Chicken Chili Recipe

Chicken Chili Recipe
Staff Writer
Chicken Chili Recipe
Carly Goldsmith

When the weather turns cold and the thought of a cozy meal to warm you up from the inside out sounds more and more appealing, there's no better dish than a hearty, comforting bowl of chili. This version is a slightly lighter take on a traditional meat-filled chili, using healthy chicken breasts as the protein. Fill up a bowl, put on your favorite toppings, serve with homemade cornbread or a green salad, and enjoy a filling meal that's sure to leave you satisfied.

Click here to see Cozy Comfort Food Recipes. 


Click here to see 101 Ways to Cook Chicken.


  • 3 olive oil, plus more for chicken
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 dried oregano, plus more for chicken
  • 1 1/2 cumin, plus more for chicken
  • 1 dried basil, plus more for chicken
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • One 14 ½-ounce can stewed tomatoes
  • One 15 ½-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 15 ½-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish


In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until glistening but not smoking. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Mix in the oregano, cumin, basil, and red pepper flakes and stir well to incorporate. Add in the whole, peeled tomatoes (including the juice) and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the stewed tomatoes, pinto beans, and kidney beans. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a baking dish, coat the chicken breasts on both sides with olive oil, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, and pepper, to taste. Bake until cooked through, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.

Once the chili has simmered for 1 hour, add the chicken pieces and stir well to incorporate. Cover and let cook another 15 minutes so that the flavors can combine. 

Portion the chili into bowls, top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and serve immediately. 

Chicken Chili Shopping Tip

Buy whole chickens and ask the butcher to quarter them for you. You will save an average of $5 per pound, or more.

Chicken Chili Cooking Tip

Legs take longer than breasts to cook. For more consistent results, mark the chicken on the grill and then finish cooking them in an oven.