Assemble this healthy slow cooker white chicken chili ahead and freeze or stash in your fridge. When you’re ready to cook, simply dump it all in the crock pot and press start!
While January is the month for planning, February is the month for putting plans into action.
We have a long to do list for 2017, including finally starting to look for another house. We have definitely outgrown our cute little starter house, and it’s time to move on.
House hunting seems like it should be fun, but I still vividly remember the emotional roller coaster from last time around…almost buying two different condos before things fell through, then having to keep looking…and then, 30 houses later, finally finding our house.
I would love to fast forward through all of that (and moving too!), and just be settled in the new house already, but that’s wishful thinking. I’m guessing we’re going to need lots of easy dinners for this next go-round of house hunting, since we now have a three year old in tow.
Enter freezer to crock pot dinners. Remember how I mentioned that February is a month of action? Well one of my goals for the blog this year is to create more make ahead dinner recipes, and one technique I’ve been experimenting with are meals you can assemble ahead.
For this healthy slow cooker white chicken chili, all of the ingredients can be assembled ahead, and stored in the fridge for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for longer term. I recommend these heavy duty freezer bags if you’re going to freeze, and this glass storage container if you’re going to store in the fridge.
If you go the freezer route, simply pull them out the day before and thaw, then toss everything in the slow cooker with some chicken stock, and you’ll soon be greeted with amazing smells and delicious flavors. You won’t be able to tell it was ever frozen, pinky swear!
Freezer to crock pot recipes are kind of tricky, since lots of veggies will soften when they are thawed. Luckily the veggies in this healthy slow cooker white chicken chili are freezer friendly…corn, onions, celery, jalapeno and white beans.
Now the cauliflower is not freezer friendly (unless blanched first) and take it from me, cauliflower + 4 hours high in the crock pot is a complete disaster. So to avoid a pot of stinky mush, I add the cauliflower in the last 3o minutes of cooking. Result: cauliflower that holds its texture and bulks up the chili (not to mention that absorbs tons of flavor).
When adding the cauliflower I add another secret weapon: cornmeal. Whhhaat. I know. I got this tip from Pioneer Woman, who uses masa in her white chicken chili (I never have masa around). Basically it gives it a touch of extra corn flavor, and helps to thicken things up a touch. Win / win!
Now don’t you find that chili is all about the toppings? We loaded our healthy slow cooker white chicken chili up with avocado, cheese and tortilla chips. So so good. Feel free to use your favorite chili toppings…maybe some greek yogurt or salsa verde. Yum!
Alright, amigos! Go forth and cross stuff off your February to-do list. You can do it, especially if you are powered by a bowl of healthy slow cooker white chicken chili 😉
More prep ahead dinner recipes for us:
- this (Make Ahead) One Pot Black Bean Fajita Pasta can be assembled ahead for a ridiculously easy dinner
- and these Make Ahead Chickpea and Butternut Squash Fajitas are perfect for making ahead
- or you can make these Smashed White Bean & Spinach Quesadillas ahead and freeze them
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (450g, 1 lb)
- 1 can of white beans (540mL/ 19 oz cannellini) drained and rinsed
- 1 can green chiles (127 mL/ 4.3 oz)
- 1 can of corn kernels (340mL/ 11.5 oz ), drained
- 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and finely chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons corneal
- 4 cups small cauliflower florets (1 inch or smaller)
- Juice of 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
- more salt (to taste)
- Greek yogurt
- Tortilla chips
- Place all 'assemble ahead' and 'to cook' ingredients in a 5 quart slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
- Add the cornmeal and cauliflower, turn the heat up to high (if it isn't already), and cook for another 30 minutes, or until cauliflower is cooked through.
- Stir in the lime juice, add more salt if necessary, and serve.
- Place all 'assemble ahead' ingredients in a 1 quart heavy duty freezer bag (if freezing) or a large glass container (if storing in the fridge).
- Store in the freezer for up to 3 months and the fridge for up to 3 days. *don't forget to label the bag with the date and instructions*
- Prior to cooking, thaw completely in the fridge over night.
- Place in the slow cooker with the stock and cook as directed above.
Calories 214 // Fat 4 g // Saturated Fat 1 g // Cholesterol 48 mg // Sodium 904 mg // Carbohydrate 25 g // Fiber 7 g // Sugars 5 g // Protein 19 g
Recipe can be halved and prepared in a 2.5 quart crock pot with the same cook times.