Slow cooker Mexican chicken stew

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 4 hours, 10 minutes Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Serves 4-6     adjust servings

Slow cooker Mexican chicken stew is easy to prep and smells amazing as it cooks!


  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can diced green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (16 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (16 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Optional toppings

  • Chopped fresh cilantro, plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), sliced avocado, shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, hot sauce, etc.


Mix together the cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Season the chicken thighs on both sides with the spice mixture.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray (or add a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil) and sear the chicken thighs until well browned on both sides, about 6-8 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker.

Add the can of tomatoes to the sauté pan to deglaze it and use a spoon to scrape up any charred bits that are stuck on the bottom.

Add the tomatoes, onion and green chilies to the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. (Or cook on low for 6 hours.)

Uncover, add the beans, then cover and cook for another 1 hour on high (or another 2 hours on low).

Spoon chicken stew into bowls and serve with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You can sub kidney beans for the black beans if you prefer.

You could also add some corn (about 1 cup, fresh or frozen), when you add the beans.

A roasted poblano pepper would be a great addition as well.

If you like it spicy, you can add a chopped jalapeño pepper or some red pepper flakes to the stew. You could also serve it with hot sauce, which is what I do so it’s not spicy for the kids.

Want this to be more of a soup than a stew? Add 1 to 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth to thin it out a bit.

Adapted from Cooking Light Slow Cooker cookbook.

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