Chipotle Chicken Tacos

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Indulge in Chipotle Chicken Tacos, where the slow cooker does all the work, turning chicken into a tender, succulent masterpiece, beautifully glazed in a savory honey-chipotle sauce.

Chipotle chicken tacos on a platter, topped with fresh vegetables and beans.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

My renowned chipotle sauce has already graced Pork Taquitos and these Pulled Pork Sandwiches, so it seemed fitting to pair it with chicken. Having experimented with taquitos and sandwiches, it’s time to showcase this succulent, saucy chicken in tacos.

Imagine charred tortillas filled with sweet-and-spicy shredded chicken, savory black beans, tangy pickled red onions, and creamy avocado. These tacos are the epitome of perfection!

What’s more, creating Chipotle Chicken Tacos is a breeze. The slow cooker ensures the chicken is tender and fully cooked, while the sauce requires nothing more than blending a few ingredients. As for the toppings, you can go as elaborate or as simple as you prefer. 

Preparing rub and applying it to meat, adding meat to crockpot, making chipotle sauce in blender, shredding meat, and adding sauce.

Ingredients In Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Chicken Ingredients:

  • Chicken Broth: Adds moisture and flavor to the chicken as it cooks in the slow cooker.
  • Chicken Thighs: The main protein of the dish, known for its tenderness and flavor.
  • Seasonings (Brown Sugar, Chili Powder, Sweet Paprika, Ground Cumin, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper): A blend that provides sweetness from brown sugar, smokiness from chili powder and paprika, earthiness from cumin, subtle garlic flavor, and overall seasoning to enhance taste.

Sweet Chipotle Sauce Ingredients:

  • Ketchup: Acts as the base of the sauce, giving it a tangy and sweet flavor.
  • Sweeteners (Brown Sugar & Honey): Balance the spiciness of the chipotle with their sweetness.
  • Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce: Provides the distinctive smoky heat.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds acidity to balance the sweetness.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Brings a complex, savory flavor.
  • Minced Garlic: Adds a pungent, aromatic flavor.


Adjust the sauce to your liking, focusing on the chipotles for balance to prevent it from being too sweet. Add them gradually and taste frequently to avoid making the sauce too spicy. Keep in mind that the tortilla, chicken, and other taco toppings will also help mellow the sauce’s heat.

Pickled onions in a bowl, ready to be used as a topping.

How To Make Chipotle Chicken Tacos

  1. Prepare Chicken: Mix spices and rub on chicken thighs. Place in a slow cooker with chicken broth and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  2. Shred Chicken: Once cooked, shred the chicken.
  3. Make Sauce: Blend ketchup, brown sugar, honey, chipotle chilies, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Toss with shredded chicken.
  4. Char Tortillas: Lightly char tortillas over a flame or in a pan.
  5. Assemble Tacos: Fill tortillas with chicken, top with black beans, avocado, pickled onions, and cheese. Serve hot.

Finished chipotle chicken tacos, ready to eat, topped with fresh cilantro, pickled onions, and other toppings.


There are so many options for topping Chipotle Chicken Tacos! Below are our favorites:

  • Fresh cilantro and fresh lime: The fresh herbs and acid from the lime cut through the sweetness of the sauce and add a nice depth of flavor.
  • Pickled red onions: Making pickled red onions can be a process, so I’ve shared my “cheater” quick version which takes less than 5 minutes and four ingredients (pantry staples) to make. 
  • Thinly sliced avocado: I recommend  some type of avocado in most of my taco recipes, because they add a great creamy element.
  • Black beans: This is the ingredient I think really balances the tacos. The savory beans complement the sweet and tangy sauce. They also add a nice textural element.
  • Cotija cheese: If you’re someone that loves cheese on your tacos, a sprinkle of cotija or queso cotija adds a nice touch. Both are fairly salty, so add slowly and avoid adding too much additional salt to top the tacos.

Finished meal with the shell open, showcasing all the delicious ingredients inside.

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Chipotle Chicken Tacos

5 from 6 votes
Indulge in Chipotle Chicken Tacos, where the slow cooker does all the work, turning chicken into a tender, succulent masterpiece, beautifully glazed in a savory honey-chipotle sauce.
Finished chipotle chicken tacos, ready to eat, topped with fresh cilantro, pickled onions, and other toppings.
Print Recipe

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Finished chipotle chicken tacos, ready to eat, topped with fresh cilantro, pickled onions, and other toppings.
5 from 6 votes
Indulge in Chipotle Chicken Tacos, where the slow cooker does all the work, turning chicken into a tender, succulent masterpiece, beautifully glazed in a savory honey-chipotle sauce.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Chipotle Chicken Tacos
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 623kcal
Cost $7.10



  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fatty parts removed
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon EACH: chili powder and sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

Sweet Chipotle Sauce

  • 1 cup (263g) ketchup We like Heinz
  • 1/2 cup (95g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (232g) honey
  • 2 tablespoons sauce surrounding chipotle chilies in adobo + 1 tablespoon of a chipotle chili pepper (cut down if needed)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic


  • 12-14 (depending on size and how loaded the tacos are) Thin corn tortillas (I like Mission) or flour tortillas (I like TortillaLand)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Quick "pickled" red onions (See Note 1)
  • 1-2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced
  • Cotija or queso cotija cheese
  • Optional: additional fresh lime and fresh cilantro


  • PREP: Spray a large (6 quart) slow cooker with cooking spray. Pour the chicken broth in the bottom of the slow cooker. Trim off fatty parts of chicken thighs (some fat is fine; most will render off, I just slice off the big pieces on the sides). Combine the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to personal preference; I add 1/2 tablespoon fine sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir and then rub evenly over the chicken.
  • COOK CHICKEN: Place the chicken and chicken broth in the slow cooker in an even layer. No need to stir. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours; it takes about 4 and 1/2 to 5 hours in my cooker.
  • SHRED CHICKEN: Once the meat is completely cooked, remove the chicken to a large bowl. Shred with two forks.
  • SAUCE: When the chicken is almost finished cooking, prepare the sauce. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I add 1/4 teaspoon of each.) Blend or process until completely smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients to preference. You may want more chipotle for a hotter sauce (but add slowly!) or a little more salt or pepper. Toss about half of the sauce with the shredded chicken to warm it through. Add sauce gradually just until the chicken is nicely coated. Taste and adjust salt/pepper.
  • CHAR TORTILLAS: Spray both sides of the tortillas with olive oil cooking spray and char the tortillas directly over the gas flames for a few seconds. Use tongs to flip until tortillas are lightly charred and soft. Immediately fold the tortilla in half (so it will fold into a taco nicely later) and set aside.
  • ASSEMBLE: Top charred tortillas with saucy chipotle chicken. Add your favorite toppings; we like drained, rinsed, and warmed black beans, thinly sliced ripe avocado, pickled red onions, a sprinkle of queso cotija cheese, fresh cilantro, and a few squeezes of fresh lime. If desired, add additional chipotle sauce to tacos or dip the tacos in the sauce. Any leftover sauce will stay good for 5-7 days in an airtight container in the fridge and can be tossed with cooked chicken or pork. Enjoy while hot!


Recipe Notes

Note 1:Pickled onions: If you'd like to add quick pickled red onions to top these tacos with, you'll need:
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the red onion, red wine vinegar, salt and sugar. Toss to coat. Leave at room temperature and toss every 5 minutes or so, while preparing the rest of the meal.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 623kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 217mg | Sodium: 1937mg | Potassium: 1077mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 648IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 5mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


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Recipe Rating


  1. This is great, I actually put some chicken in the slow cooker yesterday night and I have barbecue sauce, just going to grab some tortillas on my way home.

  2. I love this version for tacos! Sometime’s I get tired of the same old stuff…I can’t wait to give this a try!

  3. This recipe is amazingly awesome! I add roasted red peppers to the sauce and it was even better. Thanks Chelsea.

    1. Ooo that sounds delicious!! I’ll have to try adding some roasted red peppers next time I make this 🙂 Thanks for the comment! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this for my family and everyone loved it. We ate the leftovers the next day and I think the sauce was even better one day later.

    1. Yay!! So glad to hear it!! I totally agree, anything with chipotle tends to get better by day 2, and stronger which I love!!

  5. 5 stars
    I forgot to put the chicken in the crockpot, so I decided to try the Instant Pot. I cooked the thighs with the chicken broth for 10 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release, and it worked beautifully! The tacos were SO delicious! Great recipe!

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