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Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans

For this memorable fix-and-forget chicken stew, use a high-quality salsa to save time without skimping on flavor; choose a jar with a short ingredient list.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans

Source: Everyday Food, November Winter 2007

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 jar (11 ounces) mild or medium salsa (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), chopped
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream, for serving
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Directions

  1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together beans, salsa, chiles, flour, and 1 cup water. Season chicken with salt and pepper; arrange on top of bean mixture. Scatter onion and bell pepper on top of chicken.

  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. (Do not open lid or stir.)

  3. Remove chicken from stew; shred into large pieces and return to stew. Serve topped with sour cream and cilantro.

Variations

Oven method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Follow step 1, using a 5-quart Dutch oven or large pot, substituting 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed, for dried beans, and increasing water to 2 cups. Cover pot and bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Transfer to oven, and cook until chicken is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Proceed with step 3.

Reviews (59)

  • queencole 3 Oct, 2013

    This turned out excellent. I used only and exactly the ingredients listed (doubled for my large family). One review suggested the beans be cooked on high heat because they weren't pre-soaked. I never opened the lid or stirred the pot. I let it cook for 8 hours and pulled the chicken out. The chicken was so moist. I tasted the beans to see how done they were and some still had a bite to them while others were fully cooked. I fixed this by stirring the beans and cooking for 20 more minutes.

  • frenchonionsoup 8 Apr, 2013

    I feel as though there is an error in how the recipe is written. 8 hours on low doesn't always cook dried beans enough. I would suggest soaking your beans overnight and cooking 8 hours. Or cook un-soaked beans for 6 hours on high. I'm surprised the recipe doesn't suggest pre-soaking the beans. Other than that the dish is fabulous, good over rice, in tacos, or in burritos as well. I added a palm full of cumin and chili powder to mine. Recipe doubles easily for a crowd or lots of leftovers!

  • Scotia81 30 Mar, 2013

    Great flavour and spicy stew!! I like a little more veggie in my meals so mixed in potatoes and carrots with the salsa and beans - delicious. I also used canned pinto beans rather than dried. Works just as well if not better. Thanks Martha, another reliable recipe to add to my slow cooker menu.

  • zkocian 3 Jan, 2012

    My family loved this recipe and asked me to add it to my list of recipes to make again...and again...and again. I'm not a "slow cooker" so I did the oven variation. It was so easy and so delicious I'm telling my family and friends to try it.

  • Eviebelle 26 Sep, 2011

    This came out great. Lots of flavor, a good amount of spice, and the chicken came out tender cooked this way. This is good over rice.

  • acgardea 27 May, 2011

    This was delicious and SO easy. I love a good "throw it all in the pot and let it cook all day" meal. And this fits the bill. I liked that you didn't have to soak the beans first either. I was skeptical about that, but they were tender. One thing to remember- the heat of chipotle in adobo can sneak up on you. So you may want to go light on your first time making it and see how much you can take. I do love the smokey flavor it adds to the stew.

  • maxcook 15 Feb, 2011

    I have been making this recipe since it appeared a couple of years ago in Everyday Food Magazine. I use canned beans and use the oven method in the "Helpful Hint" above. I also use chicken broth. I use skinless/boneless chicken thighs and trim all the fat from them. Sometimes I omit the chiles in Adobo, as my husband doesn't like food that is too spicy but I use a good medium spicy salsa. This freezes well, too.

  • kutest 27 Jan, 2011

    This was so easy to make and delicious. I didn't soak the beans and it came out perfect after 8 hrs. Kids loved this and asked for it in their lunch boxes. Now that's a winner.

  • Delwin 25 Jan, 2011

    This is a great meal with burrito leftovers. You MUST soak the beans the night before and use chicken broth if you have it.

  • mariettaf 16 Jan, 2011

    We love this recipe.We serve it with lime tortilla chips. Yum!

  • mariettaf 16 Jan, 2011

    We love this recipe.We serve it with lime tortilla chips. Yum!

  • Lebarma 8 Jan, 2011

    Does anybody know if this can be made in a pressure cooker? If so, how long, etc? I have made this in the crock pot and it was very good!

  • Kristinparker11 17 Dec, 2010

    The first time this was burned and we had to throw it out. This time the beans are still not cooked and have been cooking for almost 10 hours. The recipe did not say to soak the beans. Is it missing a step? I am doubtful of making this again.

  • Leh22686 20 Jul, 2010

    This was SO good! The beans definitely need to be soaked overnight. They were pretty crunchy but my husband and I still loved it. Next time I will only use 1 T of chipotle chiles. Can't wait to make this again!

  • chantelspargo 29 May, 2010

    this is definitely a good recipe. my husband loves it. the key is to soak the beans in water the night before. that way they cook properly in the crock pot.

  • Laura29 12 May, 2010

    this is fantastic! I used canned beans instead of dry and omitted the water. FYI GOYA makes the chilies this recipe calls for - they come in a very small can. I used 10 thighs because Costco sells them in packs that hold five thighs each.

  • skamm3 21 Apr, 2010

    My family has made this a weekly staple. Some times we add a can of corn and we always make rice to serve it with. The next day we eat it in whole wheat tortillas or on top of a arugula. I wish I have more easy, low fat recipes like this one.

  • skamm3 21 Apr, 2010

    My family has made this a weekly staple. Some times we add a can of corn and we always make rice to serve it with. The next day we eat it in whole wheat tortillas or on top of a arugula. I wish I have more easy, low fat recipes like this one.

  • KatiMcLean 19 Jan, 2010

    hi, would love to make this but have never heard of chipotle chiles, is this similar to anything as haven't even seen these in the shops here. Thanks

  • thestrodeleys1 24 Dec, 2009

    This was great! I made it for company and everyone loved it. I used chicken broth and soaked my beans over night...

  • KittyMary 5 Dec, 2009

    this was fantastic.... a true keeper... try it

  • hausfrau1 5 Dec, 2009

    this was really good, but precook your beans! i had mine on high for almost 11 hours and the beans were still crunchy. next time (and there will be a next time) i'll precook 'em.

  • KittyMary 15 Nov, 2009

    My entree is in the crock cooking. I read all reviews and I cooked my beans first.
    The flavors seem to work well together, I cannot wait to try it and follow up with my comment.

  • jhon 10 Nov, 2009

    We loved this! I made a couple of substitutions--a can of Rotel instead of the salsa and chicken broth instead of water. Was delicious and spicy, I added a bit of cheese with the sour cream when I served it. I will absolutely make again.

  • Fernhopper 17 Mar, 2009

    This is one of the best slow cooker recipies I've made! First time I followed recipe except cooked it for 8 hours on low (my slow cooker only cooks on high for 6 hours). I had to throw it out it was so burned. The next time I used a can of chicken broth instead of water (so about 1 1/2 cups), about 1 1/2 cups of salsa, 3 T. flour, and green chiles instead of chiptole (entire small can). Cooked for 8 hours again and it turned out GREAT! Served with flour tortillas. Yum.

  • jerrellheadred 13 Feb, 2009

    It would be fabulous if nutritional facts could be included with this and other recipes on marthastewart.com. I've made this stew and it's so good but I'm on Weight Watchers now so need to know how much it's going to cost me if I make it again. Can anyone help me?

  • jerrellheadred 13 Feb, 2009

    It would be fabulous if nutritional facts could be included with this and other recipes on marthastewart.com. I've made this stew and it's so good but I'm on Weight Watchers now so need to know how much it's going to cost me if I make it again. Can anyone help me?

  • FLH 29 Jan, 2009

    Made this last night - put it over rice - great dinner with a side of mexicorn! Can't find the chiles' in adobo around here - used plain chiles - worked fine! Definately a keeper recipe!

  • SAWII 28 Jan, 2009

    This was great! I used chicken breast instead of thighs because we prefer the white meat. Otherwise I followed the recipe as written and it worked perfectly. @carolc902 - I keep extra chilis in adobo in airtight container in the fridge and they last forever.

  • Chrishop 25 Jan, 2009

    My guys absolutely love this! Easy, healthy and delicious. I remove as much fat as possible from the thighs before I place them in the pot.

  • elizabethreeves1 25 Jan, 2009

    I am going to soak my beans before I cook them so that they will cook a little faster. And, do you think you could use boneless chicken breasts instead of thighs?

  • sphelps66 21 Jan, 2009

    Haas a great flavor but had to cook for over 10 hours for the beans to fully cook. Will cook on high for 8 hours in the future.

  • snake_smiler 8 Jan, 2009

    This is very good. A little spicy depending on how many chiles you use, but we like spicy. Very simple to prepare. I have served it alone and over rice.

  • megnard 7 Jan, 2009

    My husband and I had this for dinner tonight and it was fabulous. I served it over rice. Easy

  • raydot25 7 Jan, 2009

    When I made this, I didn't have any chicken thighs, so I cut some pork loin into large cubes and used that instead. Try it! It was great!

  • grazianolinda 29 Dec, 2008

    For such a simple recipe this is surprisingly full of flavor. Very hearty.

  • strubette 19 Dec, 2008

    Very good! I left out the red pepper and the onion but added extra salsa. I soaked the beans overnight and added baking soda to make certain they were soft. I'm not sure the canned beans would hold up for that long on the high setting. I served this dish over tortilla chips with cheese on top, but I think it would be good in flour tortillas or as chicken tacos.

  • jilljo 15 Dec, 2008

    Has anyone made this using the high setting on the crock pot and canned beans?

  • debkauz 2 Dec, 2008

    Did you really get this recipe to work?! I thought it needed more beans with all that chicken so I added a couple more cups with the extra water for them. I waited a few hours to put the chicken in because I was using boneless breasts. The beans are soaking up the water like mad and I have had to add water twice. Even though I added more beans, I did add the water to compensate. It smells good but if I just went by the recipe I don't know WHAT I'd end up with!

  • leeandjess 5 Nov, 2008

    Yes, you can save the chipotle peppers by freezing them. Just put them in an ice-cube tray to make small portions and then put into a freezer bag/container for your next recipe. (You can skip the ice-cube tray step.) Just don't forget they're in the freezer, like I do...

  • carolc902 5 Nov, 2008

    How can I save the rest of the chipotle peppers and sauce from the can? Each recipe doesn't use much, and I hate to throw them away. Can they be frozen?

  • Alison 21 Oct, 2008

    The amount of flour is now correct: 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

  • vym 19 Oct, 2008

    Follow the suggestion in the commentary and use a good salsa; I think it'll make a world of difference in the flavor (I used a so-so jar of salsa and had to add more flavor, i.e., agave nectar to sweeten a bit, etc.).

  • vym 19 Oct, 2008

    Follow the suggestion in the commentary and use a good salsa; I think it'll make a world of difference in the flavor (I used a so-so jar of salsa and had to add more flavor, i.e., agave nectar to sweeten a bit, etc.).

  • jemackin 9 Oct, 2008

    I used a cup of flour when I made it in the slow cooker and it came out perfectly!

  • carylanne 7 Oct, 2008

    Is it possible to get the nutritional information for these recipes?

  • WalkersNC 7 Oct, 2008

    How much flour is used in this recipe? Would someone correct it please? Thank you.

  • WalkersNC 7 Oct, 2008

    How much flour is used in this recipe? Would someone correct it please? Thank you.

  • WalkersNC 7 Oct, 2008

    How much flour is used in this recipe? Would someone correct it please? Thank you.

  • WalkersNC 7 Oct, 2008

    How much flour is used in this recipe? Would someone correct it please? Thank you.

  • WalkersNC 7 Oct, 2008

    How much flour is used in this recipe? Would someone correct it please? Thank you.

  • sstallryan 7 Oct, 2008

    Cooks Illustrated generally recommends adding 1/8 teaspoon baking soda in bean dishes. Somehow it makes them soften without extra cooking time. You might try adding it to the slow cooker dish to see if it helps.

  • LovetheUK 7 Oct, 2008

    Cooking beans with acidic ingredients such as tomatoes or wine can cause that problem. Cooking times can go up by as much as double. You can either put the acidic ingredients in just before the beans are done - which could affect the flavor of a dish like this I'd expect - or just cook it all the longer. Either that or use canned beans that are already cooked. Good luck.

  • thehickeys98 5 Oct, 2008

    Did anyone else have a problem with the beans not getting soft? I made this twice - love the flavor - and I even soaked the beans overnight the second time but they were still a little crunchy. Any suggestions?? Thanks!

  • hiboux 3 Oct, 2008

    I contacted marthastewart omnimedia and the confirmed that it is suppose to be 2 tbs.

  • ckkopenski 25 Sep, 2008

    I think it's supposed to be 2 TBSP. We made it a few times last winter and got the recipe right from the Everyday Food Magazine. 2 Quarts of flour would make this into a concrete mess in your crockpot by the end of the day!!

  • elizabethreeves1 23 Sep, 2008

    How much flour?

  • debisz28 19 Sep, 2008

    I really want to try this. My guess is maybe 2 cups flour?

  • FWDee 15 Sep, 2008

    2 "QUARTS" of flour?

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