Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Chili Mac is a hearty one pot pasta meal that cooks completely in the crockpot!
You guys, I think sometimes I underestimate this whole it-being-winter thing.
Can you blame me? Sometimes it feels really strange to make supper at 3:00 just so I can photograph it for the blog. And then there’s that awkward “do you try to keep it warm until it’s actually supper or do you refrigerate it and reheat it later?” issue.
So I made this and, quite frankly, it was fantastic. So I had to remake it at an unnatural time of day so I could get some decent photos for you, in the hopes that you might be able to see how fantastic it was.
As a food blogger, I love looking to other food bloggers, and recipe sites, and cookbooks for inspiration.
But I am super proud of myself when I actually think of a recipe idea that I’ve never seen before.
We cooked a chicken on the weekend so that I’d have some extra chicken to use for a quick and easy meal during the week. And slow cooker = quick and easy. And we pink puffy heart quick and easy. And slow cookers.
I tried a chili mac a little while ago, and it went over really well here. Then I thought, “Barbecue chicken. Chili Mac. Barbecue Chicken Chili Mac?!”
Just say yes.
So I went to Pinterest. And I typed in “slow cooker chili mac”, and I didn’t find much. There were only a few recipes, and most added cooked pasta at the end of the cooking time. I wanted to do this without adding any extra pots. And I wanted that BBQ chicken chili flavour. And that I didn’t find anywhere.
Aside from stirring in the dry pasta half an hour before eating time, this is really a dump it and forget it kind of meal. But I’ll take that over completely mushy, overcooked pasta in my chili mac any day. And I had cooked chicken, so that’s what I used. But I don’t think you’d have any problems adding raw, diced chicken to the slow cooker at the beginning of the cooking time. It will probably release more juices into the chili, so you might want to reduce the liquid just a touch or add a touch more pasta.
*I have also made this with chopped turkey, and it’s just as fantastic!
- 3 cups chopped cooked chicken (see post for notes on uncooked chicken)
- 1 red pepper, diced
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 540ml (19oz) can black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 cups chicken broth
- salt, to taste
- 3 cups dry macaroni (I use whole wheat or high fiber white)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Add chicken, pepper, onion, beans, chili, powder, tomatoes, garlic, barbecue sauce, ketchup and chicken broth to slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours (because I used cooked chicken, the cooking time is pretty flexible -- if using raw chicken, you'll want to cook at least 6-8 hours on low).
- Half an hour before you wish to serve, set slow cooker to high and stir in salt to taste and dry pasta.
- After 20-25 minutes, check to see that your pasta is cooked (if not, give it a little more time. I found that 25 minutes was perfect). Stir in cheese and serve.
**NOTE: Nutrition information is estimated and will vary depending on exact serving size, types and brands of products used.
You might also like these slow cooker meals!
Slow Cooker White Bean Chili Chicken Verde from Maebells
Slow Cooker Nacho Bar from The Gunny Sack
Slow Cooker Southwest Quinoa Chili from Mariah’s Pleasing Plates