Creamy Southwest Chicken is sure to please everyone! Not only is the recipe made so easily in the slow cooker, but it’s packed with a spiced creamy and lime-y flavor! Dairy-free, Paleo, and Whole30 approved.
**(10/10/18) This recipe has been updated with new photos and Instant Pot directions!**
Happy Sunday Friends!! I am in a better mood these days with the sun finally starting to shine, and we finally enjoyed a few evenings this week eating out on our deck. I love to fire up my grill this time of year, but sometimes with our busy schedule, I revert back to my slow cooker.
It’s perfect as we get into the summer months because it can heat my food without heating the house! We spent an evening at the baseball fields the other day, and came home to a perfectly cooked dinner that was ready to be devoured.
How to make Creamy Southwest Chicken
To start, I’ve combined a blend of super yummy spices. Before placing the chicken in the slow cooker, I seared it on my skillet to give it that crispy look (not necessary if you are using chicken breast). I do like this extra step because it seals the spices to the chicken. Just make sure you don’t cook the chicken!
You want it crispy on the outside, but still raw on the inside. This should only take a few minutes. Inside the slow cooker, the chicken is cooked with broth and lime juice. I also threw in some sliced red peppers.
You are probably wondering about the creamy sauce? Once the chicken has cooked for 4-6 hours, I added in 1/2 cup coconut cream (full fat coconut milk is also okay).
We follow a mostly dairy free diet, and I find that coconut milk makes a great substitute for heavy cream or half and half. If not following a dairy-free diet, you can use half and half or cream for this recipe. Serve over vegetable noodles (zoodles), rice, or even a pasta.
Instant Pot Variation:
You can also easily make this recipe in the Instant Pot. You’ll follow similar directions by searing the chicken before it comes to pressure. Do all of this on the saute function of the Instant Pot. Add in the broth and bell peppers. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pot to get any extra browned bits and to also prevent the burn signal! Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
Once the lid is removed, you’ll stir in the coconut milk and the arrowroot starch to thicken the sauce. Garnish with cilantro and serve over vegetable noodles or cauliflower rice.
The whole family will enjoy this one!
Looking for more Whole30 recipes? Check out my 50 Whole30 Instant Pot Recipes!
Slow Cooker Creamy Southwest Chicken
- 1.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 red bell peppers sliced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch*
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup coconut cream or coconut milk full fat
- Fresh cilantro to garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Slow Cooker:
- Begin by heating a large skillet to medium high heat. Use a non-stick spray or olive oil to lightly grease the pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together all spices. Rub each chicken breast or thigh on both sides with rub. Place each piece of chicken on to the pan, and sear for 1-2 minutes per side (inside will be raw).
- Bring chicken to the slow cooker, top with chicken broth and lime juice. Place peppers on top of chicken. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken is very tender. Mix together arrowroot with water, and add to the chicken broth mixture, if your mixture is extra runny feel free to add in another tbsp of arrowroot. Also add in coconut cream or milk. Cook on low for another 15-20 minutes until mixture is thickened and creamy.
- Serve hot on top of vegetable noodles, rice, potatoes, or pasta.
For the Instant Pot:
- Select the saute function on your Instant Pot and let your pot get hot.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the spices. Rub the chicken with the spice mixture. Reserve any extra spices.
- Coat the bottom of your Instant Pot with oil, and add chicken. Cook chicken on each side for only a minute or 2, to seal in the spices. Select cancel.
- Place chicken broth, lime juice, any leftover spices, and peppers on top of the chicken. Secure the lid.
- Select manual, and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Once cooking is complete, use a quick release using a towel to cover the vent to prevent a mess. Make sure to completely let out the steam.
- Open the lid, pour in coconut cream or milk. Mix together the water and arrowroot starch, and add to thicken the sauce. If you want an even thicker sauce, add in another tbsp of arrowroot.
- Salt to taste, add in any additional lime juice for more flavor.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice, cauliflower rice, vegetable noodles, or pasta.
*arrowroot starch is a thickening agent that can be found in most health food sections of your grocery store.
**Use only the full fat coconut cream or milk (can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store). If not following a dairy-free diet, half and half can be substituted.
****After making this a few more times, and listening to a few other reader comments, I adjusted the chicken broth down to 1 cup. You can also add in additional arrowroot to thicken.