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Illustration by Brittany England

Healthline Eats is a series looking at our favorite recipes for when we’re just too exhausted to nourish our bodies. Want more? Check out the full list here.

When my depression strikes, my motivation and decision-making skills take a major hit. While I love to cook, I just can’t do anything remotely complicated and need something that may last me more than one meal if the feelings persist.

That’s why I turn to a really versatile (and super straight-forward!) recipe for crockpot salsa chicken. It’s literally two ingredients — chicken and salsa — and can be prepped hours beforehand. What’s more, the leftovers can be frozen for future meals.

I’ll often use it for tacos (so just grab tortillas and toppings of choice), but you can also put it on top of a grain, on a Mexican-themed salad, in a quesadilla, or simply eat on its own.

Crockpot Chicken Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2–4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast (the more you use, the more leftovers to freeze!)
  • 1–2 jars 15-oz. salsa of your choice
  • Favorite seasonings (optional)

Directions

  1. Place the chicken breasts in your crockpot and cover with all of the salsa. (If you’re using less than 2 pounds of chicken, or 4 breasts, you can use less salsa too.)
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
  3. Taking two forks, or a meat shredder, shred the chicken.
  4. You can serve the chicken/salsa mixture immediately, or if you’re not ready, let it simmer on low.
  5. Serve it on top of a tortilla for tacos, slap it into some quesadillas, plop it on top of a salad, or cook up a grain, like rice or quinoa, and place it on top with veggies.
For when cooking isn’t an option While this is a great go-to recipe that takes minimal effort, sometimes I need food that involves no cooking at all. If you’ve lost your appetite and motivation, but need to eat, consider picking up an emergency pack of protein shakes and bars so that you at least have some sort of sustenance to give you more energy later. And if all else fails? Make a peanut butter sandwich.

Jamie Elmer is a copy editor who hails from Southern California. She has a love for words and mental health awareness and is always looking for ways to combine the two. She’s also an avid enthusiast for the three P’s: puppies, pillows, and potatoes. Find her on Instagram.