Home > Soups & Stews > Chicken Chili Chicken Chili September 26, 2020 | 279 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Easy Chicken Chili is assembled in minutes and slow cooked to perfection. Throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker and forget about it until dinner time! This chili is loaded with tender shredded chicken, a seasoned broth base, sweet corn and tender beans. Pair this creamy chicken chili with homemade dinner rolls and this easy Italian salad. Chicken Chili Several months ago, I threw a bridal shower for my (now-married) sister. We decided to do some soups, salads, a caramel apple bar and a few other desserts (these mini fruit tarts were definitely the favorite of the night!). One of the soups we served was Chicken Chili. My family is addicted to the chicken enchilada chili at Zupas® so I tried my best to recreate it for the shower. It was a massive hit! After the shower, there wasn’t a spoonful left so I had to re-make it for my boys. This time I made a few tweaks and everyone in the family agrees it is even better than the “famous” Zupas chili. It’s warm, comforting, creamy, and loaded with flavor. The toppings add a burst of freshness and great additional textures. Chicken Chili FAQs1What thickens Chicken Chili? To thicken this chicken chili, we use the following methods: Cream cheese: One of the main ways we thicken the chili is by stirring in a block of softened cream cheese. Cheese: We also add a small amount of grated cheese, such as cheddar, at the end of the cooking process. As the cheese melts, it helps to thicken the chili. Sour cream: In addition to adding creaminess, stirring in a small amount of sour cream also helps to thicken the chili. 2Can you eat chicken with Chili?Yes, chicken is a common ingredient in chili dishes. It can be added to the pot along with other ingredients such as beans, vegetables, and spices, and cooked until tender. Chicken can also be shredded and added to the chili after it has been cooked. 3What is the secret to making good Chili?There are many factors that can contribute to a good chili recipe. Here are a few tips to help you make the best chili possible: Use high-quality ingredients: Chili is a simple dish that relies on the flavors of its ingredients to shine. Be sure to use fresh, high-quality ingredients to get the best flavor. Don’t skimp on the spices: Chili is all about the spices! Be generous with your seasonings and don’t be afraid to experiment with different blends to find the flavor that you like best. Experiment with different types of beans: Chili is traditionally made with beans, but there are many different types to choose from. Try using a combination of different beans to add depth and complexity to your chili. 4How to make Chicken Chili? In a large slow cooker, add enchilada sauce, undrained tomatoes, undrained chili beans, drained and rinsed black beans, corn, and uncooked chicken breasts or thighs. Pour in chicken stock and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours until chicken shreds easily. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred in a separate bowl. Soften cream cheese and add to slow cooker, stirring well. Add shredded chicken back to slow cooker. Serve chili in bowls with desired toppings and enjoy! 5Can you freeze Chicken Chili?To freeze chicken chili: Let it cool to room temperature Transfer to an airtight container or plastic bag, leaving space for expansion Label the container with the date and contents Place in the freezer for 3-4 months To thaw frozen chicken chili: Transfer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight Alternatively, heat in a pot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thawed and heated through Or, thaw in the microwave using short bursts in a microwave-safe container Stir well after thawing to help it come back together Cream-based soups may separate or curdle when frozen and thawed. This can affect appearance, but not flavor or safety. To prevent curdling, heat the soup over low heat, stirring well, and add broth to thin if needed. Chicken Chili notes Spice levels: You can make this soup very mild or quite spicy, depending on the ingredients used. For a mild chili, use a mild enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso® brand) and a mild chili powder (such as McCormick®). Replace the tomatoes with diced green chiles with plain diced tomatoes. For a spicier chili, use medium or hot enchilada sauce and add additional spice with diced green chiles or 1-2 tablespoons diced jalapeños. Chicken: Originally, I made this recipe with chicken breasts and they work great in this chili. Lately, however, we’ve been using boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The meat is extremely tender, easier to shred, and more forgiving (meat doesn’t dry out) if the chili is cooked longer. Chili beans: You can find Chili beans near other beans in the grocery store. They are generally pinto beans in a mild chili-spiked sauce. If you can’t find chili beans (sometimes called ranch-style beans), I’d recommend using a can of pinto beans instead. Cream cheese: You need a little patience when melting the cream cheese into the soup. I recommend thoroughly softening the cream cheese in the microwave before adding it to the slow cooker, and then very briskly whisking it into the soup. Add the chicken after the cream cheese has melted into the soup so the chicken isn’t getting briskly whisked– which makes it a bit stringy. Toppings While Chicken Chili is great as is, the toppings truly seal the deal, delivering an unforgettable meal. Below are our “must-have” toppings. Sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese: We like to freshly grate the cheese right on top of each bowl and let it melt for a minute before stirring it throughout the chili. Sour cream: Fat-free or lite works great; you could even use a scoop of plain Greek yogurt. My personal favorite in this soup is lite sour cream. Fresh lime juice: A few squeezes of fresh lime heighten all the flavors in this soup and add a burst of brightness. Chips: Crushed corn chips (like Fritos®) or crushed tortilla chips (or strips) add a great crunch Fresh cilantro: If you’re a cilantro fan, you’ll love what this herb does to the soup. It adds freshness and a nice citrusy flavor. And if you’re in the anti-cilantro crowd, substitute a bit of chopped fresh parsley or oregano. Ripe avocado or guacamole: For an additional element of creaminess, we love a ripe avocado sliced on top. If I could only pick three toppings, they would be the cheese, sour cream, and lime juice. I highly recommend at least those 3 additions. QUICK TIP Have leftover chicken chili? Well then, add it to one of the following meals! Baked Potatoes: Add a few spoonfuls of leftover chili, some cheese, chives, sour cream, etc. to a baked potato. Navajo Tacos: Top fry bread with a few spoonfuls of leftover Chicken Chili and add some cheese and sour cream. Shepherd’s Pie (kind of!): Use leftover Chicken Chili as a base and top it with mashed potatoes. (Use the ratios and mashed potatoes from this shepherd’s pie recipe.) (Because of the dairy in this Chicken Chili, it is not a great candidate for freezing and thawing.) What to serve with Chicken Chili There are many delicious options for serving with chicken chili. Here are a few ideas: Cornbread: This cornbread recipe (or cornbread muffins) make a classic accompaniment to chili, and it’s easy to make from scratch or buy pre-made. Grilled cheese sandwiches: Grilled cheese sandwiches are a comforting and tasty option for dipping into your chili. Salad: A simple garden salad with a light vinaigrette dressing is a refreshing complement to the rich, hearty flavors of chili. Fruit: A quick winter fruit salad adds vibrancy and freshness to the meal. More popular soup recipes Crockpot Chili reader favorite recipe! 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This chili is loaded with tender shredded chicken, a seasoned broth base, sweet corn and tender beans. Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup Cuisine Mexican Keyword chicken chili Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 6 hours Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes Servings 6 servings Calories 215kcal Author Chelsea Lords Ingredients▢ 1 can (10 oz.) red enchilada sauce (See Note 1)▢ 1 can (14.5 oz.) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or diced tomatoes with green chiles)▢ 1 can (16 oz.) chili beans (pinto) in mild chili sauce▢ 1 can (15 oz.) black beans drained and rinsed▢ 1 and 1/2 cups frozen corn (or 1 can (15 oz; 432g) corn, drained)▢ 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs (See Note 2)▢ 1 cup chicken stock or chicken broth (for a thinner chili, use 2 cups)▢ 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese very softSeasonings▢ 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin▢ 3/4 teaspoon paprika▢ 1 teaspoon seasoned salt▢ 1/4 teaspoon pepper▢ 1 and 1/2 tablespoons chili powder▢ Toppings: sour cream (lite or fat-free), freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese, diced ripe avocado, fresh lime, and fresh cilantroUS - Metric USMetric InstructionsCROCKPOT: In a large slow cooker (I use a 6-quart Crockpot), add in the enchilada sauce, undrained tomatoes, undrained chili beans, drained and rinsed black beans, corn, and uncooked chicken breasts or thighs. (If using chicken breasts, cut each breast into 2-3 large pieces after removing the fat).CROCKPOT CONT.: Pour in the chicken stock and all of the seasonings (cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and chili powder). Stir well.COOK: Cover and cook on high for 3-5 hours (or until chicken shreds easily) or low for 5-8 hours (again, until chicken will shred easily)SHRED CHICKEN: Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred in another bowl, using two forks. Set aside.CREAM CHEESE: Meanwhile, soften the cream cheese (by microwaving for 30-45 seconds) and add to the crockpot. Stir well and cover. Change temperature to high. Let it sit until the chicken is shredded and then using a large whisk, briskly whisk the cream cheese to melt it into the soup.ADD CHICKEN: Add the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker. Stir and then taste for any additional salt/pepper needed. I like to add the juice of a lime here, too!SERVE: Ladle chili into bowls. Serve bowls topped with your favorite toppings. Our favorites are sour cream, freshly grated Cheddar cheese, diced avocado, a few lime wedges, and fresh cilantro as desired. I do think at the least, the cheese is a must-have topping. Video Recipe NotesNote 1: I've used Rosarita® brand, Old El Paso®, and Great Value® brand enchilada sauce (medium and mild, we prefer medium heat, but use what you like best). Old El Paso is our favorite brand to use in this Chicken Chili. Note 2: This recipe uses about 2-3 large chicken breasts or about 6-7 thighs. We love thighs in this recipe; the chicken ends up ultra tender! Nutrition FactsCalories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 584mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 640IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 2mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.