Chicken tinga is shredded chicken in a spicy sauce and can be made right in your slow cooker! Try something new this week with this easy Mexican recipe.
We have a fun Mexican meal every week instead of dining out. We like to pair this meal with Refried Black Beans.
Why this recipe works
Making chicken tinga in a slow cooker is a great way to save time and effort. Tinga is traditionally made with shredded meat, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices that are simmered together for hours. It can be served as an appetizer or main dish.
This recipe will show you how to make your own Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga so you can enjoy it anytime! The recipe only requires 10 minutes of prep work, so you have more time to enjoy your day.
What is chicken tinga?
- Tinga originates in Puebla, Mexico. It’s made with shredded chicken that is simmered in a tomato and chipotle chile sauce.
- This is a simple dish that you can customize with your favorite toppings.
- For this slow cooker recipe we will be cooking the raw chicken in the sauce, then shredding.
How do I serve this?
Chicken Tinga can be served any time of the day!
- Breakfast – serve over scrambled eggs and with refried beans.
- Lunch – add some avocado slices and scoop the mixture with tortilla chips
- Dinner – enjoy as part of your Taco Tuesday plans or even serve on tostada shells. You can also serve it over rice or use it as a filling for burritos, or quesadillas.
How to make Chicken Tinga in the slow cooker
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts – Can use chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo – These are whole smoked peppers in sauce in a can. Or use the diced versions that are found in a jar in the Mexican food section of the store.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, dried leaf oregano.
- Vegetables – Minced garlic, yellow onion, canned fire-roasted tomatoes, and sweet yellow onion.
How to store
Chicken tinga is an easy dish to prepare ahead of time. Simply cook it, allow it to cool and then store in the refrigerator or freezer for later use!
- Divide into family-sized portions (e.g., one serving per person) before freezing so that you can thaw individual servings as needed with minimal effort on your part.
- Place each portion in a sealable container with at least ¼ inch headspace and without any additional liquids added. Label containers with name and date when frozen so it’s easy to identify later. Or you can use freezer ziplock bags.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
What toppings should I use?
It takes just ten minutes of prep time before you let the slow cooker do its magic! The juicy chicken is cooked until tender so all that’s left to make are the toppings!
- Pico De Gallo Salsa – My favorite recipe from Cookie and Kate
- Diced avocado
- Cilantro leaves
- Sour Cream
- Shredded Cheese – We like sharp cheddar or Monteray Jack cheese.
You can use a whole chicken for chicken tinga. You will want to remove the chicken after cooking and remove the meat from the bones (this will be shredded meat). Add the chicken back to the sauce. You may want to degrease the sauce before serving, for a whole chicken can be greasy.
Yes, chicken tinga can be spicy due to the chipotle peppers. You can lessen the heat by cutting the peppers in half.
Chicken tinga is lower in carbs though it’s not completely carb-free. The carbs in the recipe come from tomatoes and onions.
More Mexican Slow Cooker Recipes:
Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga
- Slow Cooker – 4 quart or larger
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced (these are found in a can in the Mexican section of the store)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried leaf oregano (not ground)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 sweet yellow onion sliced (see photos, I don't do these very long, I cut the sliced onions in half again)
- Place the chicken breasts into the slow cooker.
- Spread over the chopped chipotle pepper in adobo over the chicken.
- Sprinkle over the salt, pepper, oregano and garlic.
- Pour over the fire-roasted tomatoes.
- Add the sliced onions.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker.
- Cook on HIGH For 4 hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours.
- When the cooking time is done, shred the chicken. Do this by taking two forks and pulling the meat. You can do this right in the slow cooker.
- Serve and enjoy!
How to Video:
- Pico De Gallo Salsa
- Diced avocado
- Cilantro leaves
- Sour Cream
- Shredded Cheese – We like sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.