Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili


Total Time:

50 minutes



What do you make for a hungry crowd of people before game day? Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili… obviously!! It’s the perfect one pot wonder that feeds a ton of people. Plus it’s even better for leftovers as the flavors continue to develop!

Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili from (@whatsgabycookin)

It’s one of those recipes that I make once a month then keep it stocked in the freezer should I need to quickly get dinner on the table. And it’s 100% what I’m making as part of my game day menu this coming weekend! I’ll pile it high with avocado, because duh, and also cheese because that’s mandatory! You can serve it up with any other toppings of your choice so your guests can jazz it up any way they want it!

Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili from (@whatsgabycookin)

Okay now let’s talk specifics about this Chipotle Chicken Chili. You could easily make it with ground beef, but I was feeling the ground chicken. White or dark meat works, but I’m partial to dark meat because it has more flavor. I also add in some chipotle chili peppers and some of the adobo sauce it comes in, to give this chili a nice smoky finish. It gives it a kind of heat that it’s too crazy, but it just leaves your mouth tingling a wee bite and it certainly makes you want more. The amount of chipotles in the recipe isn’t anything crazy, so if you’re super duper into hot stuff, maybe add another chipotle or two. And if you end up adding too much, just mix in some more guacamole or sour cream to tone things down a bit.

There are beans in it too!! The hubby didn’t think that there should be beans in Chili? What? Who is he? Where does he come from? I posed this bean vs no bean question over on Facebook and basically 99% of you guys said chili absolutely positively HAS to have beans. The 1% that disagreed was Thomas’ brother. And he’s biased. So I’m sticking with all you guys and keeping my beans in chili.

So there ya go! An easy recipe for Chipotle Chicken Chili that is sure to knock your socks off. Trust me. Even Thomas, who once vowed  he’d never like chili with beans, looooooooved it.

Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Soup, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Southwestern
Servings 6 -8 people


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper roughly chopped
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper roughly chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 pound ground chicken dark meat preferred
  • 1-2 chipotle chilies (use 1 if you don't want too much spice) finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 16- ounce can of black beans drained and rinsed


  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese Scallions, Diced Avocado, Sour Cream, Cilantro or Chives


  • In a large heavy bottom pot, add the olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Add the red and orange bell pepper, poblano pepper and yellow and red onion and sauté for 10-12 minutes until the vegetables start to cook down. Add the garlic and chili powder and sauté for 1-2 more minutes.
  • Next, add the ground chicken. Break it up into pieces with a wooden spoon and sauté until golden brown.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, add chopped chipotle chili peppers, adobo sauce, crushed tomatoes and chicken stock. Stir to combine and reduce the heat to medium. Add the drained black beans and simmer for 20 minutes until the chili thickens.
  • Once the chili has thickened, you can reduce the heat to low and keep it on the stove until you are ready to serve.
  • Top with any of the optional toppings and enjoy.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking

5 Tips from a Private Chef email series

Get my latest recipes + my bonus 5 Tips From a Private Chef email series

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Cathryn

    I have a pretty dumb question, do you crush the tomatoes yourself from fresh tomatoes, or can you buy them canned like that? I’ve never heard of crushed tomatoes in a recipe before so I wasn’t sure. I’ve made chili before with canned diced tomatoes, is this similar?

    • Gaby

      crushed tomatoes are interchangeable to canned diced tomatoes!!

  2. Weekly Meal Plan // Week 8 – What's Gaby Cooking

    […] you guys ask for it! More dinners that can turn into lunches… Chipotle Chicken Chili with all the fixin’s! Plus it’s supposedly going  to be cold Monday and I just want to […]

  3. AuntJane

    I came across this recipe and your website last weekend, and just had to make this chili! I had to adjust the peppers a bit, but overall it was delicious! My store (on the east coast) didn’t have poblanos, chipotles or adobo sauce – I DID find a can of prepared choptles in adobo sauce, so I used that (it was about 4 peppers in about a 1/4 cup of sauce, so I used half a can and froze the rest). I wasn’t sure what you meant by smoky, but now I do – this was the best chili I have ever had! Light, tasty, delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. wynne

    I have a question. I can’t get ground chicken where I live in Wyoming. Could I simply grind chicken thighs myself, and if so, would there be enough fat in the ground meat to make it work?

    • Lisa

      I’ll be more than happy to ship you some ground chicken if I can come visit. Wyoming is a beautiful state!

  5. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Oh I love chipotles in adobo sauce. They add so much flavor! This looks like the perfect game day chili!

  6. Lindsay Cotter

    This is perfect for Super Bowl! It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser! After all, what’s the Super Bowl without a big bowl of comfort food like this?!

  7. Sara

    I absolutely love this recipe! Is there a way to adapt for an Instantpot? Thank you!

    • Gaby

      I’m slowly working my way through all the recipes on my site for the instant pot!! Stay tuned

  8. Meal Plan // Week 8 – What's Gaby Cooking

    […] you guys asked for it! More dinners that can turn into lunches… Chipotle Chicken Chili with all the fixin’s! Plus it’s supposedly going  to be cold Monday and I just want to […]

  9. sher

    This recipe looks delicious and I will try it with beans – but, your husband was right……..real chili does not have beans . But folks should add them if it suits them.

    I have really enjoyed a lot of your recipes and it’s especially great when you make suggestions for dishes to go with the main dish. So glad I found you!

  10. mollie

    this sounds amazing! Can you suggest how to adapt this recipe to work in a slow cooker?

  11. Meal Plan // Week 46 – What's Gaby Cooking

    […] Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili is on tap for tonight!! Fingers crossed for leftovers for lunch […]

  12. Tori

    How spicy are the poblano peppers and chipotle peppers? I’m making this for two little children and want to make sure it’s not to hot for them. Thanks!

    • Gaby

      you should probably omit the chipotles!! but the poblanos are just a little smokey

  13. Kelly

    Any recommendations for making this meatless? I think I saw something on Insta about adding quinoa? Would you just add it dry when it starts to simmer?

  14. Silvia

    Where do you suggest we buy the smoked chipotle Chile’s? Any website you could recommend? Thanks

  15. Hannah

    I made this tonight and it is delicious! Simple and easy, but such good flavor. I’ve made more chili recipes than I can count and this one is a winner!

  16. Chili on a Chilly Day – Will Eat This

    […] Gaby Cooking’s recipe for Chipotle Chili is here! Give yourself a treat and make it. It is delicious and loaded with so much […]

  17. Melody

    Could this be done in slow cooker with boneless breasts? I do apologize if you have addressed this question previously.

  18. Christy

    Hi! I made this recipe with slightly less chili powder and chipotle since kids will be eating and its for company and its still has too much heat.. any tips on how to lessen it when we are at the end stage? I was thinking of maybe adding some beer or stock but not sure if that will do much… Thank you!

    • Gaby

      You could serve it with a slaw to tone it down – or with some bread, avocado or lots of cheese

  19. Jess Cesca

    5 stars
    My favorite chili ever!! I made a batch on Sunday to have throughout this week of social distancing/shelter-in-place but it was wiped out by my husband. I would have been mad but who could blame him?!

  20. Sharie Montgomery

    5 stars
    I have made this chili recipe several times because my family keeps asking for it. Delish!

  21. Megan

    5 stars
    Never thought non-beef chili could be this delicious! It was perfectly smoky and flavorful – will make again!

  22. Pauline

    This looks so yum!!! All I can find are dried chipotle chili’s – what do you recommend? Thank you!

    • Gaby

      its a ground chipotle chili – should be in the spice section of your local market

  23. Hillary

    5 stars
    Delicious and healthy. Family approved! Easy to make, healthy ingredients and the kids ate it! Therefore, 5 stars!

  24. Mary

    5 stars
    The only change I made was using cubed chicken breasts and thighs instead of ground chicken because I didn’t have any on hand. Followed the recipe in every other aspect and it was delicious. I will definitely be making this again!

  25. Alison Vander Vort

    Thanks for the great recipe – my family loves this. Can I freeze it?