chipotle Peppers: Add chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
  • Cumin: Add cumin for depth and warmth.
  • Oregano: The oregano complements the flavors of this recipe.
  • Bay Leaf: Adds a subtle earthy flavor to the dish.

How To Make Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga

Step 1: Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Make sure to season both sides of the chicken.

Step 2: Add the seasoned chicken to the slow cooker.

Seasoned chicken in a slow cooker

Step 3: Add the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to a cutting board. Then, finely chop them.

Step 4: Add the diced onion, crushed garlic, enchilada sauce, chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, cumin, and oregano to the slow cooker.

Chicken tinga ingredients in slow cooker

Step 5: Lightly mix the ingredients in the slow cooker. After that, add the bay leaf on top.

Mixed chicken tinga ingredients in a slow cooker

Step 6: Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook everything on low.

Step 7: Carefully remove the fully cooked chicken from the slow cooker. Also, remove the bay leaf. Place the chicken on a cutting board and shred it with two forks.

Shredded chicken tinga

Step 8: Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker, mix, and let it simmer on low. Then, serve this chicken tinga and enjoy!

Shredded chicken in slow cooker

How Long To Cook Chicken Tinga In The Slow Cooker

Cook this chicken tinga in the slow cooker for 3-4 hours on low, or until the chicken is fully cooked and has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. Or, you can cook it for 2-3 hours on high, but it may not be as juicy.

How To Serve Chicken Tinga

There are so many ways to serve chicken tinga! I love making a chicken tinga bowl. Add the shredded chicken tinga to a bowl or serve it over cooked white rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice. Also, you can add sliced avocado, rinsed and drained black beans, Cotija cheese, or your favorite toppings to the bowl. Some other optional toppings are guacamole, avocado crema, sour cream, chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, or lime wedges.

For another option, make chicken tinga tacos with flour tortillas or corn tortillas. Or, make lettuce wraps, burritos, tostadas, quesadillas, enchiladas, burrito bowls, or nachos! There are so many ways you can serve this dish!

Expert Tips

  • How To Shred The Chicken: You can shred the fully cooked chicken on a cutting board using two forks. Or, add the cooked chicken to a stand mixer or hand mixer. Then, turn the mixer on low and it will shred the chicken.
  • Cook The Chicken On Low: For juicy tender chicken that isn’t dry, let it cook and simmer in the slow cooker on low, not high.
  • Ensure It’s Fully Cooked: Check that the chicken is fully cooked using a meat thermometer.
  • Let Simmer: After shredding the chicken, add it to the slow cooker to simmer in the sauce for at least another five minutes to absorb all the flavors before serving.
  • Add Spices: The cumin, oregano, and bay leaf add depth of flavor.
  • Freeze Leftover Chipotle Peppers: We love this tip! You can freeze leftover chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in an ice cube tray for later! This makes it super easy and quick to add it to any dishes you may need it for.
Chopped chipotle peppers

Storage Instructions

Store leftovers of this slow cooker chicken tinga in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Then, reheat it in the oven, microwave, or a saucepan over low heat on the stove.

Chicken tinga in a storage container

Variations

  • Use Tomatoes: You can use one large can of fire-roasted tomatoes in this recipe instead of enchilada sauce if you prefer. However, you will need to use double the amount of chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, and oregano, and add two bay leaves. Blend the fire-roasted tomatoes in a blender with the additional spices except for the bay leaves. Add the bay leaves on top in the slow cooker.
  • Adjust The Spice: Add another tablespoon of chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to make this chicken tinga more spicy. Or, use hot enchilada sauce for more spice.
  • What Enchilada Sauce To Use: Use your favorite store-bought red enchilada sauce. Or, make homemade enchilada sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make This Recipe Ahead Of Time?

Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Can You Freeze Chicken Tinga?

Yes, you can freeze slow cooker chicken tinga! First, let it completely cool. Then, store it in an airtight freezer-safe bag or container for up to two months.

Is Chicken Tinga Gluten-Free?

This chicken tinga recipe is naturally gluten-free if you use a gluten-free enchilada sauce.

More Slow Cooker Recipes To Try Next!

If you try this recipe please be sure to leave us a comment and star rating ★★★★★ letting us know how it turns out for you.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TINGA

Recipe by Shawna
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: MainCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

4

hours 
Calories

341

kcal

This slow cooker chicken tinga is a must-try that’s effortless to prepare! It’s an easy way to create a mouthwatering meal that’s bursting with flavor.

Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1.5 pounds

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 medium-sized white or sweet onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 16 oz enchilada sauce

  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 bay leaf

Directions

  • Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Add the seasoned chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Finely chop the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
  • Add the diced onion, crushed garlic, enchilada sauce, chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, cumin, and oregano to the slow cooker.
  • Lightly mix the ingredients in the slow cooker. Then, add the bay leaf on top.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook everything on low for 3-4 hours, or until fully cooked and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Once the chicken is fully cooked, carefully remove the bay leaf and chicken from the slow cooker. Place the chicken on a cutting board. Then, shred the chicken with two forks.
  • Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker, mix, and let it simmer on low for another 5-10 minutes. Then, serve this chicken tinga and enjoy!

Equipment

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • You can store leftover chicken tinga in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Or, freeze leftovers for up to two months.
  • WW Points™: 1 point per serving
  • To see your WW Points™ in the WW app for this recipe click here! Or, please manually add the ingredients to the recipe builder.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently. It could vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

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Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container


  • Amount Per ServingCalories341
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 3.2g 5%
    • Saturated Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 130mg 44%
  • Sodium 1080mg 45%
  • Potassium 52mg 2%
  • Total Carbohydrate 20.8g 7%
    • Dietary Fiber 5.8g 20%
    • Sugars 9.6g
  • Protein 52.4g 104%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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