Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili

I was recently in Utah and realized that it’s still cold in other parts of the world while we’re sweating here in Florida. While I was there I had lunch with some fellow foodies: Chef In Training, Boys Ahoy, Taste and Tell, and Oh Sweet Basil. It was so nice to be able to talk incessantly about food without fear of being judged while trying to juggle our plethora of children.

And it seems that we also have the same taste in food because this morning when I popped this in the slow cooker I didn’t even realize that this recipe came from Boys AhoyΒ until later in the day. This chicken chili is made a whole lot heartier with some quinoa. Quinoa has a ton of protein and is a great addition to an already protein packed chili.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken ChiliI love it topped with a little sour cream, cheese, avocado, and tortilla strips.Β slow-cooker-quinoa-chicken-chili-bowl

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili
Prep Time
5 hrs 49 mins
Cook Time
5 hrs 49 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Christy Denney
  • 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 ounce can of chili beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 ounce can of corn, drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (use 3 if they're small)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 cup of quinoa , rinsed
  • toppings of your choice (cheese, sour cream, avocados, and tortilla strips)
  1. Make sure you rinse the quinoa and then add everything into a 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high. If you're using frozen chicken you may have to cook it longer.
  3. Remove chicken and shred it with two forks. Return to slow cooker.
  4. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, avocados, and tortilla strips.
Recipe Notes

Source: adapted from Sweet Treats and More


Speak Your Mind



  1. I’ll take a large bowl of that right now! That is right up my ally! Yum!

  2. Makes me wish I had a slow cooker. πŸ™‚

  3. That’s sounds like such a fun lunch! And this chil looks pretty fabulous too!

  4. I’m a huge fan of quinoa! I love that you added it directly to the chili. I much prefer quinoa over rice, so this chili recipe is all set and doesn’t even require rice. Maybe a slice of cornbread or two on the side. πŸ™‚

  5. This sounds delicious! I am so glad I finally got to meet you and your (some of your) darling kiddos. Can’t wait to see ya in June!!

  6. This looks amazing! I love quinoa and I love chili….looks like I found another recipe I am going to have to try!

  7. It was SO good to finally meet you!! And this chili? I need some!

  8. I am excited to try this recipe! I love quinoa and am always looking for new ways to use it, bonus that it is made in the slow cooker πŸ™‚

  9. I have been on the hunt for some Quinoa recipes! I’ve only tasted it, but never cooked it. I’m pregnant with #8, and meat is off the table for now, as I can barely stomach it! So, I’m looking for other sources of protein. Quinoa, I know, is high in protein, but I’m so new to it… I have *no* clue what I’m doing! Thank you for posting this!

  10. This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it. I’ve only read a little bit of your blog, but so far, love it! Thanks!

  11. I made this over the weekend, and it turned out so good! I did add green peppers and some jalapeno for a little extra kick πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  12. We made this this weekend, thanks for sharing the recipe.
    For me, it was much too mild. We ended up adding some habenero and some jalepenos to it.

    My husband is doing low sodium, so I think that took out a lot of the flavor for us. Until we can start using salt again, I’m not sure this is a good recipe for us, it was too bland. Certainly not the fault of the recipe, but I was surprised by the lack of flavor considering how much ‘good stuff’ was in there.

    We ate the leftovers as gordita topping (on fried tortillas) and that was much better serving than as traditional eat with a spoon chili.

  13. I made this for my family today, it’s still pretty chilly in Massachusetts. I have little ones and the heat was just right for all of us! I’m always looking for creative ways to use quinoa and stretch a meal, this did both!

  14. Made this for dinner tonight and we thought it was delicious. I will be adding it to my recipe collection. A great no fuss meal. Thank you.

  15. Stephanie Ann says:

    I have never cooked with quinoa. Do I need to cook it before adding it or just rinse it and dump it in?? Thanks!!

  16. Trying to calculate the nutritional information. Says serves 8 but do you know what the serving size is?

  17. This may be a silly question, but does the chicken need to be cooked before adding it to the slow cooker or is it raw? This looks great, and I am excited to try it, but I just wanted to double check about the chicken! Thanks for all your yummy recipes!

  18. I made this last weekend. I used 3 cans of petite diced tomatoes with jalapenos, and it was so good, and not too spicy at all! I love all of your recipes and make at least one of them every week! I haven’t been disappointed yet πŸ™‚


  20. This is a lifesaver! I make something similar (minus chicken) on the stove, and it is one of my husband’s favorite meals. Last week we had some contractors in who cracked our glass stovetop πŸ™ but I’ve switched everything to the crockpot and dinner success!

  21. Rachelskivich says:

    WOW! I just discovered your website and I’m hooked. I’ve looked at about 5 of your recipes so far and I’m ready to go out and make them all. Immediately.
    I’m 7 weeks pregnant with my first child and I can understand your story that goes along with the blueberry struesel muffins. For the first time ever, my stomach has been pushed out instead of sucked in to try and create a baby bump πŸ™‚
    Now I have got to get off your website or else I won’t do any more work for the rest of the afternoon. But I’ll be back and I plan on trying recipe after recipe after recipe after recipe….

  22. Our daughter-in-law had this
    cooking in the crock pot when
    we got home from an
    afternoon at the beach. We
    were all hungry and excited
    about our 2 year old grandson
    catching his first wave on a stand up
    paddle board with his dad and grandpa.
    The chili was super yum and we all loved it!

  23. Love this recipe! It took me all of 15 minutes to put it together and after 6 hours of cooking it was heaven in a bowl!

  24. Curious, why chili beans if you are just going to drain and rinse them. Couldn’t you just use pinto beans?

  25. This was so wonderful Christy and exactly what I was in the mood for! Giving the oven a break during the summer was an added bonus! I had to post about my experience making it and I totally linked back to you a few times because you deserve all of the credit…plus your pictures look a LOT better than mine! πŸ™‚ Thanks again and cheers!

  26. I added a teaspoon of salt and some hot sauce to the pot before serving, as it was a little bland as is. This was just what it needed and it turned out really great!

  27. How much quinoa does the recipe call for? It’s in the directions but I don’t see it in the ingredient list. Thanks!

  28. Is the chicken 2 half breasts or 2 whole chicken breasts?

  29. I just made this recipe (6 more hours to go!), but used 3 chicken breasts and added 2 jalapenos, 1 green pepper, 1 yellow onion, and 1 large carrot (all finely chopped). I also added a little more red pepper…love spice!

    Can’t wait to see how it turns out πŸ™‚ Thanks for the recipe!

  30. Hey there. This sounds amazing! Has anyone calculated the points for a serving of this on Weight Watchers? I’m new to that program and don’t necessarily know how to calculate such a mixed recipe. :0)

  31. I just discovered this site and am enjoying the content. When the top ten list came out a few days ago, I immediately flagged the Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili. I had all the ingredients so made it yesterday w/o reading any of the comments. I agree w/a previous commenter that the spice level needs amping up, but my main issue was the cook time. I made the recipe exactly as written and cooked 5 hrs on high. The finished product was so thick it was more like a dip than a chili/stew. 6 hours on low would probably be plenty of time but not on high. I will thin it and eventually use it all. Just a warning because nobody needs 6 qts of Quinoa Chicken Chili Dip !

  32. I have a lb. of frozen ground beef I want to use. Would the cook time, etc. change if I substituted the chicken for beef?

  33. I want to make this tonight. Do I just put raw chicken in with all the ingredients at the same time??

  34. I have this cooking in the crockpot right now, I can’t wait to get home and try it!!! Thanks for all your great recipes πŸ™‚

  35. Ooh, this looks so tasty! The leftovers seem like they would make excellent huevos rancheros too!

  36. How many calories a serving?

  37. Can I cook this on the stove over low heat? Any idea how long that might take?

  38. I am trying this recipe as I type πŸ™‚ can not wait to see how it turns out-looks delicious! thanks for sharing!!

  39. I was excited about this protein packed chili, but was really disappointed with the flavor. After reading the comments I boosted up the spice a bit… it was spicy, but was still missing something… it was bland, yet spicy. We tried adding several other things, but it just was missing something. Sad I won’t be making this again. πŸ™

  40. Making this for my boyfriend and all the guys he works with… This is probably the 5th time I’ve made this recipe. I don’t really like chili but I love this! Plus, it’s gluten free!

  41. If I have no time to make this in the slow cooker, what is your recommendation for cooking the chicken and the quinoa?

    • Quinoa does not take a long time to cook so you could simmer the chili on the stove with the uncooked quinoa and it will cook in about 15-20 minutes. The chicken can be cooked on a stove top or boiled or grilled. Anything would work.