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. 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. 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

    1. I love really hearty chili so I add a can of red kidney beans when I make this recipe and it makes it way thicker. Hope that helps!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!! 

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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”

  9. Tried this chili today and it was really great!

    We don’t have canned black beans in Germany so I substituted kidney beans and it worked well. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Hi Sally!
    I recently bought a multi cooker and made this chili last night. I I forgot to add the cream cheese at first and it was still very tasty but then later added the cream cheese, and it was stellar! It definitely adds another layer of flavor. 

  11. This was OUTSTANDING! So delicious the night of and the day after. We’re not big fans of corn, so I 86ed that and added another can of black beans. Also, for the chili powder, I did rounded scoops. Same for the cumin. My six-yr-old twins are always great eaters and this was no different. They had seconds. We all loved it. Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

  12. So easy to make and sooo delicious!
    We enjoyed it for dinner and lunch the next day .
    I froze the leftovers and freezes well for a quick meal to grab out of the feeezer on a busy night . 
    I followed the recipe but added more beans and did not add the cream cheese at the end and it was terrific .
    Thanks for the recipe ! It will be added to the dinner rotation . 

  13. Made this on Sunday. I always use a McCormick chili seasoning packet with any chili I make instead of the suggested spices. I’ve been disappointed by people’s seasoning of chili in the past. I used the white chicken chili packet. This turned out wonderful, I love corn and chicken in chili. The only thing is I didn’t get the nice red coloring yours has after I added the cream cheese, it was a much more muted color. Still tasted great though! Will definitely make this again!

  14. has anyone ever made a vegetarian version of this?
    we love this recipe and have made it often, now we have some vegetarian dinner guests and I’d like to make it but not sure if it will have the same richness of flavour without the chicken.

    1. I have! My SIL is vegetarian, I pre cooked the chicken and shredded it and put it on the side so people (it was a family picnic) had the option of putting it in. I also used vegetable broth and it turned out just as good as the original.

  15. I loved this chili! I also added a bit of coriander…

    Do you happen to have the nutrition information?
    Trying to add this to my macros

  16. I made this for the first time for my office’s annual chili cook off in November and won. Definitely a crowd favorite and has become part of our recipe rotation at home. Thanks for a quick, easy dinner option!

  17. Would like to make this and am wondering if I can put the chicken breasts in frozen, or do they need to be thawed?

  18. I made this, substituting 4 cups of garden tomatoes for the canned. My husband thinks the cream cheese is too abundant but i disagree! Delicious. Thanks for posting.

  19. My kids reject anything “spicy” (even though this isn’t what I would call overly spicy) so the hubs and I make a batch of this and a pan of cornbread on weekends when the kids are at grandma’s and eat it for every meal. It’s delicious!

  20. Hi Sally! I’m thinking about making this chili for a church potluck on Sunday. It sounds delicious!! If I make it all the way through adding the cream cheese and then it sits in the crockpot for 2-3 hours on warm, would that be a problem? 

    1. Not at all– I’ve done that MANY times before. You can leave the cream cheese in there for several hours before serving.

      1. Thanks Sally!! I’m so excited to try it out! I’m going to make your spiced pumpkin truffles too!! We’re currently remodeling our kitchen, so I don’t have my oven. So I’m going with things that don’t need to be baked or cooked on a stovetop!!

  21. Excellent and easy! I used high setting for 3 hours and turned it to low after shredding chicken . My hubby thought it was as good as my beef chili. First time making chicken chili, but not my last! Thanks for a very delicious recipe!

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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