Crock Pot Chicken Carnitas

Making these Mexican chicken carnitas in a slow cooker is super simple and they taste amazing. Serve this shredded chicken in a soft tortilla with diced jalapeño peppers, onions, cheese and more!

Shredded chicken on soft flour tortilla wraps.

Carnitas are the Mexican equivalent to pulled pork. Traditional carnitas are made by using a well marbled piece of pork, like a boston butt or picnic roast. The ‘true’ way to cook the meat is to braise it in lard over a low heat, until the meat is tender.

Once the pork is well cooked, the heat is turned up to crisp the edges of the meat. It is then removed from the lard, allowed to cool and shredded, just like pulled pork. Served on a taco or burrito shell with various toppings,  like pico de gallo, cilantro, cheese, guacamole and more, carnitas are moist, tender and incredibly delicious.

Overhead picture of chicken carnitas next to a bowl of black bean and corn salad

I have been giving my new slow cooker a spin over this past week and I wanted to  try a chicken version of the classic carnita. It is far healthier than the pork variety as it is quite low in fat. Do not think that I say this because I do not eat the pork carnita version – oh yeah – I sure do. But, if you are looking for a healthy version of the carnitas, then this is it!

Typically, the pork roast is slow cooked in lard, but I decided to cook the chicken breasts in diced tomatoes, onions and peppers. The flavour was amazing and the chicken was tender and moist.

Slow cooker chicken carnitas topped with diced peppers and onions.

Other Mexican Dishes

Slow cooker chicken carnitas are perfect as part of a Mexican meal. Here are some other great recipes that are great alongside these carnitas.

A bowl of shredded chicken and two carnitas.

Chicken Carnitas

Shredded chicken on soft flour tortilla wraps.
5 out of 5
3 reviews
Slow cooked chicken breasts or thighs in a crock pot with tomatoes, onions, peppers and spices. Similar to pork carnitas. Serve on corn or flour taco shells.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 10


  • 5 chicken breasts , boneless and skinless
  • 1 can diced tomatoes , (28oz) can
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 1 red pepper , diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers , minced (seeds removed)
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Place all the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Once the cooking time is done, take the chicken out of the crock pot dish and shred with two forks.
  • Strain the juice out of the crock pot into a bowl to reserve. Leave the cooked tomatoes, onions and peppers in the crock pot. Mix in the shredded chicken. If the mixture seems too dry, add a bit of the reserved liquid.
  • Serve the mixture on taco shells with desired toppings like: cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, chopped jalapenos or fresh cilantro. Squeeze some fresh lime juice on as well!
  • This mixture is also great on salad or even nacho chips.


Per serving:

Calories: 90kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 13gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 413mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3g

Nutrition Disclaimer


Shredded chicken on soft flour tortilla wraps.

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating


  • 5 stars
    Great recipe! We used the meat for wraps and enchiladas! The recipe is great as is!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    This recipe worked like a charm. I used jar jalapeno and jar roasted capsicum. After the chicken was finished, instead of mixing it into the tomatoes, onions and peppers, I blended all of the left over sauce, added a bit of salt and used it as a spicy Taco sauce.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Looks like a fantastic feast. 🙂

    • Reply

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