This Chicken Chili recipe is amazing because it combines the smoky flavor of ancho chilies with tender chicken and a variety of delicious spices. The result is a hearty and flavorful chili that will warm you on even the coldest days. Plus, it's easy to make and can be customized with your favorite toppings like avocado, sour cream, or shredded cheese.
I adore making chili, especially when it's cold outside. As a mom to two lovely girls and a wife, I was surprised to learn (and appreciate) how easy it is to whip up a delicious pot of chili.
Honestly, it's pretty hard to mess up and doesn't require too much attention on the stove - just a few stirs here and there to ensure nothing gets burned.
Create a Chicken Chili Spice Blend
I like to start the process of making chili by getting all of the spices I need and putting them in a bowl. This makes it easy to mix up and add to the pot for later. I can grab the bowl and add the spices without searching for each one individually.
Here are the spices you'll need: ancho chili powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, paprika, salt, and coarse black pepper.
Having discovered that this recipe calls for no chili powder, you're probably curious about the differences between ancho chili and the more widely used guajillo chili powder.
Ancho chili powder is made from dried poblano peppers and has a mild, fruity flavor with hints of raisins and chocolate. On the other hand, guajillo chili powder is made from dried guajillo peppers and has a slightly spicier taste with notes of tangy berries and smokiness. The choice between the two depends on your personal preference and the desired level of heat in your dish.
Gather the Ingredients
Unlike Classic Chili, this dish uses ground chicken. Use ground chicken thighs for this recipe because they have a higher fat content, which adds flavor and moisture to the dish. The ground chicken thighs also provide a richer and more tender texture compared to leaner cuts of chicken.
How to Make the Best Chicken Chili Recipe
Step 1. Start by sweating the onion and bell pepper. Heat a pot (with a lid) over medium heat. Once the pot is heated, drizzle in about a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the small diced onion, bell pepper, and a pinch of salt. Stir fry until the onions have softened. This step can take 3-5 minutes.
Step 2. Now that the onions are nice and sweaty, add the ground chicken and all of the spices to the pot. Stir-fry until the chicken starts to brown and becomes aromatic from the spices, about 3-4 minutes.
Step 3. Once the chicken has cooked in the spices, add the salsa, pinto beans, and broth. Stir to combine all ingredients. Lower the heat.
Step 4. Cover the pot with the lid and cook for at least 40 minutes. The longer the chili cooks, the thicker it becomes because of the starch from the beans.
Serve. The savory toppings you can use are pretty endless. I go between diced avocado, shredded cheese, diced onion, and a dollop of sour cream (sometimes Greek yogurt) just to name a few.
There's nothing like a hot bowl of chicken chili. Did I forget to mention that any leftover packs well in containers? Yes, that's right! I love to pack the leftovers ( with rice, yes, I know, that's not traditional) however, it works great. I typically put rice on the bottom and chili right on top. The girls and the hubby both enjoy eating this dish when they're away from home.
More crave-worthy dinner recipes to try.
Best Homemade Chili Recipe. This is truly the best homemade chili recipe. Ground beef slow-simmered in an aromatic tomato-based chili sauce with loads of garlic and spices.
Cider Roasted Chicken and Potatoes. This fall supper recipe features roasted chicken and potatoes with an apple cider-based rub, infused with spices like paprika, garlic, and oregano.
I am so excited to share this chicken chili recipe with you guys. I hope that you love it as much as we do. ♡
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, small dice
- 1 bell pepper, small dice
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 pound ground chicken use ground chicken thighs, if possible
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup salsa medium heat
- 2 cups cooked pinto beans
- 3 cups beef or vegetable stock
- Heat a pot over medium heat. Once heated, drizzle in the olive oil and add the onion, bell pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the onions have softened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the ground chicken, garlic powder, ancho chili powder, paprika, and oregano. Cook the chicken with the spices for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the salsa, pinto beans, and broth to the pot. Stir to combine ingredients. Lower the heat. Cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 45 minutes.
- Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onion, and bell pepper.