Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili

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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!

A bowl with chipotle chicken chili topped with avocado, scallions and shredded cheese surrounded with bowls containing these toppings and a bowl of sour cream.


 

Why I Love This Recipe

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!

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. And you will find beans in my chili con carne and white chicken chili as well!

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.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Mise en place of all ingredients to make smoky chipotle chicken chili.
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Poblano Pepper
  • Yellow Onion
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chili Powder
  • Ground Chicken
  • Chipotle Chilies
  • Adobo Sauce
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Chicken Stock
  • Canned Black Beans
Toppings, optional:
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese 
  • Scallions
  • Avocado
  • Sour Cream
  • Cilantro
  • Chives

*For a full list of ingredients and instructions please see recipe card below.

How to Make Chicken Chili

A dutch oven with olive oil, and chopped red and yellow onions, red and orange bell pepper and poblano pepper added to it.

Step 1: 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.

A dutch oven with onions and peppers being sautéed with garlic and chili powder just added.

Step 2: Add the garlic and chili powder and sauté for 1-2 more minutes.

A dutch oven with onions and peppers being sautéed and ground chicken added.

Step 3: Next, add the ground chicken. Break it up into pieces with a wooden spoon and sauté until golden brown.

A dutch oven with chicken being cooked in a base mix of onions and peppers, and chopped chipotle chili peppers, adobo sauce, crushed tomatoes and chicken stock just added.

Step 4: Once the chicken is cooked, add chopped chipotle chili peppers, adobo sauce, crushed tomatoes and chicken stock.

A dutch oven with chipotle chicken chili being made and black beans just added.

Step 5: Stir to combine and reduce the heat to medium. Add the drained black beans and simmer for 20 minutes until the chili thickens.

A dutch oven with smoky chipotle chicken chili, with bowls of scallions, avocado, shredded cheese, cilantro and sour cream to add as toppings.

Step 6: 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.

How to Store Chicken Chili

You can store chili in the fridge for about 3-4 days. I recommend putting the toppings only for the portion you are eating right away since they are best fresh. Heat through the leftovers well in a microwave or stovetop when its time to eat.

How to Freeze Chicken Chili

You can freeze chili in an airtight container or freezer bags for about 4 months. Chili is a good meal to have on hand for later, so make sure you portion it into the appropriate sizes so you can thaw as much as you need. To thaw, place it in the refrigerator overnight, and once thawed, warm it through once thawed to the safe temperature.

Tips & Tricks

Use all your favorite chili toppings here. Sour cream is perfect to cut the heat a bit.

FAQs

Is chipotle chicken chili spicy?

This recipe has both chipotle peppers and chili powder- so it does have some heat. This is why sour cream goes really well and balances it. If you'd rather make it milder, adjust or omit the chili powder and reduce the chipotle pepper (noted in recipe).

Do you have a vegetarian chili recipe?

Yes! This black bean sweet potato chili is perfect!

Similar Recipes

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting today

Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.9 from 12 votes
An easy recipe for Chipotle Chicken Chili that is sure to knock your socks off. Pile it high with avocado, because duh, and also cheese because that’s mandatory!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Soup, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Southwestern
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 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 ½ cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 16- ounce can of black beans drained and rinsed

Toppings

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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

Use all your favorite chili toppings here. Sour cream is perfect to cut the heat a bit.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 945mg | Potassium: 855mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1256IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

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

93 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious and healthy. Family approved! Easy to make, healthy ingredients and the kids ate it! Therefore, 5 stars!

  3. 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?!

  4. 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!

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

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