Best Chicken Chili Recipe

By Rena Awada | Updated On November 19, 2023

Looking for a delicious and comforting chili recipe? Try this Easy Chicken Chili Recipe and you will come back and thank me for this recipe. Full of flavor and loaded with protein from the chicken and beans. It makes for the perfect comforting meal for that cold winter night!

Top view of a white bowl with red looking chicken chili with spoon in bowl, topped with sliced avocado, sour cream, and shredded cheese


Cold weather always calls for soup recipes and this simple and healthy Chicken Chili Recipe has been our go-to recipe recently. It is so comforting and filling and even kids love it too. It is bursting with flavor and doesn’t take much time to make.

We use fresh vegetables like onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, and corn to make this chili extra hearty and packed with flavor. And with the chicken (or turkey if you’d prefer!) and black beans, it’s sure to fill you up and warm your belly at the same time.

Chili is a great way to get both protein and veggies into your diet with one dish! Not to mention it warms you right to the soul on those cold nights.

Reasons to love this recipe

  • Rich and delicious. Made with succulent shredded chicken, savory chicken broth, and a host of other good-for-you goodies, this red Chicken Chili recipe has deep flavors that are bound to satisfy. It’s exactly what you need to warm you up after a long day of work or play.
  • Easy to make: No need for a long cook or to take out the crock pot. This foolproof chili is a one-pot meal that goes from pantry to table in 30 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknights because there are minimal dishes and it’s ready in a flash!
  • A healthier chili. Protein-packed chicken, black beans, and veggies, it’s a chili that’s loaded with goodness. We opt to use chicken (or even turkey) to make it healthier than a traditional chili that uses ground beef. The ingredients are clean and simple and the flavors blend together perfectly.
top view of a bowl of red chili with chicken beans and corn, topped with sliced avocado, sour cream, and shredded cheese

ingredients you will need

  • Shredded chicken: If you’re partial to turkey or that’s what you have on hand, feel free to sub that in instead. It’s a great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey!
  • Olive oil: A great vegetable oil that can be used at high temperatures, high-quality olive oil has natural aromatic flavors that are robust and so delicious.
  • Sweet onion: I love the flavor a nice sweet onion provides to a chili like this one.
  • Red bell pepper: Bell peppers also add a nice crunch and perfect flavor. You can sub out any color that you’d like, including yellow, green, or orange.
  • Garlic cloves: Can you ever have too much garlic? Minced garlic adds so much to the flavor profile of this chili, but feel free to add more if you’re a total garlic lover.
  • Diced tomatoes: I love the flavor profile that a can of diced tomatoes adds to this chili. They have just enough acidity to balance out all of the other flavors nicely.
  • Chicken broth: The savory broth provides a nice base for this chicken chili. You could substitute vegetable or turkey broth if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Black beans: A can of black beans is a great way to add some extra protein to your chili recipe. You can absolutely use different types of beans-like pinto beans, Great Northern beans, or Cannellini white beans if you prefer.
  • Sweet corn: Feel free to use either fresh, canned or frozen corn to your chili. If using frozen, just make sure it is thawed before adding to your chili.
  • Seasoning: A blend of chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, chili flakes, sea salt, and pepper really take the flavor of this chili to the next level. all of the flavors complement each other and really send the whole chili over the top.
square image of a bowl of chicken chili and is red in color and garnished with shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream

how to make the best chicken chili recipe

  • Sauté the veggies – First, heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers, garlic, and sauté until tender. This process will take about 5-7 minutes.
  • Cook the chili – Next, stir in beans, corn, tomatoes, broth, chicken or turkey, and spices. Lower the heat and simmer for about 12-15 minutes or until the chili thickens and flavors blend.
  • Garnish – Finally, garnish, serve, and enjoy! This chili really is that easy with only three simple steps to follow!

best toppings for chili

We all have our favorite toppings for chili, here’s some of the most popular:

  • Lemon or lime wedges
  • Shredded cheese – jack or jalapeno cheddar works great.
  • Cubed or sliced avocado
  • Chopped or sliced Jalapenos
  • Tortilla chips or strips
  • Fresh Chopped Cilantro
  • Sliced Green onions
  • Sour cream
  • Greek yogurt
  • Sliced jalapenos (remove the seeds and ribs if you don’t want a lot of heat)
  • Salsa verde
close up image os a bowl of chicken chili with black beans, corn, and chicken, topped with sliced onions, sliced avocado and shredded cheese

More chili recipes

a bowl of chili soup that's red in color made with black beans, chiken, corn, and garnished with shredded cheese avocado, and sour cream

Frequently asked questions

What to serve with this chicken chili recipe?

This Chili recipe is great on its own, in a big bowl, but if you want it even heartier you can – of course – serve it with some brown rice, or if you want to keep the carbs down you can go for Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice.

Also, cornbread would also be great to mop up all that lovely sauce!

How do I store this chili?

Place leftovers in a container and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave when ready to eat. You can freeze for up to 3 months.

Can I freeze this chicken chili?

This chili freezes very well. Just make sure to chill your chili completely in the refrigerator first, before transferring to the freezer for longer-term storage. Also, you can freeze the leftovers in portions so they can be reheated one by one whenever you need them.

top view of a bowl of chili topped with sliced avocado and sour cream

How to make this chicken chilli in a crockpot or slow cooker

If using cooked or leftover chicken, place all the ingredients listed into the slow cooker/crockpot. Stir to combine, cover, and set it to cook on either Low or High. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours.

Using raw chicken breast? Add the chicken, onion, veggies, spices, and broth. Mix and then close the lid. Set it on High for 3 hours or LOW for 5 hours. The Chicken should be tender enough to shred with a fork. This is the step where you will add cream cheese if you plan on using it for a creamy version. Then add the beans and corn. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Close the lid again and set it on LOW for 2 hours or on HIGH for one hour.

a white round bowl that has red chicken chili topped with shredded cheese, sliced purple onions, avocado, and sour cream

Storing and Reheating

  • To Store: Place leftovers in a sealed container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. You may also place your leftovers in a freezer-safe dish and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: You may simply reheat a single serving in a microwave-safe bowl for 1-2 minutes until it heats through. To reheat on your stove top, place the chili in a saucepan over medium heat and allow it to heat for 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally. If the chili was in the freezer, allow it to thaw the night before and follow the same above instructions, or simply defrost and reheat in the microwave.

tips and substitutions

  • To save time, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken that you have on hand.
  • You can, of course, roast or pan fry the chicken and shred that, if you wish.
  • Feel free to use different proteins if you’d like. You can sub chicken for ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground beef.
  • For a robust chili flavor consider adding 4 ounces of green chilis or salsa verde.
  • Olive or avocado oil are always good alternatives to olive oil.
  • To make a creamy version: Add in some cream cheese. In a small bowl, mix about 1/4 cup of cream cheese with warm water mix it as best as you can, and add them to the chili as it boils, about halfway through or 10 minutes before it’s done.
  • Don’t feel like you have to stick with chicken broth. You can use any broth you have handy.
  • If you are watching your salt intake, opt for low sodium chicken broth and low sodium canned beans.
  • Skip the cheese and other dairy toppings for a lactose-free option. The recipe is dairy-free as written.
  • For a vegan option, use vegetable broth and skip the chicken. You can add in extra veggies or beans for more protein.
  • If topping with shredded cheese, ideally shred your own. Also, pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt that well.
  • Increase or decrease the chili flakes, depending on the spice level you’d like. You can always make things a little spicier if you’d like and add in some cayenne pepper.
side shot of chicken chili in a bowl with spoon on the left side in the bowl

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Creamy Wild Mushroom Pasta

Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken

Shrimp Taco Bowls

Baked Balsamic Cranberry Chicken

Chicken Cabbage Soup

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square image of a bowl of chicken chili and is red in color and garnished with shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream

The BEST Chicken Chili Recipe

This easy-to-make chili is loaded with chicken, beans, corn, and veggies. Healthy and a perfect meal for a cold night that's packed with flavor.
5 from 45 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Low Fat
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 422kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Shredded Chicken or Turkey
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Sweet Onion diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (15 oz )
  • 2 Cups Chicken or Turkey Broth
  • 1 (15oz) Can Black Beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 Cup Frozen Sweet Corn ( or 15 oz can ) rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

  • Shredded cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream, greek yogurt, sliced jalapeno etc.

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers, garlic and sauté until tender, 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in beans, corn, tomatoes, broth, chicken or turkey, and spices. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the chili thickens and flavors blend.
  • Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • To save time, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken that you have on hand.
  • You can, of course, roast or pan-fry the chicken and shred that, if you wish.
  • You can sub chicken for ground turkey, or ground beef.
  • Olive or avocado oil is good.
  • You can use any broth you have handy.
  • If you are watching your salt intake, opt for low-sodium chicken broth and low-sodium canned beans.
  • Skip the cheese and other dairy toppings for a lactose-free option
  • For a vegan option, use vegetable broth and skip the chicken.
  • If topping with shredded cheese, ideally shred your own. Pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt that well.
  • Increase or decrease the chili flakes, depending on the spice level you’d like.
 
Storage:
Place leftovers in a container and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave when ready to eat. You can freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutritional facts:
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 690mg | Potassium: 911mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1425IU | Vitamin C: 64.9mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @HealthyFitnessMeals or tag #HealthyFitnessMeals!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Teresa says

    5 stars
    Just made for dinner – quick & easy, healthy & tasty especially once dressed with fresh cilantro sour cream avocado & shredded cheese

  2. Marguerite says

    5 stars
    Very tasty and easy to follow
    Only issue was I used two fresh large plum tomatoes instead of a can of diced tomato
    Also used ground chicken. What chili powder do you recommend?
    I red color was not vibrant like your picture

  3. Bell says

    5 stars
    Very tasty and easy recipe. I added dices jalopenos for more spice and corn starch to make the sauce thicker. Made nachos with the chili, the husband loved it.

  4. Michelle M. says

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I had to modify it a little because I used ground oregano instead of crushed, but I just increased the chili powder a little. And I also added about 1/2 to 3/4 more cup of broth, so I had enough liquid. Otherwise, very good and easy recipe!

  5. DSnow says

    5 stars
    We loved this recipe! We used a rotisserie chicken and added a little extra rojo chili powder. Quick and Delish!

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