How to Make Dutch Oven Shredded Mexican Chicken Recipe

March 9, 2021

Dutch Oven Mexican Shredded Chicken

If you’re looking for an easy dutch oven recipe that can be adapted and used for many different meals, then you have to try this dutch oven shredded mexican chicken recipe.

It is no secret I really love my dutch oven. I mean I really love to use my dutch oven. Why? Because it is so versatile! I have this Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven and it’s amazing. Enameled cast iron is great because it is sturdy, it doesn’t rust like traditional cast iron if not cared for correctly (and don’t be fooled, I love using a cast iron skillet as well), it cleans easily, and can be used on the stove or in the oven. For all these reasons, my dutch oven is my go-to kitchen device. 

There are so many dutch oven chicken recipes out there, but this is one of my favorites. We use this shredded chicken at least every other week for dinner in taco bowls, or I will make a large batch for meal prep. If I’ve got a ton of chicken to cook up, but its not on my meal planning list for the week, I will use this recipe to cook all the chicken and then freeze it to use in future recipes. It’s such an efficient recipe!

This recipe highlights all the great qualities of my dutch oven, and it makes some easy and great flavored shredded chicken. When making dutch oven shredded chicken, you can combine all the ingredients, turn up the heat, set it, and forget it. 

Chicken Breast or Chicken Thigh

Don’t know if you should use chicken breast or chicken thighs for this recipe? Well, honestly, you can use either! Recently (read: last year or so), I have moved away from using chicken breast and I prefer to cook all my meals with chicken thighs.

I made the switch when I received the cookbook Eat Slow, Run Fast from a dear girlfriend. The book is written by two Olympic long distance runners, Shalene Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky, who stress the importance of animal fat in our diets, and that thought just stuck with me. Also, I think chicken breast ALWAYS turns out super dry no matter how I cook it. 

If you have better success with chicken breast than me, or you just prefer the breast to the thigh, it doesn’t matter, this recipe will work for you! I love that you can now find boneless skinless chicken breast AND boneless skinless chicken thighs at the grocery store now–no need to trim fat or remove bones. So convenient!

Related Post: Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken

Dutch Oven Mexican Shredded Chicken

Set it and Forget it

When I make this recipe in my dutch oven, I will throw all the ingredients in my dutch oven, put the lid on and let everything cook for an hour and a half to two hours. 

If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can still make this shredded chicken recipe in a crock pot, and I’ve done that multiple times and it still turns out perfectly. This is the crockpot I have, and I love that I can choose how long the temp is set for, then it just switches to a warm setting to keep all the chicken at a safe temperature. 

Turn Up the Heat!

You can make this recipe as spicy or as mild as you’d like just depending on the ingredients you add. I use store-bought salsa in this recipe, but I will vary the heat level by using either medium or mild salsa. If you’re really craving a kick, you could use hot salsa. If I have Rotel on hand, I will sometimes throw that in as well.

There are also different heat levels in chili powder, so if you’re looking for another way to kick it up a notch, add more spicy chili powder. Need a more mild flavor? Just use regular chili powder, or skip that heat all together. This recipe is so forgiving, you really can’t fail. 

How will you use this dutch oven shredded mexican chicken recipe?

We love to pair this chicken with our cowboy caviar and copycat cilantro lime rice recipe

Looking for more meal prep and grocery budgeting inspiration? Check out these posts:

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Dutch Oven Mexican Shredded Chicken

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour


  • Dutch Oven


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 1 C salsa or rotel
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper tp taste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all ingredients to dutch oven. Cook in oven for 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Remove from oven, shred chicken. Serve.
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