Simple Shredded Chicken and White Beans

Inspiration: A one-pot dish with Mexican flair and lots of pepper jack cheese? I’m in. I sometimes think that Brandon and I could eat this style of food every day (Mexican, Tex-Mex, Mexican-inspired, basically anything topped off with plenty of cilantro) and be happy campers. It’s also my favorite kind of food to cook – it’s fun and creative, with recipes fitting for an involved Saturday night supper (like a really great mole, which is on my to-make list) or a quick weekday meal, like this one.

What We Loved: What’s great about this recipe and what drew me to it in the first place is that it’s so simple. There are only four main ingredients – chicken, beans, salsa, and cheese – that are thrown into the crock pot and cook away on their own all day. Sometimes there’s just nothing better than that. The resulting flavors are simple and tasty, too – moist, fall-apart chicken and creamy white beans with a nice kick of Mexican-style flavor from the peppery salsa and cheese. For supper on a busy evening or as leftovers for a quick and hearty lunch, this recipe is perfect.

Tips: Brandon and I thought of this dish as more of a shredded chicken dish than as a chili (as it’s called in the original recipe), since we normally consider chili to have much more sauce to it. Most of the liquid from the salsa was absorbed into the chicken in this dish (making the chicken super moist, which was awesome). As such, we thought that it would work great if you wanted to make Mexican-style shredded chicken sandwiches. Or, come to think of it, this would also work really well atop of a bed of greens for a salad. It really was wonderful and perfect for us eaten just on its own out of the bowl, though.

Simple Shredded Chicken and White Beans
Source: Slightly adapted from Pink Parsley

4 chicken breasts
4 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz pepper jack cheese, cut into 2 inch cubes
3 cups salsa
Additional pepper jack cheese, shredded
Grape tomtatoes, diced
Fresh cilantro, minced

1. Place the navy beans, pepper jack cheese cubes, and salsa in a crock pot.

2. Nestle the chicken breasts into the crock pot.

3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

4. Remove the chicken, shred, and return it to the pot. Stir to combine.

5. Serve topped with additional pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, and cilantro.

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14 thoughts on “Simple Shredded Chicken and White Beans

  1. Yum, this chicken sounds delicious! I’m always looking for new ways to cook chicken in my slow cooker, and this one sounds perfect. And so easy. Thanks for the great idea. I think I might try stuffing it into some enchiladas. Have you tried that yet?

    • Thanks! I have not tried it as a filling for enchiladas, but that sounds like a wonderful idea! Please let me know how it works if you try it out.

    • Sorry – they are 14.5 oz cans. Please let me know if you try it out with dried beans – I would think that you could soak them overnight and then just put them in the crock pot for the 6-8 hours, but I’m not 100% sure that they would be cooked through in that time?

  2. this is very similar to a white bean chicken chili that I make–the only real difference is that I also add a carton of chicken broth. That will give it a more soupy/chili type feel. I’ve never tried it without the chicken broth–I’ll have to do that for a burrito filling or on top of some brown rice.

    • I like the idea of adding the chicken broth to make it more like a chili/soup, Karen. That would be perfect, I think!

    • I hope you enjoy :) The chicken breast is just about as tender as chicken breast can be, I think…..it shreds right apart with a fork after cooking.

    • I have a large crock pot – 7 qts, and that worked just fine. It was only filled up about 1/2 way, though, so something much smaller would certainly work (4-5 qts).

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