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 That’s how I originally made this recipe.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!
4.45 from 18 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. I have this in the crockpot now… I can’t hardly wait for dinner tonight! FYI – I added a tiny can of green chiles to the beans when I rinsed them since we like it spicy. Thanks for the EASY recipe!!

  2. Kayla Lanting says:

    I have got to try this! Looks so yummy – and would be perfect to take leftovers to lunch in the Crock Pot lunch warmer I’m hoping to win! 🙂

  3. Found this website a couple weeks ago via pinterest in an attempt to start cooking healthier and help my husband loose weight. I’ve used multiple recipes including this one which was DELICIOUS! He has lost 6 pounds in 2 weeks and is raving about all the dishes…Thanks!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      That’s wonderful! 🙂

  4. hi i just wanted to ask regarding the beans in this recipe
    i have uncooked black beans and pinto beans i would like to use, do i need to cook them first before putting into the slow cooker or just put them in uncooked?
    thanks very much
    Marie

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      You will need to cook them first.

  5. Devin MacDonald says:

    This was Delicious! We added some cumin and chili powder to it, served it over brown rice and topped it with some cilantro, greek yogurt and avocado! So Good! Thank you, this saves my family as I just started working full time and the slow cooker is my new best friend!

  6. Absolutely LOVE this recipe. I’ve made it a couple of times. I usually prep my food for the week on Sunday and this is in my rotation. Can’t wait to try another one of your many recipes 🙂

  7. One of the first recipes I tried off your site…results were amazing! I love it and in fact, believe or not, I just finished a bowl of that I reheated while reading you blog.:)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Is the 1 1/3 cups beans dry or already cooked? Can you tell me what weight of the dry to use? Thanks!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Heather – Those are pre cooked. I’m not sure how much that is for dry beans, sorry! There may be some conversion charts online that you can google though.

  9. This recipe looks great! I feel like everytime I make chicken in the crock pot, I am disappointed. The chicken just seems so blah and I don’t love the consistency of it. I might need a new crockpot. What size crockpot do you use for this recipe? Do you recommend a brand?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Marcy – I have Crock-Pot® brand slow cookers, but I also really like Hamilton Beach. Either one is a good choice depending on your budget. I have 4, 5 and 6 quart pots. I use the 4 quart most often. I believe I used the 5 quart for this recipe though.

  10. I would like to make this recipe but am a novice to home cooked beans. I was planning on soaking them overnight, but then what? Do I need to simmer them an hour before using them in this recipe or can I just toss them in?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tamrah – They definitely need to be cooked first. If you have a slow cooker (which I assume you do), that is the easiest way to cook them. Just put a cup or two of beans in the slow cooker and cover with water. Cook until soft on high. When they are done, drain them and prepare the recipe as shown.

  11. Is it okay that the corn is frozen? (It’s in there cooking as I type!)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alycia – It will probably be okay. You generally don’t want to use frozen food in a slow cooker because the food doesn’t get hot enough, fast enough. But if it’s just the corn, you will probably be okay. Just be sure to cook it well.

  12. Can I use fresh salsa

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Courtney – You could try it, but I’m not sure how it would hold up in a slow cooker.

  13. I can’t wait to try this! Sounds amazing!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melody – I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  14. I read somewhere that there are no canned tomatoes that don’t contain MSG in them. Not even organic ones. So, I’m wondering, instead of diced tomatoes in a can, could I just substitute it with fresh diced tomatoes? If so, would I need to add in any water or anything to make up for the juice that’s in the can?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole – If a can contains MSG, it has to list it in the ingredient list. But if you are nervous about it, yes, you could use fresh tomatoes. I wouldn’t worry too much about extra water though unless you feel it’s too dry somehow. You could add water at any time, so I would cook things first and see how it turns out. My guess is that it will still be okay without the water. Just a guess though…

  15. Hi Tiffany, I made this today and it is delicious! I especially love how easy it is, I didn’t even have to chop anything! I used a mild salsa from my local farmer’s market, but will use medium next time for more of a kick. I served it over quinoa topped with avocado, yumm!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Michelle – Fabulous!! So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  16. Can I use frozen chick for this or do I need to thaw the chicken out first?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole – I would thaw it first for food safety reasons.

  17. Opps chicken not chick.

  18. This was SO easy and wonderful! I made some brown rice to go with it. What an tasty, healthy dinner! Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sharon – My pleasure! So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  19. Made this tonight and the WHOLE fam loved it! Last night I made your Tex Mex Alfredo chicken pasta and we had the same fantastic results!! I’d say you’re 2-2 in my kitchen!! I’m just trying to get used to eating clean and you’re making it so much better!! Thanks a million!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lauren – My pleasure! 😀

  20. Making this at this moment. Already I can tell it’s going to taste good. I didn’t put the whole jar of salsas, just half.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Maria – Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  21. All I can say is WOW- I made this last night. First time using a slow cooker and have only REALLY been cooking since July 1st. I like to say I follow a clean-hybrid diet (that’s what I call it). I eat as clean as possible by cooking my own food and using as many fresh ingredients as possible. No store bought or take-out meals for me! This dish was an absolute delight. I used the Market Fresh Salsa (Hot) from Wal Mart which gave it a GREAT kick and is totally clean (or so it seems to this novice). All in all, a 10! So delicious even my fiance who is not a clean eater, couldn’t refuse it! Thank you so very much for making this process so much easier and for sharing recipes that are so simple and delicious!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Vanessa – My pleasure! So glad you both enjoyed it! 😀

  22. Love this! We’ve have about once a month now!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Brittany – Awesome! 🙂

  23. Stephanie says:

    I made this recipe and really enjoyed it! I added one seeded jalapeno pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. When it was ready I topped it with cilantro and avocado…it was a hit!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stephanie – Fantastic! 😀

  24. I have been making THIS recipe for about a year now and it is absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      NC – Wonderful! So glad you enjoy it! 😀

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