Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)
Sometimes your best friend sends you 9 text messages in a row, to which you only respond minimally…and it’s not until hours later that you realize IT’S HER BIRTHDAY.
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)
 Sometimes you have fails…and sometimes you have Fails. Good thing she’s my best friend or she might just hate me.
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)
 In my defense, I did send her a birthday present way early this year. We’re talking like a few months ago. It was to combat all the other years of our friendship where I sent her present 2 months late.
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)
The reason she was sending me so many texts in a row was because she was showing her 4 year old son Star Wars for the first time, and was giving me the live-tweet experience. “Why do they have blue milk? Why can’t I have blue milk?”    “Why does Darth Vader want to blow up Leia’s planet? What does that even MEAN?”  **Alderaan blows up**   “COOL!”
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)
The real question here is why I’m making chili in July. The answer? 9 cans, some chicken and a crock pot. Seriously you guys, there’s easy, and then there’s stupid easy. This recipe falls into the latter category, and it is worth every dead brain cell you might suffer as a result of not exercising your mind enough.
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)
 This is one of those meals that’s nice to have up your sleeve, because you could go to the store and buy almost everything you need, and then not make it for 3 months. Just leave the chicken in the freezer and the cans on the shelf until you are having a crazy busy day, and then voila. Dinner. Dinner for half the week, actually. This recipe is huge and barely fit into my crock pot. If you have a dinky one, half it.
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)
This Cream Cheese Chicken Chili is ridiculously delicious in spite of its humble from-a-can origins. I got the recipe from my cousin who is quite possibly the pickiest person on the planet, (she doesn’t like pork…or strawberries) so if she can scarf it down, you know your kids will :)
Happy Birthday, Sarah! Love, your day late and a dollar short BFF…have some comfort chili.
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)

Yield: Serves 6-8


  • 3 whole chicken breasts, frozen or fresh
  • 3 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz) cans whole corn, undrained
  • 2 (10 oz) cans Rotel, undrained
  • 2 (1 oz) packets Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese or Neufchâtel
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • To garnish:
  • tortilla chips
  • limes
  • avocado (I love California Avocados)
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Place the chicken in the bottom of a large crock pot. Add the beans, corn, Rotel, Ranch dressing mix, onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, cumin. Stir together.
  2. Add the cream cheese on top and put the lid on.
  3. Turn the crockpot to low and cook for 6-8 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through. (Or do it on high, about 4-6 hours.)
  4. Remove the chicken and shred with 2 forks.
  5. Use a spoon to stir in the shredded chicken and the cream cheese (which should be melted).
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro.
  7. Serve with tortilla chips, lime juice, avocado, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese. You can also serve this as a dip with tortilla chips.


This recipe as written makes a crazy huge amount. If you half it, don't worry about using 2 1/2 cans of beans. Use 2 cans or 3. Or replace one can of beans with corn. Honestly this recipe is pretty flexible.

You can totally use chicken thighs too. This time around I used 2 thighs and 2 breasts.
Source: my cousin Misty, who adapted it from several sources including Plain Chicken.
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)Throw those birds in completely frozen. Or thawed, it doesn’t matter. Reduce the time if they are thawed. I used 2 thighs and 2 breasts here.
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)
Beautiful, beautiful beans.
Cream Cheese Chicken Chili (Crockpot)Member how I said this barely fit in my crock pot? I wasn’t kidding.
Here are some more no-brainer crock pot meals:
CrockPot Thai Steak Salad with Peanut-Hoisin Sauce
French Dip Sandwiches
Here are some more from around the blogosphere:
Crockpot Caramel Chicken from 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Vegetarian Greek Lentil Soup with Tomatoes, Spinach and Feta from Kalyn’s Kitchen <this sounds amazing.





    • Donald Altman says

      I don’t think I’d ever cooked in my crock pot and not left it at home unattended.
      My crock pot saves me on many countless late nights at work…. I throw everything in before I leave out on low and when the kids and I get home we have a great meal. Just opening up the door and smelling that food that has been simmering for hours is amazing. It saves me and I am able to have good food that otherwise I’d miss due to time constraints.. I just love my slow cooker.

  1. says

    Seriously Karen, you have NOTHING to worry about being a little late for your BFF’s birthday. My guy and I finally celebrated mine last Friday with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and cake from Rick’s Dessert Diner… That was 2.5 weeks after the actual date, and from someone I live with too! ;) And I only questioned your sanity for about 0.00023 milliseconds before I realized that a crockpot would be the perfect solution for not heating up the house cooking dinner in this current heatwave. So brilliant!
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  2. says

    I’ll take the chili, there’s polar vortex thing happening here in KC, where it feels like spring and should be 90 degrees, so I’m COLD. Chili could do me some good. Especially if there’s cream cheese involved.

  3. says

    Oh man, I totally did that to my best friend in March too – I didn’t remember to text her until almost midnight – good thing for understanding friends :) And stupid easy meals. They are my favorite! I haven’t felt like cooking as much lately so love these set and forget meals. This chili looks and sounds delicious!

  4. Misty says

    I was wondering how you were going to make this chili look appetizing and you totally did it! I mean I know it’s amazing because I eat it like once a week but just looking at the plain chili isn’t so pretty so.beautiful job! Paul literally eats it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also add a 3rd thing of cream cheese! Oh baby! And you’re way better than me, I think I send my best friend a text on her birthday, but only if Facebook reminds me! haha

    • says

      Haha thanks Mis! I was going to add the 3rd thing of cream cheese like you said but it LITERALLY would not fit in my crock pot. I was going to add it after it cooked but then I liked the spice level so much that I just left it. Thanks for an awesome recipe Misty!!

  5. Joanne says

    I made this last weekend and my family loved it. I substituted chipotle chili powder for the crushed red pepper because that’s what I had. As Karen said, it makes a ton. I froze some and still had some leftover. I only had one kid home for dinner one night so I took what was left, added some salsa and used the mixture for burrito filling. I just added some shredded Mexican blend cheese on top of the filling and rolled it up in flour tortillas. It was 90+ with about 200% humidity here so I threw them in an olive oil coated cast iron skillet and put it on the grill for 15 min. Fantastic. I am making the chili again for a party next weekend. Switching out the canned corn for fresh so I will report back.

  6. Joanne S says

    Two thumbs up to replacing the canned corn with fresh corn. I cut the kernels off of 3 ears and that seemed to be enough. I also added a cup of chicken stock to make up for the missing liquid from the canned corn. I preferred it this way. You could still taste the corn but the whole dish didn’t taste like corn, if you know what I mean. I think out of season I would use frozen corn and some chicken stock instead of the canned. I know half the point of the recipe is the convenience factor with everything being canned but this tweak is well worth it.

    • says

      Thanks for the review Joanne, I’m so glad it worked out for you! I will definitely try it with frozen corn in the winter, I always have some in my freezer. And if I make this again soon I will totally try it with fresh!


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