Here’s my family’s 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 cups (240ml) chicken broth (I use reduced sodium)
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (14 ounce) can corn (rinsed and drained) or 1 package of frozen corn
- 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 jalapeño, minced (remove seeds and ribs)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano or Italian seasoning blend
- 2 teaspoons chili powder (reduce to 1 teaspoon for less spicy chili)
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 ounces (1/2 of a block) full-fat or light cream cheese* (see note)
- Add all the ingredients except the cream cheese to a 4 quart or larger slow cooker. Give everything a big stir. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3 hours.
- Remove the chicken and chop into bite-sized pieces or use two forks to shred it. Return chicken to the slow cooker and add the cream cheese. Stir everything together until the cream cheese has melted. Taste, then add more salt or seasonings if desired. I usually add a little more chili powder and dried oregano/Italian seasoning blend. Cover the slow cooker and cook for about 10-15 more minutes.
- Serve warm topped with fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, or crackers. And serve alongside my favorite cornbread or dinner rolls. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
- Freezing Instructions: Freeze up to 3-4 months. Freeze in 1 big container or a few smaller containers. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or place the container/bag in the sink filled with warm water. Once thawed, cook in a large pot on medium heat for 30 minutes. Or reheat in the microwave until warmed throughout.
- Substitutions: The spices like cumin, chili powder, and oregano/Italian seasoning blend are crucial to the taste. However, the following adaptions work well if needed. Homemade tomato sauce works wonderfully instead of canned. You can use ground turkey or ground beef instead of chicken. Brown on the stove first (medium-high heat for 8 minutes), then add to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. You can also use vegetable or beef broth instead of chicken broth. You can add more peppers, onions, or beans if you want (sometimes I do!). You can use kidney beans or white beans instead of black beans. Add more garlic or jalapeño if desired. And, finally, for vegetarian chili, you can add 1 more can of beans and swap the chicken for 3 cups uncooked diced and peeled sweet potato.
- Slow Cooker: You’ll need a 4 quart or larger slow cooker.
- No Slow Cooker? No Problem! Chop the raw chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a 4 quart or larger pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the diced onion, chopped bell pepper, jalapeño, salt, dried oregano, chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Stir and cook until the peppers have softened and the chicken is cooked. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the cream cheese, to the pot. Cover and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. After about 30 minutes, stir in the cream cheese until melted and cook, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes. Serve.
- Cream Cheese: Over the years, I’ve found that it’s helpful to slightly warm the cream cheese before adding to the hot chili in step 2. Unwrap it, place on a plate, and simply microwave it for 15-20 seconds before stirring into the chili. This helps it combine much easier into the hot chili.
Keywords: slow cooker chicken chili