Easy Chicken Taco Recipe + 9 Ways to Use the Leftovers!

Jan 18, 2021 | Food, Recipes

Make your life easier by cooking enough taco chicken and turning it into multiple recipes! Whip up our easy shredded chicken taco recipe for a quick weeknight meal. Save the leftovers and use them in 9 different meals your family will go bananas over. We'll show you how!

Chicken taco on a plate from Fun Cheap or Free

If you've been following us for about 2.5 seconds, then you know we love to make dinnertime easy while also serving our family homemade meals that are so much cheaper than going to a restaurant. One of the best ways to do that is by making a versatile meat and turning it into multiple meals!

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Our favorite shredded chicken taco recipe is one of those meats. Make enough of it and you'll be able to make it work for at least 10 different meals. Yes, you read that right, TEN! Chicken tacos, taquitos, a southwestern salad… You're going to love the options we're throwing at you. But first, let's talk chicken tacos!


Chicken tacos are super versatile! Grab your favorite flour or corn tortillas and pile on the meat and toppings. Here are our favorite toppings to put on this chicken taco recipe:

  • Avocado
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Lettuce
  • Salsa
  • Queso
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de gallo
  • Jalapeños
  • Green onions
  • Bell pepper

Your biggest problem will be deciding if you want to use soft or crunchy tortillas!


It will last at least 4 days in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer. This gives you enough time to meal plan it into your weekly leftover night or stick it in the freezer for later.

If you did double, triple, or even quadruple your chicken taco recipe (which we are totally on board for!), you need to package it the proper way to prevent freezer burn. Put a meal's worth (a pound is usually good for us) into a freezer quart baggie and get out as much air as possible before sealing. Label and date before you throw that bad boy into the freezer!


Just because you have leftover chicken taco meat doesn't mean you have to eat the same chicken tacos day in and day out until they're gone! If you're throwing out leftovers, you might as well be tossing dollars straight in the trash.

With a little creativity and a few alternate ingredients, you really can repurpose those leftovers that you would otherwise be sick of eating! Try out some of these leftover shredded chicken recipes… They may just become your new favorite way to eat that crockpot chicken taco meat! Try pairing them with refried beans or Mexican rice and you'll really feel like you're bringing the restaurant home.


Taquitos on a plate, from Fun Cheap or Free

Grab some tortillas, put a line of shredded cheese in the center of the tortilla and top with small amount of leftover chicken taco meat. Roll up and place seam-side down on a lined and greased cooking sheet.

Spray the tops with cooking spray and broil on low for a few minutes until lightly browned and crispy. Don't turn your back on them or they'll burn! Serve with salsa, avocado, or any other Mexican-inspired extras you have on hand.


Use the same ingredients as your chicken tacos, but turn them into tostadas and you have a completely new meal. Spray both sides of your tortillas with cooking spray, lay on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake at 400°F for 5 minutes, flip, and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the tortillas are crispy. Top with beans, taco meat, veggies, and cheese and be amazed at how good they are!


Taco salad on a plate from Fun Cheap or Free

You can basically take all your toppings from the chicken tacos and turn it into a southwestern chicken salad! Make a bed of lettuce and add the chicken taco meat, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, and anything else you may want on there. Top it with a salsa/ranch dressing or make a cilantro ranch dressing by blending some cilantro, lime juice, and ranch together.


We looooove a good bowl of taco soup, no matter what time of the year! Make our favorite taco soup recipe and use your leftover chicken taco meat in place of the ground beef. You won't be sorry!


Take a warm flour tortilla (the larger, the better) and fill it with beans of choice, rice, the chicken taco meat, cheese, sour cream, avocado, and anything else that your heart could desire. Fold the bottoms in, then roll and enjoy!


Quesadillas using leftover chicken taco on a plate, from Fun Cheap or Free

If you love crispy, then you're going to love this! We're basically quesadilla masters around here because it's a great way to stretch whatever meat you have leftover that wouldn't be enough for any other type of meal. Just use our favorite quesadilla recipe!

Grab a tortilla and top it with cheese, chicken taco meat, beans, rice, and any veggies you want. Top with cheese and another tortilla, then throw on a greased pan, flipping when golden brown. Serve with sour cream and salsa or any other dipping sauce you want!


It's so easy to make this soup using your leftover chicken taco meat and it comes together quicker since the meat is already cooked. Sauté whatever veggies you want in your pot (onions, jalapeños, and garlic work great).

Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, and black beans and bring to a simmer. Throw in the chicken, some cilantro, and lime juice and simmer until it's heated all the way through. Serve with tortilla strips, chips or leftover tostadas, some cheese, and avocado.


Nachos on a plate, from Fun Cheap or Free

Chips, chicken taco meat, beans, veggies, cheese, how could you go wrong with this?! Make enough for the whole family on a lined baking sheet and throw it in the oven 'til the cheese is all melty and gooey. Just try not to press your nose up against the oven door while they're cooking, mkay? 😉


Oh man, if you've never had a rice bowl, then you haven't lived yet! It is hands down our favorite way to stretch some meat. Rice, the chicken taco meat, veggies, cheese, avocado, lettuce, the sky's the limit! It's a great way to get some good nutrition into your family without breaking the bank.


Alright, are you ready for the easiest chicken tacos on the planet? Throw all the ingredients into your slow cooker and let it do all the work while you focus on other important things, like taking a nap. (Ha, if only!)

Chicken taco on a plate from Fun Cheap or Free

Crockpot Chicken Taco Recipe

Let your slow cooker do all the work! This chicken taco recipe is so easy to throw together. It tastes delicious and you can stretch it to feed a crowd!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings


For the Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1-2 cups salsa, to taste
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 pkt taco seasoning

For the Tacos

  • Tortillas
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Tomato


To Make the Chicken

  • Place the chicken in a greased or lined slow cooker.
  • Mix together salsa, black beans, corn, and taco seasoning. Pour on top of chicken.
  • Cook on low for 5 hours or until chicken is fully cooked.
  • Shred chicken with 2 forks, then place back in slow cooker to continue simmering in the juices for another 30-60 minutes.

To Make the Tacos

  • Add chicken to warmed tortillas and top with desired toppings.
  • Enjoy the fiesta in your mouth!


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them for a quick and easy meal later!
Keyword easy, slow cooker

See, told you it was crazy easy! Feel free to double or triple the recipe if you're feeding a large crowd or want to have leftovers. Remember, you can easily turn them into something else! Because let's be honest, we're all about making dinner easy by cooking extra and making it into a new meal here at Fun Cheap or Free!

What's your favorite way to eat chicken taco meat? Share them with us in the comments below!

Image with text that reads "taco chicken + 10 ways to use it", from Fun Cheap or Free

It's so important to learn how to shelf cook your meals. Stop wasting so much money at the store by getting every single ingredient you need for that recipe you found on Pinterest! Keep your fridge, freezer, and pantry stocked with the essentials, and learn how to cook by using what you have.

If you want to learn more, then make sure you check out ShelfCooking.com! It's our cooking site that's dedicated to helping you cook delicious, homemade, down-home-cooked meals for your family without spending all your time in the kitchen! Basically every parent's dream, right? Join our Shelf Cooking Community today!

Looking for more great recipes your family will love?

Fiesta everyday!


  1. Whitney

    I love all of these ideas! I am new to your blog and deals to meals and did my first price match trip to walmart yesterday… the checker was super upset about me trying to price match and was going on and on in very broken english about their policy that has evidently changed and was kind of acting like I was criminal for attempting to price match. I did what you suggested in past posts and acted confident and kind but assertive and she gave in a little but was very very put out… were there some major changes recently? This seemed like it was more than just a grumpy cashier, but since it was my first time im not sure- Im too scared to try it again though!!!

    • Teresa Floyd

      Ask for a manager when the employee won’t work with you,

  2. Rosi

    Loved your ideas and video. Cute kids! I will give it a try. Thank you.


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