A friend at work told me she had gone to the blog to try to find out what I’ld heated up for lunch the day before that smelled so good. I realized it was Chicken Chili and I hadn’t posted the recipe yet. I made a pot of this before Christmas and froze it in individual servings. It has been a life saver on all the wet and cold days we have been having in the Carolinas.
Why should you make it
This is my go-t0 recipe that I always have on hand in the freezer. It checks all my boxes: it’s easy to make with just a few ingredients, it freezes and reheats well in the microwave for lunches, it’s a healthy choice for lunch or dinner regardless of what food plan you follow, and of course it’s delicious!
The ingredients may not not look like anything special, but when combined they produce a chili that is lighter than most but still delicious, and with no beans. You could take a short cut and use rotisserie chicken, but this is one of those times when you shouldn’t. Try roasting the chicken in the oven while you are preparing the chili. I forget how easy it is to roast chicken breasts and how juicy and tender they are.
How to roast chicken breasts:
Start with bone in chicken breasts with the skin, this will give you more flavor. Rub them with olive oil and salt and pepper on both sides. Place them on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet and cook at 350º for 35 minutes. That’s it. You will have super moist and delicious chicken to use for whatever dish you are making.
While the chicken is cooking here’s how to make chili.
- You’ll start by cooking your onions and then add seasoning, peppers and tomatoes and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. I like to add just a bit of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes at the end, but that’s optional.
- By the time the tomato mixture has simmered, the chicken will be done. Once cool enough to cut off the bone add it to the vegetables. Simmer an additional 30 minutes and you have an amazing chili.
You can serve with your favorite toppings, but honestly, it’s great all by itself and it’s even better the next day. As soon as I finished off the last bowl, I immediately made another batch to get me through the cool wet weather that apparently is never going to stop.
What to serve with Chicken Chili
- If you’re in the mood for a yeast roll, try pull apart onion rolls
- In a hurry, then throw together some biscuits
- Bake a cornbread biscuit
- Pull out the iron skillet and bake cornbread
More traditional Chili recipes
- Short rib chili has lots of beef and still no beans
- Cincinnati chili for when you want to serve it over spaghetti
- Want to use the instant pot, then you’ll love this instant pot chili
- Add some fun flavors with chocolate kahlua chili
- Try a dump and go slow cooker chili with chicken
If you make Chicken Chili, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I would love to see your creation.
- 4 chicken breasts bone in, skin on
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups onions chopped, about 2 onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 red bell pepper diced
- 2 yellow pepper diced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled plum tomatoes undrained
- ¼ cup fresh basil minced, or 2 teaspoons dry
- 1 tablespoon sugar optional
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Place on prepared sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes.
- While chicken is roasting, prepare chili.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook onions until translucent, 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook for 1 minute.
- Crush the tomatoes by hand and add with juices to the pot. Add basil and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and if needed, add 1 tablespoon sugar and cook an additional minute. Salt and pepper to taste.
- When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove the skin and bone and cut into 1 inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
Didn’t expect the flavor profile to be so amazing for such a simple recipe. Roasting the chicken is the best way as you get to use the wonderful drippings that collect in the pan! Will make again and again.
Barbara Curry says
So glad this was a big hit.
Marie Ann Mann says
Could this be made with minced/ground chicken?
Barbara Curry says
As long as you cook the chicken first, it should work fine.