Slow cooker salsa chicken is a light, fresh and delicious chili. Just dump the ingredients into your crockpot and come home to an easy dinner. Cream cheese and salsa come together to make a creamy mixture. This is a must have on hand for snow days or for watching your favorite football game.
Looks like we might get another snow day this weekend in our neck of the woods, which means time to make some slow cooker salsa chicken chili. If I’m going to be stuck in the house all day, I love to have something warm and delicious on hand.
For chicken chili, you don’t need bread or milk, which are the two things that won’t be available in any grocery in NC this weekend! Instead, pick up some chicken breasts and fresh salsa and give this recipe a try. While this isn’t technically a chili, more like a soup, the flavors are similar to what you’ll find in most chili recipes.
What keeps this from being just mush is adding some fresh vegetables that you’ve slightly softened in a skillet at the end along with more fresh salsa. It gives the chili some different textures. If you want to make this lighter you can leave out the cream cheese, but it’s only 4 ounces and I like the creaminess it adds.
Top with a little pepper-jack cheese and you’ve got a great dinner. Chicken Salsa Chili freezes well, so for me that means lunches for those wet or dreary days when you don’t want to leave the office.
The textures and flavor are wonderful and it couldn’t be easier. If on the other hand, you want to spend more time in the kitchen, try some Short Rib Chili. I love having both on hand in my freezer this time of year, that way if you’re watching the games this weekend, you don’t have to miss a single play.
Why you’ll love slow cooker salsa chicken
- This is truly a dump and go meal, ready for you when it’s done!
- Whether you call this a chili or a soup, it’s got so much flavor, you’ll want to make it over and over again.
- Using fresh salsa and a blend of cheeses gives it a fresh taste.
What you’ll need
- Chicken breasts – cooked with all the ingredients, then shredded
- Fresh salsa – this can be found in the refrigerator section. You can use canned salsa but it won’t be as good.
- Bell peppers – this is really delicious in the salsa
- Fresh/frozen corn – a nice flavor to the salsa
- Jalapeno – just the kick you need for your salsa
- Pepper Jack cheese – this is to top the chili and completely optional
- Cream cheese – this will provide a little creaminess
- Spices – cumin, chili powder, salt
- Pantry staples – olive oil, salt
How do you make crockpot chicken salsa chili
Chicken Salsa Chili may be the easiest soup/chili you make. It’s one of those slow cooker recipes that doesn’t require you to do anything at the start but dump in your ingredients.
Step 1: Add two chicken breasts to the slow cooker and top with half of the fresh salsa some water and seasonings. Cook for 6 hours on low.
Step 2: After 6 hours, shred the chicken with a fork and return it to the slow cooker.
Step 3: Sauté some green peppers, corn and a jalapeño to soften them a bit and add to the slow cooker.
Add the rest of the fresh salsa and a little cream cheese. Cook for 30 more minutes, top with pepper-jack cheese and serve.
Pro tip: You can use a jar of salsa in a pinch but it’s not quite as good as fresh. I made two back to back recipes to compare them and while both were good, the one with fresh salsa was better.
If you find yourself cooking with chicken a lot and want to know for sure that your chicken is cooked thoroughly, head to my informational page on ways to make sure your chicken is cooked all the way but still remains juicy and delicious.
FAQs and tips
Yes, you can be assured that the chicken will be thoroughly cooked by the time you serve this dish. The chicken should be cooked at the 4-6 hour mark on a low setting.
The chicken breasts will be surrounded by ingredients that help it keep moist as it cooks. The flavor from the salsa will seep into the chicken.
Yes, you can use a pound of chicken thighs. They should cook at least 6 hours on low.
Good news! You don’t need to do anything to the chicken while it cooks. The slow cooker keeps the temperature regulated and the liquids accumulated in the cooking make it so you don’t have to worry about them.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
Still in the mood for chili or soup, try some of these recipes
- Zesty chicken soup is great with pull-a-part bread
- Try a broth based soup mushrooms and sausage
- Chicken chili is a great choice if you are looking for a healthy option
- Try making some in an instant pot and serve it with skillet cornbread
- Make chicken orzo soup for some comfort food
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
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Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa
- 2 chicken breasts skinless, 1 lb
- 3 cups fresh salsa divided
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 bell peppers diced
- 2 cups fresh/frozen corn 2-3 ears
- 1 jalapeno seeds removed, diced
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 8 ounces pepper jack cheese 2 cups
- Slow Cooker
- Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Top with 1 ½ cups salsa, 1 ½ cups water, cumin, chili powder and salt. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. When done, use 2 forks to shred the chicken and return it to the slow cooker.
- Once the chicken is done, place olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add bell peppers and let cook without stirring for 2-3 minutes, turn and continue to cook until slightly softened. Remove and do the same with the corn and jalapeño. Add all to the slow cooker with remaining salsa, cream cheese and 1 cup of water. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes until the cheese has melted. Top with pepper jack cheese prior to serving.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- This is best with fresh salsa that can be found in the refrigerator section of the grocery. You can use salsa in a jar, but it is better with fresh.
- Slice up some avocados to go on top.
- Try serving with biscuits or cornbread.