Tex-Mex Chicken with Black Beans

Slow cooker mexican chicken

I love recipes that help me use up lots of little bits of things that happen to be hanging around in my fridge and freezer. Ok, that doesn’t sound super appetizing, but trust me, the result this time was.

tomato pasteI needed to use up some mini sweet peppers (aren’t they beautiful?).

mini peppers

I also had some tomato paste in my freezer from some other recipe cooked long ago. Anyhow, although it had a few ice crystals on it, it was still fine for using. I was happy I hadn’t wasted it (and could find it in the freezer after only a little rummaging around).

Plus, I didn’t have green onions on hand, so I used chives. I know, none of these swaps are a big deal, but sometimes people are reluctant to stray even a teeny bit from a recipe—don’t be! Where’s the fun in that? And anyway, most slow cooker recipes don’t require such strict adherence, which means you can use what you have and feel perfectly good about it as long as the resulting product tastes good to you! And this did. Very good. Restaurant good, in my opinion. There is only one jalapeño called for in this recipe, so adjust it up if you prefer more spiciness.

tex mex chix vert


Tex-Mex Chicken with Black Beans

Servings: 4

Slow cooker mexican chicken


  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp GF chili powder
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 2 (15.5-oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese or queso fresco
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro or scallions


  1. Stir together the oil and chili powder in a medium mixing bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the oil mixture to the slow cooker crock. Add the chicken thighs to the remaining spice mixture in the bowl. Toss until chicken ices are coated with spices; set aside.
  2. Add the black beans, crushed tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, jalapeño, tomato paste, garlic, salt and black pepper to the slow cooker crock and stir well.
  3. Nestle the chicken thighs into the bean mixture. Cover and cook 8 hours on LOW (or 4 hours on HIGH).
  4. To serve, transfer chicken thighs to plates. Stir the beans; then spoon them onto the plates. Garnish each plate with 1/4 cup feat or queso fresco and 1/2 tablespoon cilantro (or scallions...or chives).

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