Slow Cooker Sunday might be our favorite day of the week (after Taco Tuesday, anyway), and this spicy Crock-Pot shredded chicken recipe is one of our favorite things to make for both occasions. It’s just as great during summer as it is in colder weather—which is convenient since you’ll want to make it all the time once you taste it.
Naturally, it’s also great any day of the week. And the beauty of the Crock-Pot shines 24/7—you can pile things in, turn it on low, program time and temp, and deal with the dozen things you need to accomplish even before you set foot in the office. Or, you can use the slow cooker as a weekend enhancement: same piling stuff in and setting to low, same freedom to walk away while it produces something amazing. Only, instead of rushing, you’re free to make a fully fleshed-out family supper—or do whatever else you feel like instead of cooking.
Behold: a full dinner menu with flexible options depending on how much you want to work (or not), all revolving around this fantastic Crock-Pot chicken centerpiece.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, that ubiquitous and potentially bland protein, find ultimate expression in Chris Rochelle’s patiently simmered braise with fresh poblano peppers, onion, garlic, and habanero chile. Cumin, apple cider vinegar, and orange juice keep things lively. Pile the meat into corn tortillas with your favorite taco fixings for a filling, easy meal, or use it in burritos or rice bowls. Get our Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos recipe.
Related Reading: 9 Easy & Delicious Slow Cooker Mexican Recipes
All you really need is a good guac to accompany your tacos, and mashing up some avocados with a few other ingredients before ripping open a bag of tortilla chips certainly fits in with the easy theme of a slow cooker meal. That said, we do have a few more involved options if you’re feeling like tackling another side or two! Get our Easy Guacamole recipe.
This is the perfect solution for less-than-perfect-peak-season corn on the cob, yet it’s also delicious on the sweetest summer corn you can find: a full-flavor slathering of homemade mayo spiked with Dijon mustard and roasted garlic, sprinkled with lime zest and smoky Spanish pimentón. Try it on grilled corn too. Get our Corn with Roasted Garlic Aioli, Lime, and Smoked Paprika recipe.
Slowly simmered black beans are delicious pretty much as is—true, they take some time, but it’s not like you’re tending to the chicken, so you can concentrate on these. Adding a seasoning paste of ancho chile, tomato, serrano pepper, dried oregano, and beer takes them over the top, but if you’d rather take a shortcut, try using the same ingredients to doctor canned beans. It’s really not that big a deal, we promise. Get our Black Beans with Mexican Beer recipe.
A bit of chopping, squeezing, and tossing is all that’s required for this spicy, sweet, crisp, and juicy salad that’s equally great in hot weather as it is in winter, and perfect beside the warm, tender chicken. Get our Spicy Jicama, Grapefruit, and Mango Salad recipe.
Pineapple juice and tequila mingle with cinnamon syrup, lime juice, and Licor 43, a Spanish liqueur with notes of warm spice and sweet vanilla. If you have trouble tracking that down, try swapping in similarly sweet and fragrant Tuaca liqueur. Get our La Pinela Pineapple Tequila Cocktail recipe.
Ground cinnamon, brown sugar, and a touch of cayenne give these easy chocolate cookies the irresistibly warm quality of Mexican hot chocolate. Best part: You can mix the dough and roll it into logs that you’ll be able to freeze for up to a month. Slice and bake at will. Get our Mexican Chocolate Slice-and-Bake Cookie recipe.
Or, for those times when it’s too hot to turn on the oven, capture the same flavors in our Mexican chocolate ice cream. And if you don’t have an ice cream maker, try this food processor ice cream trick. Get our Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream recipe.
What are you making for Slow Cooker Sunday? Let us know in the comments!