Southwest Chicken Crockpot Recipe

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This southwest chicken crockpot recipe is one of my most popular recipes of all time!

Southwest Chicken is a mouthwatering, wholesome meal of seasoned shredded chicken, black beans, corn, and tomatoes. This chicken dinner recipe cooks to perfection in your slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken served in a white bowl with a white towel laying behind the bowl.

Why Are Slow Cookers So Popular?

Slow cookers are one of human’s greatest inventions in my book. No other appliance is quite as low maintenance and no other appliance will cook your dinner for you without any concern at all. Don’t get me wrong, I have an Instant Pot too and I love it. But pressure cookers still make me a little nervous and I never like leaving it alone to cook. Plus, it cooks food so fast there’s no point in really leaving it anyway unless you are using the slow cooking function, which brings me back full circle to how amazing slow cookers are!

Now I will say that older crockpots are not always trustworthy. But the newer ones are pretty darn safe and I regularly leave the house for hours while it does my cooking for me. My slow cooker is my best friend in the kitchen and I don’t see that ever changing!

Somehow, over the years, I got it in my head that using a slow cooker was a cold weather affair. Probably because I usually make slow cooker soups and stews when I’m using it. But after many reader comments, I’ve decided to use my slow cooker this summer. Apparently, many of you use them year round and avoid that hot stove/oven thing during the hot summer months. This is very wise.

An overhead view looking down into a white bowl filled with Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken.

What You’ll Need:

2 lb. chicken breasts – You’ll want these to be boneless and skinless. You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer.

15 oz. can pinto beans  – Or you can use 1 ⅓ cup home cooked beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse them. If you want to use a different bean, a great substitute here are kidney beans.

15 oz. can black beans – Or you can use 1 ⅓ cup home cooked beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse them.

28 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes in juice – If you can only find plain diced tomatoes, that’s fine too. That’s how I originally made this recipe. But I have since switched to the fire roasted diced tomatoes because I like the flavor they impart. Either will work though.

1 lb. frozen corn – You can put this in thawed or frozen. While food safety rules will always tell you to never put frozen food in a slow cooker, I have personally found that, because everything else is raw, the corn being frozen doesn’t seem to make any impact at all. The choice is yours. Do what feels right.

12 oz. jar of your favorite salsa – Opt for salsa with no added sugar and pick one that you enjoy the flavor of. The salsa does a lot to flavor this recipe, so the more you like the salsa, the more you’ll like the finished dish.

A white crock filled with Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken.

How To Make Southwest Chicken

This is a super simple dish to throw together last minute before you leave the house.

The first layer in this Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken Recipe, the chicken, placed in the bottom of the crock.

Place the chicken breasts on the bottom of your slow cooker.

The salsa and diced tomatoes layered over the chicken in the crock.

Pour the tomatoes and salsa over that.

The beans layered over the sauce in the crock.

Layer on the beans.

The last layer of this Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken Recipe, the corn, layered over the top of everything in the crock.

And lastly, add the corn.

The lid placed on the slow cooker as it starts to cook this Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken Recipe.

Secure the lid on your slow cooker.

Shredding the Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken with an electric mixer.

Cook on low for 5-7 hours, or until the chicken easily falls apart when the pot is stirred. I used an electric mixer on the slowest setting to easily and quickly shred the chicken without crushing the beans.

The finished Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken served in a white crock. A white towel lays to the side of the bowl.

Serving Suggestions

Another way to enjoy this is to drain off a bit of the liquids and use it to fill tacos. It’s a small twist on the usual taco chicken you make in a slow cooker (see below). It’ll keep your taco night interesting without doing much of anything different. Although if you are using corn tortillas, the added corn may be a bit redundant. But I leave that up to you and your tortillas.

If you’re having a get-together, just set the crock on the warm setting (for up to 1 1/2 hours) and let folks help themselves. A big serving spoon will do the trick and everyone can enjoy it as they like it if you serve some small dishes of toppings like avocado or guacamole and sour cream (greek yogurt?) and even a little fresh, chopped cilantro if you like cilantro. (It’s amazing how many people out there think cilantro tastes like soap! Glad that hasn’t been my experience because I love it so much!!!)

I like to serve southwest chicken and beans over brown rice with a selection of yummy toppings. It’s a really versatile dish and the leftovers (if there are any!) are fabulous the next day.

So bust out that slow cooker this summer and enjoy a home cooked meal without ever heating up your kitchen. It’s the best of both worlds and everyone will be asking for second helpings!

Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken, just shredded and still sitting in the slow cooker.

More Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes

Easy Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken – This easy-to-make dish will cook itself, and is wonderful for filling tacos, burritos or adding to a taco salad!

Italian Stuffed Chicken Breasts – Delicious chicken that pairs well with pasta, rice or just veggies.

2 Ingredients Slow Cooker Taco Chicken – A quick and easy prep that makes plenty of filling for tacos!

Tools For Making This Crock Pot Recipe

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Southwest Chicken Crock Pot Recipe

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Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken served in a white bowl with a white towel laying behind the bowl.

Southwest Chicken Crockpot Recipe

Southwest Chicken is a mouthwatering wholesome meal of shredded chicken, black beans, corn, and tomatoes. This easy chicken dinner is easy to prep and cooks to perfection in your slow cooker!
4.5 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, SouthWestern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 10 cups (approximately)
Calories: 244kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 15 oz. can pinto beans (rinsed and drained, or 1 ⅓ cup home cooked beans)
  • 15 oz. can black beans (rinsed and drained, or 1 ⅓ cup home cooked beans)
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice (low sodium is best)
  • 1 lb. frozen and thawed organic corn
  • 12 oz. jar of your favorite salsa (no sugar added)

Instructions

  • Place the chicken breasts on the bottom of your slow cooker.
    The first layer in this Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken Recipe, the chicken, placed in the bottom of the crock.
  • Pour the tomatoes and salsa over that.
    The salsa and diced tomatoes layered over the chicken in the crock.
  • Layer on the beans.
    The beans layered over the sauce in the crock.
  • And finally, the corn.
    The last layer of this Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken Recipe, the corn, layered over the top of everything in the crock.
  • Cover securely with lid.
    The lid placed on the slow cooker as it starts to cook this Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken Recipe.
  • Set to low temp. Cook on low for 5-7 hours, or until the chicken easily falls apart when the pot is stirred.
    A slow cooker set to it's low setting.
  • When done, shred the chicken simply by stirring everything. If that doesn't do an effective job for you, use either forks, or an electric mixer set to it's lowest speed so as not to crush the beans.
    Shredding the Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken with an electric mixer.
  • Serve on its own, with corn chips, over rice, or even as a burrito filling.
    The finished Slow Cooker Southwestern Chicken served in a white crock. A white towel lays to the side of the bowl.

Notes

Please note that the data below is a ballpark figure. Exact nutrition data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 736mg | Potassium: 929mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 3mg

This post from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 4/23/12.

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228 Comments

  1. Hello, I’m so excited to try this! I just have 2 questions.

    1. Any salsa brand suggestions??
    2. How do you think rotel would work out instead of tomatoes?

    Thanks!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tracey – I’ve never used Rotel, so I don’t know if it’s clean. You would have to read the ingredients. And whatever salsa you enjoy most will work great. I use the Salsa Authentica from Trader Joe’s.

  2. Hi, we are trying this recipe soon was just wondering if you serve it with anything?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Noelle – I served it with a green salad and some dinner rolls. But it’s pretty versatile!

  3. That sounds absolutely delicious! Just an FYI, if you are trying to avoid GMO’s, organic doesn’t mean it is non-GMO. Organic is without the use of pesticides and such.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alycia – I’m aware that a GMO seed can be grown “organically”. But last time I looked into this, the pesticides they “insert” in the seeds fall under the list of pesticides that must be avoided to be labeled organic. I’m sure these seed companies are working hard to change that though, so it could very well have changed while I wasn’t looking.

  4. WOW! This was delicious! I just got a Crock Pot for Christmas and your recipe was the first one I tried tonight! Such an easy and delicious meal…I loved that you could literally throw the ingredients in and put the lid on! Wonderful leftovers for the week! Will be following other recipes of yours!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nikki – I’m so happy you enjoyed it! 😀

  5. oh i am going to try this , thanks so much for replying so fast to me when the link i first got i could not open . I love your site . Good job ! Will be returning soon to look at more ! Have a blessed day .

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Brenda – Great! Let me know how you like it! 🙂

  6. Any idea how many calories are in a serving?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cindy – Sorry, I can no longer offer nutrition data. However, MyFitnessPal.com has a fabulous calculator that imports the entire recipe with just the URL. Works great!

  7. Hi all,

    I was incredibly disappointed with this recipe. After reading the rave reviews I can’t help but ask if I did something wrong. Mine was so incredibly bland we put tons of cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and it was still bland. Ended up needed to dump hot sauce all over it so that it was edible. I think where we went wrong was the type of salsa I selected (trader joes fire roasted salsa) did any of you choose a spicier salsa?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Molly – Something definitely went wrong there. Not sure what it is though. I used a medium salsa on this, but I don’t think that would make the difference. Did you substitute anything else at all?

  8. I have found multiple great recipes on your site but this is by far the household favorite. Even my super picky 5 year old loves this one! I either serve it straight up or over brown rice and they love it!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Dana – That’s wonderful! I’m so happy you all enjoy it! It’s a definitely favorite around here too. 🙂

  9. I’m not a great cook and so far every recipe has gone wrong but this turned out amazing! The only thing I changed was I only put half a jar of salsa and a can of rotel instead of tomatoes and it was perfect. I put it on top of lettuce, use it as a dip and put it on top of rice. So good!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole Z – That’s wonderful!!! 😀

  10. Do you know if I can double the recipe? I want to make this for 8 people, and am afraid that even served over rice, it won’t be enough? (plus I’ve made it before and certainly wouldn’t mind having left-overs!!)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jen – Definitely! As long as your slow cooker is big enough to handle it. 🙂

  11. This recipe is my go to and so delicious! I was wondering what the calorie count and nutrition facts were? Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Desiree – I’m not sure. But if you use MyFitnessPal.com, they have a really easy calculator to use and it’s all free.

  12. I added a pinch of cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper and coriander to the chicken. I also added sliced green and red bell peppers during the last hour so they would hold their texture. Served it on a corn tortilla with light sour cream and a squeeze of fresh lime…so delicious!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jen – Great!! I’m happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

  13. Jennifer Neu says:

    Hi this is delicious! I was wondering if you have an approximate calorie count per serving on this meal though. It could become a new staple in my household!! 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jennifer – I’m sorry, I no longer offer that information because I couldn’t get accurate numbers, which became a liability. That being said, there are lots of recipe calculators online. The easiest one to use that I’ve found so far is MyFitnessPal.com. It imports the recipe for you with the recipe url.

  14. Christine says:

    How many weight watcher points is this?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Christine – They changed how points are figured, so I no longer know. Sorry. But you can plug the recipe into a nutrition calculator online. MyFitnessPal.com makes it super easy to import recipes.

  15. Great recipe Made It Love it, Healthy Meal. Family really enjoys it, Quick Easy Meal

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tarra – Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it! 😀

  16. Hi! We’ve made this many times in the crock pot. We loooove it. I just got a pressure cooker for Christmas. Can this recipe be made in a pressure cooker?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ashley – I just got one myself for Christmas! I don’t know, but I would assume so. If you got the Instant Pot, it has a slow cooker setting too. But if it’s a regular pressure cooker, I’m not really sure. I would imagine you could, I just have no idea how it would be done. I still have to pull mine out of the box! Sorry I couldn’t be more help…

      1. Have you tried this in your InstaPot yet? Love to hear how it turned out

        1. The Gracious Pantry says:

          Leslie – No, I haven’t had a chance to. But I might once the weather gets cool enough to enjoy this one! When I do, I’ll update the recipe with the IP instructions. 🙂

  17. Anyone know how many calories in a serving

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Emily – You would have to enter the recipe into a recipe calculator. My Fitness Pal makes it super easy.

  18. Beetlegrl says:

    This was delicious! Would you have any caloric/nutritional information for this recipe.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Beetlegrl – Glad you enjoyed it! Sorry, no, I don’t offer that information. But there are lots of free recipe nutrition calculators online. I often use MyFitnessPal.com.

  19. I have always used frozen chicken breasts for my crockpot meals. Was wondering if this would work. I go to work and leave it for 8 hours. It has always been cooked. I don’t think my physician husband would let me cook like this if he thought it would be harmful. Now eating raw cookie dough he gets on me!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amy – It’s a risk you take every time you do it, but it’s up to you. If 8 hours doesn’t usually dry out your chicken, then it must work okay in your crock. Maybe try it on the weekend the first time so you can keep an eye on it. Personally, I’ve never cooked it that long. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work in some slow cookers.

  20. Bethany M says:

    Maybe a dumb question… is 8 oz chicken the size of each chicken breast or the amount of chicken you used total? I’m worried i put too little or too much. I did 1.5-2 pounds of chicken total.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Bethany – Each breast should be approximately 8 oz. 🙂

  21. How many servings is this recipe

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Katie – Approximately 10.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cait – Yep!! But I wouldn’t freeze for more than 4 months.

  22. Leigh-Ellen says:

    Is the serving size one cup?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Leigh-Ellen – Approximately, yes.

  23. Nicolette says:

    Can you cook this on a higher heat to speed up the time?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicolette – I believe so. There are time conversion charts online if you google them. Pretty sure it would work here. The main thing is to be sure the chicken is fully cooked.

  24. 5 stars
    My family LOVES this dish. I have been making it since the original recipe first came out. We like it when I substitute Rotel tomatoes with chilis. It gives it an extra zing! Great recipe! Thanks so much!

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