Slow cooker chicken chili is the perfect meal for chilly, busy nights. The hands-on-time is minimal, and the hearty, flavorful recipe cooks in just a few hours.
There are days when I don’t even have it together enough to throw something in the Crock-Pot in the morning. White chicken chili to the rescue!
This is a slow cooker recipe that doesn’t take all day to cook. So if you forgot to prep it in the morning, your family won’t starve!
And the prep work requires little more than opening cans and minimal dicing. Your not-so-hard work pays off with a hearty and healthy dinner that feeds six. For us, that means lots of leftovers!
You can scroll to the end of this post for the full recipe and ingredient list. But you may want to keep reading for more tips on how to make the perfect air fryer wontons.
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To Make slow cooker chicken chili, You Will Need:
- Chicken broth – Choose lower-sodium broth so you can control the saltiness of the chili.
- Canned white beans – Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, are my top choice for this recipe. But you can also use great northern or navy beans.
- Chicken breasts – Opt for boneless, skinless breasts to make shredded the meat easier and also to reduce the fat content of this recipe.
- Diced green chiles – Use canned, roasted and diced chiles. Mild or hot is your choice.
- Salsa verde – Any brand of green salsa will do.
- Onion – Opt for a white or yellow onion to keep the flavors mellow.
- Garlic – Mince your own, or for a time-saving shortcut use frozen or refrigerated pre-minced garlic.
- Jalapeño – a fresh pepper will pack the most heat and flavor, but you can also use pickled jalapeños if that’s all you have on hand.
- Cumin – This ground spice, often used in chilis and Indian food, has a smoky, nutty flavor. A little bit goes a long way. If you don’t have cumin, you may substitute ground coriander.
- Chili powder – This blend of dried, ground chili peppers and other spices comes in different varities and heats. Most versions you find in the grocery store are fairly mild.
- Salt and pepper – Use these kitchen staples to season the chili to your taste preference.
- Frozen corn – We enjoy sweet corn in our chicken chili, but you can use any type of plain frozen white or yellow corn. You may also substitute canned corn; just drain it first.
- Lime juice – For the best, brightest flavor, use freshly squeezed lime juice.
- Cilantro – People experience the taste of cilantro very differently. For that reason, I recommend offering it as a garnish rather than adding it to the chili.
How to Make chicken chili
- Combine the broth, beans, chicken breasts, green chiles, salsa, onion, garlic, jalapeño, spices and salt in pepper in a slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 3 hours, refraining from opening the lid.
- Remove the chicken and allow to cool slightly. Shred the chicken. (I like using my stand mixer to do this. It takes only about a minute or so using the flat beater attachment. You can also use two forks to shred the chicken.
- Return the chicken to the slow cooker, along with the corn and lime juice. Cook until heated through.
- Serve chili garnished with with sour cream, avocado, jalapeño slices and chopped cilantro, as desired.
Variations, Substitutions and questions
What beans can I use instead of cannellini beans?
This recipe is so versatilie because it allows for many different substitutions. If you don’t have canned cannellini, also known as white kidney beans, on hand, you can use great northern or navy beans or another hearty white bean. (I would not use chickpeas because the texture may not hold up to slow cooking.)
You can also use leftover, already cooked dried beans that you have cooked, just be mindful of any spices or flavors you added when preparing them.
Can I used canned corn instead of frozen?
Yes, you may use canned corn in this recipe. Just be sure to drain it before adding it to the slow cooker.
How do I make this chili spicier?
There are several things you can do to increase the heat in this recipe.
Feel free to add more diced jalapeños as a garnish, or you can add more to the slow cooker when preparing the chili.
Want even more spice? Use a medium or hot salsa verde, instead of mild, You can also use hot diced green chiles instead of mild.
What is the best way to shred chicken for chili?
My preferred way to shred chicken is to place it in the bowl of your stand mixer. Use the flat paddle attachment, at low speed, to shred the chicken in a matter of minutes.
I’d heard about this method for years, but only recently tried it. And now I’m sold! When you use your mixer, you end up with uniform shreds of chicken meat.
Additionally, you don’t have to wait for the chicken to cool completely to shred it, which you have to do if you’re using your hands or forks.
How can I thicken chicken chili?
This chili will naturally thicken as the beans soak up the liquid, especially after being refrigerated.
If you want thicker chicken chili straight out of the slow cooker, here’s what you can do:
- After three hours, remove the cooked chicken breasts from the slow cooker.
- Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to puree some of the beans. You may find it helpful to remove them to a separate bowl, then return them to the pot.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker, then add the corn and lime juice and proceed with the recipe as directed.
Can I freeze leftover slow cooker chicken chili?
Yes, you can freeze this chili to enjoy later when you don’t feel like cooking. I like to freeze chili, soups and stews flat in freezer-safe zipper-lock bags. They take up less room that way.
This nifty tool is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets because it allows me to fill freezer bags without making a mess.
Be sure to squeeze all the air out of the bag before sealing it and placing it flat in the freezer.
When you’re ready to use your leftovers, remove them from the freezer and allow to thaw completely in your refrigerator. Reheat chicken chili in a pan, over medium heat, or in the microwave. If the beans have soaked up a lot of the liquid, you may need to a bit of chicken broth or water to the chili.
What can I serve with chicken chili?
While chicken chili can be served as a meal on its own, it’s great with tortilla chips. You can use store bought chips, but these homemade flour tortilla chips are like none you’ve ever tasted before. They’re also great for kids with braces because they’re not as hard as corn chips.
Another great chili pairing? This cheesy green chile cornbread. We love to crumble cornbread into our chili.
More Tex-Mex Recipes
If you enjoyned this recipe for white chicken chili in the Crock Pot, try these other Tex-Mex favorites:
- Sweet & Spicy Chili
- Pimento Cheese Jalapeño Poppers
- Easy Pulled Pork Nachos
- Mojito Lime Mint Freezer Pickles
- Fajita Veggie Quesadilla
- Squash and Corn Salsa
If you try Slow Cooker Chicken Chicken or any recipe on Atta Girl Says, please come back and share your 5-star rating in the comments below! I appreciate it, and my readers do, too!
A quick, delicious and healthy slow cooker white chicken chili recipe that is ready in just a few hours.
- 2½ cups chicken broth
- 2 15.5-oz. cans cannellini, great northern or other white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 4-oz. can diced green chiles
- 1/2 cup salsa verde
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeño minced
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground chili powder
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1½ cups. frozen corn
- Juice of 1 lime
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
Combine the broth, beans, chicken breasts, green chiles, salsa, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cumin and chili powder in the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook on high for 3 hours, until until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken breasts from the slow cooker and allow to cool slightly. Shred the meat using a stand mixer or two forks.
Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker. Add the frozen corn and lime juice corn. Return the lid to the slow cooker and reduce heat to low. Cook for an additional 15-30 minutes, until the corn is heated through.
Serve in bowls and garnish with with sour cream, avocado, and jalapeño slices, as desired.