This rich and hearty Slow Cooker Chicken Queso Chili packs the big Mexican flavors you love in a savory cheese sauce you'll crave!
The best thing about being a parent is how much more of life you get to enjoy by never sleeping. Just when you begin drifting off a screaming baby jumps you to your feet. Is he hungry? Does he need a diaper change? Nope, he just wanted to serenade you with the song of his people. He is back to sleep before your head hits the pillow, but now you are wide awake. After one too many nights like this, I have fallen more and more in love with simplistic recipes like this Slow Cooker Chicken Queso Chili.
Slow cooker recipes are popular for their 'dump and cook' simplicity. This recipe is no different. Though most of the ingredients are adding at the beginning of the cooking process, we do save the cheddar and cream cheese to be added at the end. This helps ensure the queso chili has optimal creaminess and flavor!
What is the Best Chicken Meat for the Slow Cooker
It doesn't take anyone more than a few seconds of perusing Pinterest to discover chicken breasts are the most popular addition to the slow cooker. However, I am going to tell you this is wrong. Boneless skinless chicken thighs are the best chicken meat to use in most slow cooker recipes because they have more flavor, can be cooked longer without drying out, and are less expensive. White meat chicken breasts are more temperamental and quickly turn dry and stringy when left in a slow cooker too long.
You will find most grocery stores sell boneless skinless chicken thigh meat now, however, if you still prefer to use breasts, you can certainly do so. The recipe will turn out great either way.
How to Temper Cream Cheese
Many creamy soups call for tempering cream cheese or even sour cream. This adds body to the broth and serves as the foundation for the creamy texture. However, if you simply add cold cream cheese into a hot soup it will break apart into a million tiny globs, never fully incorporating into the broth. The trick is to temper the cream cheese.
To temper cream cheese or sour cream, you simply mix small amounts of hot broth into the cream cheese in a separate dish to slowly bring up the temperature to match the liquid you are adding the cream cheese into. Once the cream cheese has thinned out into a liquid and warmed sufficiently, it can be added to the soup to create a delectable creamy broth!
This recipe is perfect for a 6-quart slow cooker. I recommend using a slow cooker with a high, low, and warm setting. There is no need to get fancy with extra electronics and timers.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Queso Chili
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (breasts can be substituted)
- 24 ounces salsa
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 ounce packet taco seasoning
- 1, 14 ounce can chili beans
- 1, 14 ounce can white beans
- 1, 14 ounce can fire roasted corn
- 1 jalapeno pepper (minced with seeds removed)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 6 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 ounces milk
- 6 ounces shredded mild cheddar cheese
- cilantro (chopped)
- sour cream
- corn tortilla chips
- Add chicken, salsa, chicken broth, taco seasoning, beans, jalapeno, and garlic to slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, or until chicken is easily shredded with a fork.
- Add milk and cream cheese in a bowl and mix to combine. Then temper the cream cheese by ladling hot soup broth into the bowl and continue to mix until the cream cheese mixture is warm, then add to the slow cooker and stir to incorporate.
- Add shredded cheddar cheese to the slow cooker, mix until melted and combined, and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
- Ladle chili into bowl and top with chopped cilantro, a dollop of sour cream and serve with tortilla chips.
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