Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili is comfort food to the nth degree! There's nothing better than a big bowl of chili that basically cooks itself.

Who's getting into soup mode? I know I am! Once fall hits, I'm pulling out my crockpots and making soup and chili several times a week. There's nothing quite like a big bowl of soup to warm you up from the inside out! This Slow Cooker Chicken Chili is super filling and delicious and practically makes itself! It's a super easy weeknight meal to whip together for the whole family. 

I love a big heaping bowl of chili topped with cheese, a dollop of sour cream and whatever other toppings I feel like adding in the moment. This chicken chili recipe is one of my go-to's all winter, but it makes a very special appearance every year when we watch the Super Bowl. Whenever someone brings up the Super Bowl I immediately think back to growing up and that Sunday of all Sundays: the palpable excitement amongst all the sports lovers in my home, lots of yummy food everywhere, and the added promise of excellent commercials for hours to come. With that said, whether it's Super Bowl Sunday or just a night at home with the family, this Slow Cooker Chicken Chili should be in your rotation. 

Like I said, my slow cooker puts in a lot of work during the fall and winter months. I love being able to pop a bunch of ingredients into the pot and letting it do its thing. You can make so many recipes in your slow cooker that you might not have thought about before. Ever had Slow Cooker Lasagna? What about my Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup or Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls? If not, definitely give them a try!

Chili is the kind of hearty dish that fits the winter potluck bill. It's seriously simple to make and feeds a big crowd. This recipe is also actually really healthy, so you might as well double it to make sure you've got plenty to go around. Just put the entire recipe in a zipper bag, freeze and when you're ready to cook cut open the bag and place everything right into your slow cooker. It really is THAT easy. 

So whether you are cheering on your favorite team in the Super Bowl or just simply wanting a hearty meal to feed your family, this Slow Cooker Chicken Chili is sure to please everyone!

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Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (serves 6-8 )

Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 240 mins

egg free

nut free

gluten free

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce, unseasoned
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • sour cream

Preparation

1. Place all of the ingredients except the sour cream in a 4 quart or larger slow cooker, stir to combine and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6-8 hours or overnight. 

2. Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker when chili is finished and use 2 forks to shred into bite size pieces. 

3. Serve chili topped with sour cream. 

optional toppings: grated cheddar cheese, plain greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, pickled jalapeños, avocado slices

* To prep and freeze: Place all the ingredients in a gallon-sized zippered freezer bag, seal the bag, and mix everything together by pressing on the outside of the bag with your hands. Label the chili and freeze until ready to use, up to 4 months. When ready, place the frozen mixture into the crock pot and set the heat according to directions in step 1-3. 

Accompaniments

sour cream, grated cheese, tortilla chips, crusty bread

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

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29 comments

  • Julie

    Is it safe to put raw frozen chicken in the slow cooker? For some reason, I thought it had to be defrosted first. This sounds delicious!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Yep, it's fine! :)

      leave a comment

  • Kasie

    If my family doesn't like beans could I replace those with something else?

    Thank you!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Hmmm the beans are sort of what give it the heartiness... I guess you could omit them and increase the tomatoes? Maybe add in some other veggies?

      leave a comment

  • Shawn

    Similar to Julie's question, is the chicken uncooked when going into the bag? Should it be cut into chunks before going into the bag?

    I'm thinking boneless, skinless chicken thighs might be good to use also.

    Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      It is raw, and you leave it whole! After cooking, you shred it with two forks!

      leave a comment

  • JB

    This sounds and looks amazing! And is that garlic bagels I see in the picture? If so, I love the idea!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Bagel chips sprinkled with herbs!

      leave a comment

  • Heather Taylor Home Hth Loves Weelicious

    […] Check out our Turmeric Diamond Napkins served alongside some gorgeous Chicken Chili. See the whole feature on Weelicious. […]

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  • Meghna

    Planning on making this tomorrow. Do you know how many cups of dry beans equal 2 cans? Also, if I only have 1 zucchini on hand, could I substitute the other zucchini for butternut squash, or carrot? Or would that taste odd? Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      I think either of those substitutes would work! 1 can of beans is about 1 1/2 cups!

      leave a comment

  • Andrea

    1 1/2 - 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast ;)

    This looks delicious. I think I will add it to our next meal plan.

    leave a comment

  • Shannon Nicole

    Made this tonight and everyone loved it. Thank you so much!!!! (We used some shredded havarti in place of the yogurt.)

    leave a comment

  • Yvonne Bennett

    Made this tonight and it was so delicious. My kids couldn't get enough. I added some corn and avocado at the end.

    leave a comment

  • Aimee Simple Bites

    It's lame, but I've never made chicken chili. Your version looks like the perfect place to start.

    leave a comment

  • Kate ¡Hola! Jalapeño

    I hear the wind howling outside and this looks like the perfect warming mid-winter meal, football or not.

    leave a comment

  • Kim Beaulieu

    I love chili so this is right up my alley. So pretty too.

    leave a comment

  • Ceil

    I made the chili today and it was a big hit. I doubled up on the pinto beans and left out the white beans. The chicken was not frozen and I cut it in strips before putting in the slow cooker to cut down on time. I had it on high for 1 hour and low for 1.5 hours. I would make this again. Very good.

    leave a comment

  • Susan

    We have had such weird weather lately and this seems like the perfect recipe to help combat it. Plus, anything I can cook in the slow cooker is aces in my book!

    leave a comment

  • Mimi

    If using dry beans, do you need to cook or prepare them first? Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Yes! I use cooked beans here.

      leave a comment

  • Brook

    I have made this recipe about 5 times so far. It is my family's FAVORITE chili! We leave out the onions, maybe add the zucchini, maybe toss in other things like cubes of butternut. Its very open to substitutions. LOVE it!

    leave a comment

  • Gzech

    can crushed bay leaf be used? Also, is there an alternative that you would recommend?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      Hmmm I'm not sure about the crushed bay leaf. if it is crushed really fine so that is dissolves while cooking that should be okay!

      leave a comment

  • rlevy78

    I made this recipe this weekend and it was a big hit. I used black beans instead of pinto because my son doesn't like pinto and I added corn. Both worked well. Also I served it over brown rice.

    leave a comment

  • Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes: Soup, Stew, & Chili From This Kitchen Table

    […] Slow Cooker Chicken Chili […]

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  • Melissa

    Unfortunately, it wasn't a hit with my family. The taste of the canned tomatoes was a bit over powering for us. I did however like the idea of incorporating zucchini to it.

    leave a comment

  • Kim Miller

    I am so glad to have found this wonderful site. Its full of interesting recipe ideas for your picky family members.
    Also, there are new creative twists to old recipes.

    Keep up the great work your doing!

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  • Martina

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