Crockpot Chicken Chili is a recipe our family loves. It is flavored with bourbon (beer or chicken stock work, too!) and BBQ sauce and slow-cooked until the chicken breasts are fall-apart tender. This easy recipe requires no pre-cooking. Just put everything into your slow cooker and come home later to a chili that is smoky, a touch sweet, and totally delicious. You will LOVE it!

A spoon in a white bowl filled with crockpot chicken chili.

Crockpot chicken chili for the win!

Yes, I'm looking at you, set it and forget it best kitchen friend of mine ever. You win. Again.

  • A steaming tomato bean situation that's smoky, slightly sweet, and has a hint of bourbon.
  • Every bit as delicious as that sounds x 100
  • Zero cooking necessary. Put everything into your crockpot and turn it on. Super easy!
  • A guaranteed family loved dinner. Our daughter loves this recipe.
  • Magic happens when you cook chicken chili in your crockpot. The chicken breasts become super tender so you can pull them apart into small(ish) pieces that wind their way around the beans and corn and mix into everything rather than stand out all on their own. There's no being forced to pick around weird square chunks of dry chicken here.
  • It's all melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.

And if you want even more deliciousness (can you even handle it all?) whip up a batch of Cheesy Chili Zucchini Cornbread Muffins. You can thank me later.

READ MORE: Best BBQ Sauce for Chicken

All the ingredients for this chicken chili in a slow cooker.

Remember back when I had a thing against crockpots? What was up with that? And talk about flipping around a full 180 in opinion. I've seen the light, my friends. My mind has been opened.

There's also been a beam of light shone on chicken chili. I used to think that was weird, too. Seriously, what kind of food blogger am I anyway?

How to make chicken chili in a crockpot

Using your crockpot is the best way to make chicken chili. It's a great recipe because it's not only delicious, it's super easy to make, too.

  • Put nearly all the ingredients into your crockpot. Give it a taste and add a little honey if your tastebuds tell you that you'd like it sweeter.
  • Now put in 3 chicken breasts (or 6 chicken thighs, if you prefer), cover the pot, and set it for 6 hours on high or 10 hours on low. Easy.
  • When you're ready to eat, shred the chicken using 2 forks and stir the beans and corn into the chili.

This slow cooker recipe is so easy to make!

Slow cooker chicken chili in a crockpot.

Ingredients in crockpot chicken chili

  • Meat: We like chicken breasts, but chicken thighs work great, too. You could use ground chicken but it will change the texture completely so I don't recommend it.
  • Veggies: onion, carrot, and peppers are our favorite. You can add some diced celery if you have some on hand.
  • Tomatoes: Canned crushed tomatoes give the chili the best consistency. Diced tomatoes will work but they'll make the chili a little watery.
  • Flavors: BBQ sauce and bourbon; We love that combination. Instead of bourbon, you can use beer (nothing hoppy!) or chicken stock. Both options work great.
  • Spices: We like mild chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.
  • Beans: Red kidney beans are classic. Black beans are tasty, too.
  • Corn: Those sweet little nuggets shouldn't be missed!

How to use leftover chicken chili

All chili recipes are amazing as leftovers. We make extra so we can have the exact same dinner tomorrow. But if you want something new, turn your leftovers into Chili Stuffed Peppers.

Or make a version of these Taco Salad Fries, using the chili in place of the taco meat. ← this is so good!

Can you freeze crockpot chicken chili

Yes! This chili recipe freezes very well. Make sure that the chili has cooled to room temperature then package it and put it into your freezer. These large Stasher Bags are my favorite freezer bags!

A closeup of a bowl of crockpot chicken chili with cheese and sour cream on the top.

What to serve with slow cooker chicken chili for dinner

While chili is easily a one-pot kind of dinner that doesn't require anything other than a bowl and a spoon, sometimes it's nice to add a side dish. Our favorites are Cheesy Zucchini Cornbread Muffins and Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread. Both are easy recipes and go great with chicken chili.

Other favorite chili side dishes are:

Two bowls of crockpot chicken chili on a marble surface.

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Easy Chili Recipes:

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A spoon in a white bowl filled with crockpot chicken chili.

BBQ Crockpot Chicken Chili

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 hours
  • Total Time: 10 hours 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Slow cooker
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Crockpot Chicken Chili is a recipe our family loves. It is flavored with bourbon (beer or chicken stock work, too!) and BBQ sauce and slow-cooked until the chicken breasts are fall-apart tender. This easy recipe requires no pre-cooking. Just put everything into your slow cooker and come home later to a chili that is smoky, a touch sweet, and totally delicious. You will LOVE it!

✨ If you love this crockpot chicken chili recipe as much as we do, make sure to give it a 5-star review in the comments below!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (homemade for refined sugar-free)
  • ½ cup bourbon (can sub light beer or chicken stock)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon each: cumin, smoked paprika, and sea salt
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons honey (see notes)
  • 3 chicken breasts (can sub 6 chicken thighs)
  • 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Optional toppings: grated cheese, sour cream, and cilantro

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients EXCEPT the chicken breasts, kidney beans, corn and honey to your crockpot (this is the crock pot I have) and stir to mix well. Taste the chili and add the honey if you would like it to be sweeter.
  2. Nestle the chicken breasts on the top and set your crockpot to high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken from the crockpot. Add the corn and beans to the pot and stir. Shred the chicken using 2 forks then stir it back into the chili. Taste and season with sea salt then let the chili reheat for a few minutes before serving it. Serve topped with any or all of the toppings.

Notes

BBQ sauce can vary in sweetness. Taste the chili before adding the honey and only add it if you would like it to be sweeter.

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A spoon in a white bowl filled with crockpot chicken chili and the recipe title on top of the picture.