A recipe for slow cooker chicken chili that uses easy pantry staples like corn, tomatoes, chicken and beans for a Tex-Mex inspired dish the whole family will love. Served with tortilla chips and topped with cheese, this is equally good for family meals as it is for entertaining a casual group.
Ready for an easy recipe that changes up regular old chili? Chicken chili made in a slow cooker is one of our family’s “tried-and-true” dinner favorites.
It’s made with real, whole foods that are in most of our freezers and pantries, requires about 10 minutes of prep (before cooking while you’re off doing something else!), and is a one-dish dinner that we like to serve with simple chips and a few carrots.
Is this a white chicken chili?
Sort of. It’s a white bean chicken chili, but it has tomatoes and traditional chili powder seasoning, which makes the color of the chili reddish. So, yes to the white chicken and white beans, but no to a creamy base if that’s what you’re thinking of.
I actually prefer chili with tomatoes and chili powder. The other creamy-based ‘chicken chili’ just seems like a chowder to me, lol.
It’s filling, flavorful, and can be made as spicy as you want by adjusting the seasonings.
As the cook in the family, I not only love this recipe for how easy it is, but also for the fact that I can use some of the produce I freeze from my garden, as well as the beans I cook and freeze. That’s one of my simple joys in life, to say “I grew the ____” at the dinner table.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Oh and one more great thing: this is a “dump” recipe! Simply dump everything in the crock of the cooker and set it to cook – so easy. For this recipe, you place uncooked boneless chicken breasts or thighs in the crock of the slow cooker, first and then add the remaining ingredients.
Like I mentioned, this chicken chili is a great way to use up any stores of frozen, chopped peppers, and frozen corn you may have on hand. Fresh chopped peppers or even canned also work if you don’t have any frozen reserves.
Regular canned tomatoes work for this, too, as do home-canned (sometimes I use these Rotel-type canned tomatoes if I have any on hand. The other ingredients needed besides chicken, peppers, corn, and tomatoes are:
- chicken broth
- chili power
- cayenne (to taste!)
- white beans (canned or cooked and frozen)
- jack cheese (optional for serving)
- cilantro or parsley (optional for serving)
As you can see, all the ingredients are easy to find, pantry staples – another reason I love this flavorful recipe.
The only step to take before serving is to remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred it with two forks about an hour before serving.
Don’t worry, though, it’s a 5-minute job.
You then return the meat to the insert along with the cooked beans and let it cook for another hour, just to warm up the beans. If the beans were added in the beginning, they would turn too mushy by the end of the cooking, so adding them as a last step is a good solution.
We like this topped with shredded jack or pepper-jack cheese and served with tortilla chips (you can make it special with these 10-minute homemade chips) or warmed, buttered tortillas along with a plate of vegetables like carrots, peppers, and broccoli.
Ta-da! Dinner is done, and more importantly, everyone is happy.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
- 1-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2) or thighs (4-6)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup chopped anaheim or other mild pepper peppers, fresh or frozen
- 1 jalapeno chili seeded* and chopped, fresh or frozen
- 2 cans 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes (or equivalent frozen or home canned)
- 2 cups frozen corn partially thawed**
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2½ teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoons cayenne or to taste
- 3½ cups cooked white beans frozen and thawed (or 3 cans)
- Shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese for serving optional
- chopped cilantro or parsley for serving optional
- Place chicken in the bottom of the bowl of a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker and top with remaining ingredients EXCEPT the beans and toppings.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
- Remove chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to the chili, along with the cooked white beans.
- Cook on HIGH for another 45 minutes to an hour, until beans are heated through.
- Serve topped with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and optional cilantro or parsley. Add warmed tortillas or tortilla chips alongside.
Other slow cooker recipes you may like:
Note: this slow cooker chicken chili recipe was originally published in June of 2010 and has been updated with all new photos, better formatting, and printable recipe.