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Skip the bun and have your BBQ in a tortilla! These Simple BBQ Chicken Tacos are slow cooked and topped with a creamy simple slaw. Slow cooker tacos are a win every time!
This recipe was originally published June 2017. Photos and post were updated April 2020.
BBQ Chicken Tacos
We like BBQ Sauce in our house--a LOT. And we love trying all different flavors and brands all summer long. BBQ chicken is a weekly occurrence at dinner time and so why not have it in the form of tacos to make things a bit different, right?
You may be used to your BBQ on a bun, but trust me, wrap it up in a flour tortilla and top it with this creamy, simple slaw and you are gonna be CHANGED.
Juicy BBQ flavor is clearly the main reason I love these tacos, but it's my slow cooker doing what it does best that makes me love them all the more.
Why you need these tacos in your life:
- They are so simple to make. Toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker and essentially you can walk away until dinner. That's my kind of meal--every time.
- You can make them using a different BBQ sauce every time. That's right, it will never be exactly the same twice--unless you want it that way!
- Feed a crowd--in shifts. I get it, it's not always easy for everyone to sit down together, but the slow cooker can sit on warm for the evening and the crew can put together a few tacos when they need to. No need to nuke anything.
What you need to make these BBQ Chicken Tacos:
- I have used thawed as well as frozen chicken breasts for these chicken tacos. Both came out delicious. I use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is 165°F. The frozen chicken will take a bit longer, but not an extensive amount of time in comparison.
- Sometimes I chop up a jalapeño as well as a bell pepper to bring up the heat.
The slaw is pretty basic as well--just some cole slaw mix, mayo, sour cream, lime juice and seasoning.
You don't have to top these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos with this slaw, but I think the tacos are just not the same without it.
How to make this recipe:
- Add the chicken to the slow cooker and season with the salt, pepper and garlic. Dice the pepper and onion and toss them in with the chicken. I typically surround the chicken with the pepper and onion. (steps 1 and 2)
- Pour BBQ sauce over chicken and vegetables and spread to cover. (step 3)
- Cook on low 5-6 hours or on high 3-4 hours. When chicken reaches internal temperature of 165°F use two forks to shred the chicken It should come apart very easily. Sometimes I toss in some extra BBQ sauce at this time to thicken it up. (step 4 and below)
- For the slaw--simply toss everything together in a bowl and toss to combine. Chill for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- My husband will NOT eat tacos without cheese so I add some cheese on top of these BBQ chicken tacos and the slaw on top of that with extra extra cilantro when I put the tacos together.
Try these other Slow Cooker Recipes:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Slow Cooker / Instant Pot Carnitas
- Tomato Tortellini Soup
- Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chili
- Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
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Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Tacos with Simple Slaw
- 2 lbs. chicken breasts
- ⅔ c BBQ sauce
- 1 green bell pepper small diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, more or less to taste
For the Simple Slaw:
- 4 c cole slaw mix
- ¼ c mayonnaise
- ¼ c Greek yogurt (sour cream will work as well)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ cracked pepper
- ¼ sea salt
- ¼ c chopped cilantro
- Place chicken into slow cooker and season with garlic, sea salt and pepper.
- Add pepper and onion and then cover with BBQ sauce.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- When chicken is cooked through, or before serving, using two forks, shred the chicken as it should pull apart easily. Add extra BBQ sauce to thicken up if desired.
- Stir to allow to soak up the extra sauce and allow to cook for about 15-20 more minutes. During this time, toss all ingredients together to make the slaw and chill for about 15 minutes.
- Serve with your other favorite taco toppings and enjoy!
What did everyone serve as a side with these ?
Emily Kyle says
I don't know if I love any food more than tacos! I absoutley love how easy this is to make in the slow cooker, perfect for busy moms like me!
Easy recipes make dinner so much more enjoyable!
Alisa Fleming says
This recipe is speaking my name. We were just talking about having a taco night and both love barbecue! Not to mention, this looks SO easy.
Easy recipe is my middle name Alisa! Makes sitting down to dinner sooo much more relaxing!
I'm always looking for good slow cooker recipes. I bet you could prep a big batch of these to have ready for a summer party! Such a yummy looking recipe.
Oh my gosh, great idea Jordan!
Simple and easy recipe and it includes BBQ! Yes! This time of year I crave the BBQ flavor so much. I will add this recipe to next week's meal plan! Thank you.
Same! Hope you love it Alexa!
Sonali- The Foodie Physician says
Tacos never looked so good! I love how simple yet packed with flavor these are! Delish!
Thanks Sonali! You'll want taco Tuesday every day of the week!
Quick and easy I guess it isn't too late for the slow cooker! I keep seeing slow cooker recipes and I never pulled mine out next fall. Might have to for summer party season!
I use mine much more in the fall but now I remember why it's so useful all year long!
Taylor Kiser says
These BBQ Chicken tacos look so delicious! Love how easy this recipe is! Letting my slow cooker do all the work for Taco Tuesday sounds like a great idea to me!
The slow cooker is where it's at especially in the summer. Thanks Taylor!