January 23, 2012

Dinner is Served: Crockpot Chicken Chili

What I want from my crockpot is something I can throw in early in the morning and not think about again until it's time to eat.

Also, I want it to taste delicious. And I want it not to include a bunch of fake ingredients. And I don't want a lot of fussy steps at the beginning like precooking things or adding things half-way through. AND (I know, I ask a lot here. . .I'm kind of annoyed with me), I want it to cook all day long. It always bothered me when I was working full-time when recipes cooked for four hours. Who is starting a crockpot meal at two in the afternoon!? I need something that can cook all day without burning or going completely dry.

This is that meal. I make this any time I am taking a meal to someone because it is so delicious, it takes about five minutes to throw together and, bonus, it's inexpensive. Add some biscuits or muffins and, ta-da! Dinner is served.

It takes five minutes (or less!) to throw all the ingredients in the crockpot and then it's ready when dinner time rolls around. So easy and delicious!

Crockpot Chicken Chili
(slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Serves 6

2 chicken breasts or thighs (frozen or fresh)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 pound dry white beans
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies (or two cans if you really like things spicy)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

Rinse dried beans thoroughly and toss them in the crockpot. Add everything else except the sour cream and whipping cream. Stir a little bit and cook on low for 7-10 hours.

Shred the chicken a little bit with two forks (this should be super easy - the chicken will be falling apart by this point). Stir in the sour cream and then the cream. Let sit for another 15 minutes or so to warm through. Serve.

Two other options:
  1. Quick-cooking method:Use 3 cans of beans instead of dry beans. Rinse beans thoroughly before adding to crockpot and decrease broth to 3 cups. Cook for about 4 hours.
  2. Vegetarian version: Leave out the chicken and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth
P.S. If you're looking for other easy crockpot recipes, here are some of my favorites!


  1. Looks like a great recipe. Have to add it to my list of ones to try. And I like your requirements for the crock pot, although I do sometimes want the option to speed things up if necessary--8 hours on low or 4 hours on high(hard to do with beans though). Glad you are home safe with lots of good books.

  2. Um, I totally didn't even read this before I just posted. Interwebs doppelgangers?

    I SO wish I could make this - it looks tasty!

  3. I have a really similar recipe to this that I make on the stove that takes about an hour to cook. I love it and it's my go-to meal when anyone flies to see us- warm and comforting and filling- everything an airplane is not.

    I'm glad to have this one where I can let the crockpot do all the work. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I am totally with you on those crock pot requirements. I mean, what is the point of the crock pot if you have to add stuff to it throughout the day????? The whole glory of the crock pot is that you are cooking dinner while you are OUT OF THE HOUSE.

    Although, I don't necessarily mind having to do some pre-cooking. I usually do everything the night before and then keep the pot in the fridge until the morning of. So on days where I'm really with it, I'll cook dinner and do the next day's crock pot dinner at the same time. And then I'll proceed to tell Eric how awesome I am for like the next 24 hours.

  5. Oh yum, thanks!! I definitely agree with your crockpot guidelines. Nothing is worse than coming home from a long day of work to burnt and shriveled meat in your crockpot.

  6. This was delicious Janssen, thank you! I'm glad to have the recipe.

  7. So glad you posted this! I've been looking for recipes that fit your crockpot requirements and this fits the bill. I made Mels honey lime enchiladas last night...divine. Though for that I subbed the whipping cream for FAGE 0% Greek Yogurt and it came out great. I'm wondering if I can do the same with this. I'll have to mess around with it and try it out. I love subbing fat for protein!

  8. Plantboy gave me a stainless steel crockpot (thank you Costco) for Christmas that has a timer on it. Brilliant.

  9. These are all my requirements too.

  10. Um, that sounds and looks amazing. Thanks for sharing! (Agree about crockpot guidelines too.)

  11. umm hello!? I'M the one starting ALL crockpot recipes at 2 in the afternoon because there is no way I'm organized enough to think about dinner before then!

  12. YES. You have it exactly right with the crockpot rules. I want to dump stuff in before work and have dinner when I come home. Without having to buy one of the fancy crockpots with a timer. And, I want my meals to be vegetarian, which adds another layer of difficulty, since most crockpot recipes... aren't. (I'm actually not working outside the house now, but still.)

    Also, at the risk of sounding like a creeper, I was hoping to run into you at Midwinter so that I could meet you in person and say how much I love your blog. But, sounds like you were gone before I went, so I'll have to say it here. I love your blog. Thanks for posting.

  13. I think I know what I'm making next week for the meal I have to deliver!

  14. Does this fill a full sized crock pot? I'm making lunch for about 10 people so I would probably need to double it but I am not sure it would all fit!

  15. Made this today- it was easy and delicious. Jilly couldn't get enough of it either. Triple win.

  16. Guess what's for dinner tonight?...

  17. What did I do wrong here? I followed all directions to a T and had this in the crockpot on low from midnight to 8am this morning. It is DRY and burning on the sides of the pot! I thought maybe I didn't have enough liquid, but I put in a box of broth that was 32oz. So even a little more than called for. I haven't added the SC or heavy cream yet but I don't think it's going to salvage it. It doesn't even look like soup... :( Maybe my crockpot is too hot???

    1. I'm so sorry it didn't work for you! I'm guessing your crockpot just runs pretty hot. Sounds like you needed a lot more liquid to keep it from drying completely out.

  18. Mine was dry also after cooking for 8 hours. I added another can of broth before adding the sour cream and that seemed to do the trick.

  19. Okay...it's been 8 hours and the beans are still hard. Maybe next time I'll soak the beans the night before to assure they get cooked in the crock pot. Should be edible in 4 or 5 more hours!!

    1. I'm so surprised to hear that (and I'm so sorry!). I've cooked mine for as little as five hours on low and still had them be soft. I wonder why yours are still hard.

  20. I accidentally added the cream in the morning with all the other ingredients :( is my chili ruined now?

    That's what I get for trying to put together dinner with a house full of screaming kids running around lol

  21. I accidentally added the cream along with all the other ingredients when I was putting it together in the morning. I didn't read the directions first… Whoops.

    Is my chili ruined? :(

  22. If I were using canned beans, would the chicken be done after 4 hours on low?


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