BBQ Chicken Taco Bowls (stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

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These BBQ Chicken Taco Bowls are an easy make ahead meal — freezer friendly and perfect for your week’s meal prep! The chicken can be made on the stovetop, in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. Includes step by step recipe video.


bbq chicken taco bowls in soft tortilla bowls topped with fresh tomato and avocado

I am SO excited about this post, friends.

When I started thinking about what to make for Cinco de Mayo (it’s coming soon!), so many possibilities came to mind. We could do tacos, or taco bowls. Or baked tacos. Or burrito bowls. I want to make them freezer friendly and make-ahead-able. The chicken…. I could do it on the stovetop, but isn’t that a little boring? How about the slow cooker? Instant Pot? All of the above??

I went a little crazy.

bbq chicken taco bowls set up with cooked chicken taco bowls lettuce tomatoes and cheese

The husband and I have been on a taco kick for about the last year, and I have been on a freezer meal kick since the beginning of time.

I love love loooooove having extra meals ready to go in the freezer. It takes so much stress out of the stressful days (<— I said it. I have them), and it makes me appear to be somewhat sane, some of the time.

bbq chicken taco bowls on blue plate with fork cut open

Honestly, it’s a toss up whether we prefer these as tacos or taco bowls — the tacos obviously can’t be made ahead of time but they’re such a great option if you’re serving them at a party (maybe a little Cinco de Mayo shindig??). You can just line up your taco shells in a 9×13″ pan, stuff and bake (leave off the cold stuff!), then everyone can grab their own and top as their hearts desire.

We’ve done this for one of the girls’ birthday parties and I think it was one of my favourite party meals — it’s so simple and no hassle. Which is exactly what we’re going for these days!

prepped bbq chicken taco bowls overhead with tortilla bowl package

But our kids have a thing for these fun tortilla bowls from Old El Paso and I loved the idea of making, filling and freezing them individually wrapped for a no-stress meal on a busy night. I don’t recommend filling them if you’re going to store them in the refrigerator, but you can easily make the filling on the weekend and store that in the fridge for later on in the week.

bbq chicken taco bowls in freezer bags ready to freeze

*This post is generously sponsored by Old El Paso as part of my brand ambassadorship with them! Thank you for supporting brands that help me bring you these easy, healthy recipes.

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BBQ Chicken Taco Bowls + VIDEO (stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot)

5 from 1 vote
These BBQ Chicken Taco Bowls are an easy make ahead meal — freezer friendly and perfect for your week’s meal prep! The chicken can be made on the stovetop, in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. Includes step by step recipe video.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 326cal


  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 teaspoons Old El Paso taco seasoning
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup canned black beans rinsed
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 Old El Paso tortilla bowls
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped lettuce
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • Salsa sour cream, avocadoes to garnish if desired


  • In a medium skillet, stir together chicken broth and taco seasoning and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Add chicken breasts, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, until cooked (165F internal temperature).
  • Remove chicken and slice. Return to pan with the broth and add beans and barbecue sauce. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until heated through.
  • Fill tortilla bowls with ¼ filling each, and sprinkle with ¼ cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Add additional toppings as desired.
  • *TO MAKE AHEAD:Let filling cool completely. Divide filling between 4 bowls, sprinkle with cheese, and wrap each in tin foil or place in a medium freezer bag and freeze. To heat, unwrap, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 22-26 minutes until heated through. The edges will get a little crispy, if you want to avoid this, cover with some foil. Garnish as desired.


*INSTANT POT: To cook frozen chicken in the instant pot, combine ¾ cup broth and seasoning, pour into Instant Pot. Add 2 frozen chicken breasts, seal Instant Pot (pressurized, not venting). Turn on to Manual, high pressure for 15 minutes. Once timer beeps, do a quick release, slice chicken and toss with beans and barbecue sauce (put on sauté mode if you want to heat the beans through).
*SLOW COOKER: Place chicken breasts in a 2-4 quart slow cooker, sprinkle with taco seasoning and pour over broth. Cover and cook until a temperature of 165F is reached, about 2-3 hours on low for thawed breasts. Slice, and stir in barbecue sauce and beans.
*Nutrition information is estimated and will vary depending on exact serving size, types and brands of products used.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 326cal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Sugar: 11g

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Diane! I haven’t but I wouldn’t do it with the lettuce. Also the bowl might get soft versus when heating in the oven. Hope you enjoy it!

  1. Kris says

    Any tips for heating in microwave? My teenage son would love these, but let’s be honest… he won’t take the time to warm them in the oven.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Kris! I haven’t but I wouldn’t do it with the lettuce. Also the bowl might get soft versus when heating in the oven. Hope you enjoy it!

  2. Linda Kudart says

    These bowls were GREAT! We tried them yesterday for the NASCAR race and LOVED them! Now just waiting for that contest to post!

  3. Zainab says

    I need to start thinking of cinco de mayo and these taco bowls will be so perfect! Love that they can be prepped for lunch throughout the week too!

  4. Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness says

    Oops! I forgot about Cinco de Mayo!! I guess I still have time.
    I have never tried a taco bowl, but of course it would be awesome! Need to try this!

  5. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    Yes! I keep forgetting about Cinco de Mayo! What a perfect recipe to be able to make ahead for that day. I love anything in taco bowls, especially when it’s filled with barbecue flavors. What a fun and delicious dish! Wishing this was my dinner tonight!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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