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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Crockpot White Bean and Chicken Chili

Baby, its cold outside! And I have got the best chili to warm you up on winter days like this! I don’t know about you but I love to make crockpot (slow cooker) meals when it’s this cold outside. Just the smell of something cooking warms the house up and makes your tummy grumble just thinking of how good it’s gonna be when supper time finally rolls around. And not only will this warm you up but it’s easy to make too! What more can you ask for when you’re busy doing other things, like snuggling up with your hunny (or a good book) in front of the fire.

I found this recipe a few years ago from Better Homes and Gardens magazine and since then, I have adapted it to making it in my crockpot. I’ve got to say, I find it much easier to make in the crockpot than over the stovetop just because you can start it, go run some errands or clean house, come back and spend another 10 minutes prepping it, then come back after about an hour, and dinner is on! Total time prepping for crockpot is about 10-15 minutes and cooks all day long while you’re busy at work.

Whereas, cooking it on the stovetop is continuous time in the kitchen, even though it’s quick to make, approximately 20 minutes total time over the stovetop. But who wants to do that when they get home from a cold, long day at work? Not me! I would rather just start dinner in the morning and come home to the smell of something cooking, throw in the remaining ingredients, and go take a long, hot shower to unwind and come back in the kitchen and serve up a bowl of chili!

Here’s my recipe for Crockpot White Bean and Chicken Chili to help you start your week.

Crockpot White Bean and Chicken Chili


2 – 32 ounce boxes Chicken broth (can use low-sodium also)

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts

3 - 15.5 ounce cans Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or white beans)

1 – 7 ounce can diced green chilies

8 ounces shredded Pepper Jack cheese or Monterey cheese (approximately 1 and ¾ cup)

2 – cups coarsely crushed Tortilla chips

Remaining tortilla chips (I like Daily Chef All-Natural Multi-Grain tortilla chips -available at Sam's Clubs)


Bring out crockpot or slow cooker and spray inside with olive oil. Wipe out excess oil with paper towel. This helps the chili from sticking to the sides, even though there will be some sticking.

Pour in one box of chicken broth and turn crockpot to Low setting.

Place unthawed chicken breast in crockpot.

Add beans.

Add ½ of the 7-ounce can of chilies, placing other ½ of chilies aside until one hour before dinnertime.

Let cook on Low temperature for about 5-6 hours. Enjoy your day at work or go run some errands as you’re good for the rest of the day until you return.

About 1 hour before dinnertime, remove chicken breasts and place onto a plate. Shredding meat with two forks as meat will be hot to the touch. Add shredded chicken back into broth.

Add other ½ of chilies.

Grate pepper jack cheese and stir in with shredded chicken, chilies, and broth.

Coarsely crush 2 cups of the tortilla chips. I find it easy to place tortilla chips in large mixing bowl and crush with bottom of a cup until I have 2 cups. Add crushed chips into crockpot, stirring throughout.

Turn crockpot temperature back to High setting and let cook for remaining hour.

5 minutes before serving dinner, preheat oven to 405F degrees.

Take remaining tortilla chips and place on cookie sheet, sprinkle with grated pepper jack cheese.

Place cookie sheet with tortilla chips and cheese in pre-heated oven until cheese melts, approximately 5 minutes, give or take.

Remove from oven and serve with chili. Enjoy!

Let me know what you think of my Crockpot White Bean and Chicken Chili, I’d love to hear from you!

Helpful tips:

* You'll notice I have two 32 ounce boxes of chicken broth in the ingredients listing. You might not even need the second box, but I usually just add the broth in as needed and sometimes I use more, sometimes less. Plus after it sits all night in the refrigerator, the chili tends to thicken up so I usually add more broth.

*If you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer and chicken is still frozen when you start making this and you’ll be home or able to return in 2 hours, you can place the frozen chicken in the crockpot and put the setting on High temperature for 2 hours. Then return and turn the setting back to Low. Then you’re good until about 1 hour before dinner.

*You can put beans in chili either in the morning with chicken breasts and broth or about one hour before serving dinner since they are already cooked, whichever you find easiest. I prefer mine to cook all day.

*You can prep remaining ingredients (grated cheese, crushed chips) the night beforehand or in the morning if you will be away all day, to help make it easier for you when you return back home.

*I add ½ of the chilies in beginning with chicken to help get their flavor. And since cooking all day will lessen some of their flavor, I add remaining chilies during last cooking hour. You can add all in beginning or all during the last hour if you choose.

*If you find chili too thick after adding crushed chips, you can add more broth. Chili will thicken up.

*If too watery, add more crushed chips.
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