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Slow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili

Side angle shot of Slow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili in a white bowl
Recipe At-A-Glance
Gluten-Free6 hours, 15 minutes
A chili may seem out of place in hot weather, until you remember that all the ingredients are at their peak in the summer. Slow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili is a hearty, yet light, version of the winter classic.

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I know. When you think of chili, you think of sweatshirts and changing leaves and football games and chai lattes and pumpkin ALL THE THINGS, not the middle of summertime. But if you really think about, chili is actually the perfect summer meal! Let me explain.

Think about all the ingredients in chili—peppers, tomatoes, onions, fresh herbs—all items that are currently being produced by the literal truckload at your local farm. They are at their most flavorful, most fresh, and most affordable! So of course summer is the perfect time to make chili!

Overhead shot of ingredients for Slow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili - tomatoes, beans, rice, onions, peppers

Overhead shot of Slow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili in a slow cooker basin

The result is a hearty, yet light, version of the winter classic. The flavors are brilliant and vibrant thanks to the abundance of vine-ripened tomatoes, spicy peppers, and fresh herbs. The use of chicken in place of heavier red meat keeps the soup feeling summer-y while still giving it that stick-to-your-ribs feeling that chili is known for.

And since it is all pulled together in the slow cooker, there is no need to heat up your kitchen by using the stove. Which is always a win in my books in the middle of summer.

Close up shot of Slow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili in a white bowl

Because the broth for the chili is a little bit thinner than the standard heavy chili base—this could be considering more of a chili soup—I like to serve mine over a bed of brown rice. The rice soaks up the sauce and adds a nice hearty grain to the mix.

You could also put it over cauliflower rice, quinoa, noodles, or mashed potatoes—or, if you prefer a thicker chili, just use a slotted spoon to serve.

Overhead shot of Slow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili in a white bowl with a metal spoon

If you are still a little concerned about serving chili in the middle of the summer, all you have to do is serve it alongside a cold frozen margarita. Balance at its finest. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes

A chili may seem out of place in hot weather, until you remember that all the ingredients are at their peak in the summer. Slow Cooker Summer Chicken Chili is a hearty, yet light, version of the winter classic.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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29 Responses
  1. Athena

    I love chicken chili, and this looks delicious. I can’t recall making chili in the summer though I have been craving it. As a matter of fact, I had some chili yesterday. I can’t wait to try your recipe, and I like that you put it over rice.

  2. Janet Johnston

    I made a large roast pan of chili last summer for Steve’s bbq here at our place, thinking oh, i’ve made too much. On the grill were Oktoberfest Sausages and hamburgers. They went and so did all the chili.
    Great dish for summer bbq’s obviously. Yours looks awesome Cass.
    Mom

  3. Ooh, I’ve been on a chicken chili kick ever since I first made a recipe that I had torn from a Martha Stewart magazine in the winter. It is definitely not for the faint of heart (or palette). I make a bunch and store it in the freezer and before I know it, I have to make more.
    I’ll definitely give this one a try because I never regret getting out my slow cooker!

  4. This recipe looks wonderful – a perfect send-off for summer! New to your blog and love it – a great balance of recipes, workout, goals, info and tutorials – keep up the great work!

  5. I was looking for a recipe that used up the overabundance of tomatoes in my house and found this one. I made it tonight and it was a HIT! Thanks so much for posting this 🙂

  6. Amanda

    This chili is in my slow cooker as we speak and smells delicious! I can’t wait to have some tonight!! Thanks for the recipe, enjoying the blog!

  7. Oh wow, this looks great. Chilli is something I love about winter – having a summer-appropriate recipe is wonderful. I’ll definitely be putting extra jalapeño in mine!

  8. Chili or other spicy ingredients are not so bad for hot summer days. It makes you sweat but this is good for your health. Anyway great and delicious looking meal.

  9. Nathan

    This recipe is delicious! We’ve made it five times this summer already, it just seems to be the perfect summer blend. It’s variable too; I double the chicken to two pounds and use boneless skinless thighs. Once, our shopper bought a poblano instead of a jalapeño and we’ve been using poblano ever since in this recipe. We just add the extra heat with hot sauce before serving.

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