I know, I know – spring is just around the corner and chili is probably one of the last foods on your radar right now.  The weather has warmed up marginally and we have seen the sunshine again.  However, this chicken chili is worthy of your immediate attention.  Why?  Well for starters, this is the time of year here in Indiana when the weather may seem to be warming up a bit, but there is always at least one more bitter cold spell, and often one more snow still to come.  So when that time comes, this chili will be just the thing to get you through until the spring really arrives.

More importantly, I think I like this chili even better than my old favorite.  That’s really saying something considering just how much I love that recipe.  I can’t even put my finger on exactly what it is that I prefer about this version, but I can tell you that we had this for dinner three nights in a row, as well as a lunch or two, and I was still sad when it was gone.  It wasn’t difficult to throw together, and it’s pretty darn healthy on its own.  Of course I can’t resist eating mine with Fritos…mmmm, delicious!


3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
4 cups chopped yellow onion (2-3 onions)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 bell peppers (I used 1 red, 1 orange and 1 yellow)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely diced
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 (28 oz.) cans whole peeled tomatoes in puree, not drained
2 (15 oz.) cans beans, drained and rinsed (I used 1 can black and 1 can pinto beans)


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Place the chicken breasts on the foil, and season with salt and pepper.  Fold the foil over the chicken breasts to make a “packet”.  Roast 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Allow to cool enough to handle, then shred or chop into bite-sized pieces.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onions 10-15 minutes, or until tender and translucent.  Add the garlic to the pot and sauté just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Mix in the chopped bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, oregano, chipotle, and kosher salt.  Cook 5 more minutes.  Place the canned tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse briefly so the tomatoes are cut to large chunks.  Add the tomatoes with the puree to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

  • 03

    Stir in the shredded chicken and the beans, and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes.


  • This is definitely going on my menu plan for next week – it sounds fantastic!

  • i actually made this on the weekend and brought leftovers to work for lunch today! it’s been so mild here in toronto as well, but i’m sure we have a final blast of winter weather to get through before spring fully arrives. love the addition of the chipotle – the original recipe doesn’t have that. i’ll definitely try it next time!

  • gingela5

    Looks delicious! My husband doesn’t like chili, and that depresses me but maybe I’ll make a batch for myself!

  • That picture looks SO amazing. I actually love chili at all times during the year, and having chicken rather than beef makes it seem less filling and heavy.

  • I’ll have to give this one a try. I made a chicken chili a few weeks ago, and although it was good, it wasn’t “THE” chicken chili. Hope this one hits the spot. Your photos sure make it look yummy!

  • This sounds delicious!

  • Erin

    I keep thinking about putting this on the menu, and it’s supposed to rain the next few days, so it may be perfect weather for chicken chili! Looks delicious with the fritos. I hope I didn’t do anything to tick you off- I noticed that I’m off your blog list- if I did something wrong, I’m sorry!

  • Cyndi

    This is one of my favorite recipes from that cookbook! We also add beans to ours (I like beans in my chili :)).

  • Oh the soup looks sooo goood!!!

  • I find that I crave comfort foods around this time when it’s gorgeous during the day and still nippy at night. Last night I made some turkey chili, ‘mmmm

  • the first thing i noticed was the fritos! love it!

  • This chicken chili look so yummy.

  • Mmm, how cozy and warm. I just stewed a whole chicken to use for shredding and this recipe will be perfect! It’s so wicked cold and stormy right now that I need a warming thing like this. :-)

  • aevarga

    Oh my gosh, are those fritos on top?! I hadn’t had a frito in probably 15 years until I found out I had celiac and couldn’t eat gluten. Once I found out fritos were gluten-free, I grabbed a bag and haven’t looked back since. :) The combo with your chili looks delish! Amy @ Yard to Fork

  • Oh wow this sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to try it out, thanks for the recipe.

  • The Mom

    This chicken chili was amazing! I read your post Wednesday morning and just had to make it for dinner that same night. I added kidney beans to ours, and I also added a couple cups of water to (I wanted mine a little more soup-like). The Fritos were dee-lish as a garlish, though my kids treated them as a solid part of the meal. :o) Thanks!

  • Annie

    No, of course you haven’t done anything to tick me off! I just try to keep my blogroll an accurate reflection of the blogs I read the most, and make the most recipes from. In general it seems that blogs who participate in TWD don’t interest me quite as much because I see so many of those updates, and I find myself just scrolling through and not really reading. So no offense to you, just a personal preference I suppose.

  • Selene

    I also made this yummy dish for a good girlfriend and my family, was a hit for the adults not so much for the young peeps! Either way I added a bit of sauce and some fresh nutmeg to the chili and it was delish! Thanks Annie…just a side note, every time I make something of yours it is always a hit!

  • Gitte

    Your Chicken Chili was sbsolutely delicious although a bit spicy. I did cut back just a little on the onion and bell pepper. I think the Chilpotle in Adobo sauce was responsible for the wonderful background flavor. What a great addition and what a beautiful picture.

  • dr.girlfriend

    I made this yesterday and it was great! I had to make some substitutions that would probably horrify a real foodie…I had no cayenne pepper or chipotle chili in adobo sauce (where would you even *find* that?!?) but I threw some Vietnamese chili sauce in and it turned out perfect! I had it with a side of nan bread with Trader Joe’s shredded smoked cheeses melted on top…nom nom nom. :-D

  • melissa

    This was legitimately GREAT. I used a bit extra of the chipotle with adobo, but only because I’m a bit obsessed with that right now. I recently made an amazing pizza with the chipotle and adobo and smoked Gouda (fire and smoke!), and then a roasted chicken with the same flavors, with roast onions and garlic. mmmm…

    Thanks for the great recipe…I’ve already made it twice now!

  • Tricia

    Loved this recipe. I’m eating the leftovers now. It was a great light chili–rather than the belly bomb that ground beef can sometimes make it. I’ll be making this again soon and freezing half for another night!!

  • Shannon

    I totally thought to myself that there was no way I was making chili again until fall…..except now it’s a balmy 30 degrees here in MI and chili sounds perfect, lol. I’m looking forward to making a double batch of this today!

  • Katie

    This was super tasty! Usually my chicken chili is white, so I was excited to try this. I definitely didn’t use that much onion, maybe 2 cups. Red, yellow and green peppers, and a couple spoonfuls of the adobo sauce too. 2 tbs chili powder and 1 tbs cumin instead of tsp. And I also used Muir glen’s fire roasted dieced tomatoes and 1 small can of tomato sauce instead of whole tomatoes. For beans I used kidney and a chili bean mix and had to add a couple cups of chicken stock because it was SO thick. I will definitely be making this over and over.

  • Deborah

    When you say “1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely diced” are you meaning one can or one pepper from the can? I haven’t used chipotle chili in adobo sauce before. I am looking forward to trying out this recipe.

  • Annie

    1 pepper.

  • Kerry

    I just found your blog and I LOVE IT! Everything I have made so far is amazing, starting with this chicken chili!! I felt like I was being healthy until I remembered the fritos, and even then, it was so good I didn’t care! Next up, butterfly cupcakes. Just wanted to tell you that you are doing a great job and I am LOVING cooking from your blog!

  • Margaret

    Hey Annie! Im going to make this tonight! When you say 3 chicken breasts is that before or after they have been butterflied? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Three chicken breasts, not 3 halves.

  • I just made this for dinner tonight and loved it! Thanks so much for a great recipe as I get tired of the ground turkey I always use.
    I added just about 1/4 cup of chicken stock though to add a little liquid. Also, a great idea is to add (or decrease) more of the chipotle sauce that comes with the peppers. For those that like a lot of heat, the sauce is super hot!!

  • Kylie

    by chance can you just through all into a crock pot and cook it that way?

  • Annie

    I don’t have a crock pot so I don’t know anything about that. Sorry!

  • Jodie

    I have looked in 2 grocery stores, where would I find the chipotle chili in adobo sauce?? I found adobo sauce, but no chilies.

  • Anonymous

    Every store is different. Have you asked an employee? Most have them in the Mexican section.

  • Gidgewest

    I was looking at your chicken chili and white bean and chicken soup. Just wondering what your instructions are for freezing and cooking them??

  • annieseats

    No special instructions. Just freeze the finished dish, thaw, and warm to eat.

  • Joy

    I was wondering how much finished soup this recipe makes? We have 4 children including 2 teens and I want to make enough to freeze several batches. Would you recommend doubling the existing recipe for each meal?

  • annieseats

    I think one batch is quite a lot and would probably feed a family of your size for one meal, but not sure you’d have much to freeze. I think doubling would be best so you’ll definitely have leftovers. Enjoy!

  • Elizabeth H.

    Made this again last night-delicious as always, Annie. Thanks for testing and creating recipes to share. Reading your blog is part of my morning routine. :)

  • Meg

    Oh my goodness this is amazing. I mean, unbelievably delicious. I may have gotten a bit a late start on dinner tonight and didn’t end up sitting down until 10 PM, but it was so worth the wait. There’s just the right amount of heat and spice to make it exciting but not overpowering. And I just love anytime I can use shredded chicken. Even better, it’s so healthy. Total keeper. And I’m so excited to have the leftovers on hand for delicious, healthy, quick meals on nights when law school gets in the way of cooking. Thanks for yet another recipe that never fails to be amazing!!

  • Cara

    So yesterday was my first foray into roasting chicken and making chili and thanks to this recipe I was very successful. So excited to add this healthy, delicious recipe to my winter repertoire!