Introducing slow cooker shredded salsa chicken, aka Mexican shredded chicken!¬†This is a classic and you can find many variations on this recipe at food blogs and cooking sites online. Some of them have more ingredients, as few as two or three more, or I’ve seen upwards of a dozen ingredients total in shredded salsa chicken.

What I wanted to do was make a Mexican-style shredded chicken recipe as simple as possible, so I didn’t try to fancy it up with extra ingredients. I think this 3-ingredient version is superb. The taco seasoning alone enhances the flavor tremendously, and with only these ingredients, the calories stay very low.

I’ve seen oil listed in some recipes and even cream cheese in others. I don’t know why you’d use oil, and of course cream cheese is a calorie bomb, so no thanks there. I’m sure this would be good with some cheese added in or sprinkled on top, and there are plenty of low fat and even non-fat varieties if you want to add it.

But yep, 3 ingredients is all it takes and it couldn’t be simpler.

If you like, you can make your own taco seasoning. Here’s our Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle taco seasoning recipe:

1 Tbsp chili powder
1.5 tsp cumin (powder) spice
1 tsp pepper, black, ground
.5 tsp paprika
.5 tsp salt
.25 tsp garlic powder
.25 tsp onion powder
.25 tsp oregano, dried
.25 tsp red pepper, cayenne, powder

This is a small batch of 2.5 Tbsp. Taste taste it and if you like it, make in bulk and store in airtight jar for future use. An advantage of home-made from scratch seasonings is that you can adjust the spiciness (cayenne) and or the saltiness, to your taste.

Store-bought brands of taco seasoning like Old El Paso and McCormick have reduced sodium versions. The Old El Paso taco seasoning original mix has 1800mg per 1 oz packet, while the reduced sodium version has 1320mg. That’s a lot in total, but spread over 4 servings that’s only 330mg – not exorbitant.

Plus, while store bought taco seasonings do have calories, salt is calorie-free and using it in moderation is not harmful. Also, you don’t have to use the whole packet (4 Tbsp) if you don’t want to.

I posted a photo of my shredded salsa chicken on Instagram recently and wrote a caption that said, “If you have a chicken recipe thats easier than this one, I want it!” Someone replied, “Make the same shredded chicken recipe in an Instant Pot and it takes less than 30 minutes!”

Well, I think they got me on that one. But I don’t have an instant pot yet, and I’m still neck deep in learning to use all my other kitchen appliances and cookware, so it may be a while before I try it. If you have an instant pot and you make this recipe, let us know how long it took and how it came out!

There are many ways you can serve this. I usually have it over rice, often with our Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle fajita veggies (as pictured above). You can also use this chicken as taco filling, in burritos, over salads, with beans, or straight up as a lean protein source.

Remember, you can customize this recipe or any other Burn the Fat recipe in the Burn the Fat Meal Planner software (members only login here)…

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-Tom Venuto,
Author of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle
Founder of Burn the Fat Inner Circle

tomvenuto-blogAbout Tom Venuto, The No-BS Fat Loss Coach
Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilding and fat loss expert. He is also a recipe creator specializing in fat-burning, muscle-building cooking. Tom is a former competitive bodybuilder and today works as a full-time fitness coach, writer, blogger, and author. In his spare time, he is an avid outdoor enthusiast and backpacker. His book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle is an international bestseller, first as an ebook and now as a hardcover and audiobook. The Body Fat Solution, Tom’s book about emotional eating and long-term weight maintenance, was an Oprah Magazine and Men’s Fitness Magazine pick. Tom is also the founder of Burn The Fat Inner Circle – a fitness support community with over 52,000 members worldwide since 2006. Click here for membership details

shredded salsa chicken

3 Ingredient Shredded Salsa Chicken

Toss three ingredients in your slow cooker, set it, forget it, and in less than four hours you have a spicy high-protein meal, ready to go. Recipe from Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle Blog (
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Course: dinner, lunch
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, chicken breast, chicken recipes
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Calories: 266kcal
Carbohydrates: 12.5g
Protein: 38.3g
Fat: 4.4g


  • slow cooker


  • 680 g chicken breast (24oz)
  • 528 g salsa (2 cups)
  • 28 g reduced sodium taco seasoning (1 oz packet)


  • Put whole chicken breasts in slow cooker
  • Pour in salsa and add taco seasoning mix
  • Stir to mix salsa with seasoning and coat chicken
  • Shred chicken with two forks
  • Serve over rice, or any other way you like: as taco filling, in burritos, over salads, with beans, etc.


Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.5g | Protein: 38.3g | Fat: 4.4g
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