A one-pot wonder that’s nutritious, delicious, and so easy to make!
My comforting, hearty red chicken chili soup is healthy, cozy, and delicious. It’s simple to put together and makes a soup almost like a stew. The sauce is light in tomatoes and just a little smokey, with chunks of juicy chicken, tender veggies, and melt-in-your-mouth beans. The whole family will love it!
Do I need traditional Mexican spices?
You’ll notice some traditional Mexican seasonings missing from this recipe, but it’s because I don’t keep them in my pantry. If I were to get spices that I don’t use over and over again, they would go to waste. So, I used what I keep in my spice rack, but you can use those spices if you have them. I do the same thing for my easy beef tacos!
Why you’ll love this chili soup?
Juicy, tender chicken
Soft peppers and onions
Hearty, light tomato sauce
What’s the best cut of chicken to use?
Boneless skinless chicken thighs -they stay juicy even after simmering, but you could use bone-in thighs, a whole chicken, or chicken breast, just adjust the cooking time.
Chicken stock -I keep stock in my freezer, but you can get good-quality low-sodium stock at the grocery store.
What are the best veggies for chicken chili?
Onion -finely chopped up to the size of beans so it distributes evenly throughout the soup.
Bell peppers -dice up red, orange, yellow, green, or your favorite combination of peppers.
Fire-roasted tomatoes -these are so nice and smokey and add a great depth of flavor to the chili.
Jalapeño slices -I love Mezzetta jarred sliced peppers in brine because they add the perfect amount of heat to the chili. All you have to do is drain them.
Beans -I love cannellini beans because they’re so smooth and creamy, but you can also use pinto, great northern, black beans, or any combination of beans you like.
Corn -I use frozen for a little sweetness, but you could use a drained can of corn.
What spices to use in chicken chili?
Ground cumin -an essential ingredient for chili that’s warm, nutty, and savory sweet.
Paprika -types have flavors that range from sweet and mild to smoky and spicy, and any of them work great.
Crushed red pepper flakes -adds the perfect amount of heat, but you can add more or leave out completely.
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper -enhances all the flavors and brings them together.
Garlic cloves -grated or minced. I like to buy my garlic in bulk and puree it all at once to put in the freezer. I can break off a chuck whenever I need a bit.
What are the best toppings for chili?
I love putting out lots of options for everyone to choose what they’d like to top their chili with. Load bowls or a cutting board with diced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, sliced scallions, sour cream, olives, and whatever else your family likes.
How to make hearty chicken chili soup?
Drizzle olive oil into a pot and brown the chicken over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and reduce the heat to low. Add the onion and peppers to the pot with more olive oil if needed. Season with a pinch of salt, and cook until soft -about 8 minutes.
Add the garlic to the vegetables and warm through until fragrant. Then, add the chicken, spices, salt, pepper, and jalapeños to the pot.
Puree the canned tomatoes in a blender until smooth, and add them to the pot. Rinse the blender with about a cup of water and add it to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove the chicken thighs from the pot and shred them on a cutting board using two forks. Drain and rinse the beans, and add the shredded chicken and beans to the soup.
Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, then taste to adjust the seasoning. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes to thicken and be ready to eat.
How do you cook chicken chili in a slow cooker?
After browning the chicken and sauteeing the veggies, add all of the ingredients except the corn to your slow cooker. Cook the chili on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken and shred. Then, add it back to the chili, along with the corn. Stir together and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Can I make the soup extra spicy?
Add a teaspoon (or more) of cayenne pepper along with the spices and/or top with some fresh slices of Serrano peppers. If you really like extra spicey, try my spicy green chili sauce, aka Pakistani chutney. A little goes a long way!
How to serve Hearty Chicken Chili Soup?
I like serving it with pita bread, tortillas, or chips, plus all of our favorite toppings. The sour cream and cheese make the sauce extra creamy, and the cilantro and avocado add the perfect amount of freshness. You could even serve this over rice. I made my cheesy garlic bread on video day and served it with this soup. Oh my gosh, was it delicious, and I may never go back to tortillas.
What’s the best way to store the chili?
The chili will keep fresh in the refrigerator for five days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Once the soup is completely cooled, transfer it to freezer-safe containers. You’ll have a hearty chili for any busy or cold night you need.
Watch the Video:
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- salt, to tase
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, grated
- 3 (15-ounce) cans fire roasted tomatoes
- a cup of drained jalapeño slices (in brine/jar)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 cans beans (cannellini, pinto, great northern, black beans)
- 1 cup (or more) frozen corn
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 heaping teaspoon paprika
- a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- diced avocado
- shredded cheddar cheese
- chopped cilantro
- sliced scallions
- sour cream
Add olive oil to a pot and brown the chicken over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Reduce the heat to low and add the onion and peppers to the pot and some more olive oil if needed. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook until soft. About 8 minutes.
Add the garlic and warm through until fragrant.
Add the chicken, spices, salt, pepper, and jalapeños to the pot.
Puree the canned tomatoes in a blender until smooth and add them to the pot. Rinse the blender with about a cup of water and add it to the pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
Cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove the chicken thighs from the pot and shred them on a cutting board using 2 forks.
Drain and rinse the beans.
Add the shredded chicken and the beans to the soup.
Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
If the soup looks too thin, don't worry, as it cools it will thicken.
Serve with your favorite toppings and garlic bread.
- Slow Cooker: Cook the chili on low for 6-8 hours in the slow cooker
- Storage: The chili will keep fresh in the refrigerator for 5 days and up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Make it Spicy: Add a teaspoon (or more) of cayenne pepper along with the spices. Top with some fresh slices of Serrano chilies.
- Serving: serve as a soup with the garlic bread for dipping or over rice.
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Olive Oil- Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil (500ml/15.9 oz)
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