CrockPot Santa Fe Chicken

4.34 from 6 votes
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Packed with tender and moist chicken, melty cheese, and your favorite southwest flavors, this Crock Pot Santa Fe chicken recipe is sure to be a hit in your home. It’s easy, healthy, packed with veggies and spicy taco seasoning, and the perfect comfort food. 

Close up of Santa Fe chicken on a bed of rice, topped with sour cream and green onions, with tortilla chips

 

This crock pot Santa Fe chicken recipe has so many of my favorite foods in it. It’s loaded with juicy chicken breasts, savory black beans, and rich enchilada sauce, with gooey cheese and tons of hearty veggies. The spicy southwestern flavors make this hearty slow cooker chicken a comforting protein-packed meal. 

The chicken absorbs so much flavor and becomes so tender by cooking in the crock pot for hours. And the taco seasoning mixed with the enchilada sauce ties all the flavors together, making this southwest chicken rich, savory, spicy, and tangy. You’ve got to try it! 

Close up of a serving spoon removing a spoonful of Santa Fe chicken from a crock pot

Why You’ll Love This Crock Pot Southwestern Chicken

This meal is a go-to slow cooker chicken dinner in my household. Here’s why I know you’ll love it too.

  • So easy. Crock pot Santa Fe chicken is such a simple recipe. All you have to do is put the ingredients in the slow cooker, let it cook for a few hours, shred the chicken, top with cheese, and voila! A hearty and comforting home-cooked meal. 
  • Versatile. One of my favorite things about this savory and spicy Santa Fe chicken recipe is how many different ways you can use it. I usually just serve it over rice, but it’s also great in tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. You can serve it as a dip with chips, or on nachos. You can even use it as a filling for a southwestern omelet for breakfast! 
  • Complete meal. This recipe has everything you need for a complete meal. With black beans, lean chicken, corn, and tomatoes, it’s packed with protein, fiber, essential vitamins, and veggies. I like to serve it with a starch for some carbs, but this healthy crock pot chicken is a complete dinner all by itself. 
  • Great for potlucks. I love to serve this recipe at parties, potlucks, or other gatherings. You can keep it warm in the crock pot for hours, so it’s ready to serve whenever. Serve it with some chips or tortillas, and you can have easy and tasty food all day. 
Overhead view of the ingredients needed for crock pot Santa Fe chicken: a plate of chicken breasts, a bowl of shredded cheese, a bowl of black beans, a can of tomatoes with chilies, a bowl of taco seasoning, a jar of enchilada sauce, a bowl of corn, and a bowl of green onions

Ingredients Needed

All of the ingredients in this hearty and healthy crock pot Santa Fe chicken are kitchen staples that you’re likely to have in your fridge or pantry. Make sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page for the specific amounts of each ingredient.

  • Chicken breasts – Make sure to use boneless and skinless chicken. You can also use thighs if you prefer.
  • Taco seasoning
  • Black beans – You’ll need to drain and rinse the beans.
  • Corn – Fresh, frozen, or canned corn will all work.
  • Diced tomatoes – For best results use the kind with green chilies. 
  • Enchilada sauce – I like to use red enchilada sauce, but you can also use green. 
  • Green onions
  • Mexican cheese blend

How to Make Santa Fe Chicken

This slow cooker chicken is so easy to make. You can practically make it in your sleep! Here’s how to do it.

  • Season. Cover both sides of the chicken breasts with the taco seasoning.
  • Add the ingredients. Put the beans, corn, tomatoes, green onions, and enchilada sauce in the crock pot, and stir, then put the chicken breasts on top. 
  • Cook. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours. 
  • Shred. Remove the chicken from the crock pot, and shred it with a pair of forks. Put the chicken back in the slow cooker, and stir to combine the ingredients.
  • Add the cheese. Put the shredded cheese on top of the Santa Fe chicken, and put the lid back on the crock pot until the cheese is melted, which should take about 5 minutes. 

Tips, Tricks, and Variations

Here are a few of my favorite tricks and variations to use when making juicy and comforting Santa Fe chicken. 

  • Make your own taco seasoning. Taco seasoning is one of my favorite spice rubs. It’s so savory, spicy, and smoky. It’s also really easy to make, and it’s a lot more delicious when it’s homemade than store-bought. If you want to maximize the flavor of this slow cooker southwest chicken dinner, try making Homemade Taco Seasoning.
  • Homemade enchilada sauce. You can also make your own Homemade Enchilada Sauce. The difference between the enchilada sauce that you make at home and the kind that you buy at the store is huge. You can really take your crock pot Santa Fe chicken to the next level with homemade sauce. 
  • Make it spicy. Spiciness is a key part of southwestern food. This recipe has a bit of spice from the taco seasoning and the enchilada sauce, but you can add more if you’d like. If you enjoy spicy food, add additional chili powder or cayenne powder when seasoning the chicken, or add jalapeños to the crock pot. 
  • Garnish with fresh ingredients. I love to add a little pop of fresh flavor to crock pot Santa Fe chicken. You can garnish this recipe with fresh cilantro or green onions, or even some fresh tomatoes to add a bright and refreshing element to the dinner. It’s also delicious with a squeeze of fresh lime juice on top. 
Close up of Santa Fe chicken on a bed of rice, topped with sour cream, next to a fork

What to Serve With Southwest Chicken

You can serve Santa Fe chicken so many different ways. It’s great in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and nachos. But my favorite way to eat it is on a bed of Cilantro Lime Rice, with a side of Homemade Tortilla Chips. I usually add some extra flavor by topping the crock pot chicken with sour cream, Fire Roasted Salsa, and Guacamole. And of course, you need a Classic Lime Margarita!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Leftover Santa Fe chicken will last in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 3 days. You can reheat it in the microwave in 30-second bursts, on the stove over medium heat until warm throughout, or in a 350F oven for 15 minutes. 

Can You Freeze Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken?

Definitely! This is a great recipe to freeze so that you can have easy meals whenever you need them. Let the chicken cool entirely, then store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. 

A bowl of rice, southwest chicken, sour cream, green onions, tortilla chips, and a fork

More Crock Pot Chicken Recipes

I love to cook chicken in the crock pot. It’s such an easy way to ensure that your chicken is not only full of flavor, but moist, tender, and never overcooked. Here are a few more of my favorite slow cooker chicken recipes.

Close up of a bowl of rice with southwest chicken on top, topped with sour cream and green onions, with tortilla chips
4.34 from 6 votes

Santa Fe Chicken

By Erin
Crock pot Santa Fe chicken is full of juicy meat, fresh veggies, a spicy enchilada sauce, and gooey cheese. It's an easy, healthy, and hearty comfort meal.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 15- ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 10- ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 10 ounces enchilada sauce
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese blend

Instructions 

  • Season the chicken breasts on both sides with the taco seasoning.
  • Put the beans, tomatoes, corn, green onions, and enchilada sauce in the crock pot. Stir to combine.
  • Place the chicken breasts on top of the mixture. Put the lid on, and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  • After the meat is done cooking, remove the chicken from the crock pot, and use 2 forks to shred it.
  • Return the chicken to the slow cooker, and stir to combine all the ingredients.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese all over the mixture, then put the lid back on the crock pot. Let it sit for 5 minutes so the cheese can melt.
  • Serve hot in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or over rice.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
  • Reheat on the stove over medium heat, in the microwave in 30-second increments, or in a 350F oven for 15 minutes.
  • For best results, use Homemade Taco Seasoning and Homemade Enchilada Sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 893mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Course: Crockpot Recipes
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 306
Keyword: crock pot chicken recipes, crock pot southwestern chicken, santa fe chicken, slow cooker chicken, southwest chicken
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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