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 That’s how I originally made this recipe.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. I wasn’t looking for clean eating recipes, I just found this on my Ziplist recipes I get emailed to me, and thought it sounded good. It was delicious!! So easy to make, and easy ingredients. I will be making this on a regular basis from now on. So I guess I’ll be eating a more healthy diet by accident!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Suelin – Nothing wrong with that!! It’s not really about eating more healthy, it’s about eating real food. Which is by default, more healthy. 😉

  2. meghan fail says:

    I have been eating this all week for lunch. Yummo! I shared the recipe on Facebook too!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Meghan – I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I plan to make this just for myself and was thinking to half the recipe. How long would i cook it for?

  4. Quick question. I have a delicious taco chili recipe and I am trying to make it clean. The only thing I can’t figure out are the Mexican stewed tomatoes. Any suggestions?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Bekah – I’ve never heard of them. What’s in them?

  5. Gracious Pantry – They are just stewed tomatoes with Mexican seasonings I guess. They come in a can at the store. I am relatively new to clean eating so I don’t know if regular canned stewed tomatoes are clean or not. But the Mexican seasonings typically include jalapeno, onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, things like that. It just adds spice to the dish.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Bekah – If that is truly all that is in there, then it should be fine. The big problem I run into a lot is finding tomato products without citric acid. There is some evidence to suggest that it’s not just vitamin c these days. It’s something very processed that they call citric acid. I’m still researching this. But from what you say there, it sounds good!

  6. Lindsey @ DishingUpHope says:

    This was great! My hubs loved this recipe and it was super easy to make! Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lindsey – My pleasure! Glad you both enjoyed it! 🙂

  7. I apologize of this has been asked before, but is it possible to sub the can of diced tomatoes for a pound or so of freshly diced tomatoes?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Carolina – You could, but you may want to add a 1/2 cup or so of broth to make up for the missing juice. You could play that by ear though. Depends on how juicy the tomatoes are too.

  8. Delicious! I just ate it as a soup. Put 1/2 of it in the freezer so I can still enjoy it at a later time!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cristi – Fantastic! So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  9. Made this today and my family loved it.. Super easy.. we had it with rice, avocado and green salad.. Will def be a regular dish in our home.. THANK YOU!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Janet – My pleasure! 🙂

  10. Can I add 2 more chicken breasts to the recipe? Will that mess up the time?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jen – That depends largely on the size of your slow cooker. For the most part, it should be fine so long as your chicken isn’t frozen. But a quick stir test will tell you. If it’s done, the chicken will easily shred. If it gives you resistance, it’s not done yet.

  11. Nope, not frozen – I read all other messages and know not to do that! 🙂 Thanks for the response. I’ll post results later today so others know…

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jen – Great!

  12. Nettie Moore says:

    Looks wonderful! this is on the menu for this week! Nettie

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nettie – Great! Let me know how you like it!

  13. This recipe looks great! I am planning on making it tomorrow!
    Do you put the juice that comes with the tomatoes in too?
    Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ashley – I did, yes. Enjoy!

  14. In the crock pot now. My house smells awesome!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Janice – Wonderful! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  15. I make this all the time…only I use Rotel tomatoes with green chilies and I add Taco seasoning.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Katie – Sound yummy!

  16. I cut the recipe in half and cooked in the oven at 250 for a couple hours. Amazingly easy, good and good for you. This will be lunches for the upcoming week, but I couldn’t help sneaking a serving with some tortilla chips as a Sunday afternoon snack! Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Greta – My pleasure! Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  17. Making this tonight in my crockpot. Should I use the high or low setting? Looking forward to it. Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lynne – It’s in step 2. Cook on low for 5-7 hours. I hope you enjoy it!

  18. Can I cook on high if I don’t have 5 hrs?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Trish’s – Sure. I think it should be done in about 2-3 hours on high. But double check with a thermometer to be sure the chicken is fully cooked.

  19. Missed it, thanks! Smells good already!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lynne – Wonderful! Enjoy! 😀

  20. What seasonings do you add to this?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Shelly – I just used the salsa.

  21. Hi! Just have to tell what an awesome recipe this is! I found it on Pinterest a couple months ago and since then I have used it 6 times! It’s great even for church potlucks, book club, etc. A big hit with my picky husband too! I use a 4 qt crockpot and usually add a can of chili beans with sauce and a can of kidney beans as well and it all fits and tastes great! Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Samantha – That’s wonderful! Thank you so much for the feedback! I love this recipe as well. Great for just about any occasion! 🙂

  22. Esther Renée says:

    I made this using fresh organic pico de gallo salsa from Fresh Direct, and OH EMGEE was it amazing. Going to make this tomorrow and serve it over brown rice. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Esther – My pleasure! I’m so happy you enjoyed it! 😀

  23. It’s interesting to see and quite a compliment to you Tiffany that this recipe was posted two years ago and you are still receiving wonderful feedback. This recipe is what got me hooked on your site and I am making it right now as I type. I cook enough for the week as I am on my own and out of the house from 5am until 6pm, 6 days a week and it takes just a quick re-heat for a fast and wonderful dinner. This recipe is very versatile in that you can add whatever spices you fancy (hot peppers), it refrigerates well, takes minimal effort and is cheap to make.
    I’m not sure how you keep up with it but please continue the great work so we can have a resource for eating better.
    Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mike – Thank you very much! I’m so happy you like it! It’s definitely one of my most popular recipes. I may have to make it again myself here pretty soon! 😀

  24. Tiffany, we had this for dinner last night and all I can is amazing. I was hoping to have enough for leftovers this week but it was such a hit, it didn’t last. We are trying the chicken and dumplings tonight! Awesome recipes.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Marisa – Thanks so much! I’m so happy you enjoyed it! 😀

  25. Thanks for the recipe! We loved half of it and froze the other half to love next week. How do you reccomend reheating?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jackie – Awesome!! 😀 I would thaw it in the fridge (could take up to 2 days if you froze it in a big chunk) and then just warm it in a pot on the stove top. So glad you liked it!

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