This recipe (or something similar) has appeared on just about all my favorite food sites. I actually begged the recipe off the person who brought this dish to a church social. I changed it up a bit to fit my tastes. This is quick and easy, great for potlucks and excellent to come home to after work on a cold evening.
The biggest difference I have seen among the various recipes is in the amounts of some of the spices. This version is flavorful, but not overly spicy/hot. My husband is very sensitive to the effects spicy hot seasonings so I try to treat him with mercy when I can. When I serve up my own bowl of this deliciousness I just toss in a few jalapenos (fresh is best but pickled works for me too!).
1 can black beans RINSED AND DRAINED
1 can white beans RINSED AND DRAINED (we call these “navy” beans in my part of the world)
1 can corn UNDRAINED (use really good canned corn – peg or white and yellow – don’t skimp on this if you don’t have to)
1 can Rotel, UNDRAINED (when I know this will be eaten by folks who like spicy foods, I use the HOT; otherwise I stick to MILD)
1 package ranch dressing mix (I once had some ranch dip mix in a very similar package to the dressing mix. I mistakenly used the dip mix – and the recipe still turned out just fine. I recommend sticking with the ranch dressing mix but substitute if you need to!)
1 tsp cumin (you can use a bit more if you like it spicy)
1 Tbsp chili powder (I don’t typically use more chili powder unless I am doubling the entire recipe; chili powder – to me at least – is not a very well rounded flavor/spice and adding more doesn’t improve the overall flavor of the recipe)
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder (this is optional but I like it; there is already a bit of garlic in the Rotel and also in the ranch dressing mix)
1 8 oz package light cream cheese (I sometime go “all out” and use regular cream cheese but there is not a huge difference in flavor or texture either way)
2 chicken breasts (I have made this recipe with just one large chicken breast and it turned out fine)
Fritos (Frito-Lay brand)
I know this sounds a little yuck – but you actually put the chicken at the bottom of the crockpot RAW. This is NOT a recipe you want to toss together and store in the fridge overnight. Make it only when you are ready to turn it on and let it cook.
Over the chicken breasts, pour the whole can of corn, the Rotel, black beans, white beans, all the seasonings, the ranch mix. Stir everything that is sitting atop the chicken breasts. Place the whole brick of cream cheese on top. Put on the crock pot lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
At the end of the cook cycle, stir the cream cheese (which will be a bit “clabbered” and may even be a bit browned around the edges of the crock pot). Using 2 forks, shred the chicken and then stir everything together and serve.
We like this served over a handful of Fritos. We also like to serve a simple lettuce/tomato salad on the side.
This recipe “doubles up” nicely, but I would only use three chicken breasts in a double recipe. Everything else should be doubled. This is a very forgiving recipe. If you don’t have, or don’t like black or white beans, you can substitute any that you prefer. I often make this with white and regular pinto beans. I have tried kidney beans and they are not my favorite in this recipe, but in a pinch no one is going to complain. It’s really good!