The Lexingtonienne



As you know, we have Bambina #2 on the way. From what I (sort of?) recall from the first time around, those early months are blissful, beautiful, and exhausting. One thing I clearly remember from the foggy Brand New Baby Days is the dreaded DINNER DISCUSSION. As in, “What are we having?” When Eleanora was a teeny thing, Hubba Bubba and I referred to dinner as “The D Word.” It was a question for which neither of us had an ounce of energy, yet it had to be decided on a dreadfully frequent basis.


Everyone thinks that after about the first month with a new baby, you’ve gotten it figured out. The offers to bring food kind of die out. Which is fine, because you do have to figure it out at some point.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Chopped Red Onion

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

But making dinner while “babysitting” an infant with unpredictable needs (What if she has a blowout just as I start an important step?) can be an intimidating task in the beginning. It’s an acquired skill, and there’s no Zen master to show you the way. It’s all trial by fire. One day, seemingly by divine miracle, you manage to take a shower, keep the baby happy, get a homemade dinner on the table, and even fold a basket of laundry. The next day, 5 pm rolls around and you still haven’t brushed your teeth. There’s no identifiable difference between the two days that would explain how this happened; that’s just how it goes.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Before you know it, you’ve graduated from the foggy Brand New Baby months and morphed into a wizard who can whip up a feast while supervising a very active toddler, at which point you’ll think back on those early days as “easy,” since your baby wasn’t mobile yet. Which is hilarious, because the early days are anything but easy. That said — two years after having a baby — if someone offered to bring dinner over, I would be thrilled. There are still plenty of nights where I just can’t get it together. And on those nights my wonderful husband picks up take-out with a smile. (He’s the best.)

Chicken Thighs

Salt & Pepper

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Anyway, since our family is about to jump right back into the Brand New Baby boat, I’m starting to think about those early days again… and what we will eat for DINNER. I’m compiling a file of recipes called EASIEST DINNERS EVER, and I’m going to share it with you. Many of you have little ones on the way as well, so this file may really come in handy. And even if you aren’t expecting a new baby, who doesn’t love a super easy dinner recipe??

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

First up is this fabulous Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken. There is almost NO prep work to it. If you can find 2 minutes to chop up half an onion, you’re in. (And if you don’t have 2 minutes to chop it, throw the onion in whole or just cut in half. It will still turn out just fine.) Hubba Bubba took one bite and declared this recipe a keeper. It’s kind of like a burrito-in-a-bowl, it’s delicious, and you will be as shocked as I was at how quickly you can throw it together. Try it out and let me know what you think. It’s a new favorite around here.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

an Easiest Dinner Ever

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, NOT drained
  • 1 C frozen corn
  • 1 C chicken broth (approx 1/2 a [14.5 oz] can)
  • Fresh chopped cilantro (Yuck. Optional.)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste

* You can use chicken breasts if you prefer, but I find that for slow cooker recipes, chicken thighs hold up better and do not dry out at all.

Serve over:

  • White or brown rice (I use Uncle Ben’s microwave pouches – so easy!)

And top with your choice of:

  • Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • Tortilla strips
  • Sour cream
  • Hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tabasco
  • Chopped red onion or scallions

Combine onion, black beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, and spices in the crock pot. Place chicken thighs on top. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. (My chicken was so tender after 3 hours that it broke up very easily with just a rubber spatula.) Serve over rice, with your choice of toppings.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken



  • Comment by Dana — March 27, 2013 @ 12:12 pm


    This is just what I’ve been waiting for…one more crock pot dinner for the tired working girl!

    Looks delicious!



  • Comment by Dad or Alive — March 28, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    They SERIOUSLY want dinner EVERY night, don’t they? Brutal. This is a good one to tuck into my recipe book – nothing better than the Crock Pot.

  • Comment by Hannilou — March 28, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

    I know! Some nights I suggest we just skip it, but I always get shot down. This recipe is seriously so good and insanely easy. Heats up well for leftovers too. 🙂

  • Pingback by Easiest Dinners Ever: Crockpot Pot Roast - The Lexingtonienne — April 11, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    […] I mentioned recently, I’m compiling a file of Easiest Dinners Ever, for those nights when it’s less about […]

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