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Homemade salsa stars in this delightful slow cooker salsa verde chicken. Four hours in the crock pot allow the tart, zesty, tanginess of the salsa to sink into the chicken, leaving you with a wonderfully entree popping with flavor.

Slow cooker salsa verde chicken on a plate next to salsa verde, limes, and a bowl of quinoa.
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I am so excited to share this recipe with you. Salsa verde is a bright, zesty, tangy salsa that I have always bought in stores. Recently, I tried making it myself, and man did it make a difference (AND it only took 15 minutes!). It’s so much more satisfying than using a store-bought version. You have to try it.

I use the aforementioned homemade salsa as the star of the show in this chili verde chicken. Salsa and chicken mingle in the slow cooker, giving those zesty, tangy flavors a chance to really sink in. Four hours later, you’ve got yourself a batch of melt-in-your-mouth, delectable chicken that is perfect to serve with quinoa, rice and beans, or even to shred and use as a taco or burrito filling.

Slow cooker salsa verde chicken on a plate next to salsa verde, limes, and a bowl of quinoa.

Why You’ll Love This Easy Slow Cooker Recipe

This simple salsa verde chicken is so tasty and simple to make. You will love the recipe for countless reasons, but here are some of my favorite things about it.

  • Set it and forget it. I love a good slow cooker recipe. This one in particular is so easy. After just 15 minutes of prep time, you can plop everything in the crock pot, set it to low for 4 hours, and go about your day!
  • From scratch, but still easy. There is something so satisfying about realizing that you can make an item that you would normally buy in the store quickly and easily. The salsa verde in this recipe only takes 15 minutes to make and will blow store-bought versions out of the water.
  • Multiple uses. This salsa verde chicken can be served as is with a yummy side of quinoa or Mexican rice and beans, but it can also star in a number of other dishes. Shred the chicken and use it as your protein next time you make tacos, burritos, taquitos, or even enchiladas.

What Is Salsa Verde Chicken?

Salsa verde chicken consists of tender chicken thighs bathed in salsa verde (a salsa from tomatillos, poblanos, onions, and garlic) and cooked low and slow in the crock pot until they are fall-apart, melt-in-your-mouth tender. The bright, tanginess of the salsa holds up nicely through the cooking process, producing an intensely flavorful dish.

Recipe Ingredients

Here is a list of ingredients needed for this slow cooker salsa verde chicken. Make sure to scroll down to the full recipe for more specifics.

  • Garlic
  • Canola oil
  • Tomatillos. You will need to remove the husks.
  • Poblano chiles. They must be stemmed and seeded.
  • Onion
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Dried oregano
  • Lime
  • Cornstarch
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Chicken Stock. I suggest making your own (check out my recipe here), but storebought will do just fine in a pinch.
  • Chicken thighs. Breasts will also work, but you will end up with a dryer finished product.
Salsa verde in a jar next to limes and a bowl of quinoa.

How to Make Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

Only 15 minutes of prep time and 4 hours in the slow cooker will get you a full-flavored, melt-in-your-mouth chicken dish that you will want to make over and over again. Here is a basic rundown of how to make it. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe below for more detailed instructions.

  • Broil the ingredients for the salsa. Toss together the garlic, canola oil, tomatillos, poblanos, and onion and spread on a baking sheet. Broil in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Blend the salsa. Blend the broiled ingredients with the cilantro, oregano, juice of 1/2 a lime, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, and chicken stock until smooth.
  • Set it and forget it. Add the chicken and salsa verde to a slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.

Tips for Success

Want to really take your salsa verde chicken over the edge? Follow these useful tips and tricks in order to get the best outcome possible.

  • Look for the char. When broiling the tomatillos, poblanos, etc. make sure everything starts to get a little blackened before blending. You will have a more deeply flavorful salsa.
  • Let the steam out. Steam from the freshly broiled salsa ingredients will build pressure in the blender if it is closed, which can cause an explosion. So take the center portion of the blender lid off to allow the steam to escape. If you don’t, you might end up salsa all over the kitchen floor.
  • Give everything a good mix. It can be tempting to just throw everything in the slow cooker and walk away, but I do suggest giving it all a nice stir so as to coat every inch of every chicken thigh in the salsa verde.

What to Serve with Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken

Quinoa. In my home, we serve salsa verde chicken with quinoa. It’s quick, easy, and nutritious. There are plenty of other delicious goodies to serve this yummy entree with, however. Here are some ideas.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

This salsa verde chicken is great for leftovers if stored and reheated properly. Here’s how to do it.

  • Storing. Allow the chicken to cool completely before sealing it in an airtight container and placing it in the refrigerator. It will be good for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating. Place the chicken on a baking sheet in a single layer, cover it in aluminum foil, and bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until heated through. You can also use the microwave, but your chicken might get rubbery.

Can I Freeze This?

You can! Simply allow the chicken to cool completely, seal it in an airtight container, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to reheat it, move the desired portion from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw (overnight is best). Once thawed, follow the reheating instructions above.

More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow cookers make dinner so easy. Just pop your ingredients in, push a couple buttons, and walk away. Come back in a few hours and you’ve got yourself a meal. This recipe is fabulous, but if you are looking for other slow cooker meals, I’ve got you covered. Here are some of my favorites.

5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken

Bright, tangy, homemade salsa verde stars in this dish. The flavors of the salsa sink into succulent chicken breasts over the course of 4 hours in the slow cooker. Did someone say "yum!"?
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 pounds (907 g) tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 poblano chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • ½ cup (8 g) chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (118 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 ½ pounds (680 g) chicken thighs, you can use chicken breast but fair warning the dish might be slightly dry
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  • Preheat broiler.
  • In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients, tossing to coat. Spread onto an even layer on a jelly roll baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes, or until there are blackened spots on the tomatillos and chiles.
  • Place the mixture in a blender along with the cilantro, oregano, juice of 1/2 a lime, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, and chicken stock. Place lid on the blender, remove the center piece so air/steam can escape, and place a towel over the lid. Blend until the mixture is no longer clumpy but a smooth mixture.
  • In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, add the chicken then pour the salsa verde over the chicken. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  • Serve with quinoa or any other grain/carb you like.


For paleo: use olive oil for the canola oil and arrowroot powder for the cornstarch.
Adapted from Cooking Light, December 2013


Serving: 1Serving, Calories: 358kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 13g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 11g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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  1. Oooh nooo … that has happened to me many times at work where I don’t get through my coffee milk very quickly. So disappointing! The chicken sounds so so flavoursome, and of course it’s a bonus that you can throw it in the slow cooker and end up with a super tasty and tender meal.
    P.S. I don’t think any one told me ‘cinch’ was out of fashion because I think I just used it in a recent post. Haha!

  2. This looks amazing Julie. I love verde! For the 4th – well – I did an amazing job of messing up my fireworks photos. = epic fail! :-)