For this small batch Green Chicken Chili Recipe with Sweet Potatoes, we will reach for store-bought roasted tomatillo or salsa verde – it’s the key ingredient to pack in flavor without the fuss. In addition, it’s easy to adapt your crockpot to make this salsa verde chicken chili a super simple dump-and-go dinner for two.
There’s no prep work needed to make green chicken chili – other than cubing a sweet potato. Everything else we place into a crock pot - or Dutch oven if you opt for a stove top cooking method.
Instead of chicken breasts use chicken thighs to add more flavor to the chili. We will let them simmer all day in the slow cooker. Shredding the meat is easy when they are fully cooked.
If you want to make a small batch of green chicken chili but have only a large crockpot – no worries. Our solution? Place an oven safe bowl inside the big bowl of the slow cooker. Read on for tips on adapting a large slow cooker for smaller meals.
For us, nothing is better than making a pan of sweet buttermilk corn bread (with maple syrup to pour over – of course!) to serve alongside this chili. Let’s get started!
- Ingredients you'll need
- How to make this green chicken chili recipe
- How to thicken salsa verde chicken chili
- Chili Toppings
- Storage and Reheating
- Using leftover green chicken chili
- Tips for small batch crock pot chili
- Common questions about this recipe
- Green Chicken Chili Recipe with Sweet Potatoes and Salsa Verde
Ingredients you'll need
To make this Green Chicken Chili you need only a few ingredients. Other than cubing your sweet potatoes there is no prep – that’s what I call a dump-and-go dinner!
- boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- sweet potatoes
- tomatillo salsa – also known as salsa verde. Splurge for a high-quality jarred salsa verde as this is the key ingredient that adds the characteristic flavor of green chicken chili.
- chicken broth – I opt to use low-sodium Better than Bullion to make my broth if I don’t have any homemade stock in the freezer. You just need 1 teaspoon per 8 ounces of water. Combine and you’ve got chicken broth.
- ground cumin
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- pinto beans – you can also use white beans or great northern beans.
- avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and chopped onion for garnish
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make this green chicken chili recipe
Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients, here’s how to make this green chicken chili recipe in a large slow cooker adapted to make a small batch of chili.
First, place an oven-safe bowl inside the big bowl of the slow cooker. I like to use an oven safe Corningware baking dish.
Now, we will use the dump-and-go technique of adding the chicken, potatoes, salsa, broth, cumin, salt, and pepper in the bowl of the slow cooker.
Cover and cook until chicken shreds easily with a fork and sweet potatoes are tender, about 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
You will know when the chicken is cooked fully when it easily shreds with 2 forks. Shred the chicken in the slow cooker with 2 forks. During the last 30 minutes of cooking add the beans.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve topped with avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and/or onion, if using.
Note: This chili can be easily prepared on the stovetop using a Dutch oven or large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the chicken shreds easily with a fork and the sweet potatoes are tender. This technique reduces the cooking time to about 1 ½ hours.
How to thicken salsa verde chicken chili
My secret to rich and thick green chicken chili is to mash about ⅓ of the beans. You can do this with a potato masher, immersion blender, or a blender or food processor.
Do this prior to serving. Using a ladle remove beans from crock pot, leaving behind the liquid.
Repeat and keep mashing beans until you reach your desired consistency.
The flavor of this chili is mild, it is the perfect base to add toppings such as:
- sliced avocado
- Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Shredded cheese – cheddar or Monterey jack are great choices
- Hot sauce or diced Jalapeno for a spice kick.
Storage and Reheating
This chili is so good you may not have any leftovers, in case you do here are some suggestions for storing, freezing and reheating.
To Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To Freeze. Place chili in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container Place salad in an airtight container. I like using mason jars because they make it easy to see what’s in them in the freezer. Be sure to fill only about ¾ full allowing the chili to expand when frozen. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
To reheat: Warm the chili in the microwave or on the stovetop until steaming. The starch from the beans acts as a thickener so if it is too thick add some chicken broth.
Using leftover green chicken chili
Cooking for two and want to make something other than on its own in a bowl? Here are two delicious ways to serve and use up the leftovers:
- Serve a fried egg over the chili with a side of toast. If you opt to mix the fried egg into the chili it makes a flavorful hash.
- Add it to a baked potato. Garnish with your favorite toppings and instantly you have another meal.
Tips for small batch crock pot chili
Only have a large slow cooker? You can cook small meals in a large slow cooker by using an oven safe bowl.
- For best results, the slow cooker should be about two-thirds to three-quarters full. When the bowl isn't full enough, the food will cook faster, cooking off the liquid and possibly burning. If the bowl is too full, the food may need to be cooked longer than the suggested cooking times.
- Use an oven safe bowl inside the big bowl of the slow cooker. I like to use an oven safe Pyrex dish or two large ramekins to make individual servings. If you are looking for an oven safe dish to use with your slow cooker, I use this Corning Ware round dish.
- Please remember to cook with the lid on your crockpot and try to avoid opening the lid while cooking.
Common questions about this recipe
You've got questions... I've got answers! If you have a question about this recipe that isn't answered below, feel free to leave it in the comments, and I'll jump in there to help you out.
Tomatillo salsa verde is a key ingredient in green chicken chili. Made from ripe tomatillos, which look like a green tomatoes but grow in a husk. Tomatillo salsa is green in color and is tangy and zesty in flavor with an underlying smoky green chili taste.
Yes! It can be easily prepared on the stovetop using a Dutch oven or large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the chicken shreds easily with 2 forks and the sweet potatoes are tender. This Speeds up the cooking time, taking only about 1 ½ hours.
Mash part of the beans with a potato masher. This results in a rich and thick chicken chili.
Looking for other soup, stews, chili's and curry recipes for two? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Green Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes:
Green Chicken Chili Recipe with Sweet Potatoes and Salsa Verde
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- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large sweet potato , unpeeled, cut into 1" cubes (about 1 pounds)
- 8 ounces jarred tomatillo salsa salsa verde (about 1 cups)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or use roasted chicken Better than Bullion. Mix 1 teaspoon of bullion with 1 cup water for 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon or more kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon or more freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cans low-sodium pinto beans drained, rinsed. White beans or great northern beans are also great options.
- Sliced avocado, cilantro leaves, sour cream, and/or finely chopped onion (optional)
- If using a crock pot, place an oven-safe bowl inside the big bowl of the slow cooker.
- Add chicken, potatoes, salsa, broth, cumin, salt, and pepper in the bowl of the slow cooker or Dutch oven.
- For Crock pot: Cover and cook until chicken shreds easily with a fork and sweet potatoes are tender, about 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. During the last 30 minutes of cooking add the beans. Shred the chicken in slow cooker with 2 forks.
- For Stovetop: In a Dutch oven or large pot, bring to a simmer and cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the chicken shreds easily with 2 forks and the sweet potatoes are tender, about 1 ½ hours. Add the beans during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Shred the chicken in the pot with 2 forks.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve topped with avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and/or onion.
Your Notes, Tips and Tricks
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