This 4 ingredient slow cooker pulled chicken is made with beans and cheese and perfect for stuffing inside a tortilla or serving with rice for a simple dinner.

If spices don’t count (and they don’t in my mind because who doesn’t have an unorganized, overflowing spice cabinet in their house with bottles that fall out and hit you in the head every time you open it?) that whole 4 ingredient thing is true.

If they do count in your mind then consider that my disclaimer before you question whether or not I passed 1st grade math.

4-ingredient slow cooker pulled chicken
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I have a weird relationship with the slow cooker.

First of all, I never use it in the winter. I have no good reasoning for why, it totally doesn’t make sense so don’t even bother trying to figure it out.

Secondly, my track record with it sucks. I can wing a stove-top dish with no problem, but there’s something about having to throw all the ingredients in at once with the slow cooker that just doesn’t work for me.

I usually try to go complex with the flavors, throw a million things in there and somehow I get one nasty end result. And my last issue with it is that any recipe that looks worth making out there always seems to have a “before” step.

The only reason I drag this thing out from it’s hiding place in the bottom corner cabinet is because I don’t want to clean 10 different pots and pans that day.

Multiple step slow cooker recipes should just be banned for being completely counter-intuitive to the slow cooker cause.

slow cooker pulled chicken

They say you forget about the pain of childbirth after a few months (and apparently that’s true since plenty of people purposely get knocked up again a year or so later), well I can’t relate to that one…but apparently, I forget about the sucktasticness of my slow cooker attempts after awhile and give it another shot.

And then recipes like this 4 ingredient slow cooker pulled chicken happen.

Hard to go wrong when all you need is:

  • chicken
  • jar of salsa
  • black beans
  • feta
  • and some spices

It’s eerily similar to our oven-baked salsa chicken recipe but perfect for when you want dinner cooking while you’re out of the house.

And if you’re truly pressed for time or just lacking the motivation to shred the chicken, cut the breasts into cubes before cooking in the slow cooker for a chicken bites situation in the final dish.

pulled chicken in the slow cooker

And amen for short term memory because we’ve finally got a winner with this easy slow cooker pulled chicken recipe.

I’m also pretty sure this chicken gives me way more joy than a kid ever would. So maybe I’ll stick with the slow cooker a little longer.

Looking for more slow cooker ideas? Try one of these recipes:

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Beef Bowls
Slow Cooker BBQ Peach Pulled Chicken
Slow Cooker Balsamic Pulled Pork with Polenta and Avocado Crema
Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu

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4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 2 minutes
A simple slow cooker chicken, beans & cheese recipe. Perfect for stuffing into a tortilla.


  • 1 pound chicken breasts/boneless thighs, I used a combination of the two
  • 16 ounces jarred salsa
  • 15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta, or grated cheddar
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Pour salsa into slow cooker then layer beans and chicken in that order.
  • Cook on high for 3 hours.
  • After 3 hours, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. It should come apart easily.
  • Return chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Add the spices and cheese and mix to combine.
  • Serve with garnish of cilantro and avocado.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 422kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 53gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 1543mgFiber: 10gSugar: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American


Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. I found this recipe on Pinterest by chance and it was a HUGE hit! I will certainly be adding this to my usual bag o’tricks for crockpot season.

  2. if you guys are parents of kids in sports, band, scouts, etc. learn to embrace the crock pot. On nights where we have activities, it saves us from the drive through. Dinner is home waiting on us before we go!

  3. I usually use my crockpot when I am not going to have time to make a meal so I hear ya on that one! But seriously, if you’re ever in the mood for a fantastic slow cooked roast beef, you’ve gotta season and brown it before throwing it in the slow cooker! The little browned bits push up the flavor. Of course, that’s a meal for when you actually have time to do the before the crockpot step. I usually do that on a Saturday or Sunday. It’s so worth it!

    I love this chicken recipes. I’m a sucker for the Mexican recipes. I have made a few in my crockpot as well. Thanks for sharing this recipe with me in the Food Bloggers Roundup FB page. I’ll be using it in my crockpot chicken roundup soon!