Crockpot Taco Chili

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes Launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received free samples of McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes from McCormick mentioned in this post. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.

Creamy crockpot taco chili is the perfect, easy, weeknight dinner. Warm and comforting while still healthy and gluten-free. So good you’ll be fighting over the leftovers…if there are any!

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

So…I have to go back to work today. And I’m totally whiney about it, which makes me feel like a total tool because in what other job do you get a week off for fall break when you’re a grown up? But ugghhhh, I just don’t wanna. And things are about to get so busy. Two shows in October and one at the beginning of November. Although, once that’s all over, it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the semester.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

As life gets busier, cooking dinner every night becomes more challenging, and my love for my crockpot grows into more of a deep dependence, can’t-live-without-ya kinda thing. In fact, if I could make every single meal in the crockpot for the rest of my life, I probably wouldn’t be even a little bit sad. I mostly only like cooking because I like eating, and I really like eating.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

Especially this chili. I really, really, really like eating this taco chili. Like, I was fighting Steve over the leftovers. I almost always make enough food to have leftovers for 2-3 lunch / dinners, and sometimes I make entirely too much and end up trying to guilt Steve into finishing it because I just am soooooo sick of it by the 4th time I’ve eaten it. But not this chili. I was hoarding, calling dibs, hiding it in the back of the fridge, and pulling out every trick I had up my sleeve to keep it allllll to myself.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

This is the second part of my series with McCormick. You may remember from my Crockpot Taco Dip that McCormick now has an entire line of seasonings that are certified by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Their gluten-free line includes Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning, Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, Gluten-Free Brown Gravy and Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy. The best part is, ya know how normally as soon as something is labeled gluten-free the price magically shoots up? Not here! They’re the same price as all of their other seasonings, and they contain no MSG or artificial colors /flavors. I stocked up on the taco seasoning! It’s something I use all the time anyway, and I was so in love with the way these recipes turned out. It’s going to become a staple in my kitchen.

Crockpot Taco Chili Healthy, easy and gluten-free

This chili is bold and flavorful, rich and creamy, healthy and loaded with fresh veggies. It’s the kind of weeknight dinner you never get tired of, and something you will feel excited to come home to!

Crockpot Taco Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Crockpot Taco Chili

Creamy crockpot taco chili is the perfect, easy, weeknight dinner. Warm and comforting while still healthy and gluten-free. So good you'll be fighting over the leftovers...if there are any!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (93% or higher)
  • 2 x 15 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 x 15 ounce cans black beans, not drained
  • 1 x 15 ounce can corn, drained
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (I prefer red or orange)
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature in 1" cubes
  • 1 packet McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
  • For topping:
  • freshly shredded cheese
  • fresh cilantro
  • nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sautee garlic and onion until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add cooked beef mixture, tomatoes, beans, corn, bell peppers, cream cheese, and taco seasoning to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours, stirring once in between if possible. Once chili is finished, stir together to ensure cream cheese melts fully and combines. Serve topped with shredded cheese, cilantro and Greek yogurt if desired. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
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Other gluten-free seasoning options include Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy, and Gluten-Free Brown Gravy. For more from McCormick,  you can follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes Launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received free samples of McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes from McCormick mentioned in this post. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.

Rich, creamy and bold chicken taco dip made easily in your slow cooker, topped with melty pepper jack. This dip is so full of flavor, you won’t be able to stay away!

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

I have a confession. I never make my own taco seasoning / pumpkin pie spice / tomato sauce seasonings / etc. I love to cook, but I am honestly all about convenience, and I’m a busy human who needs for things to be quick and easy when I’m cooking at home. Sometimes I feel like, because I have a food blog, I have to be one of those 100% from scratch type cooks. I just can’t live up to that. I mean, I guess I’m somewhere between that cookie dough that’s not just already made, but already cut for you and someone who churns their own butter.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

Something that really surprised me when Steve found out he had a gluten intolerance was just how many things contained gluten. I mean, we’re both pretty lucky in the fact that we’re more gluten-get-grouchy than gluten intolerant (well, he is closer to intolerant, but does okay with cross contamination), but even still, so many of the seasonings that we’d used in the past contained flour–what is that about?? We learned to label check like crazy, even things you wouldn’t imagine, and it’s even more important for our friends with Celiac.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

We LOVE that McCormick has some of our favorite seasoning mixes that are certified by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and they contain no MSG, artificial colors or flavors. The flavors are bold and spot on, and they make it so easy to turn a boring dinner into a flavorful one! I also love that their gluten-free products are the same price as their regular products. Eating gluten-free can get soooo expensive (hellloooo $5 for a loaf of bread…), and it’s really refreshing to finally have a product that has the same cost.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

This dip couldn’t be easier–I just took some chicken breasts, a can of refried beans, a block of cream cheese and the McCormick gluten-free taco seasoning and threw ‘em in the crockpot. I added some Greek yogurt after they were done cooking then topped it with pepper jack cheese that I put in the oven on broil until it got all bubbly and dreamy. The taste and the texture were absolutely amazing. I couldn’t stop eating it, and ended up eating dip for dinner. Oh well, I guess there’s worse things. ;)

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: about 9-10 cups

Crockpot Chicken Taco Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 1 x 16 ounce can refried beans (I used fat free)
  • 3 cups salsa
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened and cut into 1" cubes
  • 2-3 tablespoons McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced (optional for serving)
  • corn tortilla chips for serving

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts at the bottom of your slow cooker. Cover with beans, salsa, cream cheese and taco seasoning. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, stirring once in between if possible.
  2. Remove chicken and shred. Take about a tablespoon of warm dip and mix into Greek yogurt to temper, then add Greek yogurt and stir to combine.Stir in shredded chicken. Transfer to an oven safe serving dish and top with shredded cheese. Cook on broil until cheese starts to brown and bubble, about 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
  3. Top with sliced jalapeno and serve immediately with chips. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
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Other gluten-free seasoning options include Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning, Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy, and Gluten-Free Brown Gravy. For more from McCormick,  you can follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Rich, creamy, warm and comforting curry soup with sweet potatoes, chicken & kale is incredibly easy to make in your slow cooker with NO prep time! Healthy, paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale: NO prep time, healthy, paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free

Can we talk for a second about trying to make curry soup look pretty? I mean, it’s YELLOW and the sweet potatoes I used were yellow. Side note: I totally prefer the lighter colored sweet potatoes, you? The first time I used them I thought they were mislabeled because for most of my life I knew nothing about vegetables. Anyway, I love them, and I think they are sweeter and softer than the orange ones.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Oh, and ummm cooked kale? The ugliest. If this soup weren’t so freaking delicious, I would have said F it, called it quits, and just pouted while sadly eating straight from the crockpot. Seriously, it’s super fun to live with a food blogger who gets super grouchy when things don’t go her way. The other night I had a melt down because I took like 5 zillion pictures of steam coming off my mac & cheese only to realize the wine glass I had set in the background was still empty. Life is hard sometimes.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Anyway, this soup was totally worth it, pretty or not. With the bold curry flavor, the creamy coconut milk and my very favorite food (sweet potatoes, in case you’re new here), you really can’t go wrong. The chicken cooks up perfectly in the crockpot with extra work involved, and the kale adds a little nutrient + flavor bonus. I love kale. I’m such a cliche.

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

This soup is perfect for the busy fall months when you want something delicious and warm waiting for you when you come home–it makes weeknight dinners a breeze, and it tastes way more indulgent than it actually is, so it’s a win-win!

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Crockpot Curry Soup with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Kale

Rich, creamy, warm and comforting curry soup with sweet potatoes, chicken & kale is incredibly easy to make in your slow cooker with NO prep time! Healthy, paleo, gluten-free & dairy-free.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 big handfuls kale
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 x 13.5 ounce cans coconut milk
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry paste
  • pinch ground ginger
  • sliced green onions and Sriracha for topping, optional

Instructions

  1. Pierce sweet potatoes several times with a fork. Microwave for 2 minutes, (peel if desired, I didn't) then slice into 1" cubes.
  2. Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Stir all ingredients together and serve. Top with green onions and Sriracha if desired. Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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Crockpot Chipotle Dr. Pepper Pork

Easy, flavorful and tender pork slow-cooked in Dr. Pepper with spicy chipotle peppers, potatoes and onions. The soda makes the pork melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the chipotle peppers add so much flavor you will never believe how easy it is!

Crockpot Chipotle Dr. Pepper Pork: An easy, flavorful and healthy weeknight meal

HI!!! I missed you guys, and I feel like I have so many things I want to tell you. Things over here have been crazy. I’m in tech week for my third show in less than three months, and this is the biggest one. I successfully completed my first triathlon (more on that coming this week, but OMG I LOVED it!). I traveled to California for The Big Traveling Potluck with a couple of my favorites, and then also met some amazing new friends. Oh, and I’ve cooked maybe 2 meals in the past month.

Crockpot Chipotle Dr. Pepper Pork: An easy, flavorful and healthy weeknight meal

So that’s the quick catch up on life. Oh that and I have an embarrassing new addiction to….Gossip Girl. All of my students told me I need to watch it, and these are the same kids that share my undying love for Breaking Bad so I trusted their taste, and turns out it is as trashy as I was expecting. And equally addicting. It’s like if they expanded Cruel Intentions into an entire series and I can’t get enough. Although, lately it’s been more like get home at 8:30, eat cereal for dinner, then fall asleep by 9:15 half way into an episode.

Crockpot Chipotle Dr. Pepper Pork: An easy, flavorful and healthy weeknight meal

Thank goodness for my crockpot. And leftovers. I don’t remember the last meal I ate at home that didn’t come from the crockpot (minus my brother’s birthday dinner). A lot of people have mixed feelings on slow cookers, and I’ve heard people say that they suck the flavor out of a dish. Maybe it’s my heavy hand when it comes to seasonings, but I’ve never experienced that! In fact, I feel like the crockpot is a fool proof way to deliver big flavor and the most tender meat. Leaner meats like pork tenderloin or chicken breast can be challenging to get juuuussssttt right. Ya know that point where the meat is cooked, but so soft it falls apart with the touch of the fork? That’s what I’m talking about! And you don’t need a fatty cut of meat to make it happen.

Crockpot Chipotle Dr. Pepper Pork: An easy, flavorful and healthy weeknight meal

Now, before you think I’m nuts for putting soda in my meat, let me explain…When you cook meet with soda in a slow cooker, the acidity of the soda breaks down the meat and makes it even more tender. Depending on what else you put in, you will get a hint of the flavor, but it won’t over power the dish. This being said, you could also use root beer, coke, etc. I mean, I wouldn’t suggest sprite or 7-up, but any dark soda should do it. I’ve also tried it with both regular and diet, and honestly I love it both ways. If you’re not a diet soda person, you may get a hint of that diet soda taste and prefer to use regular. Even if you use regular soda, it has less than half the calories of an equal amount of barbecue sauce, so it’s not going to kill the dish health-wise, ya know?  With the soft and tender pork and smokey chipotle peppers, this simple dish will be one you make over and over again!

Crockpot Chipotle Dr. Pepper Pork

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 12

Crockpot Chipotle Dr. Pepper Pork

Easy, flavorful and tender pork slow-cooked in Dr. Pepper with spicy chipotle peppers, potatoes and onions. The soda makes the pork melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the chipotle peppers add so much flavor you will never believe how easy it is!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds pork tenderloin (does not have to be exact, slightly more or less is fine too)
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 5-6 small yukon gold potatoes, chopped
  • 5-6 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*
  • ~1 liter Dr. Pepper (regular or diet)

Instructions

  1. Place first 4 ingredients in your slow cooker. Pour soda on top. Make sure pork is completely covered by soda. You may need to use more/less depending on the shape of your tenderloin and the size of your slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hours until potatoes are tender and pork is fully cooked.
  2. Remove pork and shred. Return shredded meat to slow cooker and stir. Use a slotted spoon to serve. Leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container for 5-6 days.

Notes

*You may chop chipotle peppers before adding if you want them in smaller pieces. I just left them whole, but they can be overwhelming if you have a milder palate. Either way, just make sure to include the sauce as well!

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Shredded Chicken Taco Salad {+ how to make crockpot salsa chicken}

Ridiculously easy, juicy crockpot salsa chicken turned into a hearty, healthy and gluten-free taco salad with just 10 minutes of working time. A perfect weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy!

Shredded Chicken Taco Salad: Easy, simple, healthy & gluten-free!.jpg

For the longest time I’ve wanted to share my salsa chicken with you guys. Okay, I hesitate to call it “mine” because I feel like everyone in the world makes salsa chicken, and it’s hardly even a recipe because there are only two ingredients, but it’s one of those things that when I discovered it, it totally changed my life. That sounds dramatic, but it really did.

Shredded Chicken Taco Salad: Easy, simple, healthy & gluten-free!

I make salsa chicken at least once a month and nine times out of ten, I eat it in a taco salad. This last time I finally decided to take pictures of it. Even Steve was like “Ummm haven’t you posted that before?” I mean, it’s entirely possible that I’m going senile and did post it, but forgot, but I swear I only shared this taco salad, which is my other weeknight staple.

Shredded Chicken Taco Salad: Easy, simple, healthy & gluten-free!

To make salsa chicken, literally all you have to do is place uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast in a slow cooker, cover with salsa then cook on low until done. Most people say 6-8 hours, but mine is usually ready in more like 4-5 hours.

Shredded Chicken Taco Salad: Easy, simple, healthy & gluten-free!

Then you can put it into whatever you’d like–burritos, tacos, enchiladas, or this taco salad! I like to keep things really simple since I usually save this for a night I know I won’t feel like cooking, but you can add whatever you’d like. It’s especially delicious with fresh guacamole. ;)

Shredded Chicken Taco Salad: Easy, simple, healthy & gluten-free!

The combination of the juicy, spicy chicken, smooth beans and creamy avocado and Greek yogurt with crisp fresh veggies is the best of all worlds. Healthy and fresh with the perfect combination of flavors and textures. This salad will totally solve your too-busy-to-cook dilemma!

Shredded Chicken Taco Salad {+ How to make crockpot salsa chicken}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 large salads

Serving Size: 1 salad

Shredded Chicken Taco Salad {+ How to make crockpot salsa chicken}

Ridiculously easy, juicy crockpot salsa chicken turned into a hearty, healthy and gluten-free taco salad with just 10 minutes of working time. A perfect weeknight meal the whole family will enjoy!

Ingredients

    For the salsa chicken:
  • 1 lb chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • approx 24 ounces salsa
  • For the taco salad:
  • approx 8 cups chopped romaine (I used 3 hearts of romaine)
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • approx 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups cooked beans (I use canned fat free refried beans, but drained black or pinto beans are also a great choice)
  • 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado, sliced, pit and peel removed
  • Greek yogurt and chopped green onion for topping

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in slow cooker and cover completely with salsa. Cook on low until chicken is cooked throughout, about 5-6 hours. Shred chicken and stir back into salsa.
  2. Layer salad ingredients in individual large bowls. I typically layer in order of ingredients listed, adding the chicken after the beans then topping with cheese, avocado, yogurt and green onions, but it won't effect anything if you do it differently. Serve immediately. Store leftovers separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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