This spicy chicken chili is packed with flavor and has just the right amount of heat. The combination of tender chicken, aromatic spices, and hearty chickpeas creates a protein-packed satisfying, and delicious meal.
Are you feeling cold and shivery in these winter days? What you need is a delicious bowl of spicy chicken chili. With pre-roasted green chilies adding an extra kick of heat, this hearty recipe will warm you up in no time. The diced chicken thighs make it even more wholesome and satisfying.
- Chicken thighs. When it comes to chicken chili, the best part of the chicken to use is the thighs. Dice the thighs as small as you can.
- Fire-roasted green chilies. Already-made fire-roasted green chilies from a jar make the chili recipe easier. It will add heat and a fire-roasted taste.
- Tomato sauce. Tomato sauce with whole plum tomatoes is preferred. This allows pieces of the tomatoes in the chili.
- Chickpeas. Instead of traditional beans, chickpeas will add a modern swap.
- Spices. You'll need ancho chili powder, cumin, garlic, powder, salt, and pepper.
- Onion. For more flavor.
- Sweet potatoes. For a nutritional boost and a subtle sweetness.
- Broth. Use vegetable broth or chicken broth.
- Olive oil. To saute the chicken, onion, and spices.
Optional: lime wedges for serving.
How to Make Spicy Chicken Chili
This spicy chicken chili can be made using one large pot with a lid.
Start by heating a large pot. Drizzle in the olive oil. Add the diced chicken thighs, onion, and spices.
Sauté the chicken until the onions have softened and the juices begin to release from the chicken.
Add the sweet potatoes, tomato sauce, green chilies, chickpeas, and broth.
Stir the ingredients. Place a lid over the pot and cook for 35 minutes over medium heat.
Tip: To make dicing the chicken thighs easier, start with partly frozen chicken.
This chili recipe is very adaptable. Try the suggestions below if you need to substitute any of the ingredients.
- Beef - feel free to use diced beef from sirloin or a NY strip steak.
- Beans & Legumes - instead of chickpeas, use lentils, pinto, or black beans.
- Vegetarian - swap the meat out and double up on the chickpeas or add another type of bean. Make sure to use vegetable broth.
If you are looking for a chicken chili without tomato sauce, try this white chicken chili by Olena.
This chicken chili is very versitile. Try adding too or swapping for these suggestions below.
- Extra Spicy - For added heat, sauté the chicken with fresh chopped jalapeño.
- Deluxe - add sliced avocado, pickled red onions, or a dollop of sour cream.
- Kid-friendly - Try corn or peas if your child doesn't care for sweet potatoes.
See this beef version of this recipe on my website!
Store any leftover chili in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
This chicken chili makes great leftovers to take to school or work.
It is not recommended to use chicken breast in chili. Because chicken breast is leaner, it tends to have a dry consistency.
Yes! Try adding pinto, black, or kindey beans instead of the chickpeas.
More Crave-Worthy Recipes
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
SPICY CHICKEN CHILI RECIPE
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 cup fire-roasted green chilies
- 1 cup tomato sauce with whole plum tomatoes preferably San Marzano tomato sauce
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, medium diced
- 1 can chickpeas, liquid drained
- 3 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 limes for serving optional
- Place a large pot over medium heat. Once heated, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the chicken, onion, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken until the onions have softened and the juices begin to release from the chicken.
- Add the sweet potatoes, tomato sauce, green chilies, chickpeas, and broth.
- Lower the heat to medium-low. Place a lid over the pot and cook for 35 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender and the broth has slightly thickened.
- Serve hot with a garnish of wedges of lime and an optional garnish of fresh chopped cilantro.