Pop Quiz (because, you know, back to school):
When was the last time you pulled out your slow cooker to make dinner?
If the answer isn’t this morning, you might want to try again. Unlike your days in 7th grade Spanish class, now you get the chance to change your answer. And the good news is you have time. Because this slow cooker meal comes together in 15 minutes or less. Tonight, instead of pulling out your hair trying to come up with something edible fast, you’ll be tucking into one delicious dinner that’s been slowly simmering in the kitchen all day.
We’ve always loved our slow cooker, but since becoming parents, we’ve learned to appreciate it on a whole new level. Slow cookers are so forgiving: as long as your recipe is good, it’s almost impossible to ruin dinner. Most recipes simmer on low all day, but there’s also that magical “high” setting that often lets you start in the middle of the day if you can’t manage to set the baby down until noon. Plus, dinner will be ready when you’re hungry in the evening…and still can’t manage to set your baby down. Been there? The original Crock Pot works well for us, but any decent slow cooker can do the job. We were first introduced to the Taco Chicken Bowl concept by Beth at Budget Bytes. We love her version as well. Ours has a fruity tang that we enjoy for variety.
This is another of our naturally gluten-free recipes that fill you up without breaking the bank.
Did you notice the little orange sticker on our Pace salsa? $0.75 is pretty good for a jar of salsa. We picked it up at BB’s Grocery Outlet.
Most of the ingredients are probably in your pantry already. Meaning, this could be your dinner tonight…
Simple goodness. That’s our style.
Writing instructions for this recipe is hard. It just sounds too simple! Add chicken, salsa, black beans (drained and rinsed), corn, crushed pineapple in juice (the entire can, including the juice), chili powder, cumin, minced garlic, oregano, cayenne pepper (optional), sea salt, and pepper to the slow cooker—see recipe below for measurements. Give everything a good stir, making sure the chicken is covered at the end. Put on the lid. Make sure your slow cooker is plugged in (pretty much the only way you can fail is to leave it unplugged all day). Turn the heat to low and let your slow cooker work its magic for 8 hours. Or, turn the heat to high and let it do its magic in half the time (about 4 hours). When the Pineapple Chicken Taco Bowl is finished cooking, the chicken will be tender and fall apart easily. Simply use two forks to shred the chicken. Give everything a good stir. Serve over cooked rice with desired garnishes.
We love this recipe because it’s so easy to adapt. You can switch things up by adding more meat, using a different type of beans, or choosing a different flavor of salsa. You could switch out the crushed pineapple for pineapple chunks, or simply leave it out and add a little water to the recipe. Adding some cheese or sour cream (for dairy eaters), crushed red pepper, lettuce and tomato, or cilantro mixes up the flavor and texture as well. We love to scoop up our pineapple chicken taco bowl with tortilla chips!
Basically, you can make a crazy good, crazy simple meal. Or you can take it to the next level with a taco topping free-for-all. 🙂
It’s always fun to look through your camera and discover little green shoes sneaking into your photo shoot. It was so hard to keep this little boy’s fingers out of the bowl. (At least we won’t have to hire a hand model?!?) He’s been devouring this Pineapple Chicken Taco Bowl.
Actually, none of us can get enough. You’re going to love it too!
Choosing GF Ingredients
Chicken: This time we used Wayne Farms Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (frozen). It’s labeled gluten free, so we feel like it’s a safe choice. We do wish Costco would bring back our favorite Perdue chicken!
Salsa: We used some mild Pace salsa, labeled gluten free. We’ve also used other kinds of salsa before with fantastic results, so go ahead and use your favorite!
Black Beans: We used Wegmans brand black beans because we know they’re 100% safe for celiac.
Corn: We also used Wegmans brand for our corn.
Crushed Pineapple: We used Libby’s crushed pineapple in 100% juice. Not only is the can labeled gluten free, but there’s no added sugar. #Winning!
Chili Powder: Badia is our favorite source for high quality, inexpensive certified gluten-free chili powder.
Cumin: We used McCormick for our cumin. We love that all McCormick single ingredient spices are guaranteed to be gluten free.
Minced Garlic: Kirkland Signature (Costco brand) offers a great deal on minced garlic. Not only is the garlic naturally gluten free, but it’s also processed in a facility with no gluten products.
Oregano: We used McCormick.
Cayenne Pepper (optional): We missed this one in the picture! We used Badia. Another example of Badia offering a certified gluten-free spice. (Just watch out because not every Badia product is gluten free.) This definitely adds a kick to the recipe, so use sparingly until you know how hot you like your taco bowl.
Sea Salt: We used Kirkland Signature (Costco brand).
Pepper: We used Kirkland Signature (Costco brand). We love using freshly ground pepper!
Don’t feel obligated to follow our brand choices. We hope sharing our sources helps you find safe products for your family!
Note: this post contains affiliate links.