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!

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

4.9 from 9 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 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Soup, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Southwestern
Servings 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.


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

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


  1. HANGRY. That is the best thing I have heard in so long! I get majorly Hangry all the time- as do my daughters. My husband does not understand “low-blood sugar” but now I have a technical term to share with him! Chili looks incredible. Go beans!!

  2. I think beans in chili is a MUST. It keeps me fuller, too, and gives the chili more texture and flavor and creaminess. It’s basically a win-win and Thomas & his brother are losing right now haha 😉 serve me up a large bowl, please!

  3. I grew up in the midwest where it is not uncommon for people to eat chili with no beans and with some sort of pasta. I’ve had people tell me that this is actually “chili-mac” or “goulash” (but as I understand legit goulash is not really even close to what I’m talking about)…over the years I’ve converted my previously “without-beans-with-pasta” recipe into a hodge podge of about four/five different chili recipes and now it DOES have beans AND pasta 🙂 So I’ll eat chili any way. But I promise, he’s not crazy; people really do eat it like that!

  4. Mmmm. I love chili,and the more beans the better! I’m going to make a huge pot and freeze the leftovers for those times I get home from work late and am too ”hangry” to make something! This will hit the spot.

  5. I know that lots of people don’t like chili with beans, but I’ll never understand it – they’re my favorite part! This flavor combination looks fantastic. I love the smokiness of chipotle!

  6. Just curious as to how many servings this makes? I’m trying to figure out the nutritional values per serving, and will gladly share once all calculated up!

  7. Just curious as to how many servings this makes? I’m trying to add up the nutritional value and will gladly share once I’ve calculated it up!

    1. It also made about 5 servings for my household as well. Could this recipe be doubled, or would it mess up the way the veggies and chicken cook in the initial steps?

  8. This was a fantastic recipe! I have made it three times and will make again. Also given the recipes to some friends. Thanks, I will be checking out more recipes from your site

  9. I love chicken chili and chipotle (and alliteration – lol)! I wonder, though, about the level of spiciness for my children. How spicy would you say this recipe is?

    1. it’s not crazy spicy – more so smokey! But you could tone down the spice a bit and taste it… and add more if you think it will work for your kids!

  10. We Brits like our chilli with ground beef, red beans and served with rice! However, I am going to give this a go as it sounds awesome!

  11. Oh, and I usually add a handful of dark chocolate chips or a tablespoon of cocoa powder and some cinnamon and cumin. I know the chocolate is authentic don’t know about the cinnamon.

  12. This chili looks absolutely delicious! Love the addition of chipotle flavor to chill. I included it in my latest post “Kick Start The New Year #2: 15 Healthy Dinners”!

  13. I just adore your pag Gabby!
    A few questions.
    1. Do you simmer covered or uncovered….which lends to better thickening?

    2. Do you use the crushed tomatoes with the juices or do you drain them?

  14. 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?

  15. 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!

  16. 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?

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

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

  18. 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?!

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