My Favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Recipe

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

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

 

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

204 Comments

Comments

  1. Kara on October 26, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    I’m planning on making this, but I would like to use ground beef instead of the chicken. Any idea on how much beef I would need to use?

    • Sally on October 27, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      I would use 1.5 lbs.

  2. Lydia on October 28, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Hi Sally-

    I made this on the stovetop, since my slow cooker is WAY too small.

    Might I suggest that you update the directions so that others don’t put the cream cheese in until after the initial cooking? I got a bit of difficulty in incorporating the cheese from just placing all of the ingredients into the pot–the cheese doesn’t melt well after it’s been in there for a while.

    Great recipe, it smells really good! I just have to wait for it to cool. 🙂

  3. Audrey on October 29, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I made this chili recently and loved it! I am planning on making it again with ground beef. Sally, would you recommend putting it right in the slow cooker or cooking it partially first? 

    • Sally on October 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Hi Audrey! I would brown the ground beef first. When I make this slow cooker chili with ground turkey, I always brown it first. Almost fully cooking it on medium heat.

  4. Lindsey on October 30, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Do you cook the chicken first or put it in raw?

    • Sally on October 31, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Raw

  5. Elizabeth on November 3, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Made this today!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    The whole family loved it. Really, restaurant quality for sure! I replaced 1/2 can of the tomatoes with 1/2 a can of beef chili, just to get some kidney beans in there, and I used dark meat chicken instead of white. Will make again for sure! Thx Sally 🙂

  6. Erin on November 5, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Hi Sally! I love this recipe and have made it numerous times! I have quite a bit leftover this time and was wondering if you have ever tried freezing the leftovers? Thx Sally

    • Sally on November 5, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Sure have! I included it in my freezer meals section 🙂

  7. Randi on December 3, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I made this tonight. It was delicious!! I definitely recommend this recipe! Thank you! 

  8. Rachel on December 5, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    We love love love this chili! Can you please provide the nutritional information for it?

    • Sally on December 5, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Hey Rachel! I don’t have that information for ya. Calorie counting calculators online can often be inaccurate (different brands/products/etc) and I would hate to publish wrong information on my website. Feel free to calculate at your own discretion!

  9. Brandy on December 24, 2017 at 12:43 pm

     Made this today but accidentally put the whole block of cream cheese in.  Is there any way to save it?  My family is not a fan of cream cheese so I was hesitant to use it. 

  10. Nigel on December 28, 2017 at 1:00 am

    I just made this, the flavor came out great but it was very watery any suggestions? ( Cooked in crockpot high 4 hours) 

  11. Tammy on June 4, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    I want to try this soon, but is it okay to leave out the jalapeño’s? All other spices I will keep. Will it turn out just as good? I read your note about not leaving out any of the ingredients. If not then I will have to find a different recipe.

    Thanks!

    • Sally on June 4, 2018 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Tammy! It’s really just for extra heat so if you don’t like a lot of spice, leave it out. Sometimes I leave it out when I don’t have one. Will still be great!

  12. jenny bryant on August 1, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    I just made this on the stove tonight! Its delicious! Thank you for always giving us the best recipes! Shall I saw, my husband thanks you! 😉

Reviews

  1. jenny bryant on August 1, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    I just made this on the stove tonight! Its delicious! Thank you for always giving us the best recipes! Shall I saw, my husband thanks you! 😉

Questions

  1. Tammy on June 4, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    I want to try this soon, but is it okay to leave out the jalapeño’s? All other spices I will keep. Will it turn out just as good? I read your note about not leaving out any of the ingredients. If not then I will have to find a different recipe.

    Thanks!

    • Sally on June 4, 2018 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Tammy! It’s really just for extra heat so if you don’t like a lot of spice, leave it out. Sometimes I leave it out when I don’t have one. Will still be great!

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