Hands off, yet filled with big Tex-Mex flavors, these crockpot chicken fajitas are a crowd-pleasing dinner. Made with a flavorful homemade fajita seasoning, fire roasted tomatoes, bell peppers and red onion.
Whether you have a newborn baby or are trying to work from home, the slow cooker can be such a useful tool for getting dinner on the table! While we love crockpot teriyaki chicken and slow cooker lemon garlic chicken, these crockpot chicken fajitas are definitely the family favorite!
Simple to prepare, and delivering bold Tex-Mex flavors are just two reasons we love crockpot chicken fajitas so much. Not only can you get the ingredients into the slow cooker in under 15 minutes, but you can assemble them ahead as a crockpot freezer meal.
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Reasons you’ll ♡ this recipe
- no sautéing means you can get the ingredients into the slow cooker quickly
- it delivers big on flavor thanks to the homemade fajita seasoning and fire roasted tomatoes
- adding the peppers and onions later during the cooking period prevents them from overcooking
Watch the video below to see how I make crockpot chicken fajitas! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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- chicken- as written, this recipe uses boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can use bone-in chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs, but I advise increasing the cook time to 4-5 hours on low.
- fajita seasoning- you can use store bought fajita seasoning, but taking the time to make your own homemade fajita seasoning is 100% worth it in terms of improved flavor.
- tomatoes- I love using fire roasted tomatoes for this recipe as it gives a subtle smoky flavor. You could also swap for rotel (caution as it can be too spicy for some kids) or just regular diced tomatoes.
- vegetables- I advise adding the bell pepper and red onion strips during the last 1-2 hours of cook time; this ensures that they maintain some structure rather than getting completely soft and soggy.
What are fajitas?
Truly Tex-Mex, fajitas originated in Texas in the early 1930's, when the less desirable cuts of beef were given to Mexican cowboys working on ranches as part of their pay (1). Traditionally involving strips of skirt steak cooked on a campfire or grill, modern fajitas usually include bell peppers and red onions, and can use a variety of meats (including chicken) as the protein.
Modern-day fajitas are frequently made with fajita seasoning, which is meant to replicate the traditional fajita marinade (2). These days, fajitas are often served in a sizzling skillet with warmed tortillas and toppings (guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded cheese and more).
These crockpot chicken fajitas are certainly different than the original fajitas, but I hope this slow cooker interpretation can bring delightful Tex-Mex flavors to your dinner table with minimal effort and clean up required.
Step by step directions
1. Combine- In the base of a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker, stir together the honey, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and fire roasted tomatoes. Add the chicken breasts, and turn to coat in the mixture.
2. Cook- Put the lid on the slow cooker, then program to cook on low for 4-5 hours.
A note about slow cookers- I use Crock Pot brand slow cookers which cook slightly hot. If you know your slow cooker cooks lower or slower, increase the cook time to 5-6 hours.
3. Add peppers- 2 hours before serving, add the onions and peppers to the slow cooker. You can stir them in, or just let them sit on top.
TIP- Adding the peppers later on in the cook time prevents them from overcooking and getting stringy.
4. Shred chicken- Once the cooking cycle has completed, transfer the chicken to a clean bowl using tongs. Shred the chicken with two forks or using an electric hand mixer.
5. Toss back up- Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker with a squeeze of lime juice, and stir everything up with tongs.
Make your own fajita seasoning
Homemade fajita seasoning is easy to prepare, cost effective, and much more flavorful than store-bought. Simply stir together salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and a bit of brown sugar, mix together, and you can store in the pantry for up to 1 year! Grab my homemade fajita seasoning here.
Add veggies at the end
If you've ever cooked bell peppers for 4 hours in a slow cooker, you were likely met with mushy and bitter results. Instead of adding at the start, we add the bell peppers and onions to the crockpot during the last 2 hours of the cook time. They soften and sweeten as they cook, but retain their structure this way.
Add a squeeze of lime
One of my favorite slow cooker tips is to add a bit of acid after cooking as it helps brighten all the flavors back up again after a long cook time. For this recipe, add a squeeze of fresh lime before serving; it compliments the spices in the fajita seasoning, as well as the fire roasted tomatoes.
Chicken shredding hack
To shred your chicken quickly, transfer the cooked boneless chicken breasts or thighs to a bowl, and use an electric hand mixer to shred it in seconds. This is much quicker than using two forks!
If you have bone-in chicken breasts, you'll want to pull the chicken off the bone before shredding.
Toast your tortillas
One easy way to improve both the texture and flavor of grocery store tortillas is to toast them on an open flame (easy to do on a gas range stove or on a barbecue). Toast until they start to smoke a touch, then use tongs to flip them over.
If you don’t have a gas range stove or grill, you can toast them in a frying pan until lightly golden.
As written, this recipe makes a large batch of chicken fajitas (serves 8!). If you'd like to cook a half batch of this recipe, you'll need to use a smaller 2.5 quart slow cooker, as there is just not enough liquid to cook in a regular 6 quart slow cooker.
Chicken fajita toppings
When serving your chicken fajitas, don't forget about the toppings! Here are some options:
- fresh avocado or guacamole
- shredded cheese
- shredded lettuce
- sour cream
- pico de gallo or salsa
- refried beans
- fresh chopped tomatoes
Meal Prep + Storage
Crockpot chicken fajitas make for a great meal prep option. Here are two ways to do it:
Crockpot freezer meal
A crockpot freezer meal is assembled ahead and frozen before cooking. That way on cook day all you need to do is dump the meal into the slow cooker and press the cook button. No measuring!
- Assemble all ingredients except for the bell peppers, red onions and lime juice, in a large freezer bag, reusable silicone bag, or meal prep container.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely before cooking as directed in the recipe card.
Find my favorite freezer containers here.
Alternatively, you can cook this meal ahead and portion out. When you're ready, reheat and enjoy your easy meals!
- Cool completely, then portion out into meal prep containers.
- Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheat in the microwave or (best) in a frying pan over medium heat. Heat until steaming hot, but do not reheat more than once.
- Serve in tortillas with toppings listed above, and enjoy!
More slow cooker chicken recipes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes see note 1
- 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts see note 2
1 hour before serving
- 1 lime juiced
- 4 bell peppers sliced
- 1 red onion sliced
- greek yogurt
- avocado sliced
- cheese shredded
- Combine- In the base of a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker, stir together the honey, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and fire roasted tomatoes. Add the chicken breasts, and turn to coat in the mixture.
- Cook- Put the lid on the slow cooker, then program to cook on low for 4-5 hours.
- Add peppers- 2 hours before serving, add the onions and peppers to the slow cooker. You can stir them in, or just let them sit on top.
- Shred chicken- Once the cooking cycle has completed, transfer the chicken to a clean bowl using tongs. Shred the chicken with two forks or using an electric hand mixer.
- Toss back up- Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker with a squeeze of lime juice, and stir everything up with tongs.
- Nutritional information excludes tortillas and extra toppings
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