Transitional months like September always feel a little chaotic in my house as we switch gears from summer. We’re out the door earlier. Get home later. And have more extracurricular activities and errands to run. So, I like to stay grounded (or at least attempt to) by serving healthy family dinners.
To make this happen, I prepare meals that are simple, big on taste, and offer you some flexibility when menu planning. One surefire way—which I promise will change your life…Honest Jen will attest to this fact—is to turn on your slow cooker. It’s designed to do the dirty work for you, it saves you not just minutes but hours, and it frees you from the 5 PM sprint around the kitchen.
What do I make in my slow cooker? A rock-your-world easy, but seriously delicious shredded chicken. I developed this recipe because my family and I love eating Mexican food and wanted a less greasy version of our favorite restaurant soft tacos.
Bonus: I found that my healthier version of shredded chicken was not only perfect in salads, enchiladas, and tortilla soup, but also could be adapted to create different varieties. Not in the mood for tacos? Follow the same recipe, but substitute BBQ sauce for salsa and enjoy pulled chicken sandwiches. Want shredded chicken without any extra flavor? You can do the same and simply cook it in broth with seasoning of your choice.
This recipe keeps my family of three fed for two to three meals throughout the week.
Easiest Shredded Chicken in the World
2-3 free range/organic boneless skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
1.5 cups homemade or store-bought salsa
1 medium onion, loosely diced (optional)
Pour 1/2 cup salsa (about 1/3 of a jar) in slow cooker to coat the bottom. If I don’t make my own, I enjoy using an organic salsa verde from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Next, layer in chopped onions before nestling 2-3 frozen boneless chicken breasts in the salsa (yes, I did say frozen!). Pour remaining salsa over the chicken so it’s covered and stays moist.
If you’re looking to get fancy (wink), have fun experimenting with complementary flavors and spices like lime, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, oregano, garlic, and jalapenos.
With the lid on, cook on high for six hours (I’ve even cooked—er, forgotten about—the chicken for 8 hours and it was still yummy). Of course, cooking time will vary depending on your pot’s size and power or if you use fresh chicken breasts. Just make sure the chicken is done — the meat will be white throughout and shred without resistance. Thirty minutes before the chicken is ready for eating, shred the chicken by pulling it apart with two forks and let it simmer in the sauce.
Honest Jen’s Take on the Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken: I was so excited when Honest Sarah told me about this recipe — I had received a slow cooker as a wedding gift and it had been sitting in the box since then…2 years…cough, cough. I changed up the recipe a bit by using three kinds of salsa: organic mild salsa, organic medium/hot salsa, and organic salsa verde. The combo was amazing and the recipe could not have been easier. P.S. The more chicken you use, the more leftovers you have for a week – and it’s really great as leftovers for a variety of different meals!
~ Honest Sarah