(Recipe was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2020 to simplify the directions.)
Picture this: you walk into your home after a long, tiring day at work. You are greeted with the warm smell of fresh chili simmering in the crock pot. Dinner is ready in no time, and your whole family sits down together to eat and enjoy each other's company, rather than getting hangry (hungry/angry!) while you sweat over the stove making dinner. Sounds nice, right? Make this recipe for Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili and that dream can be a reality!
This slow cooker chicken chili recipe really is super easy, with prep time coming in around ten minutes. There is only a little bit of chopping to be done and no browning or searing of the chicken ahead of time. Most of the heavy lifting comes from a few different canned items. This means that this is also a great (and healthy!) pantry recipe to pull out when you're running short on fresh ingredients.
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you will need for this recipe:
- Boneless chicken: you can use either chicken breasts or thighs, or a combo of both.
- Onion: you can use any kind, I used yellow onion.
- Salt: this recipe uses kosher salt. If you are using fine-grain salt instead, put in a little less than called for in the recipe.
- Chili powder
- Cayenne pepper: this is optional if you want a little more heat in the chili.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes (canned): I like using the fire-roasted type of tomatoes. If you don't have these, you can substitute regular diced tomatoes.
- Diced green chiles (canned): I used the mild kind, but go for the hot variety if you're into spice.
- White beans (canned): white beans are traditional for a chicken chili. Any kind of white beans work - navy beans, white kidney beans, cannellini beans, etc. But, you can substitute red kidney beans or black beans instead if you like.
- Frozen corn: thawed
Wait, why isn't there any liquid added to the chili?
If you've noticed, there is no additional liquid added to the chili. That's because when you cook in the crock pot or slow cooker, all the moisture from the ingredients stay inside the crock. They don't evaporate, like when cooking a recipe on the stove. Therefore, you don't need to add as much liquid when making crock pot recipes versus regular recipes.
For this slow cooker chicken chili recipe, you are adding all of the liquid that comes in the cans of beans, tomatoes and chiles. Plus, the onion and chicken will release some liquid as it cooks. These combined add enough liquid to the chili to make a nice broth without the chili being too watery.
Helpful Cooking Tips
Here are some helpful tips to help you make this Slow Cooker Chicken Chili perfectly the very first time!
- Cut up each breast into quarters before adding to the slow cooker. This will make sure the chicken cooks evenly. If you are using chicken thighs instead, go ahead and add them in whole.
- Remember to add the spices and salt to the chicken and onion first before adding the wet ingredients. Stir the chicken and onion around to evenly coat in the spices, then add the other ingredients. This will help make sure the chicken is well seasoned. Also, sometimes dry spices can form little clumps when added directly into liquid, so premixing the spices with the dry ingredients will help avoid that.
- The chili only cooks on low for 4 hours; this helps keep the chicken moist and not overcooked. Whenever I have made this recipe in my slow cooker, the chicken is always completely cooked through well before the 4 hour mark. If you want to be careful though, you should just check the internal temperature of the chicken with a thermometer to make sure it has come to at least 165 degrees before serving.
- Since the chili only cooks on low for 4 hours, make sure to cut the onion into a fine dice (rather than big chunks). This way, the onion will cook all the way through, even during the shorter cooking time.
If you’ve tried this recipe for Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili, please let me know what you thought about it in the comments down below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious recipes from Nibble and Dine!
I have lots of other easy weeknight soup recipes for you, check these favorites out!Print
An easy weeknight meal that takes only about 10 minutes to prep. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy a delicious dinner without all the fuss!
- 2 lb. boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 small onion or ½ large onion, finely diced
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- ¼ - ½ tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
- 2 7 oz. cans diced green chiles
- 2 15 oz. cans white beans
- 1 14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 8 oz. frozen corn, thawed
Optional toppings: lime wedges, tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro
1. If using chicken breasts, cut the breasts into quarters. Add chicken and diced onion to the slow cooker.
2. Add the chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, and (optional) cayenne pepper to the slow cooker. Stir the chicken, onion, and seasonings together until the chicken and onion are evenly coated in the seasonings.
3. Add the remaining ingredients. (Do not drain the liquid from the canned ingredients.) Stir to combine and press the chicken down to submerge fully in the liquid.
4. Cook for 4 hours on low. (After cooking, the internal temperature of the chicken should be at least 165 degrees.) At this point, you can keep the chili on the "warm" setting until ready to serve.
5. Remove the cooked chicken to a cutting board.
6. Chop or shred the cooked chicken and add back into the chili, stir to combine. Serve with your favorite toppings.
Keywords: slow cooker chicken chili, crock pot chicken chili, easy chicken chili, easy slow cooker chili, easy crock pot chili