Living in South Alabama, we love our spicy flavors. This Southwestern Chicken Chili recipe has all the fixings of the perfect southern dish with some Mexican spice! This is comfort food, plain and simple. So, warm up the family tonight with this spicy dish that has unique flavors in every spoon!
And bonus! This is a gluten-free recipe. It uses cornmeal to thicken and that’s just perfect if you’re on a gluten free diet!
And, if you want to make this a vegan southwestern “chicken” chili you can just add mushrooms in place of the chicken. I’ve done this before when we were out of chicken and I had a craving–it’s divine.
If you’d like to discover some more fantastic fall soup recipes, be sure to check out these 38+ Soup Recipes from around the world. They’re all so unique and definitely tasty. Perfect for those cool fall evenings and cold winter nights.
How to Make this Tex Mex Chili Recipe in the Slow Cooker
In a 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, add garlic, onions and green pepper. If this needs a little something in the bottom because you’re afraid of it sticking, you can add a tablespoon of olive oil.
In large bowl, mix cornmeal, chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt. Add chicken; toss to coat. If you want to do this in a zipper bag to make it a little easier to toss, that’s fine–I like to use a bowl because it’s easier for me, but you do you!
Add chicken breasts and any remaining seasoning mixture to the bell pepper and other veggies in the slow cooker. Get a little smell in there–it’s one of the best, most flavorful-smelling recipes ever. I love it.
Gently stir in picante sauce, beans (pinto, please…not black beans, white beans, kidney beans, great northern beans or anything weird) and tomatoes. The amount of spice is totally up to you–if you want medium heat, buy medium heat salsa, if you want no spice, just use another can of diced tomatoes. You do you, again.
Cover; cook on Low setting 6 to 8 hours. And enjoy that smell. It’s heavenly.
When you’re ready to serve, if it seems a little thick, you can add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to get it to your liking. Serve with tortilla chips – garnish with sliced green onions and/or peppers if desired.
If you want to get really crazy, try adding a cup of frozen corn or a brick of cream cheese…you won’t be sorry. I also like to toss on a sliced jalapeno when I’m done, sometimes, because a little heat never hurt a body!
You can do the same in a dutch oven on the stove in about 30 minutes, but the honest truth is that it’s a million times tastier in the slow cooker because all the food has a better chance to soak up all the tasty flavors. So I recommend doing it that way.
Something else you can do is turn this into a meal-planned dump-and-go slow cooker meal. You can make the chicken ahead of time, place it in a freezer bag, then pop your chopped veggies on top. Then it all goes into the freezer. When it’s time to cook, just pour it all in the crock pot.
Then, when this is all cooked, you just partition it into your little individual servings and freeze it again until you’re ready to eat!
It reheats amazingly well and is a great lunch choice when you’re on the go and just want a spicy bit of yum.
The following ingredients are affiliate links on Amazon because they may be a bit hard to find in your normal store. I wanted you to be able to see exactly which things we are using.
Reminder, not all ingredients in the Southwestern Chicken Chili Recipe are linked above, just the ones that may be a bit difficult to find or that you might be unsure of what to look for.
And remember: you don’t have to use spicy salsa, you can make it non-spicy by cutting the salsa with some additional diced tomatoes. Win!
Must Have Resources:
When making Southwestern Chicken Chili at home, you really need to have the following Amazon affiliate tools on hand.
Make it a Meal:
Starch Side: Spicy Cheesey Kale Chips
Refreshing Drink: Candy Apple Mocktail
Don’t forget Dessert: Blueberry Crumble
Sometimes, on a busy weekend, I just toss together this tex mex chili, then leave the crock pot on the table with some tortilla chips and a few spoons. Whoever wants to have a bite can settle down with a bowl and spoon, or they can just dip a chip on their way past.
This works really well when the kids have some weekend activities and we’re running around. That way there’s a good, hearty meal on the table and anyone can belly-up and grab a bite.
Best Chili Recipes:
Once you make this Southwestern Chicken Chili Recipe, you’re going to want a million more chili recipes for those cool fall nights. Seriously, there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of chili or stew to keep you toasty warm when the wind howls through the trees. I love it! So here’s the best chili recipes you’ll find:
More Southwestern Chicken Recipes:
If you’re just here for the southwestern style chicken, I am here for it! It’s one of the best styles for fall. And tex-mex food is seriously one of my favorites. So, I pulled together my favorite southwest style chicken recipes just for you!
- 1 cup chopped onions, 2 medium
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 jar medium picante sauce
- 1 can pinto beans, undrained
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
- Sliced green onion, if desired
- Sliced chili peppers if desired
- Tortilla Chips
- In 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix onions, bell pepper and garlic.
- In large bowl, mix cornmeal, chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt. Add chicken; toss to coat. Add chicken and any remaining seasoning mixture to vegetables in slow cooker. Gently stir in picante sauce, beans and tomatoes.
- Cover; cook on Low setting 6 to 8 hours.
- Serve with tortilla chips - garnish with sliced green onions and/or peppers if desired
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 116mg Sodium: 799mg Carbohydrates: 26g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 6g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 29g