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Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Avocado Salsa (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)

Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos are perfect to make in the slow cooker, or make the spicy chicken in the Instant Pot if you prefer! And if you make lettuce wraps with the spicy chicken it’s a meal that’s low-carb, low-glycemic, gluten-free, dairy-free, South Beach Diet friendly, and can even be Paleo with the right ingredient choices! Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Avocado Salsa (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot) found on KalynsKitchen.com

These Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos are one of those recipes that every slow cooker or Instant Pot fan will appreciate because once you’ve made the spicy shredded chicken, there are endless ways to use it. I experimented a few times with the spicy chicken part of the recipe to get the chicken flavored just like I wanted it, and we made lettuce wrap tacos and tasty chicken tostadas with low-carb tortillas, but you could also use this shredded chicken to make regular tacos, nachos, burritos, or even enchiladas. And don’t skip the avocado salsa, which was the perfect thing to go with the spicy meat.

And if you prefer, you can use the Instant Pot to make the spicy shredded chicken for these Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos, or make my Instant Pot (or Slow Cooker) Low-Carb Cheesy Chicken Tacos for a slightly different twist. (Check the actual recipe below the photos for Instant Pot instructions.)

Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Avocado Salsa (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot) found on KalynsKitchen.com

Trim four boneless-skinless chicken breasts, and then cut each one in half lengthwise.Arrange the chicken in a slow cooker that you’ve sprayed with olive oil or non-stick spray. (I used my Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker, and you need one that’s close to this size.) Mix together the salsa, onion powder, diced green chiles, Cholula hot sauce, and lime juice. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker. Cook on low for about 5 hours, or until chicken is very tender. (I did experiment cooking it on high for a shorter time and the chicken was much more tender when cooked on low.)

Remove chicken from slow cooker, and let it cool; then shred chicken apart with your fingers. (Turn the slow cooker to high and leave the lid partly off while chicken cools and you’re shredding it.) Then put the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker, stir to combine with the sauce, and let it heat up again while you prep your other ingredients.

Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Avocado Salsa (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot) found on KalynsKitchen.com

For these lettuce wraps, we liked Iceberg lettuce best. I cut a head of lettuce in half and wash it in the salad spinner before I break it apart for the lettuce wraps, but some lettuce may not need to be washed. Combine the chopped avocado, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, and lime juice to make the salsa. To make the lettuce wrap tacos, peel off two pieces of lettuce, fill with some shredded chicken, and put a generous scoop of avocado salsa on top. Fold over the lettuce and eat with your hands.

Slow Cooker Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos or Tostadas found on KalynsKitchen.com.

More Dinners from the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot:
Chicken Recipes Index Page ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Mexican Shredded Beef in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot ~ Your HomeBased Mom
Slow Cooker (or Pressure Cooker) Shredded Beef Tacos with Spicy Slaw and Avocado ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Slow Cooker (or Pressure Cooker) Buffalo Chicken Cauliflower Rice Bowl ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Avocado Salsa (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)


Spicy Chicken Tacos:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise (about 2 lbs. boneless chicken)
  • 1 cup mild or medium tomato salsa (homemade or from a jar)
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 can ( 4 oz.) diced green chiles, not drained (Anaheim chiles)
  • 1-2 T Cholula hot sauce, or other Mexican hot sauce of your choice
  • 2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 heads iceberg lettuce, washed if needed

Avocado Salsa:

  • 2 medium or large avocados, diced into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice


Slow Cooker Instructions:

  1. Trim visible fat and other unwanted parts from chicken breasts and cut each one in half lengthwise.  Spray the inside of the slow cooker with olive oil or non-stick spray and arrange the chicken strips in the bottom.
  2. Mix together the tomato salsa, onion powder, diced green chiles with juice, Cholula hot sauce and lime juice.  (Start with 1 tablespoon of hot sauce and taste the mixture on your finger to see if you want more.)
  3. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and cook on low for about 5 hours, or until chicken is very tender.  (You can cook for a shorter time on high, but I thought cooking on low gave more tender chicken.)
  4. When the chicken is done, remove each piece with a slotted spoon and lay it on a cutting board to cool.  Turn the slow cooker to high and leave the lid partly off so steam can evaporate.
  5. When the chicken has cooled enough to handle it, use your clean hands or two forks to pull it apart into shredded chicken pieces.
  6. Put the chicken back into the slow cooker, stir to combine with the sauce, and let it heat back up while you prepare other ingredients.   (If there seems to be a lot of sauce in the slow cooker, you can drain the chicken when you use it, but I just scooped chicken out with a slotted spoon.)
  7. Peel and dice the avocados and toss with the lime juice (in a bowl that’s big enough for all the salsa ingredients.)  Add the chopped cilantro and chopped red onion and stir to combine.
  8. Cut iceberg lettuce heads in half and wash in salad spinner if needed.  Peel off two pieces of lettuce and fill with a scoop of chicken mixture and a scoop of avocado salsa.  Eat tacos with your hands.
  9. You can also use the spicy chicken mixture and avocado salsa to make tostadas.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  1. Prepare chicken, salsa, onion powder, diced chiles, hot sauce, and lime juice as above and put in Instant Pot.
  2. Lock the lid, set the Instant Pot to HIGH PRESSURE, 8 minutes.
  3. When the 8 minutes cooking time has finished, let the Instant Pot NATURAL RELEASE for 10 minutes, then turn the valve to quick release the rest of the pressure.
  4. Remove the chicken strips to a cutting board to cool. Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE/LOW HEAT and let the liquid simmer until it’s cooked down to about 1/2 cup. (This took about 5 minutes.) While the liquid reduces, use two forks to shred chicken apart.
  5. Make the avocado salsa and lettuce-wrap tacos same as above.


This recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
The Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wraps made with this recipe would be approved for low-carb and low-glycemic eating plans, including all phases of the South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click for Slow Cooker / Pressure Cooker Recipes on my other site!

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Avocado Salsa (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot) found on KalynsKitchen.com

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38 comments on “Spicy Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Avocado Salsa (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)”

  1. All that spice would make me so happy! You've suddenly got me craving tostadas.

  2. This is a very unique recipe. We love cooking with our slow cooker and this recipe looks absolutely delicious. Bookmarking this now. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I would never skip the avocado salsa! These look fantastic! YUM!

  4. Thanks Joanne. I am loving the Cholula hot sauce.

    Zane and Van, glad you like it.

    Shawn, me neither!

  5. Oh, Kalyn…. wouldn't you know, when I moved, I gave my crockpot away, as this kitchen is a lot smaller, and… well, you know how it goes…

    and of course, now I see recipes popping everywhere that calls for the crockpot! This one is a definite winner, I just made a tomatillo avocado salsa the other day, your chicken would be perfect with it too. I guess I could use a low oven (sigh)

  6. Oh my, I could never get by without my crockpots! You could get a really small one and just do 2 chicken breasts, or just simmer it on very low heat.

  7. This is the type of dish I'm having so much fun making in my slow cooker. I freeze the cooked shredded chicken in small containers, to provide many meals during the week (or beyond).

  8. I used my crockpot the other day for baked beans; must try this chicken. My husband has prepared chicken that way, but it will be new for me.

  9. Have you ever made double the recipe in a large crock pot? Would love to try it!

  10. My kids love tacos and anything with guacamole salsa on top – definitely trying this!

  11. Lydia, I agree. I almost like this kind of dish where you can get creative with the results more than I do a set recipe that's more limited!

    Mimi, hope you try it, loved it here!

    Nicole, you can definitely double it for a bigger crockpot. The cooking time might be slightly longer, although probably not much.

    Jeanette, hope the kids like it!

  12. I need to get a slow cooker!! This looks fantastic!

  13. I am absolutely making this recipe! Love anything with a slow cooker!

  14. Cathleen and Elizabeth, couldn't imagine not having my slow cooker. I'd start with a middle sized one 3.5 or 4 quarts unless you have a big family to cook for.

  15. We love lettuce wraps and the spice in this recipe would go over well here. I need a smaller slow cooker for the two of us. Mine is HUGE. : /

  16. Kelly, don't gasp but I have 10 slow cookers! Every size imaginable. I do love this small 3.5 quart size though.

  17. Ive get use to Mexican food in US. But now Im back at home and unfortunately there is no Mexican restaurant around. So Im going try this one because it looks so good.

  18. Perfect!! I use lettuce wraps for larb, but never have used them for a Mexican dish!

  19. Food with a Mexican style is right up my alley… I love the heat, I love the flavor. This recipe is perfection because for me, it's guilt-free when it's served on lettuce leaves. I love that!

    Thank you for sharing such a terrific recipe. Who knows… I might even break down and make it with some tortillas! Yummers-ville!

  20. I recently tried using the paddle attachment on my stand mixer to shred chicken. On the fence about the convenience of lugging out the big mixer, but I think I will use this method again when I'm making a big batch for multiple meals. The Avocado salsa looks really great – can't wait to try. Thanks for all the work you do. Your kitchen is a real inspiration!

  21. Kudzususan, thanks for the nice thoughts about the blog. Interesting idea! I know a lot of people shred with forks, but I just use my hands!

  22. Just tried and loved the recipe, and my family did as well. Big success!

  23. This is great! I goofed and put the sauce ingredients in the crockpot instead of mixing it in a bowl and it still came out fine. I also used a chipotle hot sauce instead of the usual and it was excellent. Definitely a keeper!

  24. I made this yesterday and it turned out great! I didn't cut the chicken breasts in half because I knew I was going to be cooking them a lot longer than 5 hrs and didn't want the chicken to be dry. It was delicious. I did cut back on the lime in the avocado salsa because I didn't have that many limes, but I think it turned out pretty great so I'll probably continue to use less lime next time. Thank you so much for sharing!

  25. Elizabeth, so glad you enjoyed it!

  26. How many pounds of raw meat is this? 1 lb.? 2 lbs.? Thanks for any help!

  27. This is about 2 pounds of meat. (Luckily I had a chicken breast in the fridge, so I just weighed it!) Great question, I will edit the recipe.

  28. This looks so yummy! I'm going to try to make it for dinner tonight, and I don't have quite 5 hours. How long would you cook it on high?

  29. You'll probably need at least 3 hours on high, maybe a little more depending on your slow cooker.

  30. I cannot WAIT to try these! They look and sound delectable!

  31. Karen, hope you enjoy!

  32. Making these in my crock pot now…this is the 4th time I've made them and now I've got my sister in law trying them too!! So delicious and healthy! We especially LOVE the avocado salsa. Since making this for the first time months ago, I've also had your chickpea salad with avocado. MY OH MY. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing such wonderful and healthy recipes. I just love your food!

  33. Sara, thanks for the nice comments! Comments like that really make my day.

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