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Shredded Chicken

Shredded chicken is so versatile. It can be used in tacos, quesadillas, salads, enchiladas, and burritos. I love using my crockpot for many different meals, but shredded chicken is one of my go-to crock pot recipes because I can make a large batch of shredded chicken and have the protein base for more than one dinner or lunch. The best part about the shredded chicken is it can be really easy or more complicated depending on the time you have and how creative you want to be.

The basic recipe:

1-2 pounds of chicken breast

1 container of your favorite salsa

1 can of jalepeno peppers

1 bell pepper chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 onion chopped (optional)

Directions: Turn the crockpot on to medium heat then trim the fat off the chicken. Place the chopped peppers onions, and beans on the bottom of the crock pot, add chicken, add salsa, and the jalepenos. Place lid of crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours. After the cooking time is up, open the lid and take a plastic or wooden spoon or fork and shred the chicken and you are ready to go.

The gourmet recipe:

1-2 pounds of chicken breast

4-5 tomatoes, diced

2-3 fresh jelepenos, chopped

1 onion chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 can of black beans, rinsed

1 tablespoon of chili powder

1 teaspoon of cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

ground black pepper

Optional additions: 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, or juice of 1 lime.

Directions: Turn on the crockpot on to medium heat and add chopped veggies (tomatoes, onion, and peppers) and beans to crockpot. Trim the fat off the chicken, and place chicken in crockpot on top of veggies. Add spices. Place lid on crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours. After cooking time is up, open the lid and take a plastic or wooden spoon of fork and shred the chicken and your ready to go.

Meal ideas for shredded chicken:

1) Tacos: Use soft corn tortillas or whole grain tortillas and heat on skillet until warm, place shredded chicken in the center, and add toppings. Example toppings include Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado.

2) Salad: Fill a plate with spring mix or romaine lettuce, top with shredded chicken, top with shredded cheese, chopped veggies (peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc), sliced avocado or guacamole, cilantro, Greek yogurt, and salsa. You can also use your favorite salad dressing, but I recommend going easy on the dressing.

3) Quesadillas: Place a whole wheat tortilla on a flat skillet, sprinkle about 2-3 tablespoons of cheese, add a layer of shredded chicken mixture, top with an additional 2-3 tablespoons of cheese and top with whole grain tortilla. Heat until browned and cheese is melted, then flip and heat the other side until brown and cheese is melted. Use a large knife to chop into four slices and top with guacamole and plain Greek yogurt. Serve with salsa. For more veggies you can add chopped bell peppers or spinach to the quesadilla at the time you add the shredded chicken.

The shredded chicken can also be used as a filling for enchiladas or burritos.

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