The juiciest Chili Lime Pulled Chicken recipe is made in a slow cooker, so you can set it and forget it! Great for sandwiches, rice bowls, or by itself.
It’s no secret, slow cooker recipes are the best, and such a classic. The Instant Pot is great and all, but there’s something about being able to set my slow cooker and forget about it for 2 hours that I love.
Slow cookers are the best for comfort foods like crockpot bbq chicken, pot roasts, or buffalo chicken dip.
I also really enjoy being able to cook a meal without having to stand over it in the kitchen for 30-60 minutes. If you have a programmable slow cooker you won’t need to worry about overcooking the chicken because it automatically switches over to “warm” when the timer is up.
My boyfriend often works late during the week and comes home starving. I’m usually too tired to cook anything for him by the time he gets home, so I’m all about having something prepped in the refrigerator that he can easily heat up.
Having this slow cooker pulled chicken prepped is a lifesaver when you’re short on time and is so easy to add to soups, rice bowls, or quick sandwiches.
Tips for making slow cooker chicken
- Don’t overcook it! You might be tempted to leave it in longer so it gets “juicer” but this isn’t the case. If you cook the chicken too long it will dry out and lose most of it’s flavor. Yuck!
- Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. There’s no reason to make a recipe any harder on yourself. Using boneless, skinless chicken breasts means you won’t have to go digging through the meat to pick out bones. You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer those.
- Use a seasoning mix. If you don’t want to make your own seasoning at home, this one is great.
- Use a cast iron grill pan. If you want restaurant quality sear marks on your chicken, you need this cast iron!
How to make slow cooker pulled chicken
- Season the chicken with paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.
- Sear the chicken in a heavy bottom pan, like a cast iron, on medium-high heat. This step isn’t 100% necessary but it will help lock in the moisture and give the chicken a nice smoky taste.
- Line the slow cooker with onion slices. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and top with lime zest and juice. Cook on high for 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can adjust the cooking time to 4-5 hours on low.
- When chicken is ready, remove from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Place the chicken back in the slow cooker with juices, and cook on low for an additional 15-20 minutes.
How to shred chicken
I like to remove the chicken from the slow cooker, shred it on a plate, and then toss it back in the slow cooker with the juices. If you prefer leaving it in the slow cooker, you can shred it in there too. Just take two forks and pull the chicken apart until it’s in thin shredded pieces.
What to eat with slow cooker chicken
This recipe calls for 2 boneless chicken breasts, which for me is about 1 pound of chicken. After shredding, it usually produces about 3 cups of pulled chicken.
You can portion it however you like, but I usually save about 1 cup in a one of my bpa free glass meal prep containers.
This Chili Lime Pulled Chicken is perfect for sandwiches, meal preps, salads, and even by itself. If you’re using it for meal prep, check out this Chili Lime Pulled Chicken Bowl Meal Prep recipe!
This recipe takes 10 minutes to prep and only uses four ingredients. Clean up is quick and easy, and this pulled chicken is something the whole family will love.
Other slow cooker recipes you might like
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Pulled Pork Tacos
- Chili Lime Pulled Chicken Bowl Meal Prep
- Pesto Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Crispy Quinoa
Want to try this Slow Cooker Chili Lime Pulled Chicken?
Did you make this recipe? Post a photo on Instagram and tag me @JZEATS or #JZEATS so I can see what you've made! Leave a comment or recipe rating below and let me know what you think, too! It makes me so happy to hear from you.‚
Slow Cooker Chili Lime Pulled Chicken
- Slow cooker
- 2 boneless chicken breasts
- 2 limes, juice of both, zest of 1
- 1 white or yellow onion, sliced into 1 inch rounds
- 1 tablespoon paprika, sweet not smoked
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- olive oil, for cooking
- Heat a heavy bottom pan, like a cast iron, on medium-high heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. **Searing the chicken is OPTIONAL, but it does help to lock in moisture and will speed up cook time**
- Combine the paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder in a small mixing bowl. Then add the seasoning mixture to the chicken evenly on both sides.
- Sear the chicken on each side for 1-2 minutes. Then line the bottom of the slow cooker with the onion. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and top with lime zest and juice, cook on high for 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can cook it on low for 4-5 hours.
- When chicken is ready, remove from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Place the chicken back in the slow cooker with juices, and cook on low for an additional 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker with tongs or a slotted spoon and serve!