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.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours
  • Yield: serves 8
  • Category: Chili
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


Here is my favorite slow cooker chicken chili recipe, a complete “set it and forget it” crockpot dinner!


  • 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)


  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.


  1. Substitutions: 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…
    1. You can use homemade tomato sauce instead of canned.
    2. You can use ground turkey or ground beef instead of chicken. Brown on the stove first (medium-high heat, 8 minutes).
    3. You can use vegetable or beef broth instead of chicken broth.
    4. You can add more peppers if you want (sometimes I do!).
    5. You can use kidney beans or white beans instead of black beans.
  2. Slow Cooker: You’ll need a 4 quart or larger slow cooker. Here is the one I own.
  3. 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.

Keywords: slow cooker chicken chili, chicken chili

My homemade cornbread is a must.

My Favorite Cornbread Recipe on

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


  1. This looks so delicious! (Even at 6:30am! lol)…… Hopefully I will soon get a new slowcooker…. mine is only 3 and a half quarts. Any suggestions for making this on the stove??

      1. oops! Sorry, didn’t think to look…… I can’t wait to make this as a simple dinner over the holidays! Thanks!

  2. maybe weird, but I have yet to bake one batch of Christmas cookies! I know, but I don’t eat them and don’t have the freezer space and am not a food blogger so you know. And sometimes when I bake for others, they complain because they don’t want to get fat so I’ll just make them this chill instead. Notice, no one ever complains about chill, it’s nutritious (especially with the chicken!!!!!) and it’s what I usually make for friends and older people I know who need a meal. I had an Aunt who’s moving and she’s older and needs food because her kitchen is a disaster, she’s diabetic so cookies won’t work but will be THRILLED to the gills with this Sally! Thanks! Have a wonderful Christmas week!!!! 

  3. Ahhh, I cannot wait to try this! Wish I wouldv’e seen it before I got to work. I have all those ingredients on hand and this looks so delicious. I guess I know what I’ll be making for dinner tomorrow! You are awesome, Sally!

  4. EASY CHICKEN CHILI, FTW! My mother-in-law has a recipe that is very similar to this, and we all go NUTS over it. The cream cheese definitely takes everything to a whole new level! Can’t wait to try your version, and there will DEFINITELY be some cornbread on the side. YUM!

  5. Just last night my husband asked me to make chili, so this is going in the crockpot tomorrow. He is a pheasant hunter and brought home some birds, so this will be pheasant chili. I know he will love the cream cheese addition!! Thanks Sally and Merry Christmas!!

  6. Your recipes always seem to come at just the right time! I have been fretting over what to stick in the crock pot on Sunday (I know, hundreds of recipes and I can’t decide – ha) because I need to finish up baking my cookies and candies and wrapping and cleaning the house and laundry in between – this is perfect! Thanks again!! Oh! The pb and carrot dog treats were a HIT!! And my hubby won’t stay out of the double choc crinkles in the freezer – I even doubled the batch and he’s about eaten them all!!

  7. Love Love Love!! I am totally in love with Chicken Tortilla Soup from Chick-Fil-A. This looks very similar. I think some jalapeno cornbread would be delish too!

  8. Yes, even Christmas cookies can get wearisome.  One November a friend of mine, known for the great variety of her Christmas cookies, dreamed she found out she was pregnant.  She replied, “Good!  I won’t have to make Christmas cookies this year!
    Your cornbread and baked onion rings look yummy.  I keep buttermilk on hand…sorta.  I freeze 1/2 pint cartons of buttermilk and just thaw one in the microwave when needed.

  9. This sounds really good – I’ll probably be making it! Just wanted to suggest a cream cheese alternative in case anyone is interested… I’ve often added coconut milk for dairy-free creaminess to my soups and sauces. 

  10. Waaa boo hooo…no cookies! KIDDING! But, if it makes you feel any better, my husband and I have eaten half of the dark chocolate/orange slice and bake cookies I made over the weekend. SO GOOD. I bought two jars of cookie butter for those chocolate chip cookies!

    I understand how you would be tired of it though…they require a lot of monitoring. I guess for me it is a good break from my day job!

  11. Can I use hot sauce instead of chilli power? And my family doesn’t like diced tomatoes, can I use crushed instead! I really want to make this! Super excited!

  12. I LOVE slow cooker recipes! It’s just the best knowing that you can get so much done and in the meantime you slow cooker is making something delicious. 
    Gotta love the slow cooker 😉

  13. Oh, the recipe looks wonderful. But, seriously, the BOWLS! Where did you get them? I’ve been looking for just this style! And, I’m about to try several Christmas cookies, starting w/ the chocolate crinkle ones! Thanks so much!!

  14. I made this tonight and it was FABULOUS! Ironically, I did leave out the jalapenos (because I do not like things to be too spicy)… My husband’s first comment? “This is great, but a touch of jalapeno would make it over the top.” Oh well. I still consider it a win! I would definitely make it again! Thanks so much 🙂

  15. Saw this post today and made it for dinner tonight. Subbed Rotel tomatoes for the mini diced and added 1 tsp. chipotle chile powder for some added kick and a little smokiness. Delicious! Thanks for a great recipe.

  16. I hear you. I’m getting tired of seeing nothing but Christmas cookies and sweet treats online. As much as I love holiday sweets, I could use more savory stuff like this one. Awesome chili recipe; thanks for sharing it.

  17. Every single recipe I’ve made from your site is ALWAYS a success and huge hit! I made this chili yesterday morning for the afternoon for some girlfriends I was having over for a cookie making party. Everyone LOVED it, and got second or third helpings! Thanks for an easy, delicious savory recipe 🙂

  18. I made this today and it was very delicious! I followed the recipe exactly except I used full fat cream cheese and it does take it another level. Absolutely add the cream cheese. I used corn tortilla chips to eat this with and was very good. Awesome recipe!!

  19. Absolutely delicious chili!!!!!  Our 17 year old son had 3 bowls of it last night – couldn’t stop eating it!  Cream cheese was very nice touch – another hit, Sally. 

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally