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Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili is perfect for busy weeks! Make it with chicken thighs or breasts, onions, celery, black beans, frozen corn, chicken broth, tomato puree, and spices. Combine everything in a crockpot or slow cooker, and let it simmer all day while you're away.

Easy Crockpot Chili Chicken in the slow cooker
Emma Christensen

Featured in 11 Recipes to Make with Freezer Ingredients

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.

Video! How to Make Chicken Chili in the Slow Cooker

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Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili

Set It And Forget It 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.

Crockpot Chili Chicken in a bowl for serving
Emma Christensen

A Recipe to Fit Your Schedule

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.

Suggestions and Substitutions

  • Don't love a tomato-y chili? Reduce the amount of tomatoes to one can and add extra broth to compensate.
  • Add a 4-ounce can of roasted green chilis at the beginning of cooking.
  • If you'd prefer a spicier chili, add 1 or 2 chopped jalapeños.
  • Swap the black beans for pinto beans.
  • Top your bowls with cilantro, green onions, avocado, crushed tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, or extra cheese.
Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chili Chicken Chili in the crockpot
Emma Christensen

Storing and Freezing Chicken Chili

Leftover chicken chili will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Freeze chicken chili in airtight containers for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating, or warm frozen chili right in a covered saucepan over low heat.

More Favorite Chili Recipes!

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings
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.

Ingredients

  • 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 or stock
  • 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

Method

  1. Combine the vegetables and chicken in the slow cooker

    If you're using chicken breasts, cut them into 2 or 3 large pieces.

    Nestle the chicken into the vegetables inside the slow cooker liner
    Emma Christensen
  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.)

    Stir together all the ingredients for crockpot chicken chili
    Emma Christensen
  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.

    Cover the slow cooker chicken chili with a lid for cooking
    Emma Christensen
  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.

    Shredding the chicken for easy crockpot chicken chili
    Emma Christensen
  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.

    Adding the beans and corn to the slow cooker chicken chili
    Emma Christensen
  6. Serve with toppings

    Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week or up to 3 months frozen.