Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls

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Confession time: if left to my own devices, I would eat burrito bowls every day of the week. There’s just something about the combination of flavours and textures that you get from a burrito bowl that keeps me coming back. Besides, I always make sure to load it up with lots of vegetables, so I don’t feel too badly about all the sour cream and cheese.

I love any excuse to pull out my slow cooker and have it do the work for me. This is a great meal prep recipe to tackle on the weekend and enjoy all week. You can use this chicken in a variety of ways — stirred into pastas, added to salads or sandwiches, or whatever you prefer. What I prefer is a burrito bowl heaped high with toppings that makes lunchtime more exciting, so here’s how to make that:

Equipment:

  • Slow cooker, 3 quart or larger (I have this 6 quart one and usually make a double batch)

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 pounds (approx. 3) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved crosswise (see note below)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, sliced into thin half-moons
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 3 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning (see note below)
  • 1-2 tsps hot sauce of choice (optional); I used Tapatío
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup julienned bell peppers

For serving: Cooked rice, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, slivered green onion, shredded lettuce, julienned radishes, etc.

Here’s what you do:

  1. In the bowl of your slow cooker, add tomatoes, onions, chicken stock, taco seasoning, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Nestle chicken into the mixture so that it is mostly submerged.
  3. Cover with the lid and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours.
  4. Remove the lid and add the frozen corn and peppers to the bowl; stir to combine, then replace the lid (try to be quick so you don’t lose too much heat).
  5. Cook for 1 additional hour.
  6. Remove the lid. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Let the meat rest while you prepare your toppings; the sauce will thicken as the chicken cools.
  7. Serve over rice and piled high with toppings of your choice.
  8. This keeps well in the fridge for at least 5 days (if it lasts that long!), or in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Total cooking time: 6 hours

Servings: 8

A note on chicken: I used chicken breast because that’s what I had on hand this week. If you’re worried about the chicken breast drying out, fear not: low, slow cooking will help ensure that the end result is tender and delicious. You could also use a mix of chicken breasts and thighs to add more flavour and stretch this recipe further.

A note on seasonings: you can use packaged or homemade taco seasoning; watch how much salt you’re adding if you use a packaged seasoning, as these tend to be quite salty to begin with. Making your own taco spice blend is easy and very cost-effective if you shop in the bulk aisle. There are a million recipes for taco seasoning online; I like this recipe from Budget Bytes, and that’s the blend I used here. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste!

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