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slow cooker chicken tacos with garnishes
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Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos with Winter Slaw

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. 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. Perfect served with some fresh guacamole or sliced avocado, sour cream and some fresh cilantro and lime slices. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 16 tacos
Calories: 180kcal


For the Slow Cooker Chicken

  • 3 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 3 chilis in adobo, finely chopped
  • 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! 


Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 414mg | Potassium: 393mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 21.9mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1.2mg