Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili

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

Yield: Serves 4-6

Smoky Chipotle Chicken Chili


  • 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)
  • 2 chipotle chilies, 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
  • Toppings
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Scallions, Diced Avocado, Sour Cream, Cilantro or Chives


  1. In a large heavy bottom pot, add the olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. 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.
  3. Next, add the ground chicken. Break it up into pieces with a wooden spoon and sauté until golden brown.
  4. 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.
  5. Once the chili has thickened, you can reduce the heat to low and keep it on the stove until you are ready to serve.
  6. Top with any of the optional toppings and enjoy.

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

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  1. 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?

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

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

  5. 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?!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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?

  9. 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!

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