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{This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.}

The day after Christmas…perfect day for a bowl of this Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tamale Chili.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tamale Chili | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

And just like that it’s the day after Christmas. Hoping each and every one you had an amazing Christmas with your family. And for those of you who did not celebrate, I hope you had a relaxing day off!

My family and I had one of the best Christmases yet. It finally snowed, really snowed! Which made for one of the best white Christmases ever. The day was filled with good food and even better company. I have so much to share, but I’m going to save all the details for another day, as I’m attempting to keep today’s post short and sweet in an effort to spend less time online, and more time with my family.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tamale Chili | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tamale Chili | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Every year for New Years, my family and I have always made a Mexican feast. This is something my late Aunt Katie started and we’ve carried on the tradition. Back when my cousins and I were kids, we’d spend the week after Christmas at our cabin in Ripley, New York. My Aunt Katie always used to bring tons of fresh tamales for New Years Eve and it was something everyone looked forward to each year.

Here’s the thing, I’ve attempted to make homemade tamales before, and well, I don’t really have a desire to do it again.

They are a lot of work, like a lot. Too much for me, and especially when feeding over seventeen people.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tamale Chili | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

These days I stick to tamale inspired recipes (hello to this tamale pie), plenty of tacos (new recipe coming on Thursday!), and bowls of guacamole.

This year’s recipe is all about easy slow cooker tamale chili (with stove top and instant pot directions too). If you guys like tamales, and you like chicken tortilla soup, then this is your kind of a chili. It’s basically a cross between those two recipes and it is DELICIOUS.

I used my favorite Mexican spices, some chipotle in adobo, and my homemade enchilada sauce (recipe in my cookbook) to flavor the chili. To make the chili thicker, creamier, and to give it that true tamale taste, I used Bob’s Red Mill Cornmeal. Guys, the cornmeal is what makes this chili. It adds that sweet corn flavor of Masa, which is used in traditional tamales.

And then the toppings. You all know how I love my toppings, and I did them up for this chili with some cilantro, lime, mango, avocado, homemade tortilla chips, and crumbled goat cheese.

So. Flippin’. GOOD.

Trust me, this is your New Year’s recipe, or at least sometime in the next few weeks. Everyone you are serving to is going to love this recipe, and it’s the perfect warming chili to cozy up to after a day of playing in the snow.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tamale Chili | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tamale Chili

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 356 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, or thighs
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 4-6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Stone Ground Cornmeal
  • 1 mango, sliced or diced
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • sliced avocado, tortilla chips, and crumbled goat cheese, for serving

Instructions

  • 1. In the bottom your crockpot, layer the onion and garlic. Add the chicken, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pour over the enchilada sauce and 4 cups broth. Add the apple cider vinegar, chipotle chilies, and cornmeal. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Shred the chicken using two forks. Taste and add salt if needed.
    2. In a small bowl, combine the mango, lime juice, and lime zest, and cilantro.
    3. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with mango, tortilla chips, avocado, and cheese. Garnish with cilantro and limes. Enjoy!

To Make in the Instant Pot

  • 1. In the bowl of your instant pot, layer the onion and garlic. Add the chicken, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pour over the enchilada sauce and 4 cups broth. Add the apple cider vinegar, chipotle chilies, and cornmeal. Cover and cook on high pressure/manual for 20-30 minutes.
    2. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function and release the steam. Shred the chicken using two forks. Taste and add salt if needed. Finish as directed above.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tamale Chili | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Winter chili perfection.

{This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!}

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I LOVE this chili! It’s spicy and filling. I decreased the cornmeal amount to 1/2 cup (just to cut down on calories) and made it in the instant pot. It’s a perfect warm-up for a cold, grey Sunday. So good!!

    1. Hey Kate,
      Awesome, I love to hear that the recipe was enjoyed and thanks so much for giving it a try! xTieghan

  2. Hi! I’m making this for a soup hand off today with 4 other friends 🙂 This is my first time making this recipe and i was wondering if you include the avocado in with the mango/lime/cilantro mixture or if it’s “undressed” and a separate topping. I discovered you in 2020 and have made a bunch of your recipes and every single one of them has been delicious! We had the roasted cauliflower on pesto pasta last night and it was awesome! Thanks!

    1. Hey Meghan,
      I like to use the avocado as a garnish. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if I can help in any other way! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe so many times the last couple of months. I’m absolutely addicted to it! My husband is a big fan as well!

  4. 5 stars
    This is my second time making this. I don’t think I commented then, but obviously making it a second time means it was a success.

    I serve the mango mix on the side. It is sooo good. Today I added garbanzo beans towards the end and that worked out well, but it’s perfect just the way the recipe is written.

    1. Hey Jan,
      I would do this on the stovetop for 3-4 hours. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Linda,
      You can absolutely omit the mango! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    I made this in the slow cooker first and it was really great! I since got an Instapot and just tried it in there, but I got two alerts saying “burn”. I think it’s because I stirred the cornmeal in after adding all the ingredients and it went to the bottom. A note of caution for anyone else who might do the same! Just LAYER it like she said!!!

    1. Hi Angelina! I hope this still turned out amazing for you! Please let me know if there is anything I can help with! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for my family and it was meant to be a side dish to tacos I was serving. My family instead ate ALL of this and said next time don’t bother with tacos and just serve this as the main course. It was delicious and came together easily. The texture from the corn meal is exactly what I look for in a chili. Sooooo good! I will be making this again!!

  7. The perfect “snow day” dinner! Both my husband and I loved the peppery and smoky flavor of this chili! This one is a keeper! ☃️❄️☃️❄️

  8. 5 stars
    I just made this in honor of our first big snow of the snow season down in the front range. It’s another hit – full of flavor and easy to pull together (I went the stove top route using a dutch oven). I love all your recipes! Thanks for continuing to share your talents!

  9. Hi! Not sure if you are still replying to comments on this recipe, but I just threw all this together in the crockpot and can’t wait to see how it turns out! I noticed the ingredients say 4-6 cups of broth. The instructions mention only 4 cups of broth. Would there be a situation where you might add the additional 2 cups in? Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Sarah! You will want to use the additional 2 cups of broth only if you feel your chili is on the thick side and needs to be thinned out with additional liquid. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ??

  10. Hi Tieghan!
    Wondering if I could just make this on the stovetop . Unfortunately, I am without instant pot and crockpot. What do you think? Will it turn out?

  11. 5 stars
    This was really easy and so delicious considering how few ingredients were in it. I made my own enchilada sauce and then tossed everything in the slow cooker. The chicken shredded nicely and the broth was very flavorful. The chipotles in adobo added a nice smokiness. I would make it again.

  12. 5 stars
    The family loved this recipe. It was a cross between tamales and enchiladas. I used the amount of broth on the higher end and had to omit the chilis because of the kids. They weren’t crazy about the lime but everyone liked the mango and cilantro on top.

  13. Looks great! Do you think I could prep it a week ahead of time & freeze it till I’m ready to throw it in the crockpot?

    1. Hey Carlene! Yes, you can prep and freeze. Just thaw overnight in the fridge, then cook as directed! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much!! xTieghan

  14. Hi,
    I got all the ingredients for this except the cornmeal on accident and when I put it all in the crockpot I forgot the cornmeal again…It’s home cooking right now. Do you think it will still turn out? Thanks

    1. I am sure it will be great! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  15. Hi there: this meal is so delicious! When I make it in the crockpot it comes out perfectly. But when I make it in the Instant Pot the burn feature happens. I followed the recipe super carefully. Advice? I first tried 30 minutes. Then the next time 20. Perhaps stir it so broth reaches the bottom more efficiently? I’m new to the InstantPot and want to love it. Help!

    1. HI! I would try cooking on high pressure for 15 minutes and see how that goes. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    I’m obsessed with this soup! I’ve made it three times and recently bought an Instant Pot so I can make it more often! I crave it. Thanks!

  17. I’m obsessed with this soup! I’ve made it three times and recently bought an Instant Pot so I can make it more often! I crave it. Thanks!

  18. 5 stars
    Delicious!! Made this tonight and the flavors/spices were spot on! I made this in my instant pot and my *only* suggestion is to mix the cornmeal with the broth beforehand. I just poured it on top and had some chunky pieces or gelatinous discs that didn’t fully mix in. Otherwise- a total hit. Thank you!

  19. I am absolutely going to make this! Do you think I could use masa harina instead of the cornmeal? I’m also going to use cotija cheese instead of goat cheese. I can’t wait!

    1. Yes, that should be great! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

    1. Oh I love that idea! I will look into making homemade tortillas. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  20. I made a couple additions/changes but it is still good. Really spicy so I added corn and olives. Eliminated the chips and added shredded cheese. Maybe lime juice would tone it down but I didn’t have any. Maybe I’ll get some tomorrow. Thank you!!

  21. 5 stars
    This was fantastic with Instant Pot instructions. I make my own enchilada sauce so sauted the onions, garlic and spiced from both recipes first, finished the enchilada sauce and then added your ingredients before making the MAGIC. Wonderful layers of flavour. Cilantro, avocado and lime juice were my garnishes. This will now be a household staple.

  22. 5 stars
    I made this tonight in my Instant Pot that I got for Christmas & all I can say is that It was soooooo good! My boyfriend raved about it, and said it was fantastic. I will definitely be adding this to my fave recipes and will be making it again and again. Can’t wait to read your cookbook as well! 🙂

  23. 5 stars
    Really enjoyed this! Also found the leftovers to be even better. My coworkers were jealous of my lunch box for sure!

    1. Hi! Yes, regular cornmeal will be great! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  24. This was EXCELLENT without the salsa and goat cheese. Could only find ground Pasilla Chile. I used Bob`s Red Mill polenta grits since I had that on hand. Anticipating the leftovers today. Thanks for a great recipe.

  25. We love your recipes! A co-worker made this and sent me the link and she said it was wonderful! I tried to put into My Fitness Pal to calculate nutrition, but it says no recipe found with the URL link. Has anyone else reported having an issue with importing your recipes into MFP? Just curious.

    1. HI! Honestly, I am not familiar with My Fitness Pal, so I really am not sure. I am going to look into it though. Sorry I could not help more. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  26. I LOVE your Mexican recipes Tieghan! I made your Carnitas Bar recipe for New Years Eve for 14 people but subbed the pork from your Tamale Bowl recipe from your cookbook (which my husband says is the best dish I’ve ever made!) – my whole family was very impressed!
    I just have one question for you – how do you get your tortilla chips to look so crispy and delicious?!

    1. HI! I actually just pan fry them in a little olive oil and then sprinkle with salt. I also often bake them too (with olive oil and salt and at 400)! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  27. This was a huge hit at my house. I had all the fixings and my kids loved personalizing their chili. I also had leftover rice and we each added a scoop to our bowls. Will be making again for sure!

  28. 5 stars
    Totally delicious, as usual! Everyone went back for seconds.

    More Instant Pot recipes, please! I’m getting ready to go back to work after mat leave and want to have my arsenal of IP recipes FULL.

  29. Finally worked up the courage to use my instant pot tonight, and made this recipe. About 5 minutes after starting, I received a “burn” message on the IP ? seems like even though I added the cornmeal on top some of it sank and stuck to the bottom. I ended up cooking it on the stove top, but am disappointed I couldn’t use the IP.
    What did I do wrong??

    1. HI Alexis, I am so sorry for the trouble. I honestly have no idea what could have happened. What brand instant pot are you using? Again, so sorry for the trouble.

    2. I had the exact same thing! I have an Instant Pot DUO and the manual says it’s from “starch deposits” which may be the cornmeal. I just threw mine on slow cook to finish the meal.

  30. 5 stars
    Just found your site this year and following on Instagram. Love the flavors of your recipes and just tried this one tonight. Another winner! Full of smoky flavor and compares favorably to other chicken or turkey chili recipes I’ve tried. Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for 2018.

  31. 5 stars
    This is a keeper for my family. Made it in the crockpot with 2 bone-in chicken breasts and swapped the spices for a generous portion of “taco seasoning.” (I like the Spice Island brand from Costco). Even my “picky” eater ate it. We told her it was a creamy chicken soup. Haha.

  32. 5 stars
    First of all, I don’t know how you manage to consistently hit all the right tastebuds in our household — but you do! I can always count on your recipes to be spot on. Thank you for that. As for this soup — delicious! And that comes from a Texan household that can feel rather territorial around anything that ventures into the tortilla/tamale/Tex-Mex realm. Always thrilled to see slow cooker meals, too — you can’t beat them for wintertime aromatherapy. Wishing you and yours the happiest of new years!

  33. I really want to try this but I’m kind of afraid. I do like tamales and I do like chicken but I live in a rural part of Arkansas and don’t know that I can find ancho chili powder or Mexican oregano. Where do you find these unique ingredients? I can order them on Amazon for about 10 dollars each, so I really want to make sure this is a yummy recipe. It looks beautiful and I love chili and soup that I can freeze that is hearty and comforting and this one looks like a winner.

    1. I just used the “regular” chili powder and oregano I already had on hand. Still terrific! Hope that helps 😉

    2. HI Erica!! No need to order anything, you can just use regular chili powder and regular oregano. No need to buy anything special. So sorry for the trouble. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s 🙂

  34. Love that this is a slow cooker recipe Tieghan! LOVE Bob’s products! Hope you had an awesome Christmas!

  35. 2 stars
    Did tge stove top instructions get posted? I didn’t see them.
    I am looking foward to trying this recipe, but don’t use a crokpot or instapot.

    1. Hi Rachel, directions below. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s 🙂

      1Saute the onion the onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until fragrant.. Add the chicken, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Pour over the enchilada sauce and 4 cups broth. Add the apple cider vinegar, chipotle chilies, and cornmeal. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

      2. Shred the chicken using two forks. Taste and add salt if needed. Finish as directed.

  36. Definitely my kind of chili! And I’m so envious, a white Christmas is something I’ve always wanted, and hope to have one like that someday!

  37. 4 stars
    I made the chipotle chicken tamale chili for dinner tonight, super flavor. The goat cheese was a great topping, the cilantro/lime mixture not so much – made it too sour. I didn’t have a ripe mango or avocado, didn’t use either of them. For the next bowl I plan to use goat cheese and cilantro with no lime and will try to save a bowl until a mango & avocado ripen.

    1. Hi Keith! I am glad you liked this dish! Sorry the cilantro lime topping did not work for you, but I hope you enjoy this more the next time you make it! Thank you!

  38. Hey Tieghan,
    I love this slow cooker tamale chili and think I’ll have to make it for my family sometime this week! But I’m not the biggest fan of mango. Do you have any recommendations as to what I can use instead? Or should I just not worry about the mango on top? Haha would pomegranate seeds be good? I’m looking forward to more winter recipes! (And Thursday’s tacos ?).
    I’m glad you had such a nice Christmas and are able to spend time with your family. Also, I’m happy you had a white Christmas and I hope you’re having a wonderful few days off. 🙂
    Sleep well and stay warm!

    1. HI Kristin! I think pomegranates would be amazing! You can also, just omit the mango completely, no bog deal! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s 🙂

  39. I wish you would bring back the print button on the mobil Website. I really like your creative cooking but lately (i think since your website update and gone print button) i am skipping your recipes for the simple fact that i don’t like to have my mobil laying around while i am cooking and it is too time-consuming to write your recipe out by hand.
    I wish you all the best for the new year…(love your book)

    1. Hi Sandy, I will make sure to bring the print button back to the mobile site. I didn’t realize it was missing. Should have that updated within the next few days. Again, sorry for the trouble. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s 🙂

  40. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. Can’t wait to make it when I get home. Also, a great way to use up several spices in the cabinet. Glad you had a wonderful Christmas.

  41. I’m going to try this – but vegetarianize it! Looks delicious, I’ll just replace chicken with beans and maybe some mushrooms!

    1. HI! Sorry about that, directions are there now. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s 🙂