With only 4 ingredients and a few spices, this slow cooker chicken stew is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. Every serving is packed with 36 grams of protein and 10 grams of filling fiber. And with its big yield, you can feed a small army or have meal prep taken care of for the whole week.
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew Ingredients
This recipe is super easy to put together and very customizable. Here’s what you’ll need:
- boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- white kidney beans or pinto beans
- salsa verde
- corn tortillas
- ground cumin, ground coriander, and dried oregano
Chicken Thighs vs Chicken Breast
The tiny bit of extra fat in chicken thighs make them ideal for a minimal recipe like this. They’re also nearly impossible to over cook.
If you use chicken breast, you’ll want to check periodically and pull the chicken out as soon as it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Otherwise, the chicken can become tough and dry.
If you’ve made my white bean ground chicken soup, you’re familiar with this technique. The corn tortillas will break down in the slow cooker and act as a thickener for your stew. They also add great flavor.
I used Central Market Hatch chile salsa verde, but any salsa verde will work. You can also make your own with tomatillos, jalapeño, onion, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice.
Or for a unique spin with a nutrition boost, check out my zucchini salsa.
Another optional verde ingredient that adds a health boost might be spinach. My taco chili calls for 1-2 cups of frozen spinach, and you’ll barely know it’s there.
The chicken will render a good amount of water during cooking. Take my slow cooker bbq chicken thighs, for example, which cook with nothing other than a seasoning blend.
That water, along with the liquid from the beans and salsa verde, is the perfect amount of liquid for me. If you wanted more broth, however, you could easily add a cup or two of broth to the slow cooker.
How Long to Cook Chicken Stew in a Slow Cooker
Two to three pounds of chicken should be fully cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF after 5-6 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high.
Like I mentioned above, chicken thighs are very forgiving. Chicken breast, on the other hand, needs a close eye to avoid over cooking. If you have a wireless thermometer like the Meater I used in my smoked pot roast recipe, you can use that to set an internal temperature alarm. That way you can pull the chicken at the perfect time.
Diced vs Shredded Chicken
It’s totally up to you. Since I already have my pressure cooker chicken tortilla soup and creamy chicken taco soup recipes with shredded chicken, I went with diced here. Dicing also matches the size and shape of the white kidney beans.
Optional: Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken Stew
I wanted to leave this chicken stew as-is. My wife wanted to add cream cheese. So we compromised by adding cream cheese. I think she was right.
I used the same Kite Hill dairy free cream cheese I used for my creamy buffalo ground chicken chili. Fat free Greek yogurt like in my high protein creamy taco soup would also be a great addition for added creaminess.
Serving Your Slow Cooker Stew
The recipe card below calls for topping with cilantro, avocado, jalapeño, and salsa macha.
If you’re unfamiliar with salsa macha, it’s Mexican chili oil made with dried peppers and toasted nuts. It’s perfect for tacos, stews and soups, or just about anything. You can buy it online or make homemade salsa macha.
Tortilla chips are also a no-brainer for this slow cooked chicken stew. If you wanted to keep the fat under control, you could make my baked tortilla chips with extra thin corn tortillas.
However you decide to serve your salsa verde chicken stew, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the recipe. Reviews are always appreciated. And if you have a question about the recipe or an ingredient substitution I forgot to cover, drop a comment at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
- 2 1/2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 3 cans (15 oz each) White Kidney Beans
- 16 oz jar Salsa Verde
- 4 Corn Tortillas, cut into small pieces
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 8 oz Reduced Fat or Dairy Free Cream Cheese (optional)
- Add everything except the cream cheese to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hours until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Set the slow cooker to its keep warm function and transfer the chicken to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before dicing or shredding.stew
- Stir the stew together to fully dissolve any remaining tortilla pieces before adding the chicken back to the slow cooker.
- Optional: Add cream cheese and stir to fully incorporate before serving.
- Serve with cilantro, avocado, fresh jalapeño or poblano, and salsa macha.
Nutrition facts include reduced fat cream cheese. Without cream cheese, the stew has 340 calories, 35g of protein, 28g of carbs, and 10g of fat.
For pressure cooker chicken stew, cook with high pressure for 15 minutes and vent immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 12 oz (about 1 1/3 cup)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 15gCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 10gProtein: 36g