I love slow-cooker meals. They are easy, low-maintenance and usually quite delicious. This met all of the above criteria! Sweet and spicy shredded chicken served in flour tortillas with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and sour cream. The chicken had a perfect balance of flavors – spicy does not mean unbearable, by the way. It was simple heat from crushed red pepper that you could tailor to your liking. I think I ate about five tacos. Seriously. And let me tell you, my pregnant belly does not need five tacos in one sitting – but I threw caution to the wind and ate anyway because I could not stop eating these! The chicken was moist and flavorful and was the perfect solution to a weeknight meal that needed something more than your average, everyday taco. The major bonus was I had enough leftover chicken to use it in a spicy chicken soup recipe the next night, which meant another quick an easy dinner. Love it!

Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooker Chicken

Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooker Chicken


  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (14 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1/4 teaspoon)


  1. Coat the inside of your crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Place all ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, or until chicken shreds very easily with a fork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Chicken will absorb liquid after it is shredded.)
  2. Serve in tacos or however your little heart desires.


Freezable Meal: I freeze the leftovers in a freezer-safe container and let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving the next day. I reheat over medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove.


Recipe Source: from Prudence Pennywise

49 Responses to Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooker Chicken

  1. Natalie says:

    I love your recipes and have never had a bad experience, but something went terribly wrong when I made this. Not sure how that can happen with only 4 ingredients, but…I doubled the recipe and it was WAY too sweet. My husband and I have jokingly called the leftovers “sugar chicken” as we doctored it up with chili powder, onion powder and garlic. My 14 month old has been loving it though πŸ™‚ (BTW, he can down at least 6 of your meatballs, he likes them all). I also used ground red pepper instead of red pepper flakes. I guess that made the difference? Any thoughts?
    I might just reduce the sugar next time.

  2. Jennifer says:

    While I have tried a LOT of your recipes and love them, this was not my favorite. Too sweet for my taste, my husband liked though. Thanks for all the great recipes you have on here, I have so many bookmarked to try. I just need to do it. lol

  3. Jenn says:

    LOVE this one! I had to rave and rave about it when I posted my review! Thanks so much for all the gread food ideas, they have saved me quite a few times! πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      Jenn – thanks for the review! Glad that this recipe worked well for you…I love the easy ones, too. They are the best!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi- I don’t know if you will see this comment but I hope so! I just made this chicken the other day and my husband, almost 2 year old son, and I LOVED it. My husband even asked what I put in it to make it taste so good. Well my only question about it is…is it supposed to be “watery”? The flavor was amazing but when we put it in a soft tortilla it would make it wet and the “juice” would come squirting(or streaming) out. LOL…did I do something wrong? After I shredded the chicken I put it back in the juice that it was cooking in. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that. Please let me know because i’d like to make this again, i just want to make sure I am doing it correctly.

    Thank you!

  5. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – yes, I think you made this exactly right. It doesn’t tend to be a little soupy, so sometimes, I’ll drain a little of the liquid before adding the shredded chicken back in or we’ll just carefully use tongs to pinch out the chicken and leave the “juice” behind. Hope that helps!

  6. Melanie says:

    Liza – your comment made me smile. I guess inhaling is a good thing when it comes to food, right?? Glad these were a hit!

  7. Liza says:

    This chicken is fantastic! I have never seen my hubby inhale tacos that fast. This is definitely a winner. Thanks!

  8. Allison says:

    Thanks Melanie! I’m going to make that soup tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  9. Melanie says:

    Allison – this chicken is great leftover in so many things – I’ve used it in basic chicken enchiladas, chicken quesadillas (for a QUICK weeknight dinner) and I’ve copied the recipe below for the soup I’ve used it in, since I don’t know when I’ll post it:

    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1 T. olive oil
    soften above

    1 1/2 cup cooked chicken
    1 1/2 cup chicken broth
    2 cans great northern beans
    1 t. oregano
    1/2 t. celery salt
    1/2-3/4 c. salsa
    1 1/2 cup shredded mozz. cheese

    Mix altogether & heat through. Add cheese last.

  10. Allison says:

    We’ve made this several times and love love love it, but I never know what to do with the leftovers. Can you post the chicken soup recipe that you use leftovers in, pretty please?

  11. Maria says:

    I love sweet and spicy together!

  12. Melanie says:

    Natalie – you are awesome – thanks for bringing a smile to my face with your comment. I’m glad to know that you have enjoyed some of the recipes. And I totally judge the success of a meal by how silent the kids and husband are at the table – that is a good thing!!

  13. Tai Christensen says:

    I just wanted to THANK YOU for saving my evening! I had company coming in from out of town, arriving at dinner time (of course), and I was gone all day to a dance performance. I threw these in the crockpot before I left and when I got home, my company and I were greeted with this DELICIOUS meal. They couldnt believe how easy it was and there were NO leftovers! This is definitely a keeper!!!! Thanks again! I love your blog and get recipes from it all the time!

  14. Emily says:

    I have loved reading your blog! Thanks for posting so many great recipes. I can’t wait to try this slow cooker ckn recipe- it looks so yummy! Thanks!

  15. Melanie says:

    Ali – glad you like this and really glad to hear when people change things up and your switch to using picante sauce sounds great and fast!

  16. Cathryn says:

    After reading this…I stood right up and put it in the crockpot for a ready made after church meal! Yay! I was going to make your chicken curry today, but I guess that will have to wait for later in the week. I love your recipes!

  17. Melanie says:

    Jan – I don’t really have an excuse for 5 helpings either, I think it is called lack of self-control!! Thanks for letting me know this turned out great for you!

  18. Melanie says:

    Cathryn – be sure and let me know how it turns out!

  19. Melanie says:

    Jill – fabulous idea to use the leftovers on a salad. I love shredded chicken salads and now I know exactly what to do with the leftovers next time!

  20. Laura says:

    I had printed off this recipe from Prudy, but have not tried it yet. This makes me want to get to this recipe quicker.

  21. Maris says:

    This looks great! I love it because it’s a crockpot recipe that looks easy enough to scale down to fit my little 1-qt crock pot!

  22. Melanie says:

    Tai – thank you for your awesome comment! I’m so glad this dinner came through for you. I just made it again on Sunday for the same reason – I had company and wanted a quick and easy meal to come home to. Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to let me know!

  23. Melanie Anne says:

    I just made this for the second time last night! I agree, it is great–and soo easy! We love it.

  24. Melanie says:

    Jaesi – don’t you love how simple this is? I’m making it for company on Sunday because it is so easy. Thanks for trying it and letting me know you liked it!

  25. Jan Russell says:

    I made this for dinner tonight, and I wish I had an excuse to eat 5helpings, because it was delicious!

  26. ABZMAMA says:

    Oh this was SO good!!! As is was cooking in the crock pot, I thought it looked like it was going to taste to tomato-y for me and my kids, but after shredding it and tasting it really won me over. I will for sure make this again. Thanks!

  27. Marisa says:

    That looks awesome! I will for sure be trying this recipe.

  28. teresa says:

    I am making this for dinner tomorrow and can’t wait! Thanks for the great recipe!

  29. Melanie says:

    ABZMAMA – so glad you liked this. I love it, too, because it is so easy and tastes fantastic. Thanks for checking in and letting me know!

  30. Peregos says:

    This one has my name all over it: chicken, slow-cooker and 4 ingredients! Jenna, Jenna, Jenna. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Melanie.

  31. jaesi says:

    Just made these tonight….DELISH!!! and super simple.

  32. grace says:

    five tacos in one sitting probably isn’t good for any bellies… πŸ™‚the slow cooker is indeed a magical tool–great dish, melanie!

  33. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – yes, the water measurement for the no-knead bread is 1 5/8 cup.

  34. Natalie says:

    Melanie: Me again. (I commented on your blog a while ago. I am a loyal fan!)I use my crockpot once a week on our busiest day so that my family can still have a good meal together after piano lessons, dance, etc. I was running out of good – and I mean truly delicious – crockpot recipes. We had this last night, and the table was silent because we were all enjoying it so, so much. We loved it!I love your blog so much! So many of your recipes are now part of my “Tried & True” file. Thank you, thank you!!

  35. Frieda says:

    Melanie,This chicken looks like the answer to my tacquito recipe…I’m definitely going to try it out! Thanks for a great blog!

  36. Ali says:

    This is a great recipe! I also have substituted the can of diced tomatoes with a jar of Pace picante sauce. This also turns out yummo!

  37. Camille says:

    Just made these for dinner tonight. Oh my…let me just say, Y.U.M.!!! I had 4 of them!! My tiny, 7 1/2 year old, 45lb, daughter had 3 of them!!! LOL!! Great recipe!!!

  38. Joie de vivre says:

    I have been loving my crock pot recently too. You know, I’ve made shredded beef, and shredded pork, but for some reason had never thought of shredding chicken!

  39. Katie says:

    Oh wow. Looks great! I’m soooo putting this on my must-make list!

  40. PheMom says:

    Love this idea! Bookmarking this one too.

  41. Amy and David Ziehl says:

    I totally loved this Mel! It was soooo good! I am excited to break out the crock pot and make it for David!

  42. Lisa says:

    You just reminded me that I have to try this recipe.

  43. Melanie says:

    Camille – I’m glad I’m not the only one that can’t stop eating this meal! Thanks for letting me know you made it and enjoyed it (and your 7 year old daughter, too!).

  44. Anonymous says:

    this is regarding the no knead bread. What is the measurement for water? Is it one and five eights cups of water? Thank you.

  45. Jill says:

    This recipe is great. It also made a killer chicken salad the next day. I just mixed in a little mayo, sour cream and Mrs. Dash and it was delish!

  46. Sweet and Savory says:

    I must use my crock more often. This has the flavors, my family loves. I hope to try it soon.

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