Hearty Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Recipe

Hearty Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Diana Rattray
  • 4 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yield: 8 cups (8 servings)
Ratings (89)

This easy slow cooker chicken chili is relatively light and low-calorie compared to the classic beef or pork chili. Boneless chicken breasts and a variety of canned beans make the chili super easy and convenient. If you prefer to cook the chili on the stovetop, see the tips below the recipe.

Feel free to use boneless chicken thighs in the recipe and use the canned beans you have on hand. We used pinto beans and great northern beans, but kidney beans, navy beans, black beans and cannellini beans are all excellent alternatives. 

For thicker chili, add a few tablespoons of cornmeal about 30 minutes before it's done.

What You'll Need

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts (about 4 large chicken breast halves)
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced; or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder)
  • 1  (15-ounce) can great northern beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1  (15-ounce) can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes (stewed and diced)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (frozen, thawed)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (heaping)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Garnish: sour cream or shredded cheese
  • Optional: chopped fresh cilantro

How to Make It

  1. Dice the chicken or cut it into strips. Put the chicken pieces in the slow cooker along with the onion, bell pepper, garlic, drained and rinsed beans, tomatoes and tomato sauce, corn, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Stir to blend ingredients.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour, then cook on low for 3 to 4 hours longer, or until the chicken is cooked and tender. Or cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  1. Remove the bay leaf.
  2. Spoon the chili into bowls and garnish with sour cream or shredded cheese, along with chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.
  3. Serve with cornbread, crackers, or crusty bread.


  • Stovetop - Put ingredients in a large Dutch oven instead of a slow cooker. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.


  • Other vegetables that may be added include sliced summer squash or zucchini, shredded or julienne-cut carrots, and sliced celery.
  • For a little heat, add a few tablespoons of minced jalapeno pepper or serrano. Or add some crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Use different varieties of canned beans, or use cooked dried beans instead. See crock pot great northern beans
  • Use part or all boneless chicken thighs in the recipe. Chicken thighs stay tender and juicy in the slow cooker, so they're especially good in this recipe if you will be cooking it longer than the recommended times.

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