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Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean & Chicken Soup

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean and Chicken Soup is a hearty, healthy, effortless crock pot dinner for those cold winter nights!

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean and Chicken Soup ~ a hearty, healthy, effortless crock pot dinner for those cold winter nights! | FiveHeartHome.com

We interrupt this month of holiday recipes to bring you a cozy, slow cooker soup that can be enjoyed all winter long!

It’s probably no secret by now that I love cooking with beans. From side dishes to soups to crock pot suppers, beans are nourishing, filling, and inexpensive. It’s easy to infuse them with other flavors and they require minimal prep work to pretty much cook themselves. And let’s be honest here…is there anything more comforting than a big ol’ pot of beans (or bean soup) on a chilly day?

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean and Chicken Soup ~ a hearty, healthy, effortless crock pot dinner for those cold winter nights! | FiveHeartHome.com One of my all-time favorite bean recipes is the Slow Cooker Chicken & White Bean Chili that I shared on the site last fall. In fact, I went to make it last week and, lo and behold, I was out of dried white beans! But I did have a container of dried black beans in the pantry, and that got my wheels a-spinnin’. If white beans are good, would black beans perchance be better?

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean and Chicken Soup ~ a hearty, healthy, effortless crock pot dinner for those cold winter nights! | FiveHeartHome.com

7-year-old: “May I please have more? A whole bowl.”
5-year-old: “Mama, you’re the BEST cooker!”
2-year-old (who, incidentally, is currently subsisting on a diet of apple slices and cheese popcorn): “Mmm-mmmm…DEEEEE-wishous!”
Husband: “I think I like this even more than the white bean version.”

And gosh…it feels like blasphemy to admit it, but I enjoyed this Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean & Chicken Soup every bit as much as my old tried-and-true white chicken chili recipe. The variations between the two recipes are subtle but the final results are quite different, albeit delicious in their own respective ways.

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean and Chicken Soup ~ a hearty, healthy, effortless crock pot dinner for those cold winter nights! | FiveHeartHome.com To make this black bean version of my white bean recipe, of course, I started out by switching the beans. I also slightly decreased the amount of chicken used, since black beans don’t swell up and expand quite like white beans do and I didn’t want the chicken-to-bean ratio to be lopsided. As black beans are able to stand up to some pretty robust flavors, I increased the spices a bit, both in amount and variety. I also threw in a can of diced tomatoes and green chiles for extra pizzazz.

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean and Chicken Soup ~ a hearty, healthy, effortless crock pot dinner for those cold winter nights! | FiveHeartHome.com The biggest difference in flavor between these two soups, however, is probably due to how I finished off each one. While I typically stir in some cornmeal (or masa) and milk into my white bean chili at the end to give it that extra dimension, I decided to forgo that step in this black bean soup. Instead, I stirred in some sour cream. Hellooo, silky, creamy broth! Take my word for it…black beans + sour cream = match made in heaven.

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean and Chicken Soup ~ a hearty, healthy, effortless crock pot dinner for those cold winter nights! | FiveHeartHome.com When hosting parties, I’ve been known to set up and serve a “Chili Bar, with a big crock pot full of traditional beef chili and another crock pot of chicken/white bean chili. I bake up a batch of cornbread muffins, pop open a bag of tortilla chips, and set out bowls of shredded cheese, diced avocado, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, pickled jalapeños…you name it! Everyone can garnish each kind of chili as he or she sees fit.

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean and Chicken Soup ~ a hearty, healthy, effortless crock pot dinner for those cold winter nights! | FiveHeartHome.com

The next time I host such a party, however, you can bet I’ll be adding this black bean spin to the line-up! It would be yummy with any and all of the above suggested garnishes, but at the very least, I recommend stirring in some crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, salsa, and chopped cilantro before you dig in. Yum, yum, YUM.

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean and Chicken Soup ~ a hearty, healthy, effortless crock pot dinner for those cold winter nights! | FiveHeartHome.com

So the next time you want to warm up on a chilly day with a steamy bowl of comfort food goodness, toss the ingredients for this Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean & Chicken Soup into the crock pot. It’s a simple, hearty meal that’s sure to become a new family favorite!

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean & Chicken Soup

Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean & Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 3 large chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (fresh or refrigerated jarred)
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans mild diced green chiles
  • 1 (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes & green chiles (such as Rotel)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds & membranes removed and diced (optional)
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • RECOMMENDED GARNISHES:
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, Monterrey Jack, etc.)
  • Salsa
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • OPTIONAL GARNISHES:
  • Diced avocado
  • Guacamole
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Pico de gallo
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Additional sour cream

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain beans and place in the bottom of a large (7 to 8-quart) slow cooker. Lay chicken breasts on top, and add garlic, green chiles, Rotel, and jalapeño (if using) to the slow cooker. Carefully pour chicken broth over ingredients, and season mixture with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne (if using), and black pepper. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until chicken shreds easily and beans are tender.
  2. A half hour before serving, remove chicken to a plate or cutting board. Stir sour cream into soup and replace lid of slow cooker. In the meantime, cut chicken into large chunks and shred it with two forks. Add chicken back to the soup and taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or spices, if necessary. Cover and continue to cook for 30 more minutes.
  3. Before serving, garnish soup with a mound of crushed tortilla chips, a pile of shredded cheese, a dollop of salsa, and a sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro...plus any other toppings that appeal to you!
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http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/12/16/slow-cooker-creamy-black-bean-chicken-soup/

MORE slow cooker recipes with real food ingredients!
25 Amazing Real Food Slow Cooker Recipes ~ comforting crock pot classics, flavorful tacos, hearty sandwiches, and cozy soups, stews, and chilis make up this list of popular slow cooker recipes! | FiveHeartHome.com* * * * * * * * * *

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White Bean, Kale, & Sausage Soup ~ a cozy, filling soup that's packed with nutrients and comes together in under 30 minutes! | FiveHeartHome.com

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup ~ this effortless, hearty, taco-seasoned soup is brimming with chicken, beans, and corn and topped with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, and grated cheddar...sure to become a fall and winter favorite! | FiveHeartHome.com

Slow Cooker Corn & Potato Chowder with Ham
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Slow Cooker German Lentil Soup with Sausage
Slow Cooker German Lentil Soup with Sausage | {Five Heart Home}

Parmesan Potato & Cauliflower Soup
Parmesan Potato and Cauliflower Soup | {Five Heart Home}

Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles
Slow Cooker Balsamic & Herb Beef Stew with Cornbread Waffles | FiveHeartHome.com

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
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Comments

  1. Mmmm that looks and sounds delicious!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  2. Samantha, this looks like my kind of comfort food! Also, the fact that it cooks in a slow cooker is just perfection 🙂

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Amy! And I couldn’t agree more…a great recipe is even better if you can make it in a slow cooker. 😉

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever made chili any other way than in a slow cooker and whenever I use black beans I feel like it gives me permission to spice it like a taco. Which is arguably one of my most favoritest foods ever! Yum! Pinning!

    ~Meaghan

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I’m with you, Maeghan…black beans are just begging for taco-type seasonings. 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by and for the pin…I hope you’re having a fabulous December!

  4. You put the dried black beans in the crockpot with everything and they are cooked in 8 hours??

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Jamie! Yes, my beans were perfectly cooked in 8 hours, though in the recipe directions I did indicate to cook “until beans are tender,” because I know that the cooking time of beans can be variable. I do have a relatively new slow cooker that seems to run pretty hot, so an older crock pot may take longer to soften the beans. There are also a variety of factors that can cause beans to take longer to cook in certain circumstances, which I discussed at length in this post: http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/10/02/slow-cooker-charro-beans/. You can also increase the heat to high at the beginning or end of the cooking time to shorten the duration. I’ll update the recipe directions to give a more flexible cooking time range, since everyone’s slow cooker runs differently and I don’t want anyone to think that the beans will be cooked in 8 hours in every single instance. Thanks for your input and I hope this helps! 🙂

      • Thanks for that info! 🙂 I am going to make this for tomorrow night, it is cold and rainy here and this looks SO good to me! It could be because I am pregnant but I need it ASAP! 🙂

        • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

          You’re so welcome, Jamie! I hope you enjoyed this soup…it’s definitely perfect for a cold and rainy night. And congratulations on your impending new arrival…very exciting! 🙂

  5. I didn’t think I had a particularly small crockpot, but 1 lb. of dried black beans is WAY too much. I could only add 4 cups of chicken broth with everything else, and that was to the very top of the crockpot. After 7 hours or so I took the chicken out and discovered the beans had pretty much overtaken the pot. I scooped out about half of them maybe? Added the shredded chicken back in and then was able to add another 2 cups or so of broth. Very tasty, don’t get me wrong. But the amounts just seem way off for my crockpot. You should probably make a note to tell people use a BIG crockpot. And maybe cut back on the beans – 1 lb. of dried black beans turns in to a LOT of beans.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Jo! I’m so sorry you had trouble fitting this recipe in your particular crock pot. I definitely should been more specific about a size rather than just saying the slow cooker should be “large.” I will go back and clarify the recipe instructions right now! I have always used a 7- to 8-quart oval crock pot when making this recipe and everything fits beautifully, even once the beans expand. However, I really appreciate you sharing your experience so that I can make sure that nobody else has a problem making this soup due to too small of a slow cooker. I’m glad that it still tasted good despite your difficulties, but I apologize again for my oversight. Hope you’re having a great week!

  6. This winter I’ve been making a different healthy soup every week to take to work for my lunches. All have been wonderful except for this one. Unfortunately I was very disappointed in this recipe. I ended up having to cook it for approximately 16 hours to get the beans tender! And my crockpot is a newer model which has worked perfectly on many other recipes, especially soup recipes. With the extended cook time, the chicken has turned BLACK because it has absorbed the color from the beans. It now looks like shredded beef. The soup is barely edible, but because I hate to waste all the ingredients, I will try and eat it. I would never serve it to my family or guests. I think it would have been better to use canned beans instead of dry beans, or to maybe cook the beans separate from most of the other ingredients initially. Not sure what would improve it, but I wanted to save others from wasting their time and money on ingredients. So sorry.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Joan! I’m so sorry to hear about your disappointing experience. However, it sounds like your problem had to do with the age of the beans you used, not the recipe itself. Dry black beans should never take 16 hours to soften in a slow cooker. I have made this recipe (and other slow cooker recipes calling for dry black beans) many times, and the beans always soften within 8 hours in my newer model slow cooker. You can look up other slow cooker black bean recipes and see that they call for comparable cooking times to this one. So I’m guessing that either your beans had been in the pantry for awhile, or if you recently purchased them from a grocery store, they were probably stored in a warehouse for some time before you bought them. Old dry beans take significantly longer than normal to soften, and sometimes they never completely soften at all. From the US Dry Bean Council (http://www.usdrybeans.com/recipes/recipe-facts/):

      HOW LONG CAN I STORE DRY BEANS? Dry beans keep up to a year in an airtight container in a cool, dry environment, away from direct sunlight. During storage, beans may either absorb or lose moisture, which will affect the soaking and cooking time. If stored longer than 12 months, or exposed to unfavorable storage conditions, beans may never soften sufficiently, no matter how long they’re soaked or cooked.

      HOW LONG SHOULD I COOK DRY BEANS? Exact cooking time depends upon altitude, bean variety, water hardness, and the age of the beans. Generally, most beans will cook to the desired firmness in one to one-and-one-half hours. Test frequently by tasting, or mashing a bean against the side of the pot with a spoon fork. Cooking beans in a slow cooker takes six to eight hours, or overnight.

      I’m truly sorry for your wasted ingredients, but I hope this helps you understand what most likely happened. Have a great rest of the week!

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