Slow Cooker Green Chicken Chili

Slow Cooker Green Chicken Chile 1
I totally prefer "green" sauce to "red" any day of the week. Green salsa, green enchiladas, green taco's the best and packs so much flavor. 

I especially love working with tomatillos. I roast them to make salsas and tomatillo cream, which is always a hit with my nachos. Anyway, this chili is packed with yummy green produce. It is not overly spicy, all the cooking time seems to calm the flavors. It's just lovely all around.

It does require you to soak dry beans overnight, so a little planning is necessary, but totally worth it. Every bite is packed with chicken, chile and beans, not to mention the lovely broth this makes.

I also used a little bit of masa harina towards the end of the cooking process. Masa harina is a finely ground corn flour most often used to make tortillas or tamale dough. You can find it in the Mexican section of your market. Because masa harina is ground corn, it adds flavor and also works as a thickener in this recipe. Don't leave it out.

Slow Cooker Green Chicken Chile veggies
I wanted to post a picture of the tomatillo in case you are not sure what it looks like. You might walk by them at the grocery store all of the time.

The tomatillo has a characteristic paper-like husk surrounding the green fruit. The husk is usually open at the bottom and peels off easily, leaving the fruit a little sticky. To prepare them, just wash and chop like a tomato.

Slow Cooker Green Chicken Chile 1 1
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, lime wedges and a sprinkling of green onion. 

Print Recipe

Slow Cooker Green Chicken Chili

Recipe from: Noble Pig | Serves: 13-14 cups


  • 1-1/2 cups dry great Northern beans
  • 4 cups chopped tomatillos
  • 8 Anaheim chiles, seeded and chopped
  • 5 jalapenos, seeded, deveined and chopped
  • 1 medium brown onion, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup masa harina
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • sour cream, lime wedges and green onion for garnish


  • Soak beans over night according to package directions. Drain and add to the bottom of a 6-7 quart slow cooker.
  • Add tomatillos, Anaheim chiles, jalapeno, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander and broth to the slow cooker. Make sure beans remain on the bottom of the slow cooker (do not stir). Cook on high heat for 4-1/2 hours.
  • Stir in chicken, masa harina, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cook 30 minutes more.
  • Serve each bowl with a dollop of sour cream, a lime wedge and green onion.

Post a Comment

29 Comments and 19 Replies

  1. We enjoy trying all kinds of chili recipes, especially ones that are a little different than the standard beef and tomato variety. This one is most definitely on my list to make for the upcoming weekend. Some of my most favorite flavors all in one bowl. Can’t wait to try it.

  2. Aggie 2

    Oh I love green “stuff” too. This looks amazing, all those ingredients make me very happy :)

  3. Chris 3

    Yay- there’s dinner tomorrow night! Thank you!

  4. Katie 4

    This sounds awesome! I will admit though… I have never made green sauce from scratch. On my list for 2013. For some reason tomatillos scare me!

  5. I’m starving and that chili looks awesome, wish I could dive in.

  6. Hi Cathy,
    Thank you sooo much for sharing. I’ll definitely spread the word. If your looking for more recipes for yourself, please stop by, I have a ton of recipes there!
    I’ve already book marked your post.

  7. Already emailed this recipe to family and friends. For my vegan self, I’ll probably substitute veggie stock and either marinated tofu or a Morningstar product. Thanks for bringing green sauce back.

    • Jax 9

      We convert several recipes to vegan. I found the best fake meat is from Gardein. Morning Star uses GMO ingredients and most of their products are not vegan if you carefully read the labels. I called the company and asked to make sure. Gardein is an amazing vegan sub product. Also, Daiya cheese is the best vegan cheese out there. YUM!

  8. SO with you on the “green” over “red” thing. This chili is right up my alley!

  9. Lori 11

    This is in my slow cooker right now! It smells amazing already and I can’t wait for dinner time to get here. :-)

  10. NancyC 12

    I love green sauce, too–this sounds so good!

  11. Jackie B 13

    Wow! What a mouth watering pic! You take the best pics. You even make stuff I don’t like look appetizing. I am sure I would like this one though. You use a lot of ingredients that I have never used before but have always wanted to try. For example–I have never bought tomatillos or Anaheim peppers. This is the perfect recipe for me to try them out. It will definitely go in my saved recipe folder!

  12. snowmoonelk 14

    Can’t get tomatillos here in Wales, sigh! What can I use instead?

    • Cathy 15

      Hmmm, that’s a tough one because nothing really mimics that flavor. The best would probably be unripe, green tomatoes with lime to give it the tartness tomatillos have. There might be canned tomatillos or jauce, finished green sauce but I couldn’t begin to tell you how much to use. That would be a whole other experiment.

  13. Andrea 16

    Looks amazing. I’m trying it tomorrow!
    Can I cook it on low for longer while I’m at work? Do you think 8 hours is too long?

  14. deborah loving 20

    made this wonderful chili this past week and there was no leftovers….served over
    a small bed of basmati rice what a filling and tasty meal on a cold winter’s day, and
    it was not too spicey, will definitely make it again…

  15. Kristin 21

    Made this chili last night for dinner. So good! Definately a keeper! Thanks Cathy!

  16. Erica 22

    Made this last night and it turned out great! Full of flavor and just the right amount of heat. But next time, I might leave the seads in one of the jalapenos to give it just a bit more kick. I like my chilis on the spicer side.

  17. Scott 23

    I made this on Sunday and it came out great. Despite soaking the beans as directed they were still very toothsome after five hours on high in the cooker. Also, this recipe, nearly to the letter, completely filled my 3.5 quart slow cooker. In fact it spilled over slightly once I added the chicken.

    What size cooker did you use for this recipe?

    • Cathy 24

      Oh wow, that is a smaller slow cooker. I believe mine is about 6-7 quart. If you stirred the beans at all and they weren’t on the bottom, they would not have cooked through. If they were on bottom then it was likely the size of the cooker that created the problem.

      • Scott 25

        Thanks! I followed your tip and did not stir. It could also have been that they were old beans, in the bag, in my pantry for at least a year or two. Old beans take a lot longer to cook. Either way, it was delicious and I’ll definitely make it again. Thanks!

  18. Could you put raw chicken breastin the crock with the beans do you think?

    • Cathy 27

      I think it would fall apart if cooked for that long, maybe halfway through? Or less? You’d have to experiment.

  19. cate 28

    I have a hard time cooking beans from scratch. I think it may be because I’m at very high altitude (7200ft). Or just user error. :) Anyways – if I were to sub in canned beans, could I just add it altogether at once and cook for 4 hours?

    • Cathy 29

      Hmmm, they might be mush after four hours, seems long for canned beans. Without experimenting it’s hard to know.

  20. Dawn 30

    I followed the recipe exactly. I soaked the beans overnight and made sure I didn’t stir and after 6 hours they still have a bite to them. However, we really liked the flavors and we know, once the beans are tender, we will LOVE this chili. Thanks for the recipe.

  21. Andrea 32

    We are having a pot luck at work this week. Could I make this the day before and heat it up the next day? Will it still be ok? Most chilis are better the next day I find… just want to make sure!

  22. mario 36

    what size of the cut should be the tomatillos and green chiles? should it be chunky cut or a bit smaller?

  23. monica 38

    Can I use pinto beans and or kidney beans ?

  24. Lynda 39

    Just found this recipe and it looks wonderful. Do you have a nutrition breakdown? I’m diabetic and watch carbs closely. I have never cooked or bought tomatillos, so I don’t have a clue on how many to buy. Any information will be greatly appreciated!!!

    • Cathy 40

      There are sites on the internet that can break down the nutrition for you. As far as the tomatillos, I would buy 6-10, depending on their size.

  25. Carol 41

    Great recipe, definitely different. Loved it and so did my family. Like some others, some of my beans were not cooked enough. Think I might precook them for about an hour next time? Also put in about 2 tablespoons more of the masa harina than what it called for, made it a little thicker, and added about 3/4 can of corn when I put the chicken in. Overall, a great new recipe which I am sure I will use many times.

  26. Frank 42

    What kind of changes would be needed to eliminate the beans from this? I hate beans in chili.

    • Donna 43

      Hi Frank, I think you could just leave out the beans and reduce the amount of broth — maybe by half? to make chicken chile verde. I’d use about 1.5 or 2 pounds of skinless boneless thighs and add them at the start of cooking. You could also do this with a pork shoulder (on the fattier side, and super tasty!) or loin (leaner and still tasty but can get dry in the crock pot). For any meat dishes, I’d cook on low for longer; I think the high temp is needed to cook the beans.

  27. Darci Brown 44

    Can you cook this then freeze it and bring it for my dutch oven while camping? It sounds solo good.

  28. Cheryl 46

    My very fussy family, two of whom have sensory issues with food actually loved this. It was a little spicy for them so I did add two cans of fire roasted tomatoes to cut the heat and it went over very well. A small miracle in this household! I agree the masa harina is a MUST!

    • Cheryl 47

      Oops, I did use canned beans and they did not become mush after 5 hours in the crock pot. I used Cannellini beans.

  29. Jane 48

    I’m planning to use chicken thighs. Any ideas on how many pounds would be needed?


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