Queso chicken chili in a bowl with avocado.click here to Pin this recipe

Howdy hey!

We are in the midst of Deep Winter and I have a load of Queso Crockpot Chicken Chili with Roasted Corn and Jalapeño leftovers waiting for me in the fridge, brought to me by a weekend of relaxing. I think we’ve already talked about the beauty of a good Instant Pot or slow cooker meal in that it pretty much cooks itself, but in case it hasn’t been said enough: my ultimate favorite thing in life is when relaxing = flavorful, delicious, comforting, filling, warm dinner.

This soup is lots of things:

  • creamy
  • spicy
  • full of veggies
  • full of protein
  • very filling
  • queso-y cheesy
  • only slightly trashy thanks to a little knob of cream cheese
  • better as leftovers
  • perfect for chip dippin’.
Queso Crockpot Chicken Chili in a crockpot with a wooden spoon.

Some Tips for Making This Chili Awesome

  • Skillet-roast the corn. With the jalapeño.
  • Skillet-roast the peppers, too.
  • If you don’t want to stand at a skillet – I GET IT! The whole point of this is easy-button cooking. In that case, roast the corn and peppers! Instructions for both are below, in the recipe. (The reason we aren’t adding them to the crockpot or Instant Pot is because they just kinda disappear. We want the good flavor and the non-disappearing.)
  • The flavor just develops into something amazing the longer you let it hang out together in the crockpot or Instant Pot. What I’m saying is the leftovers will be amazing.
  • Add or subtract whatever you want here. Like many-a-good crockpot or Instant Pot recipes, this is one where you can kind of do whatever you want. I mean, if you want it in there, just… throw it in there. You can follow the recipe and/or you can blaze your own trail.

Okay, Let’s Make Queso Chicken Chili!

Step 1: Place the chicken, water, salsa, and spices in the Instant Pot.

Step 2: Add the jalapeño pepper, corn, and bell peppers to a sheet pan. Roast for 10-15 minutes in the oven.

Step 3: After time is up, release the pressure from the Instant Pot and shred the chicken. Add everything else, including the roasty corn and pepper combo. Give everything a stir so that the flavors come together and the cheese gets all nice and melty.

Step 4: Spoon chicken chili into a bowl, top with avocado, scoop everything up with tortilla chips. REPEAT!

I love you, Mexican food. Or Tex-Mexican. Or Tex-Mex appliance cooking.

Only 27 days until spring. WE GOT THIS.

Queso chicken chili in a bowl with avocado and a spoon.

Other Yummy Chili Goodness

Queso Chicken Chili with Roasted Corn and Jalapeño

  • Author:

  • Prep Time:
    15 mins

  • Cook Time:
    8 hours

  • Total Time:
    8 hours 15 minutes

  • Yield:
    8 1x


Queso Chicken Chili! Creamy, spicy, and so easy. Made with roasted corn, jalapeño, and creamy Pepper Jack cheese. Super easy dinner!



  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 cups salsa, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bell peppers, minced
  • 1 14 ounce can corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (without ribs and seeds)
  • 1 14 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese
  • 6 ounces Pepper Jack cheese
  • cilantro for topping
  • blue corn tortilla chips for yummy dippin’


  1. Place the chicken breasts, 1 1/2 cups salsa, water, cumin, chili powder and salt in the bowl of a slow cooker or Instant Pot. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-7 hours (or in the Instant Pot for 20 minutes on high pressure). When the chicken is done, shred the meat directly in the pot using two forks.
  2. Preheat oven to 450. Pat the peppers and corn dry with a paper towel. Place on a baking sheet with a little bit of oil. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until browned and… well, roasty-looking.
  3. Add the roasted peppers, roasted corn and jalapeño, black beans, remaining salsa, and cream cheese to the crockpot. Stir and replace cover, allowing the cream cheese to melt. Adjust the consistency of the soup by adding another 1/2 cup of water if needed. Let the soup simmer for another 15-30 minutes until everything is smooth and melted. Just before serving, stir in the Pepper Jack cheese.


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If you’d rather cook your peppers and corn over a skillet: Place the bell peppers in a large nonstick skillet over high heat without oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes WITHOUT stirring. This creates the browned, roasted look out on the outside of the peppers. Stir once and repeat until the peppers are nice and browned. Set aside. Repeat this process with the corn and jalapeño together.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: chicken chili, queso chicken chili, instant pot chicken chili, crockpot chicken chili

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