Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos with Winter Slaw is a great recipe for feeding a crowd or preparing for a week of healthy meals for your family. This recipe is super easy to make. The chicken is slow cooked and filled with sweet maple syrup and smoky chipotles in adobo. The slaw highlights seasonal winter produce, combining red cabbage with fennel and pomegranate. These tacos are perfect served with some fresh guacamole or sliced avocado, sour cream and some fresh cilantro and lime slices.
What You'll Love About These Tacos:
- tons of flavor - the chicken is both sweet and spicy and the slaw highlights winter produce
- prepare and forget for a while - you can get the chicken started and prepare the slaw ahead of time
- serves a crowd
- packs up well for lunches throughout the week
- the colors in the slaw are beautiful
- pomegranate adds color and a little surprise crunch and sweetness to each bite
Preparing the Slow Cooker Chicken:
In your slow cooker, you will place a sliced onion and the rinsed and dried chicken. In a small bowl you'll combine the chipotles in adobo, lime juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, Papa Joe's Salt, chili powder and cumin. You'll mix these ingredients to create the sauce and then drizzle the sauce over the chicken. Cook chicken on low for 4-6 hours or until it is tender and easily tears apart.
You'll strain the chicken and reserve the cooking liquid. Carefully shred the chicken, I personally like to leave larger pieces of chicken but it's your preference. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and add in the BBQ sauce and as much of the cooking liquid as needed to create a sauce for the chicken. I add a tablespoon at a time until I am happy with it. Leave the chicken on the warm setting until you are ready to serve.
Making the Winter Slaw:
This slaw is quick and easy to make and adds a lot of flavor to the tacos. It's also versatile. Leftovers can be served alongside a different main dish or even taken as a salad to work. You'll combine all of the vegetables in a serving bowl and add the cilantro and cheese. You'll drizzle with olive oil and lime juice, add a final sprinkle of Papa Joe's Salt, and it's ready to go. Making this slaw ahead of time allows the flavors some time to marinate.
Serving the Tacos:
You'll serve the tacos in your shell of choice. I prefer smaller, soft flour tortillas, but it's up to you! You'll want to slice up some avocado or make a batch of Easy Homemade Guacamole. You'll set out some sour cream, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh lime slices and dinner is served. You can also leave out a variety of hot sauces so that people can make their tacos as spicy as they like them.
I hope you love this winter taco recipe. Who doesn't love a recipe that can be pulled together in the morning and enjoyed when you get home from a day of activities or running errands. I'd love to know what you think if you have a chance to make the recipe. Feel free to leave a comment here on the blog or be in touch on social media.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos with Winter Slaw
For the Slow Cooker Chicken
- 3 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large onion, sliced into rings
- 3 chilis in adobo, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Papa Joe's Salt or combination of salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ cup barbecue sauce I prefer a brown sugar BBQ sauce for this
For the Winter Slaw
- 4 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 small head of fennel, cut in half and thinly sliced (about ¾ cup sliced)
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
- 1 Thai red chili, seeded and finely chopped
- ¼ cup queso fresco, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon Papa Joe's Salt or combination of salt and pepper
Assembly and Garnishes
- 16 flour tortillas
- sliced avocado or fresh guacamole
- sour cream
- cilantro leaves
- lime wedges
- hot sauce
For the Slow Cooker Chicken
- Peel and slice onion into large rounds. Layer on the bottom of your slow cooker. Rinse and dry chicken. Arrange on top of onion slices.
- In a small mixing bowl. combine the chilis, lime juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, chili powder, Papa Joe's Salt and cumin. Whisk to combine and drizzle over the chicken. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
- Strain chicken and reserve the liquid. Gently shred the chicken and return it to slow cooker. Add barbecue sauce and a small amount of cooking liquid (a few tablespoons at a time) to the chicken so that the chicken has a nice sauce. Keep chicken warm until ready to serve.
For the Slaw
- In a large serving bowl combine shredded cabbage, sliced fennel, pomegranate seeds, cilantro, Thai red chili and queso fresco. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. Sprinkle with Papa Joe's Salt. Toss to combine and set aside in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve the tacos.
Assembly and Garnishes
- To serve the tacos, spread a few spoonfuls of the chicken down the middle of each tortilla. Top with winter slaw. Garnish with avocado or guacamole, sour cream, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and hot sauce. Leftovers can be served as sides or packed up for an awesome lunch!