This Green Chicken Chili recipe is brimming with flavor. Thanks to a secret ingredient, it’s a delicious one-pot dinner, ready in under an hour.
Why You’ll Love This Green Chicken Chili Recipe
Spice up your dinner routine with this Green Chicken Chili. It’s tangy, slightly spicy, and packed with lean protein.
- Secret Ingredient: Salsa verde (or green salsa) gives this chili a gorgeous depth, layering in tomatillos, garlic and green chillies (like poblano peppers) in one jar. It’s a secret ingredient and shortcut to major flavor.
- Quick and Easy: It’s a one-pot process, and you’ll go from ingredients to meal in under an hour. The canned beans and jarred salsa save time without sacrificing taste.
- Perfect Texture: Cooking the chicken breasts whole in the sauce and then shredding them later ensures they stay juicy and don’t dry out. The combination of tender chicken and creamy cannellini beans makes for a satisfying bite every time.
This chili is hard to mess up but easy to love.
Here’s What You Need for this Green Chicken Chili Recipe
Ready to cook up some delicious Green Chicken Chili? Let’s break it down into ingredients, variations, and the tools you’ll need.
Green Chicken Chili Ingredients
Here’s a rundown of what goes into this tasty chili:
- Chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs: The star of the dish, providing lean protein.
- Olive oil: Used for sautéing the onions and garlic.
- Onion and garlic: Add depth and aroma to the base of the chili.
- Ground cumin, salt, and pepper: Seasonings to enhance flavor.
- Low-sodium chicken broth: Provides the liquid base for the chili.
- Salsa verde: Gives the chili its distinctive tang and spice.
- White beans: like cannellini beans, great northern beans, or white kidney beans. They add creaminess and makes the chili more hearty.
- Diced green chiles: Add a kick without being overpowering.
- Chopped cilantro: Freshens up the dish.
- Fresh lime juice: Fresh limes add a burst of citrusy brightness.
- Optional toppings: Like avocado slices, shredded cheese, sour cream, and extra cilantro for personal customization.
Variations and Substitutions
Looking to switch things up? Here are some easy ways to modify the recipe:
- Shortcut chicken swap: Use rotisserie chicken instead of fresh chicken breasts if you’ve got leftovers on hand.
- Bean variety: Try navy or Great Northern beans as an alternative to cannellini.
- Veggie add-ins: Incorporate corn or bell peppers for extra texture and flavor.
- Heat level: Use a spicier or milder salsa verde to adjust the spice level to your liking.
Grab These Tools
You don’t need a lot of fancy kitchen gadgets for this recipe, just a few basics:
- Large Pot: For sautéing and simmering all your ingredients. I use a dutch oven.
- Wooden Spoon: Helpful for stirring and mixing.
- Two Forks: Used for shredding the cooked chicken.
- Cutting Board and Knife: For chopping the onions, garlic, and cilantro.
- Citrus Juicer: Optional but helpful for easily juicing the lime.
And there you have it! With these ingredients, variations, and tools, you’re all set to make an amazing pot of Green Chicken Chili.
How to Make Green Chicken Chili: An Easy Guide
Ready to dive into making some comforting Green Chicken Chili? This simple guide breaks down each step, so you’ll have a tasty meal in no time.
Prepare the Base:
- Start by heating the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until it turns translucent, which should take about 5 minutes.
- Next, add minced garlic, ground cumin, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir everything for another minute or so, just until it becomes fragrant.
Season the Chicken:
- Sprinkle 1 tsp of kosher salt evenly over the chicken breasts, prepping them for the pot.
Add Remaining Ingredients:
- Pour the green salsa, chicken broth, and diced green chiles into the pot.
Cook the Chicken:
- Place the chicken breasts or thighs into the pot.
- Bring the whole mixture to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for 20-25 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through by this point.
Shred the Chicken:
- Carefully remove the cooked chicken from the pot. Use two forks to shred it into bite-sized pieces. Once shredded, return the chicken to the pot.
- Stir in the drained and rinsed cannellini beans. Get the mixture back to a simmer and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
Add Final Touches:
- Time for the finishing touches. Add in the chopped cilantro and the juice of one lime. Give it a good stir to mix everything well.
- Taste your chili and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
Serve Your Chili:
- Once everything’s mixed and the flavors have melded together, ladle the Green Chicken Chili into bowls.
- Top with your choice of optional toppings, like avocado slices, shredded cheese, sour cream, or extra cilantro.
There you go! You’ve just made a hearty and flavorful pot of Green Chicken Chili. Enjoy!
Make Ahead and Storage
When life gets busy, it’s great to have meals you can prepare in advance. Here’s how to make and store this Green Chicken Chili for later:
- Make Ahead: You can prepare the entire chili up to 2 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
- Reheat: To reheat, simply transfer the chili to a pot and warm over low heat, stirring occasionally. You can also use a microwave-safe container and heat in 1-minute intervals, stirring between each.
- Freezing: This chili freezes well. Pack it in airtight containers and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- Storage: Leftover chili can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure it’s in an airtight container to maintain its freshness.
How to Serve This Green Chicken Chili Recipe
This chili is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in multiple ways. Here are some options:
- Classic Bowl: Serve it in a bowl with your favorite toppings like avocado, sour cream, and shredded cheese. It is saucy and light enough to enjoy like a big bowl of soup.
- Over Rice: This chili is delicious (and stretches further) served over a bed of warm rice. The rice soaks up the flavors beautifully.
- With Tortillas: Scoop up the chili with some fresh tortillas on the side for a more hands-on experience.
Yummy Green Chicken Chili Toppings:
- Toppings: Offer a variety of toppings like sliced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, and extra cilantro. This lets everyone customize their bowl to their liking.
Great Side Dishes for Green Chicken Chili:
- Side Options: A slice of cornbread casserole or a handful of tortilla chips makes a great side for scooping up this hearty chili. Here’s a comprehensive list of all the best side dishes to eat with chili.
FAQs About Green Chicken Chili
Just skimming through? Here are some quick answers to the commonly asked questions.
Yes, you can use chicken thighs. They offer extra flavor and are usually juicier than chicken breasts.
To make it vegetarian, skip the chicken and use vegetable broth. You might want to add extra beans for protein.
The spiciness is medium at most, but depends on your choice of salsa verde. Canned diced green chilies are mild. To tone it down, opt for a milder version of green salsa.
You can substitute Great Northern beans or navy beans for cannellini beans.
Stored in an airtight container, this chili will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Yes, this Green Chicken Chili is naturally gluten-free. Just double-check the labels of your salsa verde, chicken broth, and canned beans for any gluten-containing additives.
This is a thick chili. The shredded chicken and cannellini beans make it hearty, while the broth gives it the right consistency.
From a cooking perspective, Chili Verde usually features pork and is flavored with tomatillos and green chili peppers. Green Chili is a broader term and our recipe falls into this category. (Note that “Chili Verde” means “Green Chili in Spanish).
Low-sodium chicken broth works best for this recipe. It adds flavor without too much salt. Vegetable broth is another good option.
Other Delicious Chili Recipes to Try
- Cream Cheese Chicken Chili – This chili is unique because of its creamy and tangy flavor, thanks to the addition of cream cheese.
- White Chicken Chili – Unlike traditional chili, this recipe is made with chicken and white beans instead of beef and red beans, resulting in a milder and lighter flavor.
- Green Chile (Authentic Pork Chile Verde) – fall-apart tender pork in tangy, spicy green chili sauce.
- Chili Con Carne – This classic chili recipe is known for its hearty and bold flavor, made with ground beef, chili powder, and other spices for a savory and satisfying dish.
- Instant Pot Chicken Chili – A quick and easy recipe that uses the convenience of a pressure cooker to cook tender chunks of chicken, hearty beans, and savory spices to create a warm, comforting meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights.
If you’re inspired to experiment further with chili flavors, making your own spice blend is a game-changer. Check out my homemade Chili Seasoning Recipe for a signature spice mix that will elevate your chili creations to new heights (and easy on the pocket too!).
And for the perfect accompaniment to your Chili dinners, check out my suggestions on What to Serve with Chili. From toppings to sides to desserts, I have ideas that make a complete meal.”
Green Chicken Chili
- 2 lbs chicken breasts
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt divided use
- 3 tbsp avocado oil or vegetable oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground coriander optional
- 1 16-ounce jar green salsa (salsa verde)
- 2 cups regular chicken broth
- 2 19- oz cans white beans
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
- Sour cream pickled jalapenos and/or fresh cilantro for garnish
Prepare the Base
- In a large pot, heat the avocado oil over medium heat.
- Add the diced onions and ½ tsp of salt and sauté until translucent.
- Stir in the minced garlic, ground cumin and optional ground coriander and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
Season the Chicken
- Season the whole chicken breasts evenly with 1 tsp of kosher salt.
Add Remaining Ingredients
- Pour the green salsa, chicken broth, and diced green chiles into the pot.
Cook the Chicken
- Nestle in the chicken breasts, bring to a simmer, cover, and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken breasts are fully cooked through.
Shred the Chicken
- Remove the chicken breasts from the pot and shred them using two forks.
Combine and Cook Further
- Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
- Simmer for an additional 2 minutes to allow the chicken to soak up the flavors.
- Stir in the drained and rinsed cannellini beans.
- Get the mixture back to a simmer and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
Season and Serve
- Add in the chopped cilantro and the juice of one lime. Give it a good stir to mix everything well.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with more to taste.
- Serve hot, garnished with sour cream, pickled jalapenos, and/or fresh cilantro.
Last Updated on November 14, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD