Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili

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.

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

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
  • 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:

Method

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.

Chicken Chili Ingredients in Crockpot

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 being cooked in Crockpot

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.

Easy Chicken Chili in Slow Cooker

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 chicken in chicken chili recipe

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 Corn To Chicken Chili Recipe

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

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.

Comments

  • 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

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Charlie — A 12 oz can of tomato puree wouldn’t equal 3 cups, but feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking.

  • Erik Rickel

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

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Kfox

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

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Michelle

    How many cals per serving??

  • lisa

    One of my new Slow Cooker favorites! I had some extra chicken thighs and was looking for a fun slow cooker recipe and this was perfect. So tasty and the leftovers where even better the next day. I am going to make another big batch and put in small containers to take to work. Thank you Emma!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Steve

    The fat dissolves if there’s just a bit. Sure, take out big chunks but don’t sweat it; you’re way ahead re: health because it’s chicken, not burger! Some nice additions to try: coffee; cocoa; tomato paste. Purée a couple of cups to make the whole chili richer and thicker; I do this with any bean or lentil soup.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Janet Moga

    I’ve made this recipe now several times and I LOVE it! Probably about the easiest chili recipe I’ve made. Both thigh or white meat work but personally I like thigh meat better. Thank you!! (p.s. would imagine this is possible in the instant pot?)

    xxxxxyyyyy

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Janet! I definitely think it would be possible in the instant pot! I haven’t tried it myself yet, but probably 20 minutes on high pressure would get the job done. Let us know if you try it out!

  • Bharat Verma

    Hi Laura,
    You can use vinegar to clean your chicken thighs and then rinse them with water before you put them in the slow cooker. This will help you to get rid of the blood and any chicken smell.
    I hope this helps.

  • Laura Courson

    I’m just curious to know . . . when you are using chicken thighs, do you wash out and clip out all of the fat you can and also the blood and veins you see in the thighs. I try to and it takes me forever to get all that gunk out of the thighs.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Laura! I usually trim off any large pieces of fat, but otherwise don’t worry too much about it. It sounds like your thighs might be a little more unprocessed than mine, though!

  • Gerry Ann

    Do I add the 4 oz can of green chillies at the beginning of the slow cooking time or with the corn and beans at the end of the cooking time?

  • Spencer

    I’im in the process of making this recipe and I’m a lb short of chicken thighs. Looks like 2 lbs of chicken thighs is about 8 chicken thighs. I only had 5 to begin with. Just a fyi.

    • Emma Christensen

      You should still be fine! The chili will be a little thinner and soupier, but I think it will still be tasty.

  • Phil

    Sorry, the comment on the passata/puree was for Corrine, not Judi. There are minor differences in the measurements – US cups and measuring spoons to metric ones, but if you use one set of measuring cups & spoons throughout, either US or metric, it doesn’t make a difference (with my recipes anyway).

    • Emma Christensen

      Great note, Phil! Thanks for chiming in! And yes, this recipe in particular is so flexible with the measurements that I think you’d be fine using either set of cups/spoons.

  • Phil

    For Judi Sobol:
    I’ve had to convert a lot of recipes from US to UK ingredients while visiting relatives in England. Passata is almost exactly the same as the tomato puree in the US. Watch out, though, as a lot of the passata comes with ‘Italian spices’ or ‘Italian seasoning’. You just want the plain, ‘house’ brand with tomatos and no extra seasonings. I’ve used ones from both Tesco and Sainsbury before.

  • Judi Sobol

    Do you have any recipes for slow cooker chuck roast? I would appreciate as many as possible. Thanks :)

  • Corinne Poulten

    Hello
    I’m reading this from England and wondering about the purée ingredient. Obviously we have that here but three cups is making me think it might mean something else. Normally I would add 1 or 2 tablespoons. Does it mean like a passata? Sorry to question but it looks so nice I don’t want to mess it up:)
    Thanks:)

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Corinne! Our canned puree is basically tomatoes that have been blended up to make something with a similar consistency to gazpacho or tomato sauce. From what I understand, I think passata would make a good substitute. Try to find something that doesn’t have any added spices or seasonings. Enjoy!

  • Ivar

    Sounds like how I cook my chili in the slow cooker. Such an easy and simple way to make dinner for a couple of nights, although with a vacuum sealer, it is easy to make it in batches and freeze it for winter meals.

  • Leslie

    Yummy! I love chicken chili, i would love for it to hurry up and get cold out. That way i wouldn’t sweat making it. Haha