This easy dump-and-go slow cooker chicken chili is made with just 6 simple pantry ingredients. You won’t believe how delicious easy can be! Also includes stovetop and Instant Pot instructions.

Brown bowl on a blue background filled with chicken and bean chili, topped with cheese, cilantro, and avocado.

About This Recipe

We are huge fans of slow cooker chili around here, especially when the chili is made in the slow cooker as a super easy dump-and-go style recipe.

And, chili is always a crowd pleaser recipe!

Since it can be made ahead with a mostly hands-off cook time chili is also perfect for busy weeknights, relaxed weekends at home, potlucks, parties, game day and more.

This slow cooker chicken chili recipe is made super simple with just six ingredients, and very little prep.

It leans on taco-inspired flavors, and uses salsa as a way to add depth of flavor without extra chopping.

Tip: If you’re looking a different type of chicken chili, I highly recommend this creamy slow cooker white chicken chili instead.

Overhead shot of chicken, beans, tomato sauce, and salsa in a slow cooker.

Recipe Notes and Adaptation Ideas

This is a taco-inspired chicken chili, and includes simple spices like earthy cumin and garlic to kick up the flavor factor.

Or, for a vegetarian option, check out this easy and flavorful slow cooker vegetarian chili.

Overhead shot of a slow cooker filled with chicken and bean chili.

How to Store or Freeze Leftover Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Homemade slow cooker chicken chili will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.

This recipe also freezes well, so store in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.

Tip: This recipe can be made ahead! Perfect for meal prep on busy weeks (or anytime you need to feed a crowd quickly & easily), just make ahead, store, and gently reheat when ready to serve.

Overhead shot of a ladle coming out of a slow cooker filled with chicken and bean chili.

Ingredients and Substitution Suggestions

Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts for boneless skinless chicken thighs work equally well in this recipe, so it really just depends on personal preference and what you have on hand.

Tomato sauce: Look for canned tomato sauce along with other tomato products in the canned section of your grocery store. Opt for a brand without added sugar to keep this recipe sugar-free.

Kidney beans: I like the earthy, almost meaty flavor and texture of kidney beans for this recipe, but chili beans, black beans, pinto beans, or white beans can also be used.

Chunky salsa: Look for a jarred, chunky salsa without any added sugar. Use mild for a mild chili, and spicy for more of a kick. I don’t recommend fresh salsa for this recipe, as the final result ends up on the watery side.

Cumin: Ground cumin adds an earthy flavor and makes this chili taste more like chili. I don’t recommend skipping it.

Granulated garlic: Granulated garlic adds flavor without any chopping, but feel free to substitute 2 cloves fresh minced garlic if you prefer.

Brown bowl on a blue background filled with chicken and bean chili, topped with cheese, cilantro, and avocado.

This Recipe Is…

Note: This recipe was originally titled 6-Ingredient Chicken Taco Chili. The title, post and photos have been updated to provide additional information, but the recipe remains the same.

Brown bowl on a blue background filled with chicken and bean chili, topped with cheese, cilantro, and avocado.
4.91 stars (21 ratings)

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (6-Ingredients!)

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or thighs
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed, (or chili, black, or pinto beans)
  • 1 15-oz jar chunky salsa, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Optional Toppings

Equipment

Instructions 

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Divide the jar of salsa in half.
  • Place the chicken, tomato sauce, beans, half the salsa, cumin, garlic and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring to combine. Refrigerate the remaining salsa to add at the end.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 6-8, or until the chicken is cooked through. Do not uncover during this time.
  • Uncover, remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks, or chop into bite sized pieces. Add back to the slow cooker.
  • Stir in the remaining salsa. Taste and add additional salt and hot sauce if desired. Serve with any toppings you like.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  • Place the chicken, beans, cumin, garlic and salt in a 6-quart pressure cooker, stirring to combine.
  • Pour over the salsa and the tomato sauce. Do not stir.
  • Cover and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes, then allow to naturally release.
  • Uncover, remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks, or chop into bite sized pieces. Add back to the pressure cooker.
  • Stir in the remaining salsa. Taste and add additional salt and hot sauce if desired. Serve with any toppings you like.

Stovetop Instructions

  • Place the chicken, tomato sauce, beans, half the salsa, cumin, garlic and salt in a large pot or Dutch oven, stirring to combine. Refrigerate the remaining salsa to add at the end.
  • Over, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 40-55 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Uncover, remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks, or chop into bite sized pieces. Add back to the pot.
  • Stir in the remaining salsa. Taste and add additional salt and hot sauce if desired. Serve with any toppings you like.

Notes

For ingredient substitutions see blog post above.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 6), Calories: 598kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 65g, Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 235mg, Sodium: 665mg, Potassium: 2603mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.2g, Vitamin A: 239IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 4mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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