Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Let’s face it, who wants to cook after all the work that goes into preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Even if you weren’t one of the culinary artists toiling away in the kitchen, you too may also be suffering from post-holiday food fatigue (no thanks to the L-Trytophan found in turkey). We still have to eat though so why not prepare something that’ll last, or even get better by the day and only takes 10 minutes hands-on time?

Queue the slow cooker. There are countless ways to use the slow cooker from a hearty-yet-healthy lentil soup to the more decadent french toast method. Chili’s are no stranger to the slow and low method but since I try not to consume too much red meat, I thought I’d give chicken chili a try. Of note, I used chicken thighs in this recipe to keep the cost low but if you wanted to go for an even leaner chili, stick to chicken breast.


Most importantly, this recipe passed the Tilly Taste Challenge. Okay, so maybe a dog isn’t the best judge of a meal’s flavor and complexity, but her hound nose can’t lie – it smells darn good! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Makes 6-8 servings | Hands-on time: 10 minutes | Total time: 5-7 hours


  • 1 15-oz can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbs cajun creole seasoning
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 heaping Tbs pickled jalapeños
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sauté onions and garlic in 1 Tbs olive oil until tender and translucent (about 5-7 minutes.)
  2. While they’re cooking rinse and drain your beans in a large colander and pull everything else out so it’s ready to go.
  3. Transfer onions and garlic to your slow cooker and add all other ingredients (be sure to use the liquid from your tomatoes), submerging chicken thighs completely.
  4. Cook on low for 5-7 hours, or until your chicken thighs pull apart easily with a couple of forks shredding in opposite directions.
  5. Adjust for seasoning and add extra salt, pepper, spices or heat as desired.
  6. Serve plain or top with a dollop of greek yogurt, sliced green onion, and your favorite hot sauce.