Slow Cooker Tortilla Chicken Stew Recipe

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This slow cooker tortilla chicken stew cooks all day while you work!

I’ve heard from many teachers who remind me that the kids aren’t the only ones going back to school. With lesson plans to create, tests and papers to grade and all those million other things that teachers do for their school kids, let alone their own families, these amazing people run short of time just like any other parent.

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Tortilla Chicken Stew Recipe

Their commitment to their work and educating our kids is nothing short of admirable, and since this month is all about going back to school, this week’s recipes are all about teachers who just want a nice warm meal to be ready when you get home. These might be good for a few of you other busy folks out there as well.

This stew is quick and easy to toss together. You can do it the night before and simply store in the fridge in your slow cooker’s removable dish. Then when you leave in the morning, just put the insert in the slow cooker and head out the door! Dinner will be waiting when you arrive home with all those stacks of papers to grade.

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Slow Cooker Tortilla Chicken Stew Recipe Card

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Clean Eating Slow Cooker Tortilla Chicken Stew Recipe

Slow Cooker Tortilla Chicken Stew Recipe

This delicious stew is a classic and one of the most popular recipes here on The Gracious Pantry. Pull out your slow cooker because you’re in for a delicious meal!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 7 servings, approximate
Calories: 231kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • Slow Cooker (5 ½ quarts or larger)


  • 1 ½ lb. raw chicken breasts
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar your favorite clean salsa (I used Salsa Authentica from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 lb. frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 lb. frozen, mixed bell peppers (also found at Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 standard-sized clean corn tortillas, ripped or shredded by hand
  • olives and plain yogurt for garnish (optional)


  • Place the chicken in the bottom of the pot, and pour everything else over it. (Cover and store in the fridge overnight if needed)
  • Place pot/insert in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  • Note that the tortillas will not look very pretty after cooking. But they do add a nice flavor.
  • When cooking is finished, simply use a wooden spoon to stir everything up and break apart the chicken.
  • Serve garnished with some sliced, black olives and/or a dab of plain yogurt.


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


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 796mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2460IU | Vitamin C: 88.4mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1.3mg

This recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally published 8/30/13.

Clean Eating Slow Cooker Tortilla Chicken Stew Recipe For Dinner
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  1. Luv What You Do says:

    Oh you are speaking my language with this recipe! YUM!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      LWYD – Hope you enjoy it!

  2. I just got my first slow cooker and I am so excited to try out your recipes! What size slow cooker do you use for the recipes? Mine is a 3 quart. Im wondering if I should use half of what this calls for? Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sarah – You should be okay with a 3 quart. You may have to adjust cooking times a bit, but as long as the food fits, it should be fine. I have a range of sizes from 1.5 qt up to 6 quarts. But typically, I use a 4 or 5 quart cooker. Just check the food at the end of the cooking time to ensure that it is fully cooked.

  3. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

    This is perfect for the fall ahead! I love a nice slow cooker stew!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jocelyn – Me too!

  4. Can u use fresh peppers for this

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melissa – Sure!

  5. This was amazing! I walked in the door from work yesterday and couldn’t wait to have dinner, it smelled awesome. The only thing I did different was, I added a can of black beans. This is a new family favorite! Thanks very much for all your great recipes.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

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

  6. Angela Mathers says:

    This sounds perfect for the upcoming winter! I love tortilla soup and chicken, so I definitely have high expectations for this recipe. Thanks for sharing- your blog is great!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Angela – Thanks! Hope you enjoy it!

  7. Can I use black/pinto beans instead of corn? Also, probably not clean but can I use tortilla chips instead?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cassie – Sure!

  8. What do you think about freezing this recipe? I’m thinking I’d have to leave the tortillas out??

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Krista – Yes, I would leave out the tortillas. But it should freeze pretty well without them.

  9. I plan trying this sometime this week. One quick question…do I need to add any water in with the chicken or anything? Just want to make sure it doesn’t burn. 😉

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stacy – Nope! No water. A slow cooker is a very moist environment. What you need is an acid to tenderize meat, not liquid. (unless you’re making soups)

  10. Delish! Didn’t ave tortillas on hand and added a can of black beans. Making it again tonight for this week:). Serves two a few nights dinner.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Crystal – Fantastic! So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  11. Tasha Nielsen says:

    Would it be okay to store this all put together for a day and a half in the fridge then cook it?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tasha – I don’t see why not. You may want to wait on adding the tortillas till you’re ready to cook it. But aside from that, it should work just fine.

  12. Is It PossiblE To Cook This Faster On a Higher TEmpature? Even If The Chicken Is Raw? This Is My First Time CoOking Chicken In A Crook POt

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tasha – I don’t recommend it.

  13. Tasha Nielsen says:

    I made this last night and it turned out amazing!! Thank you for making clean eating easier!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tasha – My pleasure! 🙂

  14. Hello-

    This looks lovely. I do have a concern, though, also a question. I notice that some items in your recipes are organic, while others are not. This recipe includes two items that I personally would not buy non-organic (bell peppers and corn). Corn especially, since it is almost always a GMO if not organic. My question to you is, as a clean eater, how do you determine which products you choose to buy organic? I know some items are harder to find that others, especially those who live in rural areas. Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jessica – I always try to buy the “dirty dozen” in organics, and I always buy items that are likely to have gmo’s in organics. I don’t always specify to purchase organic because I believe that’s a personal choice. I supply the recipes, but how you purchase your ingredients is up to you. As for the bell peppers, are they likely to be gmo’s? I heard about zucchini, but I haven’t heard anything about bell peppers…

  15. Thanks for this recipe!! I just made this yesterday and it turned out great. I doubled the recipe and cooked it on high for 4.5 hours. I also tasted it after two hours and ended up adding a BUNCH of spices to flavor it to our liking. The chicken didn’t readily fall apart with a spoon when it was all done, so I pulled it out and shredded it quickly with a fork, then stirred it back in. The spices were from a recipe for regular beef and bean chili, so that definitely altered the taste but it’s what we like. If anyone is interested, here is what I added (keep in mind this is for double the recipe): 2T cumin (we love it!), 2t oregano, 3 bay leaves, 1T Italian seasoning (could have cut this in half I think), 2t chili powder, 1T garlic powder, 1t cayenne pepper (we like a little kick), 1/2t ground thyme, 1t paprika, 2t cilantro and 2t basil.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Julie – sounds delicious! 🙂

  16. If I am going to put all the ingredients together and then freeze it before cooking it would you recommend cooking the chicken first, as it will not be in the bottom of the crock pot most likely. Such a good looking dish! Can’t wait to try it out!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stacey – I don’t recommend putting frozen food in a slow cooker. But what you can do is thaw it the day before and then put it in the slow cooker. Also, I wouldn’t freeze the tortillas at all. Add those in when you put them in the slow cooker.

  17. My power outlet was out and I thought it was cooking this entire time since 11 am. It’s now 4. It’s been sitting out for 5 hours. Is it still good and if so can I cook on high for half the time?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Veronica – No, I wouldn’t take the chance. That could really make you sick. Sorry. 🙁

  18. Could I cook this on high for half of the time?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Veronica – I don’t recommend it. The time can be shortened, but not by half. You would be better off just cooking it in a pot on the stovetop if you need it done a lot sooner.

  19. Thank you for this recipe. I made it tonight and with the exception of adding black beans I followed your recipe. It was delicious. My picky eater ate it as well.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Roxanne – That’s awesome! I’m glad you both enjoyed it! 🙂

  20. Made this last night for the first time. It was DELICIOUS. I got everything in the crock pot later than I had intended, so I cooked it on high for about 6 hours and everything cooked perfectly. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’ll definitely be making this again!!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Diane – I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  21. I don’t have a slow cooker but desperately want to try this! Could I cook it in the oven or on the stove instead?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Maddie – I would do it on the stove top. I’m not sure what the cooking time would be, but just make sure the chicken is fully cooked and you should be okay.

  22. I’m doing a clean eating prep party for a girls group I have. We’d like to have this stew be one of our make ahead meals that they can put in a gallon ziplock and make later in the week. How would you recommend doing this? Just keep the chicken separate? Thanks!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lindsey – Are you hoping to freeze it? Either way, combine everything except the tortillas and the garnishes.

  23. I’ve been on a Mexican kick this week and yesterday was a cold and rainy day in Maryland so since I had everything to make this I did. I made it as the recipe is but added a can of drained and rinsed black beans, I used fresh peppers not frozen, added 1/2 a chopped onion and added chili powder, garlic powder and cilantro to it. I cooked it on high for 6 hours and it turned out AMAZING! We topped it with fresh homemade guac & fage greek yogurt! Another great recipe from your blog!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Chelsea – Wow! Sounds wonderful! Thanks for letting me know! 😀

  24. I made this the other day, and made one little tweak to make it chili style. I made up a taco seasoning mix and put the chicken in a ziplock with the mix for 4 hours before I put it in the slow cooker, what a difference! The favors were intense and awesome. Thanks again for a great recipe!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cynthia – Fantastic!! Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  25. I skipped the slow cooker and made this in my cast iron Dutch oven. Just diced the chicken and browned it first. Threw everything else in and put it on low for 45 minutes and it turned out awesome!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Doug – That’s really great to know! Thanks so much, I’m so happy you enjoyed it! 😀

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