Slow Cooker Quail Tacos

closeup of a pulled quail taco with avocado, onion, cilantro and jalapeno slices on top.

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The easiest way to cook quail is in the slow cooker! These slow cooker quail tacos are made street style, filled with tender shredded quail, diced onion, cilantro, and avocado.


  • 8 quail
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder (use chipotle powder for a spicy version)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

For serving:

  • 8 warmed corn tortillas
  • Finely diced red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco
  • Sliced avocado


  1. Prepare the quail. This will depend on how you receive the quail (whether it has skin and/or wings). I like to cook quail for this recipe without the skin, neck or wings. To remove the wings, snip with scissors right at the joint and discard. You may also choose to go ahead and remove the wishbone and rib bones, but I wait until after cooking to do so. You can leave the legs on or detach them from the body.
  2. Place prepared quail in the slow cooker.
  3. Combine all spices and chicken stock and pour over quail.
  4. Cook on low heat for about 4 hours.
  5. Remove quail and liquid from slow cooker, reserving liquid, and place quail on a plate. Once they are cool enough to handle, pull meat from the bones, taking caution with the small legs bones so that you don't crumble them in with the meat. Discard bones.
  6. Return shredded quail meat to the slow cooker with just enough liquid to keep it moist. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  7. Serve quail with warm corn tortillas, diced onion, cilantro, cotija or queso fresco, sliced avocado and your favorite salsa.


  • Take extra care when shredding the meat to ensure all the bones are removed from the meat, especially the leg and rib bones. I find the best way to get a good sized piece of meat from the breast is to run my thumb from the top of the wishbone all the way along the backbone until the meat comes free.
  • You can also choose to fully or partially done the quail before cooking to make the shredding process easier. 

Keywords: how to cook quail in the slow cooker, slow cooker quail tacos, shredded quail tacos