This easy chicken chili recipe is a hearty, comforting dish everyone will love that takes just 10 minutes to throw together.
This rich and flavorful crockpot chicken chili is filled with juicy white chicken, black beans, black-eyed peas, chili beans, hominy, and green chilis, in a warm and zesty tomato sauce. Easy enough for weeknight dinners and special enough for weekend get-togethers.
You’re going to love this
Easy meal. This is a true set-and-forget slow cooker chili recipe that's perfect for easy dinners. You don’t need to brown any meat ahead of time. Just dump everything in and walk away. Really. If you can open cans, you can make this chicken chili recipe.
Wholesome chicken chili. Chicken breast meat stays super juicy in the crockpot, especially when it’s soaking up all the saucy goodness from the tomatoes and warm spices. And the mixture of beans adds heartiness and interesting texture.
Hearty. This easy chicken chili is also a stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish with big chunks of chicken and tons of beans to fill you up and warm your soul.
Comfort food classic. When the weather starts to cool and comfort food is on your mind, that’s when you know it’s time to make this chili recipe. The warm spices are zesty and soothing.
Plus, making chili is an automatic reason to make cornbread. In our house, we slather it with butter and honey (and sometimes blueberry jam -- yes, even with chili) -- and what could be more comforting than that?
Chicken chili. If your family is used to having traditional chili with ground beef, I bet they won’t mind this flavorful white chicken chili with big chunks of juicy white meat chicken in their chili.
Killer leftovers. Chili is always better the next day. So if you have any left over, you're in for fast, easy dinners with lots of flavor.
Chicken breasts. Completely thaw the chicken breasts before placing them in the crock pot.
Black beans, black-eyed peas, chili beans, hominy. A mixture of beans and hominy add a variety of flavors and textures to this chili.
Diced tomatoes. The diced tomatoes are added to the chili in two stages. The first to add lots of flavor while it slowly cooks, the second to add chunky texture.
Green chilis or jalapenos. Mild green chiles add great flavor, while jalapenos add heat. Choose one or both!
Chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. These chili spices are in place of a pre-made chili seasoning, so you can completely control the flavor, spice levels, and sodium.
Tomato paste. This is a thicker chili recipe, thanks to the can of tomato paste that's added at the end.
Chicken breasts. You can substitute the chicken breasts with chicken thighs.
If you would like to use rotisserie chicken in this recipe, add it before the last hour of cooking so the chicken cooks with all the flavorful juices.
If you would like to use ground chicken or ground turkey, brown it before adding it to the crock pot.
Beans. Any kind of bean can be used in this chili -- cannellini beans, white beans, great northern beans, kidney beans -- whatever you have!
Green chilis or jalapenos. You can completely control the flavor of this chili recipe by adjusting what you add to your preferences.
If you like mild chili, go with the green chilis. If you prefer spicier chili, add the jalapenos.
Chili seasonings. If you have a premade chili seasoning you love, you can absolutely use that here. Or if you want to add more or less of any of these spices, go for it.
You can even throw in a few more for added flavor, like paprika, onion powder, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper.
How to Make Healthy Chicken Chili in the Slow Cooker
Spray your Crock Pot with cooking spray to save yourself some clean-up hassle later on.
Place 4 thawed chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker.
Drain and rinse the hominy and beans (except for the one in sauce) in a mesh strainer, and add the green chilis (or jalapenos, if you’re a spicy one!), the 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin.
Lightly stir to combine the beans, tomatoes, and seasonings.
Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
Drain and add the 14 ounce can of tomatoes and the can of tomato paste, stirring to combine.
If you’re wondering why, here’s what’s up. I think chili should be thick and chunky. And most chili recipes are too thin and soupy for my taste. After all this time in the crockpot, the tomatoes have cooked down. So this can of tomatoes ensures big chunks of tomatoes. And the tomato paste thickens it up.
Take this opportunity to taste the chili and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. You may want to add up to an additional tablespoon of chili powder and 1-2 more teaspoons of cumin. You could even throw in a teaspoon of paprika for even more smoky flavor and cayenne for kick.
Turn heat to low, if it isn't already, and let it simmer another hour.
Use a pair of tongs to break up the chicken into big, delicious chunks. It should just fall apart. Stir to combine, so everyone gets plenty of chicken in their bowl.
Serve this easy white chicken chili recipe on its own, topped with your favorite fixings, over a big bowl of brown rice, or over a baked potato.
Control the heat level in this chili recipe by choosing mild green chilis or spicy jalapenos.
Adjust the seasoning level to your preference during the last hour of cooking by adding more of the chili spices or adding even more flavor with paprika, onion powder, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper.
Spray the insert of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray for easy clean-up.
Yes. This chicken chili recipe starts by placing raw chicken breasts into the slow cooker.
Yes, I sure think so, anyway! That's why slow cooker chili is so delicious. It cooks low and slow to allow all the flavors to mingle together. And it's even better the next day.
You can use almost any type of bean in your chili, like kidney beans, pinto beans, and navy beans,. I used all of my favorites in this recipe, like black beans, black eyed peas, and chili beans. Hominy, which isn't a bean, is also a delicious ingredient in chili. But you can choose the ones you love best.
Serve your healthy chicken chili with all the toppings you love. Here are some of our favorites!
- Green onions
- Diced red onions
- Chopped tomatoes
- Sliced avocado
- Fresh corn
- Sliced fresh jalapenos
- Shredded cheese
- Crumbled cotija cheese
- Chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro
- Sour cream
- Greek yogurt
- Hot sauce
- Lime juice
- Tortilla chips
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Healthy Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker)
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can black eyed peas
- 1 can chili beans in spicy sauce
- 1 can hominy
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 4.5 oz can green chiles or jalapenos
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Lay thawed chicken breasts on the bottom.
- Drain and rinse any beans that are not in sauce and add to slow cooker. Top with large can of tomatoes, green chiles or jalapenos, chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Gently stir to mix the tomatoes, beans, chiles, and spices together.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Drain and add the 14.5 oz. can of tomatoes and the tomato paste.
- Take this opportunity to taste the chili and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. You may want to add up to an additional tablespoon of chili powder and 1-2 more teaspoons of cumin. You could even throw in a teaspoon of paprika for even more smoky flavor and cayenne for some kick.
- Stir and cook on low for one more hour. Use a pair of tongs to break up the chicken into big, delicious chunks. It should just fall apart. Stir to combine, so everyone gets plenty of chicken in their bowl.
- Top with shredded cheese and sour cream.
Seve Gillispie says
This was made following directions as given. I found it to be bland and tasteless. (no I don't have covid ! ) Im sorry to say it was a big disappointment.
Cara Lanz says
Hi, Steve, Thank you for your honest feedback. I am sorry that you were disappointed. My hope is to provide recipes people enjoy. I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on how it could have been better? More seasonings, perhaps? Thank you, again, it means a lot that you took the time to say something. Cara
Cara Lanz says
Hi, Steve, following up to let you know that I have tested this recipe again and have added a step before that final hour to check the seasoning levels and make adjustments based on your preferences. Thank you again for the feedback. I appreciate the opportunity to make this recipe better. Thank you, Cara
Kent P says
So I made this and I think it's good. I think all people have different ideas about chili (last time I checked Steve is in "all", #wink). So I was fine with it as is, knowing that it will just be different than another of my go-to chilis that is a beef version and has a focus on home-roasted red peppers. Anyway, I digress; my children liked your chili too. And as a healthier variety it will be part of my repertoire for meals in a bowl.
What could be tweaks if desired: Adjusting the spices by taste within the last hour as you followed up with in your comments/updates. Could try adding one more 4-4.5oz can of green chilies (or don't use the diced chilis and instead replace the diced tomatoes with the likes of diced tomatoes WITH the chilis in one can (ie Rotel brand). Also an interesting but subtle flavor twist is to stir in 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar after cooking; that can put a bit of zip in the taste without that zip coming from spices. Allowing the chili to sit and stew for one night in the fridge is something I recommend for ANY chili worth it's ingredients to allow all the ingredients to fully present.
Cara Lanz says
Hi, Kent, Thank you for your note! I'm so glad that you and your children enjoyed the chili :). And thank you for your suggestions, they're all great ideas! Chili is such a great canvas for adding this and that and whatever you and your family loves. And yes, chili is always better the next day, isn't it? Thank you, again, your feedback really does mean so much to me. Cara