Delicious Dump & Go Dinner: Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Perfect as a cool weather comfort food, I still crave and prepare this simple, dump-and-go slow cooker chicken chili throughout the summer, too! While winter is typically best known for savory bowls of comfort, tossing ingredients together for one-pot slow cooker meals are key with erratic summer schedules. Now that we have our pool, I love when we can carve out time during the evenings for swims but to join in on the fun, I depend on simple, ready-to-go meals so I’m not watching my family have all the fun from the kitchen. This savory bowl — packed with tons of flavor and goodness — is perfect year round.

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Crock Pot Chicken Chili Recipe

Textured Bowl | Tasseled Turkish Towel

If you’ve made my chicken tortilla soup (recipe HERE), the flavor profile is so similar as many of the same ingredients are used. But, this dish is simpler, with less prep, and might just be even more savory!

What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Chili?

Something I love about this throw-together meal is that the ingredients are interchangeable and substitutions are generally fine, if you’re trying to use what you have in the pantry and fridge. Here are the general chicken chili ingredients…

  • chicken breasts
  • black beans
  • pinto beans
  • corn
  • Rotel
  • chiles
  • onion
  • chicken broth
  • cream cheese
  • ranch seasoning
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • salt and pepper
Delicious Chicken Chili Slow Cooker Recipe

What Additional Ingredients Can Be Added?

My first go-tos, if I was looking to augment the recipe or use what I have, would be…

  • diced bell pepper
  • diced poblano pepper
  • diced jalapeno pepper
  • kidney beans
  • cannellini beans (or other white beans)
  • rice
  • additional petite diced tomatoes
Easy Crock Pot Chicken Chili Recipe

Textured Bowl | Tasseled Turkish Towel

What Are the Best Chicken Chili Garnishes?

Let’s be honest — the garnish is almost just as important as the chili itself. My favorite garnishes are cilantro, Greek yogurt, cheese, and tortilla chips, but here’s a more comprehensive list of ideas…

  • Cilantro
  • Greek yogurt
  • Sour cream
  • Lime
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Guacamole
  • Crumbled chips
  • Cornbread
  • Cheese quesadilla wedges
  • Jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
  • Fresh serrano peppers
  • Black olives
  • Saltine crackers
  • Oyster crackers
  • Fritos
  • Green onion
  • Diced purple onion
  • Banana pepper rings
  • Diced Tomato
  • Salsa
  • Variety of hot sauces (Frank’s is my fave; Dave’s is Tabasco)

How to Thicken Chicken Chili

After shredding the chicken and giving all the cooked ingredients a good stir, my chili broth base is typically thick enough for my liking. However, if yours still seems too soupy, you can thicken it right up with a little corn starch (the same as you would with chicken and dumplings, gravy, etc.). If you’ve never used cornstarch to thicken your broth consistency, put some cornstarch in a small bowl and add a small amount of water to it. Stir well and then add it to your slow cooker. Give it a good stir, place the lid back on, and let it continue to cook for around 30 minutes or so.

As a reminder, unlike chili (tomato based), this chicken chili is broth based and by nature won’t be quite as thick as standard chili. Speaking of, you can grab my go-to chili recipe HERE.

Yummy Chicken Chili Recipe

Textured Bowl | Tasseled Turkish Towel

What’s the Best Slow Cooker to Use?

Without a doubt THIS Calphalon slow cooker is one of my most favorite kitchen purchases of the last decade (currently on sale on Amazon). I’ve used it for a few years now and I have yet to make something that didn’t slide right off the slides of the pot. In contrast, my former slow cookers had to be scrubbed from baked on food every time I cooked. Seriously, THIS ONE is fantastic. It cooks quickly, evenly, the pot can be removed for prep (or to even brown meat on the stove), it has a timer and more. It’s 5.3 quarts and while that isn’t huge, it’s been plenty big for my roasts, chilis, soups, etc.

Easy Crock Pot Recipe: Delicious Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Recipe

Below is the simple, throw-together crock pot chicken chili recipe!

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

An easy, savory, dump and go dinner — perfect for families and weeknights!

Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword chicken, soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Garnish 15 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 can pinto beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 can corn (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 large onion, diced (preferably yellow)
  • 1 small can green chiles
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 2 large chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 handful minced cilantro


  1. Add chicken to the bottom of the slow cooker.

  2. Add drained and rinsed beans, corn, Rotel, diced onion, chiles, chicken broth, ranch seasoning, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Then, place cream cheese on top.

  3. Cover and cook on low for around 4 hours. Chicken should be tender and easily shredded by pressing a wooden spoon into the breast. If not tended enough to shred on its own, cook for another hour and check again.

  4. Once chicken is tender enough and falls apart/gives way with pressure from a wooden spoon, finish shredding the chicken and stir the chili.

  5. Serve and garnish with preferred toppings!

Recipe Notes

This recipe is simple to make substitutions, additions, and eliminations. 

Simple Crock Pot Dinner: Cheesy Chicken Chili

But How Big Should the Chicken Breasts Be?

My answer… it doesn’t really matter. The truth is, for pretty much any recipe, regardless of how much meat is recommended, I will use a single pack of fresh Costco chicken (that typically contains two breasts). Sometimes they’re larger, sometimes a little smaller, but I will make that single packet work for whatever recipe I’m using. As a general recommendation, I would say go for “two large breasts” and however you perceive that should be fine 😉

Simple Weeknight Crock Pot Dinner: Chicken Chili

As always, if you make this in the coming weeks, please report back! Your feedback (plus any personal notes) are always helpful for others making the dish for the first time!

Easy, Yummy Crock Pot Recipe: Chicken Chili with Cream Cheese


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Easy, Delicious  Family Dinner: Simple Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

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