Your New Favorite Comfort Food: Slow Cooker Pollo Verde Chili

Chilly weather = chili, you know what I mean?

For me, the ultimate bowl of comfort is a giant serving of homemade chili.

Vertical overhead closeup shot of a plate of green chicken chili with rice, with lime wedges and fresh cilantro, and a small glass bowl of green tomatillo salsa at the top of the frame, on a white cloth surface, printed with orange and white text.

I can’t get enough at this time of year – therefore my husband has to deal with bowls and bowls of the stuff, week after week.

He is not as much of a chili-obsessed crazy person as I am, but he is a great guy who has learned how to deal with my fandom. In return, I try to curb my desire to make the same thing for dinner every single week.

I say that I try, because sometimes it just happens. Especially during those weeks right after New Year’s Eve when, instead of sticking to healthy habits, I just want to dive into comfort food to recover from all of that time spent hosting events for family and friends.

A plate of green chicken chili with white rice on a white plate, with lime wedges on the rim, on a white linen towel with fringe and pink, orange, and purple stripes. A bunch of cilantro and a small glass bowl of green tomatillo salsa are towards the top of the frame on a striped brown wood table, against a blue mottled backdrop.

Do you ever get obsessed with the same meal, and all you want is to enjoy it over and over again?

I feel like I can’t be the only one in the world who has this problem. At least it’s chili, and not mounds of chocolate cake? I like to think that this particular dinner isn’t the worst in terms of calories… but if cake is what you’re after, we do have plenty of recipes. To each his own!

You could probably call chili a healthy dish, when you take away all of the sour cream, cheese, Fritos, tortillas, tortillas chips, and other unhealthy things that I like to top mine with.

Yes, I am a toppings addict. My name is Meghan. Nice to meet you.

Please don’t judge me. I like to eat. I just can’t help it.

And there’s something about green chili in particular that brings an extra level of comfort to my palate.

Overhead vertical shot of a plate of white rice topped with green chicken chili, with lime wedges, fresh cilantro, and a small glass bowl of salsa verde, on top of a folded white cloth with fringe and orange, pink, and purple stripes, on a brown wood surface.

This is probably because it has all of those flavor components that I so cherish. The mixture is tangy and spicy, with slow cooked chicken that brings added richness to the party.

Then you get more texture from the beans, white onion, and green bell pepper.

This makes for a hearty dish that is unbelievably easy to pull together, any night of the week.

Since it all comes together in the Crock-Pot, you just set it and forget it until you get home from work. Then you shred the chicken, add it back to the soup, and it’s time to eat.

Green chicken chili with broth fills a white soup bowl, with a smaller glass bowl of tomatillo salsa, lime wedges, a bunch of fresh cilantro, and a gold spoon, on a white linen cloth towel with fringe and orange, pink, and purple horizontal stripes, on a brown wood surface.

Slow cooking the chicken along with all of the other ingredients makes it even more flavorful, with a finished product that is oh-so-tender.

I recommend serving this over a bowl of white or brown rice with extra hot sauce and lime wedges. It’s soothing and warm, filling you up from the inside out with happiness.

You can also choose to serve this green chili up on its own if you prefer, but it is quite rich and thick. It needs some additional carbs to help balance the spice and tanginess.

If rice isn’t your thing, try flour tortillas, or tortilla chips. You can even make your own, with our recipe!

Vertical shot of a white plate with a black decorative rim, a bed of white rice topped with green chicken chili, fresh lime wedges and green cilantro, and a small glass bowl of tomatillo salsa verde, on a white cloth with pink, orange, and purple stripes, on a wood surface.

Leftovers make a great filling for burritos or enchiladas, or a topping for tamales. They’re super versatile.

However, I really don’t know why you would have any left over. If you don’t devour this dish wholeheartedly, as quickly as possible, you are downright crazy.

Print
A plate of shredded chicken with a light green sauce and cannellini beans on a bed of white rice, on a white cloth with orange, pink, and purple stripes, with cut limes, a glass bowl of salsa verde, and fresh cilantro, on a brown wood surface.

Slow Cooker Chicken Green Chili (Pollo Verde Chili)


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Chili
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Description

Bring the family together with the best slow cooker chicken green chili. The comforting mix of ingredients means big, bold flavor.


Ingredients

For the Chili:

  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans
  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
  • 16 oz homemade or jarred salsa verde
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-2.5 lbs total weight)
  • 3 Tbsp green jalapeno hot sauce, or more to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For Serving:

  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Lime, cut into wedges
  • Rice, white or brown
  • Flour tortillas (optional)
  • Tortilla chips (optional)
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients for the chili in a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until chicken is completely cooked through.  
  2. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred using two forks.
  3. Return to the slow cooker and stir to distribute the meat evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and additional hot sauce if desired. Ladle into bowls filled with rice and serve warm with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

Notes

Nutritional information below does not include optional toppings and ingredients for serving.

Keywords: chicken, pollo verde, salsa verde, Crock-Pot, chili

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prepare Vegetables and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Using your garlic press, or a sharp knife and a cutting board, mince the garlic.

Peel and dice the white onion until you have 1 cup in total. This should be about half of a large white onion.

Seed and dice the green bell pepper.

Overhead shot of a square glass bowl of minced garlic, round glass bowls of chopped green bell pepper, onion, jalapeno hot sauce, and salsa verde, and a blue bowl of canned cannellini beans in their liquid, on a striped beige and brown wood surface.

If you’d like, you can prep your garnishes in advance as well, or wait until just before serving.

Remove the stems from several sprigs of fresh cilantro and mince the leaves finely, and cut a lime into wedges. Store until the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed in the ingredients list. I like to use a homemade salsa verde, but you can use your favorite store bought version instead, if you like. Homemade chicken stock is also a nice addition.

Step 2 – Cook

Overhead shot of two raw, boneless and skinless chicken breasts in the metal insert of a slow cooker, on a brown wood surface.

Place all of the ingredients for the chili in your slow cooker, and stir to combine.

Overhead shot of a black plastic slow cooker with a stainless steel insert, filled with cannellini beans, chopped onion and green bell pepper, salsa verde, green hot sauce, chicken broth, and seasonings, on a striped wood surface.

Cook on low for 8 hours, or until the chicken is completely cooked through.

Step 3 – Shred

Transfer the cooked chicken from the slow cooker to a cutting board.

Shredded cooked chicken breast with two forks and a few stray pieces of cooked green bell pepper and onion, on a black plastic cutting board.

Using two forks, shred the meat.

Step 4 – Finish and Serve

Return the meat to the slow cooker, and stir to distribute it evenly throughout the chili.

Closely cropped overhead shot of shredded chicken with cannellini beans and cooked peppers in a greenish broth fills the metal insert of a slow cooker, on a wood surface.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in additional hot sauce, if desired.

A white bowlful of green chicken chili served soup-style with extra broth, on a white fringed cloth with a pink, orange, and purple stripe, on a brown striped wood surfaced with lime wedges, a bunch of cilantro, and a glass bowl of salsa verde.

Serve over bowls filled with white or brown rice, with a garnish of chopped cilantro and lime wedges, and your choice of flour tortillas or tortilla chips for added crunch, plus any added toppings that you enjoy.

Got to Have More Chili?

If you are a chili fiend like me, I know you want to try to get it onto your menu every single week when it is chilly outside.

When you are making dinner for the other people in your household, you can’t simply make the same chili recipe over and over again (unless you live with another fiend with your same flavor preferences…).

A plate of shredded chicken with a light green sauce and cannellini beans on a bed of white rice, on a white cloth with orange, pink, and purple stripes, with cut limes, a glass bowl of salsa verde, and fresh cilantro, on a brown wood surface.

For those of you who want more chili recipes in your lives, check out a few more of Foodal’s favorites:

  • Roasted Four-Pepper is both vegan and gluten-free, just in case you want to host for your friends and family.
  • The Best Vegetarian is a great option for Meatless Monday, and it makes for a fun base for a chili bar. You can even serve warmed cooked beef and shredded chicken on the side, for meat-eating guests to mix in if they are so inclined.
  • Shake things up with a White Chicken version, also made in your Crock-Pot. It doesn’t rely on the typical tomato base, much like this green chili, so if you like this one you will definitely want to try the white version next.

What is your favorite kind of chili to warm up with? Tell us in the comments below, and come back to rate this recipe the moment you try it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on February 5, 2012. Last updated: January 16, 2019 at 14:35 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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