This recipe is one that I make at least a couple of times a month, and my family is always happy when I make it! I usually have everything in my kitchen that I need to make this. It’s also incredibly versatile, and it can even be prepared in a slow cooker! Here’s the original recipe that I got over at Food.com.
2 chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 1/4 ounce) can corn, undrained
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix packet
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 (8 ounce) package light cream cheese, cut in chunks
Place chicken on the bottom of the cooker, then cover with the canned vegetables. Top with seasonings and ranch mix. Stir together. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Use 2 forks to shred chicken. Stir cream cheese into chili. Cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Makes about 5 or 6 servings.
The outcome is a deliciously creamy southwestern-style chili. Serve it over rice. Or with tortilla chips. Or cheddar cheese. Or cornbread. Or just a spoon, for goodness sake.
I’ve also made this with a pound of ground turkey instead of the chicken breasts. Ground beef would work too.
Also, I have made this into a warm dip by using ground turkey and substituting the cream cheese with the same amount of Velveeta.
If you do make it into a dip, drain the corn before adding. Conversely, if you like a thinner soup instead of a thicker chili, add an extra can of water when adding the vegetables.
Don’t have black beans? I’ve used kidney beans as well as great northern beans as substitutions.
Want to spice it up a bit? Add a can of Ro*tel instead of the tomatoes.
Want to spice it up a lot? Add some chopped jalapeños.
Do you have a family as large as mine? (About 3 adults and 5 kids on a regular day here in my house.) I add an extra can each of corn, tomatoes, and beans to add another 2 servings. I don’t add more meat, and it’s not missed. In fact, this chili is hearty enough without adding any meat at all, just in case you want it to be vegetarian. Although, you might want to add more seasonings if you’re making a double batch or more.
In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, go ahead and make a double batch. Or a triple batch. It freezes like a dream.
I should mention that a member of my family doesn’t care for cream cheese. So, I take out a serving of the chili before adding it. I can attest that this chili is still amazing without the cream cheese.
I hope that this versatile recipe blesses the bellies of your family and the heart of your home!