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Delicious Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

May 23, 2018 (Last Updated: May 1, 2020)

This crock pot Santa Fe chicken is packed with 7 different veggies, spiced with zesty, Tex-Mex flavors and serves at least 6 happy cowboys. It can also be easily made in an Instant Pot, and is gluten-free and dairy-free!

It takes only 30 minutes (or less!) to prepare your ingredients, then all you have to do is sit back and wait for your crockpot to fill your home with the dreamiest aroma.

A bowl of Santa Fe Chicken on a lace table cloth.

My favorite kinds of recipes for get-togethers with friends are make-ahead meals so I’m not toiling in the kitchen until dinner. I can just place a pot on the stove, serve a few cocktails, then simply heat up dinner when folks are getting hungry.

This Santa Fe chicken is such a perfect meal for a movie night with buddies or causal, cozy poker night. Not to mention, an inexpensive meal (even when all ingredients are organic!) for the whole family.

It’s also a perfect freezer meal! It thaws perfectly and lasts for months when separated into freezer bags or containers!

Fresh vegetables and cans of organic corn, beans and tomatoes in front of a box of chicken broth.

A Few Common Questions:

1. What Makes Santa Fe Chicken “Santa Fe” Chicken?

Essentially, “Santa Fe”- style cooking is traditionally defined by its spices and ingredients such as shredded meats, beans, peppers, corn, onion and tomatoes.

You’ll find that most recipes for Santa Fe Chicken are entirely different – some are baked, some are cooked in a skillet, some include cheese or are served as a casserole. But what you’ll find in common between every recipe, is they almost all include the same ingredients with just a few variations.

This recipe contains no dairy which makes it a little different than other recipes that often contain cheese. But by all means, grate some cheddar or sprinkle it with some tasty cotija cheese if you’re feeling cheesy!

A bowl of Santa Fe Chicken on a lace table cloth.

2. How Should I Serve Santa Fe Chicken?

I like to serve it just as it comes, like a stew, but you can spoon it into tortillas or even use it to make some very impressive nachos! Simply strain the chicken broth, pile it on top of your chips, cover with grated cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 375 F.

3. How Spicy Is This Recipe?

The spiciness of this recipe is a mild-medium. If you want to give it a little more kick, add another ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or more!). You can also add a teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce or  ¼ cup of spicy salsa to add a little more excitement.

4. How Do I Make this Recipe in an Instant Pot? Can I Pressure Cook it to Make the Process Faster?

For this recipe, you won’t want to pressure cook. The tomatoes and chopped onions will just be turned to mush. You’ll follow the whole recipe as is, and simply set your Instant Pot to “Slow Cook” on the “Medium” setting for the same amount of time as the crock pot. 9 hours. Then once you add your rice, you’ll turn the setting to “High” and allow it to cook for 30 minutes more.

5. What Will I Need to Make This Recipe?

  • A crock pot or Instant Pot
  • A simmering pot to cook 1 cup of basmati rice
  • A measuring cup
  • A cutting board and sharp knife

How to Make Santa Fe Chicken – Step by Step

A step by step process showing how to make Santa Fe chicken.

1. Add 1 cup of basmati rice and 1½ cups of water to a simmering pot (or as directed for 1 cup of rice on your package). Simmer while you prepare your other ingredients.

You won’t be adding your rice to the crock pot until it’s just about done, otherwise it just turns to mush. Once finished, simply place it in a container and refrigerate until your chicken is done.

2. – 4. Chop your peppers and onions and add to your crock pot or Instant Pot.

5. Add the 15oz. can of corn, diced tomatoes and kidney beans to your crock pot/ Instant Pot with your diced onions and peppers.

6. In 1½ cups of organic chicken broth, mix 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. chipotle chili pepper, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper and 1 tsp. salt, and pour into the crock pot/Instant Pot.

A step by step process showing how to make Santa Fe chicken.

7. Place 2 chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and season with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder. Set the crock pot to “low” (or the Instant Pot to “Slow Cook” on “Medium”) and leave to slow cook for 9 hours.

8. After 9 hours, remove the chicken breasts, and simply shred them on a cutting board with 2 forks.

9. Pour your refrigerated rice and the shredded chicken back into the crock pot/Instant Pot, give it a nice stir, turn it to “High” and simmer for another 30 minutes. Serve or refrigerate in a covered container.

Help Yourself to A Few More Spicy Recipes

For more inspiration, follow me on INSTAGRAM @shekeepsalovelyhome, on PINTEREST and FACEBOOK! And if you ever make any of my tasty drinks or treats, take a picture and tag me. I want to see! 

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4.84 from 6 votes

Easy Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

This crock pot Santa Fe chicken is packed with 7 different veggies, spiced with zesty, Tex-Mex flavors and serves at least 6 happy cowboys. It’s also gluten-free and dairy-free! 
Prep Time30 mins
Crock pot simmering9 hrs 30 mins
Total Time10 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: gluten-free
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 413kcal

Equipment

  • crock pot or Instant Pot
  • A simmering pot to cook 1 cup of basmati rice
  • An 8oz. measuring cup
  • A cutting board and sharp knife

Ingredients

  • 2 large organic chicken breasts - or 3 small
  • cups organic chicken broth
  • 15 oz. can of organic tomatoes - diced
  • 15 oz. can of organic corn
  • 15 oz. can of organic kidney beans
  • 1 medium red onion - diced
  • 2 medium bell peppers - 2 colors
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • pepper - just a sprinkle
  • 1 cup basmati rice

Instructions

  • Add 1 cup of basmati rice and 1½ cups of water to a simmering pot (or as directed for 1 cup of rice on your package). Simmer while you prepare your other ingredients. Once finished, simply place it in a container and refrigerate until your chicken is done.
  • Chop your peppers and onions and add to your crock pot or Instant Pot.
  • Add 15 oz. can of corn, diced tomatoes and kidney beans to your crock pot/ Instant Pot with your diced onions and peppers.
  • In 1½ cups of organic chicken broth, mix garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle chili pepper, cayenne pepper and sea salt, and pour into the crock pot/Instant Pot.
  • Place 2 chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and season with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder. Set the crock pot to “low” (or the Instant Pot to "Slow Cook" on "Medium") and leave to slow cook for 9 hours.
  • After 9 hours, remove the chicken breasts, and simply shred them on a cutting board with 2 forks.
  • Pour your refrigerated rice and the shredded chicken back into the crock pot/Instant Pot, give it a nice stir, turn it to “High” and simmer for another 30 minutes. Serve or refrigerate in a covered container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 722mg | Potassium: 1154mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1945IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 4mg

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Martha
    March 14, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    How long. On the instant pot?

    • Reply
      Genevieve Morrison
      March 16, 2020 at 12:49 am

      If you’re making this recipe in an Instant Pot, simply set it to Slow Cook, on the Medium setting for the same amount of time. 9 Hours.

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