My Favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Recipe

Absolutely my favorite chili! Let the slow cooker do all the work.

Set it and forget it Slow Cooker Chicken Chili! This is my favorite easy weeknight dinner recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Can I be honest here? Ok, I’m sorta kinda tired of Christmas cookies.

GASP!

Just as you’re starting to get into the swing of prime holiday baking season, I tell you I’m tired of pulling cookies out of the oven. But I’ve been baking Christmas cookies nonstop for an entire month! We’re talking dozens and dozens and dozens. Oodles of butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and chocolate. Even my neighbors are tired of Christmas cookies. Bahahaha no they’re not.

I may have an addiction, but I need a cookie break. And I’m sure this will all change tomorrow morning and I’ll be decorating gingerbread men and baking biscotti and dancing to Christmas music alone (what?) like nobody’s business. But for today, Thursday, let me take a cookie break and share an easy dinner recipe with you. Something I’ve made a handful of times lately.

Set it and forget it Slow Cooker Chicken Chili! This is my favorite easy weeknight dinner recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I made this hearty chili a few weeks ago in between book tour travel. It was a completely random mishmash of food I had in the pantry and sitting in the fridge. Leftover green pepper, some chicken, cans of beans, corn, tomatoes, etc. I threw in some spices and 8 hours of slow cookin’ later, we feasted on an explosion of flavors. Maximum flavor, I’m not even exaggerating. Warm and juicy pulled chicken in each bite, savory chunks of tomatoes, and wildly creamy and spiced saucy goodness. Every spoonful was completely devoured and we had leftovers (which are even tastier because the flavors intensify over time!) for days. This past week, I finally got around to making the chicken chili again. And again. I had to share it.

This is a set and forget it slow cooker dinner recipe. There aren’t any extra steps in the beginning, just a quick step towards the end when you break apart the chicken. You literally throw all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low.

As you can tell, I’m not very brand loyal in the canned food scene.

How to make slow cooker chicken chili recipe

Along with these simple canned ingredients, you’ll need a green bell pepper, onion, 2 large chicken breasts, spices and… wait for it…

Set it and forget it Slow Cooker Chicken Chili! This is my favorite easy weeknight dinner recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

CREAM CHEESE. I know that sounds incredibly weird in a chili recipe but I wanted a super creamy texture to offset the spice and really compliment the chili’s flavors. I used light cream cheese because I wanted to keep this chili on the lighter side, but you can use full fat. You’ll only need 4 ounces (so, half of an 8 ounce block).

You’ll add the cream cheese right at the end of cook time. After the chili has cooked on low for several hours and after the chicken was been broken up, stir in the cream cheese. Here’s the chili before adding the cream cheese.

Set it and forget it Slow Cooker Chicken Chili! This is my favorite easy weeknight dinner recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

After you mix in the cream cheese, the chili will be creamy and lighter in color. Taste it. You’re going to flip out. It’s SO RIDICULOUSLY GOOD. You will not regret adding the cream cheese! It truly takes your slow cooker chili up a notch. Kevin doesn’t even like cream cheese and he loves this chili more than I do.

If that’s even possible.

Set it and forget it Slow Cooker Chicken Chili! This is my favorite easy weeknight dinner recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

In between all the holiday baking and indulgent food– I’ve been gravitating towards this super simple and relatively healthy dinner. The recipe makes quite a lot for our little family of 2, so we’ve been enjoying the leftovers during the week. I even made my favorite cornbread to have with it this past Sunday night. What a meal! All the cornbread dunking! Most of the work in the entire meal was making the cornbread and, if you’ve ever made the cornbread before, you know it takes like 30 seconds to get in the oven. (Seriously, try that cornbread.)

If you have the whole fam over during the holidays, this substantial and completely crowd-pleasing slow cooker chicken chili is a lifesaver. It’s a fabulous option for dinner because it won’t take you away from the fun! Put everything into the slow cooker, savor the unbelievable smell of chili slow cooking, and serve. That’s it. Less time in the kitchen, more time having a life.

Set it and forget it Slow Cooker Chicken Chili! This is my favorite easy weeknight dinner recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Get out your slow cooker NOW.

Make sure you read the notes below the recipe if you have questions. I include substitution suggestions. This chili is a little spicy, but the cream cheese cuts the spice down. I don’t like super spicy foods and I love this chili. If you’d like more heat, you can leave the seeds in the jalapeños or add more chili powder.

My Favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Recipe

The easiest, more flavorful chicken chili recipe. Let the slow cooker do all the work!

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 (7 or 8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 1 and 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken broth (I use reduced sodium)
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can corn (rinsed and drained) or 1 package of frozen corn
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced (remove seeds and ribs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (reduce to 1 teaspoon for less spicy chili)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin (for that key chili taste!)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 ounces brick-style light cream cheese (or full fat)
Special Equipment

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients except the cream cheese to a slow cooker. Give everything a stir as best you can to mix. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken and chop into pieces or shred into pieces, then return chicken to the slow cooker and give everything a few stirs. Stir in the cream cheese until fully melted and combined. Taste and add more salt or add ground black pepper to taste. Cover the slow cooker and cook for about 10-15 more minutes.
  3. Serve warm topped with fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, or crackers. And serve alongside my favorite cornbread! Keep leftovers in a large tupperware in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat in the microwave.

Recipe Notes:

If you leave out any of the ingredients or substitute, I cannot guarantee the same results. The spices like cumin, chili powder, and oregano are crucial to the taste! That being said, I do have a few suggestions for substitutions that would be just as tasty...

You can use homemade tomato sauce instead of canned.

You can use ground turkey or ground beef instead of chicken. Brown on the stove first (medium-high heat, 8 minutes).

You can use vegetable or beef broth instead of chicken broth.

You can add more peppers if you want (sometimes I do!).

You can use kidney beans or white beans instead of black beans.

No slow cooker? No problem! Heat 1 Tablespoon oil on medium-high heat in a large pot on the stove. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Remove chicken, chop it up, then add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, and top with chicken. Stir everything around. Cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

My homemade cornbread is a must.

My Favorite Cornbread Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com-6

And try my slow cooker turkey meatballs next!

Lean Turkey Meatballs that are packed with flavor and so easy to make in the slow cooker!-2

More dinner ideas for you!

Set it and forget it Slow Cooker Chicken Chili! This is my favorite easy weeknight dinner recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

162 comments

  1. Made this recipe today. The only change I made was the addition of another teaspoon of chili powder. EXCELLENT! Very hearty. I will definitely make this again!

  2. Love the chili. Very tasty. Am I overlooking the calorie count somewhere?

  3. I really liked this chili but I’m going to add kidney beans next time! It’s a keeper

  4. I made this for a dinner party, and it was a hit. My friend’s teenage daughter went back for thirds.

  5. Hi,
    Made this today. Really good. Little bit watery. May daughter suggesting I add another can of beans.
    Will make it again with more beans.

    Overall it was a success. This from somebody who love cooking but bats an average of .25.

    Thank you

  6. What’s the calorie count?

  7. Has anyone ever made a white chili with chicken and green chiles? I am looking for a good recipe but cannot find one that compares to the white chili I was served at a restaurant in Snowmass Village, CO.

  8. Do you think there is an alternate for the bell pepper? Or do you think the recipe will be altered too much without it? I am not a fan of them!

  9. Second time to make this today. We love this version of chicken chili. Thank you!

  10. I’ve had this recipe pinned for a couple of weeks and finally got around to making it today. OMG delicious! The cream cheese makes it super creamy. I served it with corn tortillas, butter lettuce and chopped cilantro. Will be adding this to the regular rotation considering how easy and delicious it is. Thanks for the recipe Sally!

  11. Hi Sally! 
    I don’t eat dairy, what can I add instead of the creamed cheese? I have non dairy cream cheese and non dairy creamer is either of those a good replacement? Thanks so much!! 

  12. Sally,Could you use original or hot rotel tomatoes  instead of the jalapeno? 

  13. I made this last week…it was AMAZING!

  14. This is a silly question… I am new to slow cookers 🙂 Does the chicken go in raw or cooked? Thank you!! Can’t wait…we love chili 🙂

  15. My entire family loved this! I made the recipe exactly as written except for homemade tomato sauce and diced avacado on top. I also made your cornbread and was told that it was “the best ever”

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