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Paleo Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Chicken, lots of hidden veggies, and no beans in this paleo take on a comfort-food favorite.

Paleo White Chicken Chili

For the printable recipe click here.

Paleo Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Don't you just love slow cooker recipes? Especially when the weather starts to get a little cooler, something warm and hearty waiting in the crock pot is a welcome sight around the Monster casa. This creamy white chicken chili recipe easily feeds my family of seven, and for smaller families, you might even be able to feed a crowd!

While traditional chili typically has a tomato base and darker meat like beef--possibly with black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans (or potentially all beans and no meat for a vegetarian chili)--white chili typically leaves out the tomatoes and opts for chicken.

This white chili recipe is full of protein, thanks to loads of tender chicken thighs, and it's packing plenty of healthy ingredients like sneaky hidden veggies instead of the traditional white beans. Since legumes are not part of a paleo protocol, we replace them with cauliflower that beaks down and helps to thicken the chili. Bell peppers, onions, carrots, celery, and jalapenos or your preferred green chilies add flavor, complexity, and extra veggie power.

Salt and a really good chili powder are all you need to crank those flavors up--no need for an extra laundry list of herbs and spices.

Some traditional white chili recipes call for adding cream cheese, heavy cream, or sour cream for a little creaminess. In this dairy-free version, we opt for full-fat canned coconut milk. Canned coconut cream would work as well. With the coconut milk, juices from the chicken, and all the liquid released from the veggies, there's no need to add chicken broth, homemade chicken stock, or additional liquid of any kind.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

​Pestata pucks for the meal prep win!

Part of what makes slow cooker meals so appealing is the ease of creating a hearty meal with minimal prep.

​You know what makes this recipe even easier? Pestata pucks!

​Pestata is basically very finely chopped veggies or aromatics like onions and garlic that form a tasty flavor base for all kinds of savory dishes.

We like to make all kinds of pestatas in the food processor, portion them out in silicone muffin trays, and freeze the pucks to pull out for easy meal prep.

This recipe employs a trio of mirepoix (carrot+onion+celery), mixed bell pepper, and jalapeno pucks. The mirepoix and bell peppers are frozen in stardard sized muffin cups, while the jalapenos are frozen in mini muffin cups. You could also use poblano peppers, anaheims, fresnos, or your favorite mild or hot green chiles.

While pulling these pucks straight from a freezer bag certainly adds to the simplicity of this healthy white chicken chili, the recipe also lists quantities of chopped fresh veggies, so you can do whichever works best for you!

For more on pestata, check out this post!

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

​Do you have to use chicken thighs?

This slow cooker white chicken chili recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

But could you use boneless, skinless chicken breasts? Of course!

I don't know why you would, since boneless, skinless thighs are cheaper, more tender and flavorful, and only marginally higher in saturated fat and calories, but if you happen to have some boneless, skinless chicken breasts hanging around that need to be used sooner rather than later, go for it!

Could you use rotisserie chicken? Picking the meat off the bones feels like a step in the wrong direction in the simplicity department. And since the meat is already cooked and wouldn't need to be added till the end, the chili would miss out on all those yummy chicken juices released during cooking. So my answer is no, but you do you, boo!

Ok, what about ground chicken? I would be more likely to use a higher-fat, ground dark meat over a leaner, purely white meat grind, but this is certainly an option.

So in summary, there is a little room to play, but for best results, I'd stick with the thighs.

This delicious slow cooker white chicken chili is the perfect soup for the time of year when months end in R and R&R sounds better than slaving away over meal prep. With the crock pot set to high, your chili is done in 3 hours and ready for your favorite toppings!

Paleo White Chicken Chili

Here's what you'll need:

  • 3 mirepoix pestata pucks (or 1/3 cup each finely diced onion, carrot, and celery)

  • 3 bell pepper pestata pucks (or 1/3 cup each finely diced red, yellow, and orange bell pepper)

  • 1 lb frozen cauliflower florets

  • 2 mini jalapeno or green chile pestata pucks (or 2 jalapenos or green chiles, seeded and finely diced)

  • ​3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 2 T chili powder

  • 1 T salt

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • Optional toppings: fresh cilantro, avocado slices, lime wedges, chopped green onions, paleo-friendly tortilla chips (such as Siete brand)

Here's what you'll do:

  1. Place all chili ingredients except coconut milk in a slow cooker. Place the lid on, and cook on high for 3 hours or till the chicken is fall-apart tender.

  2. Use two forks to shred the chicken and smash up any large bits of cauliflower.

  3. Stir the coconut milk into the shredded chicken and serve! Or switch to the "keep warm" setting if not serving immediately. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for 3 months.

Paleo White Chicken Chili

For the printable recipe click here.

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Hey Y'all!

I'm the Monster Momma.

I'm a Christ-follower, wife, mother to five sweet paleo monsters, writer, and

paleo food fiend.

Join me and my family on our paleo journey!

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