Easy Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Carnitas

Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Carnitas - a healthier take on the traditional pork carnitas that we all know and absolutely adore! Perfect for on-the-go individuals, for parties, and an easy option for your weekly meal prep!

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 8 cups
Calories 226 kcal
Author Samantha Buckner


For the Chicken:

  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper or to taste

To the Crockpot:

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large orange squeezed, approximately 1/3 cup juice
  • 2 chipotle peppers diced
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small white onion diced


  • freshly squeezed lime juice 3-4 limes
  • freshly chopped cilantro leaves


  1. Line the chicken breasts and thighs up in a large shallow dish. 

  2. Combine the seasonings for the chicken in a small mixing bowl. Brush each chicken breast with olive oil, covering both sides, before seasoning all thoroughly. 

  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot starting with the chicken broth and orange juice, followed by the peppers, adobo sauce, garlic, and white onion.

  4. Lastly, add the chicken - spreading it out in the pot. Make sure the chicken is relatively submerged in the liquid.

  5. Cover and allow to cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

  6. When the chicken is ready, turn off the crockpot and prepare the oven by moving the top rack to the middle of the oven and turning the broiler on high. Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  7. Carefully remove each piece of chicken from the crockpot. It will be extremely tender, so use tongs! Shred each thigh and breast using two forks.

  8. Add the shredded chicken to the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out evenly from corner to corner.

  9. Using a glass liquid measuring cup, scoop out 1/2 cup of the leftover broth mixture and pour it over the shredded chicken.

  10. Using tongs, toss the chicken to combine.

  11. Place into the oven to broil for 5 minutes. Remove, add one more 1/2 cup of the broth mixture, and toss to coat before returning to the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes. 

  12. Remove from the oven, garnish with cilantro and lime juice. Enjoy with tacos, nachos, or in a bowl with your favorite veggies!

Recipe Notes


Nutrition Facts
Easy Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Carnitas
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 226 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 918mg 38%
Potassium 586mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 29g 58%
Vitamin A 9.1%
Vitamin C 18%
Calcium 3.6%
Iron 8.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.