4.6 from 5 votes
Overhead, landscape shot of a gray platter of Slow Cooker Beer Braised Baja Chicken Tacos on a blue surface with a pale purple linen, lime wedges, small knife, and bowls of salt, cotija cheese and baja sauce surrounding the platter.
Slow Cooker Beer Braised Baja Chicken Tacos
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 15 mins
 

These Beer Braised Baja Chicken Tacos are a twist on the classic Baja fish tacos. Made with the ease of the slow cooker, this chicken is moist, tender and packed with flavor!  Top it all off with crisp cabbage, spicy jalapeños and a creamy Baja sauce, these tacos are perfect for a weeknight dinners or entertaining!

Course: entree
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword: beer braised, chicken tacos, Crock pot, Easy, Slow Cooker
Servings: 8
Calories: 213 kcal
Ingredients
Chicken:
  • 2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Red Onion – diced
  • 2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo – roughly chopped + 2 tsp sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 5 Cloves Garlic – minced, divided
  • ½ Cup + 2 TBS Lime Juice divided
  • 1 TBS Honey divided
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • ¼ tsp Ground Pepper
  • 1 12 ounce Bottle Mexican Pale Ale (or Corona)
Baja Sauce (yield 1 cup):
  • 1 Jalapeno – roughly chopped*
  • ½ Cup Cilantro – roughly chopped and loosely packed
  • 2 tsp Fajita Seasoning *
  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise *
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
Optional For Serving: Warmed Corn or Flour Tortillas, Queso Fresco, Cilantro, Shredded Cabbage, Sliced Avocado, Lime Wedges
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to the slow cooker: Place the onions in the bottom of a slow cooker and place the chicken on top in a single layer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chipotle peppers (with sauce), cumin, oregano, 4 cloves of garlic, ½ cup of lime juice, 2 tsp honey, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken. Add the beer to the slow cooker.

  2. Cook the chicken: Cover the slow cooker with a lid. Cook until the chicken is tender and registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, about 2 - 3 hours on HIGH or 4-5 hours on LOW.
  3. Meanwhile, make the baja sauce: In the bowl of a food processor add the remaining clove of garlic, jalapeno and cilantro. Pulse to roughly chop, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the remaining 2 TBS lime juice, 1 tsp honey, fajita seasoning, mayonnaise and sour cream. Process to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. If a thinner sauce is desired, add in a splash or two of water. Transfer to the refrigerator to allow the flavors to marry.
  4. Shred the chicken: Remove the lid and while the chicken is still warm, either shred the chicken with 2 forks right in the slow cooker, or transfer the chicken to a cutting board to shred. Toss the shredded chicken with the cooking liquid in the slow cooker.  Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the chicken to a serving bowl*.  
  5. Assemble the tacos: Divide the chicken among tortillas. Top with desired garnishes and drizzle with baja sauce. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes
  1. While the recipe below calls for chicken breasts, you can absolutely use chicken thighs if desired!
  2. Make sure you taste and adjust the baja sauce for seasoning with salt and pepper.  As well, if a sweeter sauce is desired, add more honey, or if you like your sauce with more of a kick, add more jalapeno or chili powder!  While the baja sauce is supposed to be creamy, you can thin the sauce if desired with a splash or two of water.  The sauce is best if allowed to chill, covered in the refrigerator, for an hour or two so the flavors can marry, however it is not required.
  3. The baja sauce calls for fajita seasoning.  You can either purchase your favorite fajita, or taco seasoning from the store, or you can make it yourself.  I definitely prefer making it myself so I can control the amount of salt, the levels of spice, and customize it to my preference.  I like to make a large batch and keep it on hand in the pantry. 
  4. The shredded chicken will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
  5. You can serve the slow cooker beer braised chicken as is, directly from the slow cooker, or you can crisp the chicken slightly in the oven!  (see below for how-to)

 

FAJITA SEASONING:

1 tsp each: Cumin, Oregano, Smoked Paprika

1/2 tsp each: Chili Powder, Sea Salt

1/4 tsp Ground Pepper

 

TO CRISP CHICKEN:

  1. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up.  Adjust oven rack to the top 1/3rd position and turn broil setting on your oven to high.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer shredded chicken to the prepared sheet pan.  Spread chicken out evenly on the pan.  
  3. Pour 1/3rd of the sauce from the slow cooker evenly over the chicken.  Broil 4-5 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Pour 1/2 of the remaining sauce from the slow cooker again evenly over the chicken.  Stir and toss to coat.  Spread the chicken out again and broil, another 4-5 minutes.
  4. Transfer chicken to a large mixing bowl and toss with remaining sauce in the slow cooker to coat.  Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Beer Braised Baja Chicken Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 213 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 603mg26%
Potassium 503mg14%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 290IU6%
Vitamin C 10.2mg12%
Calcium 34mg3%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.