These slow cooker chicken tacos are drenched in a delicious honey chipotle sauce and couldn’t be easier to make!
Slow cooker chicken tacos are kind of an oxymoron to me. I usually think of tacos as a quick, summery kind of food; whereas the slow cooker brings thoughts of winter food. However, when you combine the two, you get the most awesome tacos that are truly great to devour all year round. Follow me…
Honey Chipotle Chicken
There are numerous different varieties of slow cooker chicken tacos, but today we’re going for the glorious combo of honey and chipotle. Let’s take a quick look at what you’ll need:
- Chicken Thighs – Make sure they’re boneless and skinless. Trim excess fat.
- Honey – Regular runny honey.
- Chipotle Paste – This adds a nice kick of chipotle flavour.
- Tomato Puree – Deepens the flavour and colour of the sauce.
- Chicken Stock – Creates the base of the sauce and prevents the chicken from drying out in the slow cooker.
- Lime Juice – Pairs beautifully with both honey and chipotle.
- Spices – Here I use smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt & pepper.
Where can I find Chipotle Paste?
If you’re in the UK, you’ll find it in a small pot near the spice section in most supermarkets.
Can I sub Chipotle Chilis in Abodo Sauce?
If you can’t find chipotle paste, you could definitely sub chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (more on this in the recipe card below).
Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken
When it comes to cooking the chicken, I like to combine everything before adding the chicken, just so everything (namely the spice mix) gets evenly distributed. From there, you can toss in the chicken until evenly coated.
How long should I cook for?
I typically do HIGH for 3.5 hours. But you could do low for 6-7 hours. Thighs are fairly forgiving so it’s more difficult to overcook them, but it can happen so just be vigilant. The chicken is cooked when it’s piping hot all through the centre and falls apart very easily.
Process shots: add ingredients to slow cooker (photo 1), stir to combine (photo 2), add chicken (photo 3), toss to combine (photo 4), add lid and slow cook (photos 5&6).
Extra Saucy Slow Cooker Chicken
Now, once the chicken has cooked, you’ll notice a lot of liquid in the base of the slow cooker. A lot of other recipes would suggest shredding the chicken and placing it back in the slow cooker to soak up the liquid. However, I find it still comes out slightly watery because the sauce is never that thick. As such, what I like to do is thicken the sauce separately.
Aka cornflour slurry, depending on where you are in the world. This is essentially just equal parts cornstarch and water, which acts as a thickening agent. Once you’ve removed the chicken just pour the sauce into a pot and simmer with the cornstarch slurry until it’s gorgeously thick and syrupy. This will coat the chicken MUCH better and result in saucy, rather than watery chicken.
Process shots: remove chicken (photo 1), simmer liquid in a pot with cornstarch slurry (photo 2), gently shred chicken (photos 3&4), pour over thickened sauce (photo 5), toss to combine (photo 6).
Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos
Okay, chicken done and dusted, let’s talk tacos.
What kind of tortillas to use?
I love using Old El Paso White Corn Street Tortillas, which you’ll find in most supermarkets that sell Old El Paso collections. In reality though any small tortillas will do the trick.
Lime Pickled Onions
One thing I love adding to these tacos is pickled onions. Just dice up an onion and mix with some lime juice and leave to pickle as the chicken cooks.
Alongside the lime pickled onions, I add Cotija cheese (or feta), avocado and some coriander/cilantro.
Process shots: top tortilla with chicken (photos 1&2), add avocado (photo 3), add pickled onions (photo 4), add cheese (photo 5), add coriander/cilantro (photo 6).
Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos FAQ
How spicy are these tacos?
They’ve got a good kick of spice, but nothing crazy. The spice will also mellow out once the sauce is mixed with the chicken.
How sweet are these tacos?
The honey is very mellow, as it should be. You don’t want them too sweet, because chicken is fairly off-putting if it’s too sweet. The honey is mainly there to balance out the other powerful/spicy flavours.
Can I use chicken breast instead of thigh?
I highly recommend using thigh, because it’s fattier and more flavoursome than breast. Also, as I mentioned, it’s more difficult to overcook. If you’ve only got breast it’ll still work, just be vigilant it doesn’t dry out and overcook.
Can I make these ahead of time?
The chicken is at its sauciest, juiciest and most tender when served right away, so I recommend making it fresh if you can. Having said that, you can tightly store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat until piping hot when needed.
Serving Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos
The amount of tacos you’ll get from this recipe is entirely dependent on how much chicken you pack in and how big the tortillas are. I usually get around 12 tacos though.
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these slow cooker chicken tacos shall we?!
How to make Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos (Full Recipe & Video)
Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos
- Slow Cooker
- Medium Sized Pot or Pan & Whisk (for thickening sauce)
- Small Pot (for combining cornstarch & water)
- Baking Tray or Dish & 2 Forks (for shredding chicken)
- Small Bowl (for pickling onions)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Ingredients (check list):
Honey Chipotle Chicken
- 2lb / 1kg boneless skinless Chicken Thighs, large bits of fat trimmed
- 3/4 cup / 180ml Chicken Stock
- 1/4 cup / 80g Honey
- 2 tbsp Chipotle Paste (see notes)
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
- 1 Lime, juice only
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp EACH: Cumin, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch/Cornflour
Lime Pickled Onions
- 1 medium Red Onion, finely diced
- 1 Lime, juice only
- pinch of Salt
- pinch of Sugar
- 12 small/street market Tortillas, warmed (see notes)
- 2 Avocados, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup / 80g crumbled Cotija Cheese, or to preference (can sub feta)
- finely diced Coriander/Cilantro, to garnish (only add this if you know you love it)
- In the base of a slow cooker combine chicken stock, honey, chipotle paste, tomato puree and lime juice with smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt & black pepper. Add chicken thighs and use your tongs to coat them.
- Add the lid on and cook for 3-4 hours in HIGH or 6-7 hours on LOW. The chicken is cooked when it's piping hot through the centre and very easily falls apart.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine finely diced onion with lime juice and good pinch of salt & sugar. Leave to pickle for as long as the chicken takes to cook, tossing every now and then if you can.
- Once the chicken has cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and place in a dish or curved baking tray. Pour the liquid into a pot or pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Combine 1 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour with 1 tbsp water then whisk into the sauce. Simmer until thickened (10mins or so).
- Gently shred the chicken (don't over-shred in the first instance) then pour over your preferred amount of sauce. Toss to combine, shredding a little more if needed.
- Serve in tortillas with cotija/feta, avocado, pickled onions and coriander/cilantro.(optional).
Quick 1 min demo!
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