This? Ohhhhh, this.
This is possibly the easiest homemade Mexican food. Ever. Also known as soul-warming, snuggle-up-and-get-cozy sweatshirt and blankie comfort food. Also known as my life, minus the sweatshirt and blankie. And never again will I use the word blankie in writing. Bleh.
Ironically it’s something like 110 degrees here, which is not a joke AT ALL and yet still I felt the need to use the sweatshirt analogy? Maybe I’ve been thinkin’ too much about those yummy sweatshirts from Albion Fit. <– pst, that’s a giveaway and you should enter.
This ridiculously easy 5-ingredient crockpot Mexican chicken recipe starts with my love of beans.
When I think of beans, I think of… well, first I think of lentils. I can’t even start on that one because we all know this post will be overtaken with lentil stuffs. And I mean Oooooovertaken.
But coming in at a close second is today’s beloved bean: the pinto.
Pinto beans and I have really gotten close in the last few years. I think it has something to do with these perfect veggie burgers that my friends Alex and Sonja introduced to me (seriously – they are perfect), and then the crockpot chalupas that have become a weekly part of my life, and just my love for Mexican-style beans and all Mexican food in general.
Dear Chipotle, I miss you.
So how exactly is it possible that this recipe has just FIVE ingredients? I don’t even know.
What I do know is that somehow I still managed to get mildly stressed out trying to do a three minute grocery trip to find five ingredients. Bah! This is an unnecessary thought right now (that’s me cryptically reassuring my mom that I’m not pregnant) but sometimes I worry about what my life will be like when we have kids. Someone tell me it’s not just straight up chaos all the time. Someone?
When you need to slow your life down a little bit and not run all over the grocery store in a tizzy, because I’m sure you’re more capable at the hunt for five ingredients than I am, this is your winner.
Five ingredients stand between you and crockpot Mexican chicken. Unless you still need to buy a crockpot. Go! Go now.
Speaking of slow, this guy needs to cook for a long time. Blame it on the beans – they take forever and a half to cook. I started to worry that my chicken was getting dry, so I took it out when it was done and just let it chill (yep) in the refrigerator while the beans cooked their slow selves away. Then a year later when the beans were done, I added the chicken back in the crockpot and shredded it up.
And before this post ends, I’m going to mention just a few of the endless possibilities for customizing this Mexican crockpot goodness into your favorite thing ever.
- Leave out the cream cheese.
- Add all the cream cheese.
- Add corn.
- Use canned beans: omit most of the water and reduce the cooking time.
- Add corn before cooking.
- Add sauteed peppers after cooking.
- Use homemade salsa.
- Use less beans.
- Use more chicken.
TRUTH: the best thing you could give yourself with this warm, saucy crockpot Mexican chicken is a big ol’ burrito with a smashed avocado in there for good measure. I repeat: smashed avocado. Do you disagree? Too bad. Not allowed.
On second thought, I will also accept dipping with chips.
It’s unnatural how much I love Hint of Lime.
By the way, how many of these ingredients do you already have?
Burrito, coming your way.
A 5-ingredient recipe for crockpot Mexican chicken and pinto beans. Perfect for easy burritos, tacos, and enchiladas. Quick and easy dinner!
- 1 jar of your favorite salsa (I like to use 1 1/2 jars… just because)
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 lb. chicken breasts
- 1 lb. dry pinto beans, rinsed
- 2–3 tablespoons taco seasoning (1 packet if using store bought)
- 2 ounces or more light cream cheese (totally optional – just adds creaminess)
- salt to taste
- Place the pinto beans, salsa, and water in a slow cooker or Crockpot. Stir to get the liquid in and around the beans. Place the chicken breasts on top. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
- After about 3 hours, remove the lid and check on the mixture. Stir to keep the beans from sticking to the bottom and add a little more water if necessary. Don’t open the lid more than once or twice – it adds to the cooking time.
- When the beans and chicken are cooked, gently shred the chicken with two forks. It should shred very easily. Add the taco seasoning and cream cheese and let the mixture sit for another 15-30 minutes. Serve with rice, tortillas, or chips. Top with avocado, cheese, and cilantro.
If you use canned beans, omit the water and reduce the amount of cooking time. Also, if you are worried about the chicken getting dry, remove the chicken breasts after 3 hours or so when they are fully cooked, store in the fridge, and add them back in at the end. I have tried it both ways and they’ve both worked fine.
This makes about 8 cups, so I’m roughly calculating 16 servings (about 1/2 cup each).