You'll love this Spicy Shredded Chicken cooked in the slow cooker and then made into lettuce wrap tacos or tostadas! And if you make lettuce wraps with the chicken it's a meal that's low-carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, South Beach Diet friendly, and can even be Paleo with the right ingredient choices!
These Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos are one of those recipes that every slow cooker fan will appreciate because once you've made the spicy shredded chicken, there are endless ways to use it. I experimented a few times with the slow cooker part of the recipe to get the chicken flavored just like I wanted it, and we made lettuce wrap tacos and tasty chicken tostadas, but you could also use this shredded chicken to make regular tacos, nachos, burritos, or even enchiladas. And don't skip the avocado salsa, which was the perfect thing to go with the spicy meat.
Arrange the chicken in a slow cooker that you've sprayed with olive oil or non-stick spray. (I used my Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker, and you need one that's close to this size.)
Cook on low for about 5 hours, or until chicken is very tender. (I did experiment cooking it on high for a shorter time and the chicken was much more tender when cooked on low.)
Remove chicken from slow cooker, and let it cool; then shred chicken apart with your fingers. (Turn the slow cooker to high and leave the lid partly off while chicken cools and you're shredding it.)
Then put the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker, stir to combine with the sauce, and let it heat up again while you prep your other ingredients.
For these lettuce wraps, we liked Iceberg lettuce best. I cut a head of lettuce in half and wash it in the salad spinner before I break it apart for the lettuce wraps, but some lettuce may not need to be washed.
Combine the chopped avocado, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, and lime juice to make the salsa.
If you'd rather make tostadas, crisp flour tortillas in the toaster oven for 2-3 minutes, turning a few times.
Slow Cooker Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos (or Tostadas) with Avocado Salsa
(Makes about 8 tacos or tostadas; recipe created by Kalyn)
I used my Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker to make the chicken in this recipe. You will need a slow cooker that's close to this size.
Ingredients for Spicy Chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise (about 2 lbs. boneless chicken)
1 cup mild or medium tomato salsa (homemade or from a jar)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 can ( 4 oz.) diced green chiles, not drained (Anaheim chiles)
1-2 T Cholula hot sauce, or other Mexican hot sauce of your choice
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
Avocado Salsa Ingredients:
2 medium or large avocados, diced into small pieces
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
For Lettuce Wrap Tacos:
2 large heads iceberg lettuce, washed if needed
8 medium-sized flour tortillas (use whole wheat or low-carb tortillas for South Beach Diet)
chopped tomatoes (optional but good)
Trim visible fat and other unwanted parts from chicken breasts and cut each one in half lengthwise. Spray the inside of the slow cooker with olive oil or non-stick spray and arrange the chicken strips in the bottom. Mix together the tomato salsa, onion powder, diced green chiles with juice, Cholula hot sauce and lime juice. (Start with 1 tablespoon of hot sauce and taste the mixture on your finger to see if you want more.) Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and cook on low for about 5 hours, or until chicken is very tender. (You can cook for a shorter time on high, but I thought cooking on low gave more tender chicken.)
When the chicken is done, remove each piece with a slotted spoon and lay it on a cutting board to cool. Turn the slow cooker to high and leave the lid partly off so steam can evaporate. When the chicken has cooled enough to handle it, use your clean hands to pull it apart into shredded chicken pieces. Put the chicken back into the slow cooker, stir to combine with the sauce, and let it heat back up while you prepare other ingredients. (If there seems to be a lot of sauce in the slow cooker, you can drain the chicken when you use it, but I just scooped chicken out with a slotted spoon.)
Peel and dice the avocados and toss with the lime juice (in a bowl that's big enough for all the salsa ingredients.) Add the chopped cilantro and chopped red onion and stir to combine.
For tacos, cut iceberg lettuce heads in half and wash in salad spinner if needed. Peel off two pieces of lettuce and fill with a scoop of chicken mixture and a scoop of avocado salsa. Eat tacos with your hands.
For tostadas, toast flour tortillas 2-3 minutes in an oven or toaster oven preheated to 400F/200C, turning them over a few times. Spread a layer of spicy shredded chicken on teach tortilla, followed by a layer of avocado salsa and chopped tomatoes if desired. Pick up and eat with your fingers or eat with a knife and fork.
The spicy shredded chicken can also be used to make regular tacos, burritos, nachos, or enchiladas.
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
The Spicy Shredded Chicken made with this recipe would be approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet and most other low-carb eating plans. You could eat the lettuce wrap tacos for any phase South Beach. For Tostadas, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, or regular tacos, be sure to use low-carb tortillas for South Beach diet. Those dishes that use tortillas would be limited to Phase 2 or 3.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Spicy Flavors in the Slow Cooker:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos from Gimme Some Oven
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Spicy Slaw and Avocado from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooked Carnitas Tacos from Recipe Girl
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos with Lime from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef from The Kitchn
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon.com!