Easy Chicken Chili Recipe

Chili season... it's the most wonderful time of the year!

If you know me, then you know that I am a chili champion. I won an actual chili competition, where I was judged by professional chefs and I beat out 14 other people. It was awesome. And you would know this because I talked about it non-stop after it happened. Still do. It was kind of a big deal. 

This is not my award winning chili recipe. My award winning recipe calls for two types of Italian sausage, ground beef, tequila, dark chocolate and a bunch of other expensive ingredients. This is my go-to, healthier and cheaper chili recipe that you can whip up in the morning and throw in the slow cooker. And it's delicious. And it makes a lot of chili so you can freeze the leftovers and reheat it anytime it snows, or rains, or you're feeling lazy, etc. 

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large bell peppers (1 red, 1 orange), chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 15-ounce cans chili beans
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 cup brewed coffee 
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • Fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, sliced scallions, sour cream or low-fat yogurt for topping (optional)

Directions: Add the chicken and taco seasoning to a pan and cook until browned. Once browned, throw it in the slow cooker. 

Add olive oil to the pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften (about 8 minutes).  After eight minutes, add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, chipotle, tomato paste, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the tomato paste is brick red (about four minutes). It should look like the photo on the right. If the sauce gets too thick and starts to stick, just add a touch of chicken broth to deglaze the pan.

Throw the vegetables into the slow cooker, along with the tomatoes, beans, coffee and chicken broth and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. Now relax. Maybe drink a beer. Maybe drink the 12 Dogs of Christmas that you've been saving since the holidays. I mean, it's nasty out. What better reason do you need?

And for the final touches, you can top the chili with cheese, cilantro, sliced green onions, sour cream, hot sauce or all of the above. And enjoy!