It’s Monday and I have a load of Queso Crockpot Chicken Chili with Roasted Corn and Jalapeño leftovers waiting for me in the fridge, brought to my by a weekend of relaxing. I think we’ve already talked about this (Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup?) but my ultimate favorite thing in life is when relaxing = flavorful, delicious, comforting, filling, warm dinner.
This soup is lots of things: creamy, spicy, full of veggies, full of protein, very filling, queso-y cheesy, better as leftovers, and perfect for chip dippin’.
And even though I adore a good queso dip made with – gasp – processed cheese from time to time, let me be clear: all that’s going on here to get that lovely, creamy queso texture is a smidge of cream cheese and some Pepper Jack cheese. That’s all. No need to get your feathers all ruffled, okay?
So let’s talk about some tips for making this soup awesome.
- Skillet-roast the corn. With the jalapeño. Like so.
- Skillet-roast the peppers, too. You don’t HAVE to do this, and in theory, you could just add them to the crockpot with the chicken, salsa, etc. However, I find that they sort of disappear. Crockpots have a magic way of doing that to veggies, and in this crockpot chicken chili you don’t want the peppers to disappear. You want the color, texture, and if they are a little roasty on the outside to boot, all the better.
- Let the soup cook all day on low instead of doing it super fast on high. Okay, fine, you can do it either way. But the flavor just develops into something amazing the longer you let it hang out together in the crockpot.
- Add or subtract whatever you want here. Like many-a-good crockpot recipes, this is one where you can kind of do whatever you want. I mean, if you want it in there, basically just throw it in there. The truth is, Mexican crockpot food rarely fails, so you can follow the recipe and/or you can blaze your own trail. It’s just not going to taste bad with these flavors simmering all day together and being transported into your mouth on a salty blue corn tortilla chip.
- BLUE CORN TORTILLA CHIPS.
I love you, Mexican food.
Tex-Mex a la crockpot.
It’s just the best, really.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 cups salsa, divided
- 1½ cups water
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 bell peppers, minced
- 1 14 ounce can corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (without ribs and seeds)
- 1 14 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 ounces light cream cheese
- 6 ounces Pepper Jack cheese
- cilantro for topping
- blue corn tortilla chips for yummy dippin'
- Place the chicken breasts, 1½ cups salsa, water, cumin, chili powder and salt in the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. When the chicken is done, shred the meat directly in the crockpot using two forks.
- Pat the minced peppers dry with a paper towel. Place the bell peppers in a large nonstick skillet over high heat without oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes WITHOUT stirring. This creates the browned, roasted look out on the outside of the peppers. Stir once and repeat until the peppers are nice and browned. Set aside. Repeat this process with the corn and jalapeño together.
- After the chicken has been shredded, add the roasted peppers, roasted corn and jalapeño, black beans, remaining salsa, and cream cheese to the crockpot. Stir and replace cover, allowing the cream cheese to melt. Adjust the consistency of the soup by adding another ½ cup of water if needed. Let the soup simmer for another 15-30 minutes until everything is smooth and melted. Just before serving, stir in the Pepper Jack cheese.