Slow Cooker Chicken Chili


This is one of those recipes that kept showing up in my email or Facebook newsfeed and I kept pushing it away. After all, chili is supposed to be RED, right? And chicken? I thought chili was all about the RED meat. And RED tomatoes. And RED beans. Well, sometimes trying something new is a good thing, and this CHICKEN chili recipe is now- hands down-  my new favorite. It gets bonus points for being incredibly fast and easy to throw together, and makes awesome leftovers for lunch the next day.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
Chicken and white beans combine for a delicious alternative to the traditional beefy-tomatoey-chili. Serve hot over torn kale or chard for more greens!
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 14-ounce cans white cannellini beans (or navy or great northern), drained
  • 2 8-ounce cans fire roasted chopped green chilies
  • 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • A couple tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 of a 7-ounce can of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (Throw the rest of the can into a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer.)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  1. Read through the recipe. Get everything prepped before you start. Get out the slow cooker and set it next to your range.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat till you can feel the heat radiating off the pan. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and swirl it around. Add the onions and sauté till caramelized, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Dump the onions into the slow cooker.
  3. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and dump in the raw chicken pieces. be careful to not add too many chicken pieces at one time. You don’t want to crowd the pan or the chicken will steam instead of brown. You want the crusty brown bits forming on the chicken and in the pan. Stir periodically until all the chicken is browned and dump that into the slow cooker.
  4. Add some of the chicken broth into the hot pan and using a spoon or spatula, scrape the browned bits (fancy cooking term: fond) off the bottom of the pan. Dump this tasty mess into the slow cooker. You may need to repeat this to get all the fond out of the pan.
  5. Now dump in the rest of the ingredients (beans, spices, chilis, chipotles in adobo sauce) and stir. You may need to add more of the chicken broth now. You don’t want the soup to get too thick at the start of this process. Some of the moisture is going to cook out.
  6. Put on the lid and let the slow cooker do its magic. In six hours you will have the most divine smells emanating from your kitchen. Serve with rough chopped cilantro, sour cream, and/or chopped kale or chard.