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!
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 that 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.
About Southwest Chicken Ingredients
Chicken breasts – You’ll want these to be boneless and skinless. You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer.
Pinto beans – Or you can use 1 ⅓ cup of home-cooked beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse them. If you want to use a different bean, a great substitute here is kidney beans.
Black beans – Or you can use 1 ⅓ cup of home-cooked beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse them.
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 That’s how I originally made this recipe.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.
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.
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.
How To Make Southwest Chicken
This is a super simple dish to throw together last minute before you leave the house.
Place the chicken breasts on the bottom of your slow cooker.
Pour the tomatoes and salsa over that.
Layer on the beans.
And lastly, add the corn.
Secure the lid on your slow cooker.
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.
Another way to enjoy this is to drain off a bit of the liquid 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 a second helping!
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
Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A 6-Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker with Digital Timer, Stainless Steel
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Southwest Chicken Crock Pot Recipe Card + Video
Southwest Chicken Crockpot Recipe
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- 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)
- Place the chicken breasts on the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Pour the tomatoes and salsa over that.
- Layer on the beans.
- And finally, the corn.
- Cover securely with lid.
- Set to low temp. Cook on low for 5-7 hours, or until the chicken easily falls apart when the pot is stirred.
- 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.
- Serve on its own, with corn chips, over rice, or even as a burrito filling.
This post from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 4/23/12.
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?
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.
Hi, we are trying this recipe soon was just wondering if you serve it with anything?
Noelle – I served it with a green salad and some dinner rolls. But it’s pretty versatile!
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.
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.
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!
Nikki – I’m so happy you enjoyed it! 😀
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 .
Brenda – Great! Let me know how you like it! 🙂
Any idea how many calories are in a serving?
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!
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?
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?
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!
Dana – That’s wonderful! I’m so happy you all enjoy it! It’s a definitely favorite around here too. 🙂
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!
Nicole Z – That’s wonderful!!! 😀
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!!)
Jen – Definitely! As long as your slow cooker is big enough to handle it. 🙂
This recipe is my go to and so delicious! I was wondering what the calorie count and nutrition facts were? Thanks!
Desiree – I’m not sure. But if you use MyFitnessPal.com, they have a really easy calculator to use and it’s all free.
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!
Jen – Great!! I’m happy you enjoyed it! 🙂
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!! 🙂
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.
How many weight watcher points is this?
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.
Great recipe Made It Love it, Healthy Meal. Family really enjoys it, Quick Easy Meal
Tarra – Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it! 😀
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?
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…
Have you tried this in your InstaPot yet? Love to hear how it turned out
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. 🙂
Anyone know how many calories in a serving
Emily – You would have to enter the recipe into a recipe calculator. My Fitness Pal makes it super easy.
This was delicious! Would you have any caloric/nutritional information for this recipe.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Bethany – Each breast should be approximately 8 oz. 🙂
How many servings is this recipe
Katie – Approximately 10.
Does this freeze well?
Cait – Yep!! But I wouldn’t freeze for more than 4 months.
Is the serving size one cup?
Leigh-Ellen – Approximately, yes.
Can you cook this on a higher heat to speed up the time?
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.
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!
Denise – Thank you!! Chilis sounds like a great addition! 😀