Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

It’s finally…FINALLY chili season! But as hard as it may be to believe, one can actually overdo it on ordinary ground beef chili stocked with beans and tomato paste. Don’t get me wrong, it’s DELICIOUS. But sometimes you have to “stir” things up a bit with a heaping ladle of (drumroll)…Adam Carolla Show-approved CHICKEN CHILI!!

This recipe contains no tomatoes like an ordinary chili would. It also contains no beans or corn (unless you want to make it “Dirty Keto” and mash / blend 14oz cannellini beans for texture and thickness. But if you’d rather be strict “no grain,” you really don’t need it!)

Meanwhile, this is commonly called “white chicken chili,” but when you use as much smoked paprika and cumin as I like to use – plus dark meat chicken thighs – the color becomes more of a “rustic sienna” at that point.

I used this wonderful recipe from Damn Delicious as a guide but gave it a few crucial tweaks to make it more #NSNG friendly.

Here we go!!


  • 2 lbs / 5 or 6 chicken thighs (boneless and skinless)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (Add more if you like It soupy, but less stock will make it more stew-like.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large zucchini, washed and quarter-sliced
  • 12 oz can of fire-roasted diced chiles
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced (This makes it nice and garlicky. Adjust to taste.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (use regular if you don’t have smoked)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges


  1. Turn on slow cooker and place raw chicken thighs at the bottom (slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours).
  2. Sprinkle all seasonings over chicken.
  3. Add fire-roasted chiles.
  4. Add quarter-sliced zucchini.
  5. Pour in chicken stock.
  6. Put lid on top and allow ingredients to warm.
  7. While slow cooker is warming, sauté onions in heavy bottom pan (about 10 minutes).
  8. Stir garlic in with onions until fragrant.
  9. Once onions and garlic are sautéd, add to slow cooker.
  10. (If you’re adding beans, use no more than 1 34oz can – either mashed or emersion-blended)
  11. Let contents cook (based on low or high setting).
  12. Once thighs are cooked, take out of pot and shred using two forks. Place now-shredded chicken back in pot.
  13. Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar, fresh cilantro and squeeze of fresh lime!


  1. Perfect for football Sundays. Threw it together in the morning and by early afternoon the aroma has the neighbors wandering over. I wouldn’t changed anything. Bought skin/bone on thighs on accident so just removed the skin at the beginning and removed the bones at the end. The meat was so tender didn’t bother taking it out to shred it just fell apart upon serving.

  2. I made Slow Cooker Chicken Chili after hearing it on Eat Your Feelings. It was super easy to make and turned out awesome! This is a great website, Gina!

  3. I made this Sunday for dinner. I had the leftovers tonight! It’s sooo delicious! The smoked paprika takes it to another level! I made it on the stovetop as I planned on being close to the stove. The recipe transfers well. I’m so happy I found this as my kids love chilli and I wasn’t sure what to sub for beans! Zucchini was smart. It doesn’t overpower the chili like other possible vegetables would. The thigh meat was a total flavor bomb and fat as well! Try it! You won’t be disappointed!

  4. Hey Gina – in step 12 you say “one 34 oz can” but earlier you say 14 oz can. Is there a typo somewhere?

  5. Hi I don’t have a slow cooker. Can I use a regular pot on the stove top?

  6. Hey G’baby, mine does not look like yours in your picture. How big were your Zucchini pieces (mine are 1/4 inch thick, quartered). And what type of beans did you use (and how many oz of them). Mine tastes ok, but yours looks way better 🙂

    • Awe I’m sorry to hear this but I’m sure it was great! That’s how I did my zucchini as well and I used about 8oz of cannelini beans – mashed! Lemme know if I can be of further assistance! xoxo, GG

  7. I’m going to try this but I’ve only got like two hours until dinner, so I will leave it on the pot all day tomorrow.

  8. Can you give a better description of the fire roasted Chile? I live in Australia and it can be hard to impossible to find. Here by that name you end up with sweet red peppers.
    Is there an alternative not from a can?

    • Oh wow that’s so interesting, Nathan! It’s really just a flavor choice in the canned chili department. If it’s hard to come by, don’t bother! The regular little cut up green chilis work just fine! xoxo, GG

  9. Super easy to prep, made my house smell awesome, tasted amazing.