Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

This Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken will quickly become your new favourite. It is simple to make and packed full of delicious flavours. 


The joy of slow cooking 

I was incredibly late to slow cooking. My sister had been trying to convince me for ages to get one but I was reluctant. She then took matters into her own hand and bought me my own slow cooker for my birthday. 

This Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken was the first recipe I played around with and made. It was the recipe that made me realise how amazing slow cookers are! Minimal effort with such delicious flavours that come from a long cooking time. 

Make this Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken your own

This recipe is really flexible. Add more of what you want, less or none of what you don’t and make it your own. I prefer to use chicken thighs because they stay moist even after longer cooking times. You can definitely use breasts if you prefer.  

I like to use a combination of chilli powders when I make Mexican food. Each chilli powder adds a slightly different taste to the final dish which I really like. I like to use chipotle chilli powder for its smoky spiciness and ancho chilli powder and flakes for its sweet smokiness. These are now a lot more readily available and you should be able to buy them in most large supermarkets. However if you can’t find, or don’t want to use these, you can use standard chilli powder too. If you are using standard chilli powder, I would recommend adding one teaspoon of smoked paprika to two teaspoons of chilli powder.

If you are making this Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken for the first time I would always veer on the side of caution with the chilli power.  When you take the chicken out to shred it, give the sauce a taste. You can always add some more chilli at this stage if it needs a bit more of a kick.

How to thicken your Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

I am now a full slow cooker covert. One thing I have found is that because the lid stays on for the duration of the cook, the liquid doesn’t evaporate. If you add the same amount of liquid as you would to a dish you were cooking on the hob, you will probably find it isn’t as thick as you would like. I don’t like to reduce the liquid too much because I don’t want the meal to get too dry. This is especially important if you are leaving the slow cooker unattended. 

Instead, I would rather add a little bit more liquid and then reduce it at the end. I tend to do this by making a slurry by mixing cornflour together with water and stirring this through. It quickly thickens the sauce and you can make it as thick or saucy as you like. Another way to thicken without using cornflour would be to take the lid off the slow cooker for the last 30 minutes or so. 

Can you freeze this recipe?

Absolutely, it freezes really well. I freeze some every time I make it for quick and easy weeknight dinners. Make sure you put the Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken in the freezer within two hours of it finishing cooking. When you take it out of the freezer, leave it to defrost thoroughly in the fridge either overnight or for around 8 hours. 

I like to reheat frozen dishes in a pan on the hob rather than in the microwave. This is because I can see whether I need to add more water or increase the heat to reduce the liquid. I also like to taste as I go to see if it needs anything else. I find it benefits from a squirt of tomato puree to help richen the sauce again. 

5 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

This Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken will quickly become your new favourite. It is simple to make and packed full of delicious flavours. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Slow Cooker, Chicken, Crock pot
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 6
Calories 293 kcal
Author Curly


  • 500 g chicken thighs boneless & skinless
  • 1 tsp ancho chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp  Mexican oregano
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 400 g tin of tomatoes
  • 400 g tin of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 340 g tin sweetcorn drained
  • 2 peppers sliced
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 3 spring onions sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with water if needed to thicken


  1. Make sure all skin and bones are removed from the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with the chilli powders

  2. Add the tomatoes, black beans, sweetcorn, pepper, stock, spring onions, garlic, salt, Mexican oregano and tomato puree to the slow cooker and stir to mix

  3. Lie the chicken on top of the ingredients and put the lid on the slow cooker
  4. Cook for 8 hours on low or 5 hours on high

  5. 30 mins before serving, take the chicken out onto a board and shred using two forks. Return to the slow cooker and stir through

  6. If there is too much liquid, in a glass mix the cornflour with just enough water to make a liquid and add this to the slow cooker and continue cooking for 30 minutes

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only and my vary.

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 293 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 83mg28%
Sodium 914mg40%
Potassium 321mg9%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 285IU6%
Vitamin C 34mg41%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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25 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

  1. Elaine

    I shall have to try this as it looks and sounds so tasty. Where do you get Mwxican oregano or do you just use normal oregano?

    1. Cat Post author

      Hi 🙂

      I got mine from a stall in borough market but you can definitely just use normal oregano x

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  3. Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food

    Oh, my: I have taken tinned chiles for granted! It never occurred to me that they might be hard to find elsewhere. Of course, I love to roast my own and save them in the freezer—but the tinned variety comes in very handy in the dead of winter after I’ve used up my frozen stash. I’m like you: I buy chicken thighs in bulk when they go on sale, and then have an epic de-boning party with the hubster! I love this idea for slow-cooker chicken: lots of great flavors going on!

    1. Cat Post author

      You will not believe how jealous I am of you! It’s a real struggle to buy fresh chiles here too. In our supermarkets you can either buy a generic chili or if you’re lucky a bird’s eye chili! Glad I’m not the only one who has a massive de-boning session! I had this for dinner last night and I still really enjoy it! x

  4. Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

    Oooh yum, lovely flavours!! I am totally with you on the chicken thighs thing…I love them so much more than chicken breast – more flavour, better texture and cheaper!! I love them bone in and skin on for roasting in the oven and bone out, skin off for stews, curries etc. Though I must say I normally buy the already deboned ones – I’m impressed at your dedication to deboning!! 😀 Eb x

  5. Lucy

    What a load of lovely flavours Cat, and it is so colourful too! I find chicken thighs much more flavourful and not as dry as well, am another who is impressed by your dedication to bone your own too, I hate doing that! Thanks a lot for joining in with the Slow Cooked Challenge.

    1. Cat Post author

      Haha not sure if it is dedication or stupidity! I’ve been meaning to join the Slow Cooked Challenge for a while so glad I finally remembered to! x

    1. Cat Post author

      Well that’s something I didn’t know! That’s great, leave the cornflour out and its totally diet food! x

  6. Pingback: Fiesta Chicken Lasagna – Curly's Cooking

  7. Lou | Crumbs and Corkscrews

    This looks fabulous. I love my slow cooker and always looking for different ideas so will definitely give this a try. The only thing that I’ve tried in it that I didn’t like was lasagne, it went a bit mushy but stroganoff is great!

  8. Jessica

    Omg this looks so good! I’m a total slow-cooker convert too. It took me a while but now I can also see what everyone else has been talking about! Thanks for linking up to my World Food linky! x

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