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Easy Chicken Chili

Easy Chicken Chili – this easy ground chicken chili recipe is FULL of bold flavor in every bite. It’s packed with lean protein, and freezes like a dream!

Overhead view of a bowl of ground chicken chili topped with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream

I can’t wait anymore! It’s TIME FOR CHILI!

Most chicken chili recipes I’ve tried have been green chicken chili or white chicken chili, made without tomatoes. I LOVE those chili recipes (seriously, you HAVE to try our Salsa Verde Chicken Chili), but I also love a hearty red chili option, and today’s is my go-to ground chicken chili recipe.

Packed with protein, and full of flavor, this easy chili tastes savory and smoky, with just a little kick. It’s the perfect family dinner, and the leftovers freeze like a dream. It tastes cozy and hearty on a chilly day, and makes for terrific leftovers.

Here’s what you need to make our easy ground chicken chili recipe…

Overhead view of a bowl of chili seasoning for making ground chicken chili
Overhead view of ingredients for healthy chicken chili

Here’s What You need To Make Ground Chicken Chili:

  • Ground Chicken Breast. Lean, full of protein, and neutral in flavor, ground chicken breast makes a great base for a hearty batch of chili. Can’t find ground chicken breast at the store? Check out the FAQ for a tip!
  • Onion & Bell Peppers. A blend of onion and two colors of peppers add flavor and a delicious base of flavor.
  • Warm Chili Seasonings. Then, we build flavor with garlic and spices like chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. I love this combo better than any chili seasoning packet I’ve ever tried. It’s SO GOOD!
  • Crushed Tomatoes & Tomato Paste. A combination of crushed tomatoes and tomato paste strike a great balance between flavor and thickness. If you can find fire-roasted tomatoes, I think they add even better flavor.
  • Green Chilis. I love this subtle layer of flavor. Don’t have them on hand? Feel free to skip them!
  • Two Kinds Of Beans. I like using pinto beans and kidney beans. It adds depth and a nice blend of color.
  • Broth Or Water. Some good quality chicken broth or veggie broth (or water!) help you get the texture just right. Not too thick, not too thin.
  • A Few Fresh Finishes. Once it’s done, I love piling my bowl high with goodies. Check out our list below for some yummy ideas!

How To MAke Easy Chicken Chili , Step By Step:

  1. Cook The Chicken. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, start by cooking the chicken in olive oil over medium heat 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. (There may be some water/liquid in the pot. Don’t worry about draining it.)
  2. Add The Onions & Bell Peppers. Next, add the diced onions and bell peppers. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until softened a bit.
  3. Stir In The Garlic & Seasonings. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  4. Add The Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, Beans & Green Chilis. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, and green chilis. Stir to combine well.
  5. Pour In The Broth. Add the broth and stir until it’s well blended.
  6. Simmer. Bring the chili up to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s slightly thickened, full of flavor, and bubbling.
  7. Finish With Cilantro & Serve! Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with your favorite toppings.
front view of a slice of gluten-free cornbread

What To Serve With Chicken Chili:

Toppings To Try On Chicken Chili:

  • Cilantro Or Green Onions. A few fresh accents add such happy color and a touch of lightness to a hearty chili. Cilantro or green onions are my favorite. Whichever you have on hand!
  • Shredded Cheese. Always a classic! If you include dairy in your diet, a little shredded cheddar cheese, Pepper Jack cheese, or Monterrey Jack cheese can be great on top of a steaming bowl of chicken chili!
  • Sour Cream Or Greek Yogurt. A dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt can cool down
  • Diced Avocado. Cool, creamy avocado is a great dairy-free topping for chili that still provides that cooling effect to temper the chili.
  • Sliced Jalapeño. If you like some kick, add a few slices of jalapeno to your bowl!

Side Dishes To Serve With Chicken Chili:

  • Gluten-Free Cornbread. Soft, fluffy gluten-free cornbread is my family’s go-to side dish for chicken chili. It’s tough to beat!
  • Baked Tortilla Chips. If you prefer some crunch, try our baked tortilla chips. They only require 3 ingredients and a few minutes, and you’ll love their satisfying crunch.
  • Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins. In September or October, I love making a batch of our pumpkin cornbread muffins to go with chili.
Overhead view of a bowl of ground chicken chili topped with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Chicken CHili:

Can’t Find Ground Chicken Breast? Make It In Seconds! Not all grocery stores carry ground chicken breast, so if you can’t find it, it literally takes seconds to make your own. Add boneless, skinless chicken breast to a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds or so, until no large pieces remain. That’s it!

Can I Use Ground Turkey Or Ground Beef Instead? Absolutely. If you prefer those flavors or have those on hand, feel free to use them instead. I just love ground chicken breast because of the flavor and how light it is.

How To Freeze Leftover Chicken Chili. Cool the chili and scoop it into freezer-safe bags. Lay them flat in the freezer (putting the bag on a cutting board or plate can help.) Once the chili is frozen, the bags will store and thaw better than when it’s deep in a bowl or container. Thaw frozen chili in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cold water in the fridge for a few hours or on the counter for about an hour.

Try It In The Slow Cooker! This recipe is easy to make in the slow cooker–check out the directions in the notes section of the recipe card.

Overhead view of a bowl of ground chicken chili topped

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Overhead view of a bowl of ground chicken chili topped with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream

Easy Chicken Chili


  • Author: Emily Dixon – One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This protein-packed ground chicken chili recipe is FULL of bold flavor in every bite!


Ingredients

Scale

For The Chicken Chili:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. Ground chicken breast*
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes (or fire-roasted diced tomatoes)
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 (4 oz.) can green chiles
  • 3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (I like less sodium)
  • 23 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Optional Toppings:

  • Cilantro
  • Sliced green onions
  • Sliced jalapeño
  • Grated cheese
  • Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt

Instructions

  1. Cook The Chicken. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, start by cooking the chicken in olive oil over medium heat 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. (There may be some water/liquid in the pot. Don’t worry about draining it.)
  2. Add The Onions & Bell Peppers. Next, add the diced onions and bell peppers. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until softened a bit.
  3. Stir In The Garlic & Seasonings. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  4. Add The Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, Beans & Green Chilis. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, and green chilis. Stir to combine well.
  5. Pour In The Broth. Add the broth and stir until it’s well blended.
  6. Simmer. Bring the chili up to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s slightly thickened, full of flavor, and bubbling.
  7. Finish With Cilantro & Serve! Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with your favorite toppings.

Notes

*Can’t Find Ground Chicken Breast? Make It In Seconds! Add boneless, skinless chicken breast to a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds or so, until no large pieces remain. That’s it! 

Slow Cooker Instructions: Cook the chicken in a pan, then add to the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients (except for cilantro) and stir until well combined. Cook on HIGH 2-3 hours, or LOW 6-8 hours. 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chicken chili, ground chicken chili recipe

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