Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

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Warm and spicy small scale Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken served over rice with cilantro and lime. Recipe is scaled down to make 4 servings, enough to realistically feed 2 people.


Warm and spicy small scale Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken served over rice with cilantro and lime. Recipe is scaled down to make 4 servings, enough to realistically feed 2 people.

So here I am in 2017 posting my first slow cooker recipe. I told myself for the longest time I wouldn’t own a slow cooker. Back when I worked in an office, a coworker suggested I buy a slow cooker so dinner would be ready when I got home. The idea of leaving it on all day in my kitchen while I’m not home terrified me. I know they are designed to not catch on fire, but I couldn’t be at work for 8 hours and not worry if my apartment was still standing. Fast forward to a few months ago, I needed to buy two slow cookers for a client project. That meant keeping them afterwards. Here I am with a 1.5 quart slow cooker and a 6 quart slow cooker and no idea what to do. The little one is too small to cook a meal, but it’d be ideal to keep snack foods warm, like dips and meatballs.

I wanted to use my 6 quart slow cooker for a few meals before I posted any recipes from it since I was new to the whole concept. I asked my friends which recipes I should make. One friend who is a working mom told me she makes Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken for her boys and husband. I can understand why! All you do is put everything in the slow cooker and let it cook. Once the chicken is done, you shred it. No need to pre-cut anything. I made a few adjustments from the original recipe she gave me, but the concept is the same. Serve it over rice with sour cream on top for a filling meal.


Warm and spicy small scale Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken served over rice with cilantro and lime. Recipe is scaled down to make 4 servings, enough to realistically feed 2 people.

A few things I learned while researching slow cooker recipes:

1. Most recipes make too many servings. I made my friend’s slow cooker lentil and sausage soup. However, it left me with way too much soup to eat all week. At the time, I didn’t have room in the freezer, so freezing it wasn’t an option. Other recipes call for large pieces of meat that may be suitable for when my parents and brother visit, but not for single me.

2. Some recipes require cooking before using the slow cooker. I thought the point was for the slow cooker to make cooking hands off? If I’m going to brown the meat, I might as well finish cooking it on the stovetop. Plus who is really awake in the morning to cook before putting everything in the slow cooker?

3. Most recipes take 7-8 hours on low to cook, but you can usually speed it up by cooking 4-6 hour on high. I don’t want to make a blanket statement since maybe there’s a recipe where cooking time does matter, but so far I noticed as long as the meat cooks, you can opt for a shorter cooking time. I made sure to cook my salsa chicken on both settings to confirm this theory. That way if you’re running to work, you can cook it for 8 hours. Or if you work at home like me, you can wait until the afternoon to prep everything.


Warm and spicy small scale Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken served over rice with cilantro and lime. Recipe is scaled down to make 4 servings, enough to realistically feed 2 people.

Based on these three things, I’m developing my slow cooker recipes to make less servings (ideally 4 servings is my goal, enough to realistically feed 2 people), to have little prep time beforehand, and to have interchangeable cooking times to fit your schedule. This slow cooker salsa chicken fits all three requirements. Enjoy!


Warm and spicy small scale Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken served over rice with cilantro and lime. Recipe is scaled down to make 4 servings, enough to realistically feed 2 people.

Yields 4 servings

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
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Ingredients

1 large boneless skinless chicken breast, thawed and patted dry
Salt
1 cup salsa (homemade or store-bought)
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (roughly 1-2 limes)
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Cooked white rice and sour cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, add the chicken. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt. Top with salsa, black beans, corn, and lime juice, making sure the chicken is covered. Add cream cheese pieces.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours or until chicken is cooked and easily falls apart with a fork.
  3. Shred the chicken with 2 forks. Stir everything together until the cream cheese is melted and smooth. Stir in cilantro. Serve over rice with sour cream.
http://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2017/01/02/slow-cooker-salsa-chicken/

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Comments

  1. I love slow cooker meals – Since I only work part-time outside the house, I am awake for browning meat or what-have-you. ;) And I’m definitely adding this one to the list, because it looks delicious!

  2. Delicious recipe!! Happy new year :)

  3. Carolina Girl says:

    Many blessings for the New Year! Have chicken defrosting now! More recipes for smaller serving sizes would greatly be appreciated!

  4. Cheryl Illinois says:

    This sounds good. Mexican type food is our LEAST favorite but I may try this one.

    • Hopefully this recipe will change your mind! I find it helps to use a really good salsa you enjoy straight from the jar since the salsa is a main ingredient. Flavorless/watery salsas on their own definitely won’t shine in this recipe.

  5. I love the idea that someone has realized that not everyone wants to make a huge amount of food for one recipe, and that you are taking the time to try to scale down. Now I need to find a replacement for that “smaller” crockpot I got rid of years ago! Keep up the idea, and if you could identify the ones that you do scale down, that would be helpful!

  6. I hear you about slow cooker recipe quantities. I just made buffalo chicken this week and what should have been 4 servings has turned into 8. Way too much. Browning meat first is a pain, but my slow cooker has an insert that can be used on the stove, so you can brown the meat in the insert & then just move it over to the slow cooker. One thing that concerns me about slow cooker recipes is the strength of the aroma it gives out when cooking all day. One reason I don’t use my slow cooker much is that the aromas tend to be obnoxiously (for me) strong and unpleasant. I’m home all day, and I don’t want my house filled with strong, persistent aromas.

    • Actually, I did look and my insert is not stovetop safe. However, my friend does have a stovetop safe one, so I can see that making more sense. As for the aroma, I don’t find it too strong and I literally sit right next to it when I work (no room in the kitchen LOL). However, when I do leave and come back, I can smell it. I personally don’t find it too unpleasant, but I also have a terrible sense of smell (ha).

  7. I want to email myself this recipe but there is no button for that – is it possible to add one to your emails? I would like to try this one…

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