Crockpot Chicken Chili | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Chili

This chili was more of an experiment than anything...but it came out great, so I am sharing it!  Born out of necessity, when I decided to start some chili in the crockpot for dinner one day and discovered I was out of a few key ingredients I use when I make chili.  Everyone's got a favorite way to make chili, right? 

Chili is an excellent dish to make when you are watching what you eat.  It is generally low in fat and full of fiber (thanks to the beans and vegetables).  Plus, it's a one pot meal!  

Who likes washing tons of dishes?? 

I usually use ground turkey...but I was out.  I had a package of chicken thighs in the freezer, and thought, "why not?"  Chicken thighs stay moist in the all day cooking process of a crockpot on the low setting AND they break apart like pulled chicken. 

Then I discovered I was out of packets of mild chili seasonings. ( I know, I am hopelessly--well, not any longer--handicapped by the ease of opening a packet.  Not too hot, not too bland.  Just right. ) So I winged it.  I used chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, a little coriander and some chipotle pepper for heat.  Now mind you, I didn't really measure, so the amounts I am giving you in the recipe are an estimate.  But you can always start with less heat and add more once the chili is cooked.  

Next, I usually add pinto beans, or maybe one can of pinto beans and one can of black beans to my chili, but I was out of them too!  The beans I used here were canned navy beans. They worked beautifully,  but you could use pretty much any bean you like! 

And that, is how this tasty chili dish came to be.  I am writing it down not only to share with you, but also to remind me how to make it next time!  

Don't you hate when you come up with a winning dish and try to duplicate it months later but can't remember what you put in the dish in the first place?

Crockpot Chicken Chili

Servings - approx. 12   Serving Size - about 1 cup or 1/12 of recipe   Points Plus per Serving - 5 Points+
Calories - 207.7.   Total Fat - 2.6g,   Carb. - 31.4g,   Protein - 17g,   Fiber - 10.4g

1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs ( I like thighs here because they don't dry out) 
1 large onion, diced
2 - 3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ribs of celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 med red bell pepper, diced
1 med jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
1 med zucchini, diced
2 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 TBS brown sugar, packed
salt and black pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 - 14.5 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes 
2 - 15 oz. cans of any kind of bean you like ( navy, pinto, black, kidney--I used navy), rinsed and drained
juice of one fresh lime

1.  Spray inside liner of crockpot with nonstick spray.  Lay chicken thighs in a single layer and season with some salt and pepper.  Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, and zucchini.

2.  In small bowl, combine all the seasonings and brown sugar with the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Taste to see if you need to adjust seasoning and add salt and black pepper as you like.  Pour the mixture on top of the vegetable/chicken.   Add in both cans of beans.  Top with can of diced tomatoes.  

3.  Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours.  ( Stirring occasionally after about 5 hours, breaking up the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces with spoon,  The should easily fall apart) Chili is done when the vegetables are soft and the chicken shreds up easily.   Finish the chili with the juice of one lime.  Stir to incorporate into chili.  

4.  Serve with assorted toppings ( not included in nutrition info above) such as cheese, sour cream, cilantro, tortilla strips, avocado slices, pickled jalapenos, etc. 


This was a really good chili.  I will definitely be making this one again.  One non-conventional ingredient I used was zucchini.  I almost always put zucchini in chili when I make it.  I just love it in there.  If you've never put some zucchini in your chili, give it a try!

You may want to adjust the seasoning amounts to your liking.  My family liked it like this.  We like spice, but not enough that you can't taste anything else.

This time of year always makes me want to make slow cooking things like soups, stews, chilis, and roasts.  Chili is one of those things I almost never make in the summer.  Just doesn't seem right.

  I've been getting out with the dog most days to take advantage of all the wonderful fall colors, sights and smells.  I snapped a few pictures with my phone yesterday of all the beauty around me.
 Here are a few of my favorites!

Don't forget, today is the last day to enter for a chance to win one of two gift cards in my giveaway!  Contest will end at 8 pm EST tonight!  You can find out more about it HERE.  



  1. YUMM!I made something similar for lunch today (great minds think alike) :)

    The leaves look so beautiful.

  2. I only make chili in the Fall and Winter months as well. I just can't bring myself to eat it the rest of the year. I have to admit that I have never tried zucchini in my traditional chili recipe. It would bulk up the serving size with out adding calories. Nice touch Renee.

    I love the photos from your walk, the tree trunk one is amazing! I managed to get a walk in this morning with hubby and the leaves are starting to turn here as well. I love the crunch they make when you walk on them! Make me feel like a kid again. :)

    I made chicken tortilla soup on Sunday for company and it tasted so good! I thought we would have enough leftovers to freeze but the adult children have all been here and they gobbled it up. I guess it's time to make some more.

    Enjoy your outdoor time!

    1. I've been wanting to make chicken tortilla soup for a few weeks now.

  3. I love chili simply for the fact that you can really use what you have on hand - glad it turned out for you!!

    Love the gorgeous fall picks! Oh, and I'd appreciate it if you picked me in your giveaway tonight - hee hee!

    1. I love that you can make chili with just about anything you have on hand too!

  4. Fall is my favorite season and cooking in the crockpot is one of my fav things to your recipes! I found you while looking for a mac and cheese recipe using laughing cow cheese, I am your new follower! Deb

  5. Beautiful pictures and such a great recipe! xx

  6. I'm so impressed you made this just by winging it. It sounds wonderful. I was just thinking that a chicken chili would be great this past week with the cool down we've been having where I live.

  7. Good idea blogging it to remember how you did it! Yes, I hate it when I don't remember how I did something and can't duplicate it, but thankfully I've changed my habits and almost always write down the recipe as soon as I've made it so I'll have it on record-lol. It does sound good! And you cracked me up with all the things you were out of but still managed to make a mean chili! that's so cool.


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