Slow Cooker Green Chili Chicken
With a short list of simple, real food ingredients this slow cooker green chili chicken is an easy and flavorful meal prep protein or easy dinner idea. Plus, there are so many ways you can use this chicken, so you’ll never get bored with this ultra versatile and simple slow cooker recipe.
About this Slow Cooker Green Chili Chicken
As an expert in easy and quick healthy meals (especially dump and go slow cooker recipes), I know some finesse is needed to create delicious tasting slow cooker meals that taste fresh.
That’s why I developed this slow cooker green chili chicken recipe that’s incredibly flavorful, and tastes super fresh following my unique slow cooker technique.
The secret? Adding some flavorful ingredients after the chicken is done cooking.
Personally, I was blown away by how incredibly flavorful this crockpot green chili chicken was for how easy it is to make and how few ingredients it contains (similar to my slow cooker enchilada chicken and slow cooker cilantro lime chicken)!
This is a phenomenal protein meal prep recipe for those busy weeks when you want to have protein on hand that can be used in a variety of recipes.
You can make a large batch of this recipe at the beginning of the week and enjoy it for lunch or dinner throughout the week as a taco or burrito filling, in taco bowls, on salads, or in these green chili chicken enchiladas.
This recipe is also incredibly versatile!
You can use chicken breasts, thighs, or a combination of both; add more spice if you like (see tip below); and even leave out the cream cheese if you want (but I highly recommend leaving it in).
I hope you give this easy protein packed slow cooker recipe a try – it’s sure to become a family favorite as it has in my family!
Visual Guide: How to Make Slow Cooker Green Chili Chicken
Make sure to follow the recipe instructions for this chicken recipe, as I have included my unique method for making slow cooker recipes that don’t taste like slow cooker recipes.
The first step is to add the chicken, 3-ounces of salsa (about a quarter of the jar), and salt to a slow cooker, and stir till everything is coated.
Then, cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the crock pot and shred it with two forks or dice it into 1-inch cubes.
The next part is the key to making this dish taste fresh (and not like a slow cooker recipe).
Drain the cooking liquid from the slow cooker and turn it to low, then add the cream cheese, green chilis, and remaining salsa and whisk until it’s smooth.
Finally you’ll add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker and stir everything together to combine.
At this point it’s ready to use however you like.
Make it Gluten Free + Dairy Free
This recipe is naturally gluten free. For a dairy free version, replace the cream cheese with dairy free cream cheese or leave the cream cheese out altogether.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
Chicken breast: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, but you could also use chicken thighs in their place, or a mix of both. If you want to use frozen chicken, be sure to thaw it fully before adding to your slow cooker.
Tomatillo salsa: Sometimes called salsa verde, look for jarred green salsa in the salsa section or refrigerated section. You will need 12 ounces of salsa.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store. It has a subtler flavor. Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Cream cheese: Trust me, cream cheese is a key to this recipe. You can’t really taste it, but it adds a wonderful creaminess to this recipe. Use traditional or dairy-free, depending on your dietary preferences.
Diced green chilis: These are key to the recipe so do not skip! Use mild to keep the chili less spicy, or look for hot green chilis to kick up the heat. If you have access to freshly roasted hatch chilis, this recipe would be a great way to use them. If you don’t like green chilis, you can use more tomatillo salsa.
Tip: Make it Spicy!
This chili chicken is very mild, but if you want it spicier, use spicy green chilis and spicy green salsa verde.
This green chili crock pot chicken is incredibly versatile, so feel free to experiment with different toppings and serving suggestions.
It’s delicious as a simple filling for tacos or buritos– simply serve with warm corn or flour tortillas, plus any taco toppings you like (think sour cream, chopped onion, sliced jalapeno, 4-ingredient guacamole, and crumbled cotija cheese!).
If you’re not feeling tacos, the slow cooker green chili chicken is also lovely served over cooked white or brown rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice and topped with taco toppings.
Or for a super easy dinner recipe, use this shredded chicken as the filling for enchiladas.
Tips for Storing and Freezing Leftovers
Cooked chicken will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
This recipe also freezes well, simply store in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
This Recipe is…
More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes
Slow cooker cilantro lime chicken
Slow Cooker Green Chili Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 (12-oz) jar salsa verde (tomatillo salsa), divided, plus more for serving
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
To Add at the End
- ⅓ cup cream cheese, softened
- 2 (4-oz) cans diced green chilis
Optional Serving Suggestions
- Warm tortillas
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Finely diced white onion
- Add the chicken, 3-oz salsa (about ¼ of the jar), and salt to a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring to coat the chicken evenly in the salsa.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 5-6, or until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.
- Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board, then shred with two forks or dice into 1-inch cubes.
- Drain the cooking liquid from the slow cooker. Turn to low and add the remaining 9-oz salsa (the remaining ¾ of the jar), cream cheese, and green chilis, whisking until smooth.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker, stirring to combine.
- Serve as is, or tucked into warmed tortillas and served with toppings of your choice.
Made this in my instant pot and it turned out great! Had it as tacos last night and using it for rice bowls tonight!
Yay, so happy you enjoyed, Cheryl, and great to know it worked for you in the instant pot. How long did you cook it for? Thanks so much for leaving a review!
I just set it to the poultry setting, which is high pressure for 20 minutes, then I did a quick release, shredded the chicken, and drained the excess liquid. I then added the remaining salsa and cream cheese in the pot with the shredded chicken, gave it a stir and left on the warm setting for about 10 more minutes to get it all melty and delicious!
Fantastic, thanks so much for sharing those details, Cheryl, I’m sure others will appreciate it. Cheers!
My family enjoyed this! I have picky eaters so I didn’t think this would work for us but your genius method of adding the chilis and most of the salsa at the end was perfect because I could separate out a portion of chicken to keep plain for the kids. My husband thought it was great, added hot sauce to his, and I thought it was perfect spice level as is. We topped with cojita, cabbage, and cilantro. My older kid had a plain chicken and cabbage taco and my youngest dipped chicken pieces in ketchup with tortillas on the side. 😂
Robyn, I’m so happy to hear your whole family enjoyed this one — especially how each person adapted it to fit their tastes! Thanks so much for sharing and for leaving a review!