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Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken

Transform boneless skinless chicken thighs into crispy but tender and juicy pulled chicken with big, aromatic flavors using this recipe for Mexican style Dutch oven pulled chicken.

This Mexican pulled chicken is a spin on one of my most popular recipes over on Kinda Healthy Recipes, pressure cooker shredded chicken.

The new and improved version adds two white onions to a similar seasoning blend of garlic and chili powder, Mexican oregano, ground coriander and cinnamon, and Mexican beer to bring it all together.

crispy pulled chicken in a Dutch oven

What to Make with Dutch Oven Shredded Chicken

With a huge yield, this recipe makes plenty of chicken to make tacos, quesadillas, nachos, enchiladas, or any dish you can think of. My Tex-Mex Chicken Pot Pie, for example, combines this leftover pulled chicken with corn, poblano, potatoes, Mexican crema, and cotija cheese with a refrigerated pie crust to make something special.

a bowl of Tex Mex chicken pot pie

Here’s a list of ideas to repurpose leftover pulled Mexican chicken:

holding a plate of pulled chicken tacos garnished with diced onion, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges

All right, you get the point. The possibilities are endless.

You’ll find the printable recipe card below with notes about how to make Dutch oven pulled chicken with chicken breast instead of chicken thighs and other commonly asked questions. If you have a question about the recipe I haven’t covered, leave it in the comments below.

And finally, I always appreciate recipe reviews if you love this Mexican chicken!

Yield: 12 Servings

Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken

crispy pulled chicken in a Dutch oven

Mexican seasoned chicken is simmered until fall-apart tender before it's shredded and broiled until crispy golden brown and delicious. Perfect for chicken tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and more, this Dutch oven shredded chicken is a must-have in your recipe arsenal.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 large White Onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup (12 oz) Mexican Beer*

For the Seasoning Blend

  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Mexican Oregano
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon


  1. Place the chicken thighs on a sheet pan and pat dry with a paper towel. Season generously with kosher salt (about 1/2 Tbsp) and black pepper (about 1/2 to 1 tsp). Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, pat the chicken dry with a paper towel again before adding half the chicken to the pot. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken easily releases from the pot and is golden brown on one side. Transfer back to the sheet pan and add the rest of the chicken. Repeat. (You're only browning one side of the chicken.)
  3. Once the chicken is browned on one side, add the onion to the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions begin to pick up color and soften. If the bottom begins to brown too quickly, use some of the beer to deglaze the pot.
  4. Once the onions have softened, add the remaining beer and seasoning blend. Bring to a boil before turning the heat to low and adding the chicken to the pot. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and fall apart tender.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and shred with two forks. Add the chicken back to the remaining juices and toss together.
  6. Optional: Place the uncovered pot under the broiler for 6-8 minutes to create crispy edges and further reduce the juices.


*I used Modelo Especial, but any cerveza works. Athletic Brewing makes a decent non-alcoholic cerveza. Chicken broth or stock also works. You can add a tablespoon of apple cider, white wine, or balsamic vinegar to add some missed flavor without the beer.

Serve the chicken on warmed corn tortillas with diced white onion, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Or use the chicken to make recipes like my quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos, baked or air fried taquitos, and more.

How to Make Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken Breast

For best results, place chicken breast between cling film and pound to an even thickness using a rolling pin or blunt object. Brown the chicken breast in the Dutch oven the same way as written for chicken thighs. You may need a bit more olive oil in the second batch, as chicken breast won't have much fat to render off like chicken thighs. Follow the recipe as written, being careful not to overcook the chicken. Cook to an internal temperature of 165ºF before removing to shred.

Can I Skip the Browning Step?

You can simply throw all the ingredients in a Dutch oven, cover, and bake in a 350ºF oven for 40-50 minutes. Keep a watchful eye on internal temperature if you're using chicken breasts, as they're less forgiving than chicken thighs and will be tough and dry if overcooked.

Source: One Pot BBQ Chicken Pasta

This recipe would also work in a slow cooker using this method.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

about 4 oz

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 10gCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 23g

Christine Colton

Saturday 11th of March 2023

Could I make this in the slow cooker?

Mason Woodruff

Saturday 11th of March 2023

For sure! You could still brown the chicken in a skillet before adding everything to a slow cooker or just throw everything in a slow cooker together. I'm estimating, but I'd say 6 hours or so on low should get the job done.

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