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This easy fiesta crockpot chicken is tender, zesty, and delicious on rice bowls and burrito bowls, tucked inside tacos, or piled high on top of salads and nachos. With just 10 minutes of prep, it’s a quick, simple, and family-friendly weeknight dinner!

Close up side shot of fiesta crockpot chicken in a blue bowl over a bed of rice.
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love this Simple Fiesta Crockpot Chicken
  2. Is it Better to Cook Chicken on High or on Low in the Crock Pot?
  3. Ingredients
  4. How to Make this Fiesta Chicken Crock Pot Recipe
  5. Serving Suggestions
  6. Preparation and Storage Tips
  7. Recipe Variations
  8. Tips for the Best Crock pot Fiesta Chicken Recipe
  9. Fiesta Crockpot Chicken Recipe

If you love Crock Pot chicken recipes, be sure to try this Crock Pot chicken enchilada soup, a pot of cozy chicken and noodles, classic Crockpot BBQ chicken, a batch of Crock Pot Mississippi chicken, and this Coca Cola chicken, too!

Why You’ll Love this Simple Fiesta Crockpot Chicken

  • Easy. This is one of those great one-pot meals that you can just dump-and-go! Shred the meat, stir in the cream cheese, and your work is done!
  • Flavorful. Some Crock Pot chicken recipes can taste bland and watered down, but not this one! Between the zesty Rotel tomatoes and chilies, the herby Ranch seasoning, and the additional herbs and spices like chili powder, chives, cumin, paprika, and onion powder, this creamy shredded chicken is anything but boring.
  • Versatile. There are many different ways that you can adapt this recipe to suit your family’s preferences or to take advantage of the ingredients in your pantry. See my “Recipe Variations” section below for specific suggestions, such as adding taco seasoning or using different beans.
Overhead shot of a blue bowl with crockpot fiesta chicken with limes and green onions and cilantro on top.

Is it Better to Cook Chicken on High or on Low in the Crock Pot?

Either the high or low setting will work well, so choose whichever method suits your schedule best. Whether you cook the meat on HIGH or on LOW, it’s important that you don’t overcook the chicken or it will dry out.

Ingredients for fiesta chicken recipe in a slow cooker before cooking.

How to Keep Chicken from Drying Out in the Crock Pot

The key to maintaining moist, tender, and juicy chicken in the slow cooker is not overcooking the meat. This often requires less time than you expect! Chicken will be perfect when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature (which is why the recipe gives you general time ranges, rather than exact cooking times). Since my slow cooker tends to cook at a relatively high temperature, I find that the meal is best when cooked on HIGH for about 2 hours or on LOW for about 4 hours. Sometimes it’s done in as little as 1 ½ hours on HIGH, though. Just get familiar with your pot and adjust accordingly.

Overhead image showing how to shred crock pot chicken.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for our favorite crockpot fiesta chicken. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Chicken: you’ll need about 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken. The dark meat thighs tend to stay juicier over the longer cooking time, but either option is great. Boneless chicken breasts work well, too. Just don’t overcook them!
  • Black beans: add great flavor, texture, and filling fiber to the meal. Feel free to sub with another type of canned beans, such as pinto beans, pink beans, white beans, or kidney beans.
  • Corn: for sweet flavor, color, and texture.
  • Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies: these add a zesty kick to the dish. If you prefer a mild meal, use “mild” Rotel or sub with regular petite-diced tomatoes.
  • Garlic: for savory flavor.
  • Ranch seasoning mix: a packet of this dry seasoning blend adds bright, flavorful herbs and spices to the dish. I use Hidden Valley brand.
  • Chili powder, dried chives, cumin, paprika, and onion powder: for smoky, savory flavor. You can sub with a packet of taco seasoning mix or with a homemade taco seasoning blend if you prefer. Just remember that a packet of taco seasoning adds extra salt to the dish.
  • Cream cheese: adding half of a block of cream cheese at the end gives the sauce a thick, creamy, cheesy taste and a rich, smooth texture.
Process shot showing how to make fiesta crockpot chicken.

How to Make this Fiesta Chicken Crock Pot Recipe

This simple and delicious fiesta chicken is adapted from our popular slow cooker white chicken chili. It’s thicker than chili (since you don’t add broth), and can be used in a variety of delicious meals — from tacos to salads, rice bowls to burrito bowls — and more.

You’ll find detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  • Combine all of the ingredients (except the cream cheese) in a slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook until the chicken is done.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks (I do this right in the slow cooker so that I don’t have to wash an extra dish!).
  • Add the cream cheese and whisk for a few minutes until the cheese melts smoothly into the sauce.
Square side shot of fiesta crockpot chicken on a bowl of rice.

Serving Suggestions

In addition to the fact that it’s easy and delicious, this slow cooker fiesta chicken is incredibly versatile! Here are just a few ways to enjoy the perfectly tender, juicy, and zesty chicken:

  • Piled on top of a bed of lettuce for a chicken taco salad (add cheese, sour cream, green onions, olives, and any other fixin’s that you love);
  • Alongside Mexican cornbread;
  • Scooped up with tortilla chips like a creamy dip;
  • Stuffed inside of burritos;
  • Tucked into taco shells, corn tortillas, or soft flour tortillas for chicken tacos;
  • Toasted inside cheesy chicken quesadillas;
  • Sitting in a bowl on top of fluffy white rice or Mexican rice for burrito bowls (or cauliflower rice, if you’re looking for a grain-free dinner);
  • Baked in chicken enchiladas;
  • Topping a giant tray of chicken nachos;
  • In baked chicken taquitos;
  • Stuffed in baked potatoes, or just enjoyed by the spoonful — straight out of the pot!
Overhead shot of a bowl of crock pot fiesta chicken on a dinner table.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • How to Store: Leftover fiesta chicken will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • How to Freeze: I do not recommend freezing the chicken after you add the cream cheese. A dairy-based sauce tends to “break” or separate when thawed, giving the dish an undesirable texture. Instead, you can prepare the chicken in advance, but do not add the cream cheese. Allow the chicken to cool to room temperature, store in an airtight container or large freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen fiesta chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat over low heat, stirring the cream cheese into the pot during the final 5-10 minutes.
  • How to Reheat: Place the chicken and sauce in a saucepan. Cover and warm over low heat, just until heated through. You can also warm individual portions in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until they reach the desired temperature.
Horizontal side shot of a bowl of fiesta crockpot chicken on a table with toppings.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of adding the chili powder, chives, cumin, paprika, and onion powder, try adding a packet of taco seasoning mix or homemade taco seasoning. Just remember that taco seasoning will include extra salt.
  • For an even richer, creamier sauce, use an entire 8-ounce block of cream cheese.
  • Swap out the black beans for another variety. Good options include red beans, pink beans, pinto beans, white beans, and kidney beans.
  • Instead of spicy Rotel, use regular canned petite-diced tomatoes or try fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Add a 4-ounce can of chopped green chiles for even more flavor.
  • To feed a larger family (or to have even more leftovers), double all of the ingredients and cook 4 lbs. of chicken. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same.
  • Add freshly squeezed lime juice or the zest from a lime to the chicken at the end for bright citrus flavor.
Square overhead image of a blue bowl full of rice and topped with fiesta crock pot chicken.

Tips for the Best Crock pot Fiesta Chicken Recipe

  • A slow cooker is designed to cook raw meat, so it’s perfectly safe to use uncooked chicken in this recipe. That said, food safety experts advise against adding frozen raw chicken to the Crock Pot. The frozen meat takes too long to come to a safe temperature, allowing for the potential growth of harmful bacteria. Always thaw your meat in the fridge overnight before adding it to a Crock Pot.
  • There’s no need to add extra liquid to the slow cooker. The tomatoes and corn include juices, while the chicken releases additional liquid as it cooks. The lid keeps the condensation in the Crock Pot, so adding too much additional liquid can result in diluted, watered-down sauce. Instead, this fiesta chicken stays creamy and flavorful!
  • Be careful not to overcook your chicken. I find that the chicken breast or thighs have the best texture when cooked in my slow cooker on HIGH for about 2 hours (and are sometimes ready in just 1 ½ hours). That keeps them moist and juicy, and prevents them from drying out. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Also remember — every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature (which is why the recipe gives you general time ranges, rather than exact times). Just get familiar with your pot and adjust accordingly.
  • Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature and dice into cubes before stirring it into the pot. This will help the cheese melt smoothly into the sauce.
Overhead shot of the best fiesta chicken recipe served in a blue bowl.

More Tex-Mex Inspired Crockpot Chicken Recipes

Creamy Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

1 hour hr 35 minutes mins

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

45 minutes mins

Tostadas de Tinga {Chicken Tostadas}

2 hours hrs 10 minutes mins

Square side shot of fiesta crockpot chicken on a bowl of rice.

Fiesta Crockpot Chicken

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 408 kcal
An easy crock pot chicken recipe that includes zesty Rotel tomatoes, corn, and black beans in a creamy Ranch sauce!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can corn, not drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, not drained
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet Ranch seasoning mix (such as Hidden Valley brand)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 ounces (half of a block) cream cheese, diced into small cubes and softened at room temperature
  • Optional, for serving: tortillas or taco shells, rice, baked potatoes, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, avocado or guacamole, sour cream, chopped onion, fresh cilantro, sliced green onions

Instructions

  • In a large slow cooker, combine chicken, black beans, corn, Rotel tomatoes, garlic, Ranch seasoning, chili powder, chives, cumin, paprika, and onion powder. Cover and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 4-6 hours on LOW or about 2-3 hours on HIGH.
    Ingredients for fiesta chicken recipe in a slow cooker before cooking.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks.
    Overhead image showing how to shred crock pot chicken.
  • Add the cream cheese to the slow cooker. Whisk gently for a few minutes, just until the cream cheese melts and smoothly incorporates into the sauce, about 3-5 minutes.
    Process shot showing how to make fiesta crockpot chicken.
  • Serve over rice, in taco shells or tortillas, on salad, in baked potatoes, or on its own with tortilla chips for scooping. Garnish with optional toppings.
    Close up side shot of fiesta crockpot chicken in a blue bowl over a bed of rice.

Notes

  • A slow cooker is designed to cook raw meat, so it’s perfectly safe to use uncooked chicken in this recipe. That said, food safety experts advise against adding frozen raw chicken to the Crock Pot. The frozen meat takes too long to come to a safe temperature, allowing for the potential growth of harmful bacteria. Always thaw your meat in the fridge overnight before adding it to a Crock Pot.
  • There’s no need to add extra liquid to the slow cooker. The tomatoes and corn include juices, while the chicken releases additional liquid as it cooks. The lid keeps the condensation in the Crock Pot, so adding too much additional liquid can result in diluted, watered-down sauce. Instead, this fiesta chicken stays creamy and flavorful!
  • Be careful not to overcook your chicken. I find that the chicken breast or thighs have the best texture when cooked in my slow cooker on HIGH for about 2 hours (and are sometimes ready in just 1 ½ hours). That keeps them moist and juicy, and prevents them from drying out. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Also remember — every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature (which is why the recipe gives you general time ranges, rather than exact times). Just get familiar with your pot and adjust accordingly.
  • Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature and dice into cubes before stirring it into the pot. This will help the cheese melt smoothly into the sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 408kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 41gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 908mgPotassium: 1133mgFiber: 8gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1672IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 4mg
Keyword: crockpot fiesta chicken, fiesta chicken crock pot, fiesta crockpot chicken
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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