Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili

VideoFavorite FallSlow CookerGluten-FreeChicken Thigh

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili is perfect for busy weeks! Made with chicken thighs or breasts, onions, celery, black beans, frozen corn, chicken broth, tomato puree, and spices. So easy!

Photography Credit: Emma Christensen

Set It And Forget It

This slow cooker chicken chili recipe is for those days when you would really like to just throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot, wave a magic wand, and have dinner ready exactly on time. That would be nice, right?!

There’s no magic wand (unfortunately), but thanks to the slow cooker, the rest of this recipe comes pretty darn close to granting that wish.

Shredded Chili Chicken in white bowl

Easy Slow Cooker Recipe

The only prep work needed for this recipe is dicing the onion and the celery. Everything else is a matter of opening a few cans, measuring some spices, and stirring it all together.

I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. I’ve found they hold up better than chicken breasts over the long cooking, and shred easily into silky and tender strands by the time the chili is ready. It’s fine to use chicken breasts if you’re not a fan of chicken thighs, but the texture will be slightly chewier.

Chicken Chili being cooked in Slow Cooker

Tender Shredded Chicken Chili

The slow cooker time for this chili is really flexible, so you can adapt it to suit your schedule. The chicken just gets more tender the longer you let it cook. If you’re running late, it’s fine if the chili continues to cook on the “low” setting or “warm” setting for a little longer past the 8-hour mark. Try not to push it too much longer, though, or else the chicken starts to become mushy.




Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 6 to 8 hours
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings (Makes about 10 cups)

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or a mix of breasts and thighs, can be substituted for the chicken thighs, if you prefer.

As is, this makes a fairly mild chili. If you'd prefer a spicier chili, add 1 or 2 chopped jalapenos or a 4-ounce can of green chilis.

Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months.


  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 15-ounce cans tomato puree (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed with a garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Optional chili toppings:

  • Diced green onions
  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream

Special equipment:


1 Combine the chicken, diced onions, and diced celery in the bowl of a slow cooker: If you're using chicken breasts, cut them into 2 or 3 large pieces.

Shredded Chili Chicken

2 Add the liquids and spices: Add the tomato puree, broth, garlic, and spices to the slow cooker. Stir to mix and coat the chicken and vegetables. (Note: Wait to add the beans, corn, and vinegar until the end of cooking.)

Shredded Chili Chicken

3 Cover and cook on high for 2 to 4 hours, or low for 6 to 8 hours. It's fine if the chili ends up cooking a little longer on the "low" or "warm," too.

Shredded Chili Chicken

4 Shred the chicken using two forks. Shred the chicken right in the slow cooker; or if it feels easier, transfer the large pieces to a bowl, shred, and then return the chicken to the slow cooker. Taste the chili and add salt, pepper, or additional spices, if desired.

Shredded Chili Chicken

5 Stir in the beans, corn, and vinegar, then cover and continue cooking until warmed through. This should take about 15 to 30 minutes. Watch for the chili to start bubbling again.

Shredded Chili Chicken

6 Serve with toppings. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week or up to 3 months frozen.

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Best Chicken Chili With Shredded Chicken in Bowl

Emma Christensen

Emma Christensen is the Editor-in-Chief of Simply Recipes, and has over 10 years of experience creating food and content for web and print. She was formerly the recipe editor for The Kitchn and is the author of three books on home-brewing, True Brews, Brew Better Beer, and Modern Cider. Emma is a graduate of The Cambridge School for Culinary Arts and Bryn Mawr College. She lives in San Jose, California.

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33 Comments / Reviews

No ImageSlow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Andrew

    I like this recipe, would you allow me to feature it on my blog?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Chris

    This was delicious! I topped with avocado and cilantro. Added a splash of surachi to give a some more heat.


  3. Charlie

    I’m slightly confused – 1 12oz can of tomato purée was about 3 cups – it says to add TWO 15oz cans – that’s seems like an overly excessive amount

    Show Replies (2)
  4. Erik Rickel

    We made this and enjoyed it very much! A keeper, for sure.


  5. Kfox

    Not a ton of flavor and too much tomato purée. Would use less pureee and more broth


    Show Replies (1)
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