I absolutely love a hot bowl of chili on a cold night. For the longest time, “chili” to me meant ground beef, a can of tomatoes, a can of beans, and a packet of chili mix. Don’t get me wrong, I still love that simple chili for a quick and easy dinner! But after a while it can get a little old, and maybe a little boring.
So I’ve done quite a bit of experimenting with outside-the-chili-packet recipes. Some of my favorites include Cream Cheese Chicken Chili, Blake Eyed Pea & Sausage Chili, Taco Chili, and Creamy White Chicken Chili. And now this Crockpot Queso Chicken Chili will join them in the ranks of my favorite chili recipes! One immediate benefit is that it’s made in the slow cooker, and I absolutely love good recipes where the crockpot does all the work!
This recipe has TONS of flavor, and it’s easy to increase or decrease the spiciness to your tastes. We loved the consistency of this chili. It was pretty thick and not too soupy. Also, it’s chocked FULL of chicken, corn, beans, peppers, and more. You’re guaranteed to have lots of “goody” in every spoonful, and not just liquid. But what’s really surprising is that this is actually a healthy, low cal recipe! Each hearty serving is only 310 calories. You will love this cheesy, flavorful chili that really fills you up without packing on the pounds.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 cups salsa, divided (the spiciness of the salsa affects the spiciness of the dish, so use mild to hot depending on your tastes)
- 1½ cups water
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 bell peppers, minced
- 1 14 ounce can corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced, without ribs and seeds (you can leave this out if you don't want any spiciness)
- 1 14 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 ounces light cream cheese
- 6 ounces Pepper Jack cheese
- Optional: cilantro for garnish and corn tortilla chips for dipping
- Place the chicken breasts, 1½ cups salsa, water, cumin, chili powder and salt in the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours.
- Meanwhile, mince your peppers and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place the bell peppers, corn, and jalapeno in a large nonstick skillet over high heat without oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes WITHOUT stirring. Yes they will stick to the pan some, but that's ok! This creates the browned, roasted look out on the outside of the peppers. Stir once and repeat until the peppers are nice and browned.
- When the chicken is done, shred the meat using two forks, and return to the crockpot.
- Add the roasted peppers, roasted corn and jalapeño, black beans, remaining salsa, and cream cheese to the crockpot. Stir and replace lid, allowing the cream cheese to melt. If the consistency is too thick, you can add 1/2 c of water. (Mine didn't need the water).
- Let the chili simmer for another 15-30 minutes until everything is smooth and melted. Just before serving, stir in the Pepper Jack cheese.
- If desired, top with chopped cilantro and serve with tortilla chips for dipping.
If you're short on time, you can skip the step where you roast the bell peppers, corn, and jalapeno in a skillet. Roasting them really brings out their flavor and keeps them from getting as mushy in the crockpot. But if you just dumped them in without roasting, it would still turn out fine!
Source: Pinch of Yum