Slow Cooker Ranchero Chicken Recipe

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on August 26, 2013

slow cooker ranchero chicken

Hey, hey back to school-ers!!! It is that time of year when the frenzy gets frenzier (more frenzied?) and the impossible task of getting dinner on the table is, well, impossible.

In an attempt to stay out of the drive through lane in the early evening, and to keep my children fed for lunch (my brain has a tendency of staying off before 8 am!), I had a little baking day on Saturday. This took me a little over an hour to pull together, if you don’t count the “load the slow cooker in the morning” part, which would only add a few minutes.

It’s all in the timing. Start the muffins baking…make up the meatballs and burgers while muffins are baking. Pull together the tacos and taquitos after that. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Now, I know I’ll survive at least the first week of school frenzy!

Here’s what I made…

baking day

(Please pardon the iphone photo with terrible kitchen lighting!)

Anyone else “getting ahead of themself” by baking and freezing for the back to school busy season?!?

(Note: This is a doubled version…this chicken is perfect for enchiladas, Seven Layer Tostadas, soft tacos and hard tacos!)

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Slow Cooker Ranchero Chicken

Yield – 8 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 8 hours in slow cooker


  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Whisk together the diced tomatoes with their juices and the tomato paste in the base of the slow cooker. Stir in the taco seasoning.
  • Add the chicken breast and thighs to sauce and spoon the sauce over the top. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours.
  • Once cooked, pull apart the chicken with 2 forks and serve in tacos, on tostadas, or in enchiladas. Enjoy!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanne August 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I am going to ask a silly question…
In this Recipe you specify
1 lb. BS chicken breast
1 lb. BS chicken thighs

Does the BS mean the Brand of chicken you bought or is this meaning some thing else?
Thanks for you help on this… I’d like to add how much I really enjoy all your time and sharing you do for us … your Recipe’s are Great!!!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom August 26, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Thanks for asking Jeanne! I’ve updated the post…it means boneless, skinless. :)



Ashley August 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I think she means Boneless Skinless. I had to look at it a couple of times :).


Michele August 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm

BS will be boneless, skinless chicken.
Happy cooking!


Jessica Fisher August 27, 2013 at 12:17 am

You’re a rockstar to pull that off in an hour. I bow.


Asta August 27, 2013 at 7:04 am

hey ya
i just joined your site yesterday so im new, and this chicken sound YUMMIE so i have to try it but “homemade taco seasoning” have you got the recipe for that for me :)
look forward to see more from you


anndei August 27, 2013 at 7:49 am

I found the homemade taco sesoning link for you:


Jennifer August 27, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Today I made (with the kiddos’ help!) dry muffin mix for quick breakfasts and then we baked up some monster cookies and stuck them in the freezer for school lunch treats over the next few weeks. Tomorrow I plan on stirring up some no bake cookies and some carrot & zucchini cake batter. I find that if I do a couple things a day, we have a nice stock pile for the crazy that is the beginning of the school year. :)


Heather Black September 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm

This recipe mentions your homemade taco seasoning but I cannot find the recipe. Could you please post the recipe or a link to it? I love your recipes and your site and have been sharing it with my friends.


Lore September 22, 2013 at 11:42 am

I am going to add this to my cooking for a week file……I know we are going to use it


Emmaline September 29, 2013 at 7:27 am

Hi – great looking recipe! Do you find it freezes ok? And have you tried it with just thighs? (Sale at Costco this week, so that’s what I have!)


Rachel October 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I want! I want! I cannot wait to try this! Thanks for the recipe! By the way love your blog, so creative.


Megan Curtis January 5, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Do you freeze BEFORE you cook or after? Looks great! Thanks!


Whitney January 12, 2014 at 11:50 pm

Does the chicken need to be thawed before going into the crockpot? This and the cilantro chicken recipe look so delicious, I can’t wait to try them! My chicken is usually frozen, so being able to throw it in the crockpot without thawing would be lovely.


Sarah July 12, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Hats off to you getting this done in an hour! It would take me the whole hour just to do the meatballs!


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