Quick Chicken Chili

This quick chicken chili is easy and healthy and made with boneless chicken, plenty of spice, cannellini beans, and green chiles. It’s exactly what you want when you crave something that’s satiating as heck but fast as can be.

A white bowl filled with quick chicken chili with a spoon resting inside and a lime wedge on top.

This quick chicken chili recipe is, true to its title, quick to toss together. It’s on the table in just 35 minutes. It’s also easy and healthy. But that’s not the real reason you and your family will crave it week after week. One taste and you’ll understand. [Editor’s Note: While this has all the heat of a nice chili, it’s actually more like a soup than a stick-to-your-ribs chili. No complaints here.]–Angie Zoobkoff

Quick Chicken Chili

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 25 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4
4/5 - 1 reviews
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Heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes.

Add 1 can of drained beans, 1 can of chiles along with the liquid, the chicken broth or stock, and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil.

In a small bowl using a fork or potato masher, mash the remaining can of drained beans with the remaining can of chiles. Stir this mash into the chili and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with the cilantro leaves and lime wedges. Originally published September 9, 2017.

Tester tip: If you have an immersion or handheld blender, you can use it here by instead simply dumping the entire can of drained beans into the soup and blitzing until the soup is the desired consistency.
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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I enjoyed this quick chicken chili as a very fast weeknight meal. It took just over 30 minutes from start to finish, which is usually just about the amount of time that I want to cook after work.

The lime was essential to the finished taste of this chili. I tasted it both before adding the lime and after. This wasn’t very spicy to me. I would probably add fresh jalapeños with a few seeds next time to bump up the heat a little. I also think that while it’s delicious as-is, this could be good with a little chopped poblano or green pepper added with the onions to up the vegetable content. I served the chili with sliced Cheddar beer bread. Yum.

This quick chicken chili was good but I would have liked a bit more spice in the soup. Granted, that depends on a person’s preferences.

I also think the chili was a bit soupy. I enjoy my chilis to be very hearty and cohesive rather than broth and chunks of items.

Overall, though, I thought it was a successful and delicious recipe. I used chicken breasts which worked great to get those nice chunks of meat and paired very well with the beans in the recipe. I thought the half cup of onion was a bit low so I served it with more raw onion on the side to add more of that flavor.


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  1. I should comment after I try this recipe and rate it but chicken chilli is one of my favorite meal and it is so great when I cook it no need one hour. Thanks for your sharing!

  2. The traditional way to “tighten up” any chili is to add a bit of corn meal which also adds a little extra flavor. Here, put it in at the same time as the chicken broth so that it can expand enough to thicken. One or two tablespoons should do the trick for those that want it thicker.

  3. After making my former comment, I thought I should try to add my own comments on this particular recipe. Like many other testers, I thought the chili was a little “thin”. When I make the recipe again, I would try putting all of the beans in a separate bowl and using a hand held pastry cutter to slightly cut (not mash) the beans to let the natural moisture and starch out of the beans. It’s hard to season a whole bean I think. After they are cut, then I would season them well with the spices mentioned and let them sit to macerate and give the juice a chance to thicken from the starch emitted from the beans. I might even add some of the chicken stock to the beans at this point. This was something my Dad used to do when he made beef chili and it was always really thick and satisfying. Add these “thickened” beans to the chicken with the rest of the stock and it should help thicken up the whole dish. I’d also look to see if I could find beans that came in a lightly seasoned sauce like some red chili beans do. That would help. Third, I might try bringing out more of the chicken flavor by slow roasting the chicken first and then shred and finish cooking the roasted chicken with the sauteed onion and garlic, adding in any pan juices. Again, I haven’t done any of these yet; they are just my thoughts for the next time around.

  4. This is not a recipe specific comment but rather general in nature. I just LOVE this website. Of all the cooking websites I visit, which are many, I love the creativity yet simpleness of all these recipes. I have tested many, most of which have become standards in my cooking repertoire. I use many as a springboard to create my own versions, and I’ve become a much more creative cook thanks to David Leite! I want to express my thanks to the many cooks and reviewers out there who try the recipe and then post their comments, along with any suggestions or changes they have made. Those wonderful people had helped me become a very happy, and I hope, talented cook. All I can say is I’m a great cook wanna-be so keep those recipes and comments coming. Thanks and appreciation to all. You inspire me.

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