Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas

These Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas are sure to be a favorite dinner at your house! Use this chicken for tacos or nachos or just serve over rice!

We use this flavorful, shredded chicken for chicken quesadillas, on top of salads or just as is for a low carb meal! This crock pot chicken is one of our favorite chicken recipes to make for parties. Set out all your favorite taco toppings and everyone can serve themselves!

These Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas are perfect for a healthy dinner!

A Crock Pot Chicken Recipe For Parties Or Busy Nights

One of the things we’ve started to do to save ourselves from always being in the kitchen is to keep bowls of food in the refrigerator that’s ready to eat. I know that sounds crazy but when you have two boys that seem to want to do nothing besides run outside, play sports, and eat as much as humanly possible…this idea has become a life saver.

We keep bowls of cooked rice, pasta, taco meat, grilled chicken, grated cheese and an assortment of vegetables ready to go. And of course 4,000 bags of tortilla chips. We literally can’t keep tortilla chips in the house – ever. Nachos are big around here…

Ways To Use These Chicken Carnitas

Cheesy chips are a favorite after dinner snack for both our boys. Sometimes with beans and chicken or meat, sometimes just plain chips and cheese. They could eat plate after plate.

And now that we’ve made these Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas, it’s become a staple bowl in the fridge, too. You can wrap it up with rice and beans and make a burrito, pile it in crispy taco shells with lettuce and cheese and guacamole, layer it on top of a homemade pizza.

It’s really good on just about anything – or even on it’s own. If you’re looking for a low carb meal, add this chicken to a low carb wrap or in a cauliflower rice bowl!

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas will be the hit for dinner on taco night!

How To Make Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas

Just add a few chicken breasts to a slow cooker along with orange slices, apple juice and a few seasonings. If you’re short on time you can cook this on high, or if you’ll be gone all day throw the slow cooker on low and it’ll be ready when you get back.

I know it doesn’t seem like a lot going on here, but I promise you the flavor of this shredded chicken is on point.

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas seasoned.

Once the chicken is cooked and tender, remove it from the crock pot, shred it and then place it on a sheet pan.

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas shredded in juice.

Now it’s time to crisp it up! Turn on the broiler and get the chicken onto a sheet pan in an even layer. Broil for 10 minutes and you’ve got some seriously good chicken carnitas, that are actually pretty darn healthy for you too.

Once the chicken comes out of the oven you can toss it with some of the juices from the slow cooker to give it even more flavor.

There’s no cooking in lard here which is traditional for a carnitas recipe – and I’m definitely not opposed to that – just wanted to keep this a lighter option for more regular eating.

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas broiled and ready to serve!

So pile it up on nachos or stuff it into your taco shells and load up all the toppings you can think of.

Then when the kids are ready for the “second” dinner they can get back in the fridge and feed themselves. It is fun to see what kind of creations they come up with…or just to see them eating the chicken right from the bowl!

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas can be served with all your favorite toppings!

Looking For More Easy Crock Pot Recipes?

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas can be served with all your favorite toppings!

Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

These Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas are sure to be a favorite dinner at your house! Use this chicken for tacos or nachos or just serve over rice!



  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 1 large navel orange, half sliced and half reserved
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Flour or corn tortillas for serving


  1. Pour the apple juice in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add the chicken and season with the oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and bay leaves.
  2. Place the orange slices on top, then squeeze the other half of the orange over the chicken. Cook high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6.
  3. Shred chicken and place back in slow cooker, tossing in the juices, and then cook on high for one more hour hour. (This infuses more of the flavor from the juices into the chicken, if you’re short on time, you can move right to the broiler)
  4. Spread the shredded chicken on sheet pan, draining the juice.
  5. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, toss, then place under the broiler for 5-7 minutes until slightly browned and crispy. Add to a serving bowl or platter and pour more of the juice from the slow cooker on top.
  6. Serve in tortillas, taco shells or over rice.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: easy chicken recipe, chicken recipes, slow cooker recipes, crock pot recipes, easy dinner recipes, shredded chicken, chicken tacos, chicken carnitas


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5 Responses
    1. Dan

      Thanks so much for checking in Isabel. Chicken Carnitas are a whole thing if you actually Google it. Carnitas is used in this way more as a method of cooking the meat and it’s very delicious. But if you prefer not to use the free recipe provided here that is your choice!

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