Crockpot Chicken Fajitas..it really doesn't get much easier than this! Simply add 4 ingredients plus some seasoning to the slow cooker for a tasty one-pot dinner option your whole family will love.
Since I first posted this Crockpot Chicken Fajita recipe way back in 2015 these easy chicken fajitas have been one of the most popular on Simple Healthy Kitchen. They require only 5 minutes prep time, 4 simple ingredients and a few pantry spices (or a packet of taco/fajita seasoning). Now that we are all settling in to our new "norm" of eating at home and looking for super easy and flavorful recipes the whole family will love, I thought it would be good to update this post with some new info and photos.
Now close your eyes and imagine yourself at a fancy Mexican restaurant (someday we will be able to go out to eat again), hear the sizzling hot fajitas as they pass your table. Smell the warm aroma of spicy chicken, bell peppers and onions. That's exactly the aroma that will greet you when you come home from a long day at work (even if that is now only one room away). Magic will have taken place in the slow cooker and a tasty Mexican dinner awaits you.
How to Make Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
1. Slice bell peppers and onion into 1/4 inch slices. Can be done ahead of time and stored in zip-top bags in the refrigerator.
2. Place the bell peppers and onions at the bottom of the crock pot.
3. Add the chicken and chicken broth. Sprinkle chicken with spices (either the contents of a taco/fajita seasoning packet or make your own spice mixture-recipe below). Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-6 hours..
4. Shred the chicken -Once chicken is cooked, remove from the slow-cooker and let cool for a few minutes. Use two forks to shred the chicken. Add shredded chicken back into slow-cooker and mix with peppers and onions. Or, you can slice the chicken into strips if your prefer.
5. Serve over warm tortillas with your choice of toppings ( like shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, avocado, fresh cilantro)
How to Make Your Own Taco/Fajita Seasoning:
If you don't have a packet of taco/fajita seasoning handy or you'd like to make your own, you can substitute the following for the packet.
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
What to Serve with Crockpot Fajitas
- Tortilla and more- Serve in tortillas, tacos, over rice or quinoa, as a salad (over chopped greens with sour cream and salsa), make a burrito bowl ( rice, bean and fajita chicken and slice avocado).
- Topping ideas- Sour cream, salsa, guacamole, cheese, cilantro, squeeze of lime.
- Side Dishes- corn, Skillet Mexican Corn Salad, Watermelon Salad, Black Beans, Refried Beans, Spicy Roasted potatoes, sliced avocado and tomatoes
Crispy Veggies- Bell peppers can be added at any time throughout the cooking process. If you like crispier veggies consider adding the bell peppers later in the cooking process. Add onions ,chicken broth and chicken breasts to the crockpot. Sprinkle spices over chicken and begin cooking. Add bell peppers on top of chicken later, depending on how crisp you want the veggies to be (15-30 mins or so before ready to serve).
Can I add tomatoes? Yes, if you'd like to add tomatoes use 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes and omit the chicken broth.
Can I use frozen chicken in the slow cooker? I suggest thawing frozen chicken prior to cooking in the slow-cooker. The USDA says that 165F is the minimum internal temperature needed to safely cook chicken. While the slow cooker will definitely heat frozen chicken to 165F or above the problem is what the USDA calls the "danger zone". The danger zone is the temperature range that bacteria grow most rapidly (between 40-140 F). When slow cooking frozen chicken it's possible it may spend too much time in the "danger zone". So to keep things on the safe side, thaw the chicken prior to cooking in the crockpot.
Crockpot Chicken Fajitas are great when you want to "set it and forget it"...but sometimes you just need fajitas NOW! and if that's the case...here you go! Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas (Ready in 20 min.)
Be sure to check out these other tasty Crockpot Recipes:
- Crockpot Country Style BBQ Ribs
- Crockpot BBQ Chicken
- Slow-cooker Black Bean+ Sweet Potato Enchiladas
- Crockpot Indian Butter Chicken
- Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos + Corn Salsa
Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
- 3 medium red bell peppers
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper
- 1 medium green bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1 packet taco or fajita seasoning *
- 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts (or thighs)
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 8 flour tortillas fajita or soft taco size
- toppings cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa
- Slice bell peppers and onions in 1/4 inch slices. Add to bottom of Crockpot. **
- Add chicken broth . Layer chicken breasts on top of peppers/onions. Sprinkle chicken with taco or fajita seasoning packet or homemade seasoning (recipe in notes).
- Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Remove chicken from the Crockpot and let cool slightly. Use two forks to shred the chicken ( or slice into strips) . Add chicken back to Crockpot and mix with peppers and onions.
- Serve over warm tortillas with your choice of toppings ( like cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, fresh cilantro).
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper ** Bell Peppers can be added any time throughout the cooking process. If you like crisper peppers add them later in the cooking process. If adding later in the cooking process omit peppers from step 1 in recipe and add them on top of chicken approx. 15-30 mins before serving.
Hey Susan, if I want to double this recipe, should i really just double everything or is there a different way you suggest I do it?
Hi Amanda- I think would double the recipe for the chicken, spices and chicken broth. But you probably dont need to double the bell peppers ( maybe add 1-2 more) or the onion ( 1/2- 1 more). Depending what size crockpot you have you may want to do the chicken/spice in the crockpot and saute the peppers/onion on the stovetop ( about 10-15 mins in a skillet over medium heat). Hope you enjoy!
is this gluten-free?
Hi Jane! You could easily make this recipe gluten-free by swapping out the flour tortilla for gluten-free tortillas and using the recommended spices for making your own fajita seasoning (recipe in post) or making sure if you elect to use a prepared seasoning that it is gluten-free.
Here’s another option: I’m gluten free and low carb so I use romaine lettuce in lieu of a tortilla. The rest of my family uses tortillas.
Good stuff! 🙂
Hi Vera...I love them in lettuce cups too! something about the cool crisp lettuce and the spicy chicken, peppers and onions. I'm glad you enjoyed them!
I rarely comment on a recipe, but felt I had to with this one. I've been cooking for many years, but only used my big slow cooker for split pea or Senate bean soup. I'm a scratch cook, and typical slow cooker recipes held no appeal. But early this summer I lost my mojo, and just couldn't stand the thought of even 30 minutes at the stove. So I decided to embrace slow cooking, but with recipes using fresh ingredients and are super easy, too. Tall order. Since it's mostly just 2 of us now, I bought a new 3.5qt oval slow cooker and a few good cookbooks, but none of them had a fajita recipe. Google sent me to you, and it's easy to see why. This was a hit! And so easy, using stuff I usually have on hand.
I threw in an extra chicken breast for the teenage grandsons who joined us (athletes all, they're part wolf, I swear). I was surprised that there was plenty of room in the slow cooker, because it looks so small compared to my old one. Worried about losing most of the seasoning to the sauce (I obsess over little details), I opted to rub it into the chicken, which only added 1 minute to the prep time and really kept the seasoning on the chicken. Since I hate mushy veggies I put them on top of the chicken (obsessing again). I feared the liquid would be too much (do you think I obsess too much?), and there was a lot at the end, but I trusted your advice in an earlier comment. Dinner was done in 3 hours on low, with easily shreddable, moist chicken (you're right about the broth), and tender veggies. I set the chicken aside, removed the veggies with a spider and dumped the liquid. After shredding the chicken, everything went back into the pot to keep warm for an hour until everyone showed up for dinner. Meanwhile, I threw some stuff in my rice cooker for easy Mexican rice. The guys hoovered up these fajitas like starving golden retrievers, every last bite.
This recipe hit all the marks, and was a good intro to modern slow cooking for me. Easy prep (just 5 minutes at each end), fresh food, and the family loved it. This one is a keeper, thanks!
Thanks! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the fajitas! I like your idea of rubbing the spices right on the chicken...will have to try that next time! And I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment!
What size crockpot are you using? I have a 6 quart and wondering how many multiples I'll need to convert your recipe
Hi Danielle- I used a 5 qt. crockpot to make this recipe so you should have plenty of room in just one 6 qt pot.
DELICIOUS! I followed the recipe exactly, including the seasoning, and cooked in the crockpot on high for 4 hours. My family LOVED this and I will definitely be making this meal regularly! Thank you! I look forward to trying other recipes.
Janet...Yeah! Thank you! SO happy to hear the family enjoyed!
hi, your recipe above says 4-6 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, but in the comments you say " Cooking time is 6-8 hrs. on Low, or 3-4 hours on High." I just put my batch in my crock pot on low.. will it not be done in 5 hours on low? I used chicken breast tenders
Hi Hannah...you should be fine with 5 hours on low. Would love to hear how you enjoyed it!
How many calories is this recipe?
Felicia- I updated the recipe to include nutritional info. Approx. 190 per fajita ( 1/8 of chicken mixture + 1 flour tortilla w/o toppings)
When the chicken is cooked and shredded, how much longer do I need to leave it with the veggies before it's done?
Bibiana...Everything is cooked by the time you take the chicken out to shred, so you'll only need to heat just long enough to warm it up to the temperature you'd like to serve the fajitas ( approx. 5 mins.) You can certainly leave it longer (on low or warm) until you are ready to serve.
I'm doubling the batch. Is 6-8 hours on low still good?
Jennifer...yes you should be good with 6-8 hours on low for a double recipe ( 2 lbs instead of 1 lb. chicken) You can use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F .
Is it possible to cook whole chicken breasts instead and shred it? Would the cooking time be the same? My husband worries about cooking chicken in the slow cooker so had bought a thermometer that goes in it. Thank you,so excited to make these,especially with out hectic lives!
Hi Hannah...yes you absolutely can use whole chicken breasts , with or without skin. If you opt to use with the skin on , you'll just want to remove the skin after cooking and let the chicken cool slightly, shred with two forks as per the recipe. You may want to cut chicken off the bone to make the shredding easier (adding back to crockpot before serving). The chicken will need to cook to at least 165F internal temperature to be fully cooked. Will probably take approx. 3-4 hours on low (depending on your crockpot) to reach that temperature (of course you can let cook longer if desired). Hope you enjoy!
Hi I want to try this but my work schedule is such that it would be cooking on low for about 9 hours instead of 8. Anybody think this would be an issue?
Jane, hmmm..probably would be fine, you just dont want to chicken/bell peppers to get overcooked. I'd add a little bit more broth.
Preferably,if you have time the day/night before you are planning on having these, you may consider putting the crockpot on and letting things cook for a few hours on high.(only 5 min. prep time to get these into the crockpot). Shred the chicken and add back to the pot. Store in the refrigerator(all those flavors will continue to mingle) and once you get home from work, just heat up in the crockpot (on high) or stovetop.
Chopped my chicken and cooked it for four hours with onions. Then sautéed peppers separate then tossed in for 20 minutes. Added a little taco seasoning because it was a tad bland.
Amber...good plan to put the peppers in for shorter time if you like them to be a little bit more crisp. yes...you definitely need seasoning to make these taste like fajitas. I like to add it at the beginning so that the chicken and veggies cook with the spices, but you could absolutely add at the end if that works better for you.
Can I cook chicken and steak together in the crockpot
Brenda...Yes, you could cook both chicken and steak (I'd suggest flank steak) together, it might change the flavor just a bit. Are you planning on serving a combination fajita? or chicken and steak fajitas separately ?
If serving both steak and chicken separately (and you want to keep the flavors pure) the chicken can actually be cooked very easily on the stove top. You could cook the chicken in a saucepan ( fill with enough water to cover chicken) over medium heat for about 10 min., let the chicken cool and shred. Cook the steak, peppers, onion, spices (you may want to add extra veggies and spices) in the crockpot. Just before serving add the veggies/spices from the crockpot to the chicken (& heat if necessary).
Better than our favorite Mexican restaurant! Thank you so much for this recipe! Will be keeping and making often. Used the homemade fajita spice recipe by the way. Perfection.
Thanks Amie...so happy to hear you enjoyed them!
I want to make this for a girls weekend get-together..to serve around 7:00 p.m....is it possible to cook the chicken in the crockpot for 3hours in the morning....then around 6pm, add the veggie for 1 hour to have it all ready for then? I want to prep and cook as much of it ahead of time..so ANY SUGGESTIONS PLEASE..thanks, looks yummy!
Hi Linda, Yes you could absolutely cook the chicken in the a.m. and then add the veggies closer to serving time. If I'm understanding correctly you'd be doing this so the chicken would already be shredded and could be served at 7p.m.? You could cook the chicken in a saucepan ( fill with enough water to cover chicken) over medium heat for about 10 min., let the chicken cool and shred. Add the shredded chicken, chicken broth, spices and veggies to the crockpot. Keep in the refrigerator until about 6p.m. Then put on high until you are ready to serve. Hope that helps! Have a fun girls weekend!
Made these for dinner tonight and they were wonderful! The house smelled so good all day while it was cooking, but it tasted even better! Will definitely make this again!!
thanks Meghan! appreciate the feedback! I think that's one of my favorite things...love when the house smells delicious! I just want to go over and dip my spoon in the crockpot (possibly it might have happened a few (scratch that...make it many!) times while these fajitas were cooking!
Chicken always comes out so dry when I cook it in the crockpot. I'm trying this recipe tonight... Here's hoping!
Could you use chicken thigh instead of breast?
Claire- yes absolutely...you could substitute chicken thighs for the chicken breast.
Is it just as good if you cook for 3-4 hours instead of 6-8 hours?
Can I leave out the chicken stock and just rely on the juice from veg & chicken itself?
Chery- I don't think I'd omit the extra liquid, it does help to make the chicken nice and moist. If you are not a fan of chicken stock, perhaps even substituting water would be an option.
I added a little over 1/2 c chicken stock and when finished had quite a bit of liquid left over so instead of tossing juice I added a can of black beans and a can of hominy plus a couple of carrots and the rest of the can of buillon & more spices. Cooked it long enough for carrots to soften and stored the soup and fajita ingredients for Valentines dinner tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe, its delicious, oh, I used the spices instead of the taco packet so I could spice it to our taste. Love the no mess?
Joanna..OH! ..YUM! what a great idea! black beans and hominy..and fajita spices..I bet your Valentine is going to be pretty happy:) thanks for the feedback!
Can I use frozen chicken breast?
I wouldn't recommend using frozen chicken. The "safe" cooking temperature for chicken is above 140F. If you are using frozen chicken in a slow cooker, it will likely spend too much time below 140F.(the time it takes to defrost and reach full cooking temperature). I would suggest using the microwave on defrost mode if you are short on time prior to using in the slow cooker. (There are probably some who will tell you it's o.k. to use frozen chicken, I'm just not willing to take that risk- I want to know my chicken is cooking at a safe temperature and avoid any food borne illness)..hope that helps!
How long do I cook this for please
Heather- Cooking time is 6-8 hrs. on Low, or 3-4 hours on High.
checking...does the recipe read 4-6 on low and 3-4 on high?
Hi Ethel...yes, the chicken is fully cooked after 3-4 hours on high. You can absolutely let it cook longer. However I would suggest if you do, add the bell peppers towards the end of cooking. More than 3-4 hours on high the peppers start to get really soft. Depending on how crisp or soft you want the peppers to be, you can add them anywhere from 1/2 hr- 3 hrs. before planning to serve.
Very Good. Our family has been trying different crockpot recipes. This is the best of the week.
I made these the other night and they were fantastic. My only suggestion is to drain the chicken and peppers at the end before serving because there was a lot of juice left after cooking. Thanks for the recipe.
Brett..thanks for the great suggestion. There are a few variables that could lead to more juice - like size of the peppers- (larger peppers= potentially more juice) as well as size and cut of the chicken and cooking time. I've also found when you turn off the crock pot and let the meal sit for a few minutes some of the juice is absorbed back into the chicken. Or...spoon off the juice and save it for leftovers. I like to have the leftovers the next day over a bed of rice, a little drizzle of the juice might be delish! Appreciate your suggestion and I'm glad you liked the fajitas!
I made these last night and they we're delicious! My only mistake was leaving the crock pot on all day and my veggies disintegrated. Nobody minded since the flavor was still there but I might only throw the veggies in for the last hour or so next time. The spices were spot on and all my little kids, as well as our guests, devoured them! Thanks!!