Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken – An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There’s tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Slow Cooker Fiesta Ranch Chicken Recipe

With back-to-school season just around the corner, having an easy chicken dinner recipe in your back pocket that the whole family loves is such a relief!

This slow cooker fiesta chicken is just that recipe.

There’s tender shredded chicken mixed together with cream cheese, salsa, black beans, corn, green chiles, fiesta ranch seasoning mix, and an array of other spices. It’s got a great Mexican meets Tex-Mex vibe to it.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

The finished dish is great served as-is, over rice, or as fiesta ranch chicken tacos, which is how we love to enjoy this comfort food dinner the most! I mean tacos are always a good idea.

To save on cleanup, this family-friendly slow cooker chicken meal is made in one pot which is actually a Crock-Pot in this case. 

As a bonus, there’s nothing to sear or start off first in a skillet and everything for your slow cooker fiesta ranch chicken is made right in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Ingredients in Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

There are lots of ingredients in slow cooker fiesta ranch chicken, however all of them are easy to find and very common fridge and pantry staples including the following:

  • Ground cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Reduced sodium chicken broth (or water)
  • Cream cheese
  • Dry fiesta ranch seasoning mix
  • Salsa
  • Corn 
  • Canned black beans
  • Canned diced green chiles
  • Corn tortillas (or flour tortillas), if serving as tacos 
  • Queso fresco (or Mexican shredded cheese blend), optional for garnishing
  • Mexican crema (or sour cream thinned with milk), optional for garnishing
  • Cilantro, optional for garnishing
  • Lime wedges, optional for garnishing

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

How to Make Fiesta Chicken in a Crock-Pot

To make slow cooker fiesta chicken, follow these basic, easy, straightforward steps:

Step 1: Combine the dry spices and salt in a small bowl.

Step 2: Rub the chicken with olive oil and then coat all sides with the spice mixture.

Step 3: Place the chicken in a slow cooker with the chicken broth or water and slow cook on high for 3 hours.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Step 4: Shred the chicken when it’s done.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Step 5: Place it back in the slow cooker along with the cream cheese, fiesta ranch seasoning mix, salsa, corn, black beans, green chiles, stir, cover, and slow cook for 2 to 3 hours before serving as desired!

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Size Slow Cooker Is Best for Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken?

I suggest a large Crock-Pot for this recipe because it makes a big batch of food. Something at least 7 to 8-quarts is my recommendation.

If you only have a smaller 4 or 5-quart slow cooker, then halve the recipe by halving each ingredient called for.

Although the cooking time will remain approximately the same and that will not be halved.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Is Ranch Seasoning Mix Necessary for Slow Cooker Fiesta Ranch Chicken?

Yes, you need to use a packet of fiesta ranch seasoning mix for this fiesta ranch chicken.

You can also use a packet of “regular” ranch seasoning mix instead of the fiesta ranch version. 

The fiesta just has a bit more oomph and pizazz however either are fine. 

For those heat seekers, use spicy ranch seasoning.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

How Does Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken Differ From Slow Cooker Crack Chicken?

Ready for some slow cooker chicken trivia?

Slow cooker fiesta chicken and crack chicken are close cousins I like to think.

Most recipes for crack chicken (I didn’t come up with the name so please you don’t need to write me telling me how horrible of a name it is) have bacon in them whereas fiesta chicken does not.

And just to make sure no one gets confused, fiesta chicken and fiesta ranch chicken are also one in the same for me at least.

These types of dump-it-all-in slow cooker recipes are super versatile, flexible, and everyone makes them slightly differently but the final result is very similar.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Substitutions for Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

As I just alluded to, slow cooker chicken recipes like this one where there are lots of ingredients all tossed into a Crock-Pot tend to be very flexible.

Therefore, if you are short on something or don’t have something, chances are the recipe will still turn out great!

For example try this swaps and substitutions:

  • Use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts
  • Try a bit of actual diced white onion rather than onion powder
  • Freshly minced garlic works instead of garlic powder
  • Smoked paprika gives such an awesome smoky flavor but regular paprika is fine
  • I am partial to red salsa but a tried and true salsa verde is okay
  • Frozen or fresh corn are acceptable swaps for the canned corn
  • Corn tortillas are always my go-to for tacos but flour tortillas are fine
  • The garnishes such as queso fresco and Mexican crema are optional and you can use a shredded Mexican cheese blend and thinned out sour cream instead.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Is Fiesta Slow Cooker Chicken Spicy?

In my opinion, slow cooker fiesta chicken isn’t spicy per se but it does have a ton of flavor!

What I love about this recipe is that you can really control the amount of heat the finished chicken dish has.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

For example:

  • Rather than fiesta ranch seasoning mix, use spicy ranch seasoning.
  • Use mild, medium, or hot salsa depending on what your goal is.
  • Diced canned green chiles also are sold in mild, medium, and spicy versions. Plus there is also fire-roasted which usually implies more spiciness. 
  • Add extra chili powder to spice this Crock-Pot fiesta chicken up somewhat.
  • For a much spicier recipe, add a few shakes of cayenne pepper!

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Serving Suggestions for Slow Cooker Fiesta Ranch Chicken

Slow cooker fiesta ranch chicken can be served a variety of ways.

We love tacos so of course, I love to serve the creamy chicken mixture inside lightly blistered corn tortillas.

Additionally, fiesta chicken is great served over white, brown, or Spanish rice.

For those watching their carbs, skip the tortillas and the rice and make lettuce wraps instead with large Romaine lettuce boats or big butter lettuce leaves.

The garnishes such as queso fresco and Mexican crema can be omitted or swapped for a Mexican shredded cheese blend and or use sour cream thinned out with a bit of milk as a crema alternative.

Cilantro, limes, fresh pico de gallo, or whatever you love to top your favorite Mexican recipes or tacos with is welcome of course, too!

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Can I Make Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken in Advance?

If you want to make this slow cooker chicken recipe in advance, feel free! After it’s done, just keep it on the lowest setting or the ‘warm’ setting and it will be fine for hours.

I’m thinking tailgating or casual entertaining where your guests can wander in the kitchen and help themselves.

Additionally, if you want to make it at home and then transport it somewhere, it’s a great plug-and-go recipe when you get to your destination.

Transport it right in the slow cooker and then plug it in when you get where ever you’re going. This works best if you have a Crock-Pot with Locking Lid.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Storage Recommendations for Crock-Pot Fiesta Chicken

Slow cooker fiesta chicken is one of those recipes that not only tastes amazing fresh and hot from your Crock-Pot, but it also tastes just as good the next day gently reheated.

All the flavors meld, marry, and blend together and it’s just as delish!

It’ll keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Anytime there is cream cheese in a recipe, always reheat it carefully and gently so that it doesn’t “break” (take on a weird appearance) which can happen if you blast it on very high heat in the microwave because you can breakdown the dairy proteins. 

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Tips for the Best Slow Fiesta Chicken

Making slow cooker fiesta ranch chicken is really super easy but I have a few tips and pointers so yours turns out amazing!

You need two pounds of chicken for this recipe and if you are buying the very large boneless skinless chicken breasts from your butcher that are about 1 pound each, you may want to consider pounding them a bit thinner or even slicing them in half. Thinner chicken cooks faster and for me, that’s always better.

If you’re buying two pounds of chicken as 4 or 5 breasts, then no need to concern yourself with pounding or halving.

For a richer tasting final dish, I recommend using reduced sodium chicken broth when slow cooking the chicken, although water will be fine.

Shredded chicken with two forks is what I always do because for me it’s easier than washing out my stand mixer.

However, many people love to shred cooked chicken breasts by placing them in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and letting the mixer do the work and shred away on low speed.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Don’t use reduced fat cream cheese or any type of “lite” cream cheese. It is made with more water, rather than fat, and your fiesta chicken mixture could be soupy if you use a lite cream cheese product rather than full fat.

Cream cheese that’s been softened to room temperature will help save time. Additionally, cubing the cream cheese will also help it melt faster.

If you want thicker and chunkier fiesta chicken, use a thicker and chunkier salsa – perhaps one with bean and corn in it, too. I am not a fan of the real thin Mexican restaurant-style salsa for this recipe. But it’s up to you. 

You can use red or green salsa although visually, and for me the taste, red salsa is preferred.

If you are serving your Crockpot fiesta ranch chicken in tortillas as tacos, my tips to soften them are to wrap them in a kitchen towel and microwave them for about 30 seconds or just until warmed.

Additionally, you can blister or brown them in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. It only takes about 30 seconds per side, at most.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 
Yield: 10

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 5 minutes

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken - An EASY Crock-Pot recipe for fiesta ranch chicken that the whole family LOVES! There's tender chicken, cream cheese, salsa, black beans, green chiles, and more which creates a little fiesta in your mouth! Serve it as-is, over rice, or in tacos. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners or make it for your next game day party! 

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (use 2 to 3 teaspoons for a spicier dish)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts*
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth (or water)
  • 8 ounces brick-style full-fat cream cheese, cubed and softened to room temp**
  • one 1.1 ounce packet dry fiesta ranch seasoning mix (or your favorite flavor of ranch seasoning mix)
  • 12 ounces red salsa***
  • 15 ounces canned corn, drained well (frozen or freshly shaved corn may also be used) 
  • 15 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed (I use reduced sodium beans)
  • 7 ounces canned diced green chiles (do not drain)
  • 10 corn tortillas (or flour tortillas), if serving as tacos 
  • Queso fresco (or Mexican shredded cheese blend), optional for garnishing
  • Mexican crema (or sour cream thinned with milk), optional for garnishing
  • Cilantro, optional for garnishing
  • Lime wedges, optional for garnishing

Instructions

  1. In a bowl combine the cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and stir to combine the spice rub mixture.
  2. Evenly drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil and then pat on the spice rub evenly all over both sides of each chicken breast.
  3. Place the chicken breasts in a large 7 to 8-quart slow cooker, cover, and slow cook on HIGH heat for about 3 hours, or until chicken is done (165F internal temp).
  4. Place the chicken on a cutting board and shred it using two forks. Alternatively, you can shred chicken by placing it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted the the paddle attachment, and mixing on low speed until shredded.
  5. Add the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker.
  6. Add the cream cheese, fiesta ranch seasoning mix (or another flavor of dry ranch seasoning mix), salsa, corn, beans, green chiles (do not drain), stir to combine, cover with the lid, and slow cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours, or until bubbly; OR slow cook on HIGH for 1 hour or until bubbly.
  7. Serve immediately, as desired - either plain and as-is, over rice, in a lettuce leave like a lettuce wrap, or in tortillas. Tip - Soften tortillas by wrapping them in a kitchen towel and microwave them for about 30 seconds or just until warmed. Additionally, you can blister or brown them in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. It only takes about 30 seconds per side, at most.
  8. Garnish with your favorite cheese, Mexican crema, sour cream, cilantro, lime juice; all optional and as desired. Fiesta chicken will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Reheat gently and on low heat.

Notes

*You need two pounds of chicken for this recipe and if you are buying the very large boneless skinless chicken breasts from your butcher that are about 1 pound each, you may want to consider pounding them a bit thinner or even slicing them in half. Thinner chicken cooks faster and for me, that’s always better.

If you’re buying the two pounds of chicken as 4 or 5 breasts, then no need to concern yourself with pounding or halving.

**Don’t use reduced fat cream cheese or any type of “lite” cream cheese. It is made with more water, rather than fat, and your fiesta chicken mixture could be soupy if you use a lite cream cheese product rather than full fat.

***If you want thicker and chunkier fiesta chicken, use a thicker and chunkier salsa - perhaps one with bean and corn in it, too. I am not a fan of thinner Mexican restaurant-style salsa for this recipe and prefer salsa with a chunkier texture. But it's up to you. You can use red or green salsa although visually, and for me the taste, red salsa is preferred.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 488Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 1282mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 8gSugar: 7gProtein: 41g

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