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Cilantro Lime Chicken Crockpot recipe is so simple and easy. The slow cooker does all the work.  Crockpot cilantro lime chicken is an amazing dish that is packed with flavor.

Cilantro Lime Shredded Chicken in the slow cooker
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Cooking crock pot recipes saves me time, money and gets a delicious dinner on the table on a busy weeknight. This restaurant quality cilantro chicken is full of flavor and juicy.

You can serve this over rice for an easy meal. We also love this Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe.  If you’re looking for a simple and delicious meal, this is it! You may even like this Pollo Asado.

Why We Love This Recipe

This recipe is quick to prep and made with simple ingredients. We love to make this cilantro chicken ahead of time and meal prep for the week. We have used this chicken in many ways and is always a crowd favorite.

This chicken is perfect to serve for any occasion or a weeknight meal.


Cilantro Chicken ingredients - chicken breasts, tomato sauce, fresh cilantro, fresh lime, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, salt and pepper

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and ingredients in the recipe card.

Variations Ideas

  • Seasoning – Feel free to change the seasoning to what you prefer. However, if you do not have cumin or chili powder, you could use taco seasoning instead. You can even add red pepper flakes to add a kick to the taste.
  • Chicken – We used chicken breast in this recipe but you can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders.
  • Cilantro – Cilantro is one of the main ingredients in this recipe. But it can easily be taken out if you are not a fan.

Step by Step Instructions

  • Step 1 – Add the chicken breasts to the crockpot (mine were frozen)
Placing the chicken in the slow cooker
  • Step 2 – Dump in the seasonings (including chopped cilantro – Check out How to Cut Cilantro) and squeeze the juice from the lime. (this is what I use to get all the lime juice out).
Topping the chicken with cilantro and seasoning in the slow cooker
  • Step 3 – Pour 1 can of tomato sauce on top.
Adding the tomato sauce on the cilantro, seasoning and chicken
  • Step 4 – Cook the chicken on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. (If you have to cook it longer than 8 hours due to work, then add ½ can of water) Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your chicken.
  • Step 5 – Shred chicken, stir and serve.

Recipe Tips

  • One Pot Meal – There is no need to mix the seasoning separately. Everything gets dump easily in the slow cooker for an easy one pot meal.
  • Freezer Prep – This is a perfect meal to freezer prep with. Place all the ingredients in the a freezer safe bag uncooked and place in the freezer.
  • Shredding Chicken – You can easily shred the chicken with two forks. But learn how to shred chicken with a mixer.
Cilantro Lime Chicken in a bowl on white rice

How to Make in the Instant Pot

Yes, definitely!  To create this recipe in the instant pot, throw all the ingredients in the instant pot and add 1 cup of chicken broth. Then place the lid on and make sure the nob is set to sealing.

Click the manual button and turn it to 15 minutes (20 minutes if you have 4 or more chicken breasts). Do the quick release to release the pressure. Remove the chicken and shred.

Return to the instant pot and stir. Then switch the instant pot to the sauté setting and cook off the additional liquid in the instant pot.

Favorite Toppings

We love to serve this chicken in many different recipes. But serving with your favorite toppings makes any recipe complete. These are some of our favorites.

  • More Cilantro
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa
  • Lettuce
  • Red Onion
  • Diced Avocado
  • Shredded Cheese

Serving Suggestions

This shredded chicken is so delicious served over white rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice. We even love to make burrito bowls layered with black beans and salsa. This chicken is even delicious topped a garden salad for a low carb option.

You can even use this chicken to roll up to make chicken enchiladas in about 30 minutes or make chicken nachos. The options are endless and always taste amazing.

Cilantro lime chicken in the slow cooker topped with lime wedges

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Store Leftovers

Store the leftovers in an airtight container and place in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days.

How to Reheat

Reheat the leftovers in the microwave in 30 second intervals until heated thorough.

Can I freeze?

Yes, you can freeze this cooked shredded chicken. Allow the chicken to cool to room temperature and place in a freezer bag. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months. When ready to serve again, thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat.

More Easy Cilantro Lime Recipes

We love to hear from you. If you make this slow cooker cilantro lime chicken recipe, please leave us a comment or a star review.

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

4.97 from 123 votes
Crock pot cilantro lime chicken recipe is packed with flavor. Cilantro lime chicken recipe is quick and easy. The entire family will enjoy this tasty meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American, Mexican
Course Main Course, Slow Cooker
Calories 103


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
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  • Place the chicken in a crock pot.
  • Place the seasonings, chopped cilantro and lime juice on top of the chicken in the crock pot.
  • Pour the tomato sauce on top.
  • Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours until the chicken shreds easily.
  • Shred the chicken and stir it back into the sauce in the crock pot.
  • Serve as is or over rice. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5-6 days.  

Nutrition Facts

Serving 6g, Calories 103kcal, Carbohydrates 8g, Protein 14g, Fat 2g, Saturated Fat 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0.01g, Cholesterol 36mg, Sodium 1015mg, Potassium 610mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 4g, Vitamin A 1012IU, Vitamin C 12mg, Calcium 38mg, Iron 2mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

4.97 from 123 votes (116 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Carrie Barnard says:

    I would just leave it out in this recipe.

  2. Sandy Cole says:

    I am not a fan of cilantro. Is there a good substiture

  3. Carrie Barnard says:

    We love this recipe too!

  4. Stephanie says:

    5 stars
    This was amazing! My husband said it was restaurant quality.

  5. Lisa Benjamin says:

    My guys loved this. My hubby ate it on rice and said it was amazing with the delicious sauce..

  6. Carrie says:

    I’m so sorry about that. We will update the recipe to be more clear.

  7. Sara says:

    I tried this recipe yesterday I was very excited for the slow cooker to stop to feed my family, however you should specify lime juice versus lime, because I cut up the lime squeezed it into the crockpot and cooked it all together, when it was done it was an edible due to the strong lime rind flavoring I had to throw it out ?? I wasted to organic chicken breast

  8. Carrie says:

    Yes, the 6 hours is fine if the chicken was shreddable after that time. Each crock pot cooks a bit differently so yours probably cooks hotter than mine.

  9. Saraya says:

    Hello, made it today. I only cooked for 6 hours since it was super easy to shred. Was the 6 hours okay? I’ve seen a lot of recipes where it says 6-8 hours and I didn’t want to overcook my chicken lol so I just stopped at 6 hours. I used 3 chicken boneless breast just like your video.

  10. Carrie says:

    Yes, it’ll have a different flavor but will still be good with the cilantro.

  11. Jane English says:

    Could you use chicken broth instead? I am highly allergic to tomatoes.

  12. Holly says:

    5 stars
    Hi Carrie….I have this recipe bookmarked and use it often! My husband loves ground beef tacos and my daughter does not like ground beef. So I make a big batch of this on taco night as well as ground beef, and we just pick our favorite protein :-).
    I had a large pack of chicken breasts (7 of them) and used the same amount of sauce, and it turned out great.

  13. Amy says:

    5 stars
    Just made this!!! AMAZING!! Thank you for the recipe!

  14. Carrie says:

    No ketchup – It’s a can of cooked pureed tomatoes. Thanks!

  15. Lindsay says:

    When you say tomato sauce do you mean like ketchup? Or do you mean sieved tomatoes?

  16. debbie Moll says:

    5 stars

    I loved this chicken, realized to give a squeeze of lime once it was cooked to bring the favors all together.

    very easy

  17. Carrie says:

    I would start with 2 Tbsp of dried cilantro and then add more if needed at the end. Thanks!

  18. Aimee says:

    How much dried cilantro can I use if I don’t have fresh?

  19. Carrie says:

    Generally, I use whatever I have on hand. I don’t measure it out, I just grab a handful and it works great!

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