Paleo Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Chili

If you have looked at my recipes, you’ve probably noticed that I use chipotle chiles in adobo sauce quite frequently.  Please don’t chalk that up to a lack of creativity.  I love spicy food, and for me the additional flavor and heat that most chiles give to any dish are welcome.  The beauty of using this ingredient is that you can easily tailor the heat to your taste by using more or less, or including the seeds.   For most of my recipes the chiles primarily offer that extra flavor dimension without bringing significant spiciness to the table.  This chicken chili recipe is one of my new favorites.  I came across the inspiration for it in the Nov/Dec issue of Clean Eating magazine.  Their version had potatoes, and I wanted to put a new twist on it to make it more flavorful and Paleo.  Trust me, this dish is unlike any other with chipotle chiles in adobo sauce.

I had a huge butternut squash on my counter (over 3 lbs), so I decided to use 2/3 of it for this recipe, and 1/3 for my Paleo Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup.  The addition of the squash gave a touch of sweetness and addition textural contrast to the dish.  I only used one chipotle chile, and the flavor was very mild.  I may add a second chile (seeded) when I make it again, or another teaspoon of the adobo sauce.  The only other spice is cumin, and I doubled the amount from the original recipe so the flavor could come through.

I decided to add a can of diced tomatoes in addition to the fresh grape tomatoes.  The combination of preserved and fresh simply give the dish more complexity.  You could use cherry tomatoes as well because they are similar in size to grape tomatoes.  Some will burst during the cooking process, but others will maintain their structural integrity until you take a bite.  So delicious and fun!  If you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, you could double the amount of canned or boxed tomatoes without sacrificing too much flavor.  Feel free to use any variety of canned or boxed tomatoes you enjoy.

Not only is this dish tender and juicy after several hours in the slow cooker, but it is also light and has a brightness of flavor.  When you serve it, squeeze the juice of a fresh lime over each dish, then either garnish with dried or fresh cilantro.  I’m not even the biggest fan of cilantro, but it complements this dish so well!  You can also serve this with cauliflower rice and fresh guacamole.  Hopefully this dish will be as big of a hit with your family as it was with mine. 🙂


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1-2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce plus 1 tsp sauce
  • 1 (1-2 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
  • 1 container grape tomatoes
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges (I used a yellow onion)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can organic diced tomatoes (unsalted)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • juice of one lime, to add before serving
  • dried or chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish


  • 1. Add onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, grape tomatoes, canned tomatoes, broth, garlic, chipotle chiles and sauce to slow cooker
  • 2. Add salt, cumin, and mix well
  • 3. Heat coconut oil in large nonstick skillet on medium/med-high heat
  • 4. Add chicken and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned
  • 5. Transfer chicken to slow cooker
  • 6. Cook for 6-7 hours on LOW or 3 hours on HIGH
  • 7. Serve with a squeeze of lime on top, and a pinch of cilantro, if desired
  • 8. Enjoy!