Best Chicken Chili

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Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Chef Mireille

Best Chicken Chili with Chipotle

This Chicken Chili is a delicious way to utilize leftover chicken or turkey, with smoky spices and chipotle.

bowl of chicken chili with melted cheese

Chili means different things to different people. For Americans, chili is a hearty stew of beans and meat. However, there are many variations. Chicken, beef, pork – the meat options are endless. You can also make vegetarian versions with only beans like my Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili recipe.

If you’d like to make this version Vegetarian, you can use mushrooms or soya chunks to substitute the meat.

What cuisine does chili come from?

Chili come from Tex-Mex cuisine – the Mexican influenced cuisine of Texas. However, chili is extremely popular throughout the southwestern United States.

The original and most popular Chili con Carne recipe was made with pinto beans and ground beef. However, chili in America has evolved into countless variations that exist today.

Recipe FAQ

What is chili powder?

Depending on what country you come from, you might think this is the same as red chili powder. However, it is not.
American chili powder is a spice blend that includes several smoky spices like paprika, cumin, coriander and allspice.

What kind of chicken should I use?

Chicken or turkey can be used in this Chicken Chili recipe. You can use any kind of leftover poultry – grilled chicken, roast chicken, rotisserie chicken or Thanksgiving turkey.

What kind of beans should I use?

Any kind of hearty beans can be used like black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans or Roman beans.

Chicken Chili Pin

How should I serve chili?

Chili is such a versatile stew and is traditionally served in a variety of ways.

  • It is often garnished with grated cheese. The grated cheese melts into it, making it even more delicious!
  • It can be served over baked potatoes – again garnished with grated cheese on top.
  • Chili Hot Dogs are common carnival food here in the US. Chili is used as a condiment on hot dogs.
  • Chicken Chili can be served on its own with crusty bread or cornbread.
Chicken Chili LR FB

What if I can’t tolerate spicy food?

Easy as pie – eliminate the chipotles. If you’d like, you can add some chopped bell peppers. Add a little smoked paprika to still get that smoky flavor.

What kind of chicken did I use?

After I made some homemade Chicken Broth, I had a bunch of leftover chicken and that is how the Best Chicken Chili recipe was born!

What do you like to do with leftover chicken – Chicken Tacos, Chicken Soup. If you make your own Chicken Broth, you will always have chicken around to easily get dinner on the table quickly. Just freeze the chicken until it is ready to use.

This version of the Best Chicken Chili is so quick and easy to get dinner on the table quickly utilizing canned tomatoes, canned beans and leftover chicken.

Chicken Chili Pin 1

Who knew dinner could be this delicious this quickly?

bowl of chicken chili with melted cheese
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5 from 10 votes

Chipotle Chicken Chili

Chipotle Chicken Chili made with leftover chicken or turkey is a quick and easy family meal, ready in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Dinner
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 455kcal


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped bell pepper
  • 5 chopped chipotles from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cups chopped chicken
  • 15.5 oz. can Roman beans
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • Grated cheese for garnish


  • In a large pot, heat oil.
  • Add onion, garlic and bell pepper.
  • Saute until vegetables are softened.
  • Add chipotles, tomatoes and 2 cups water.
  • Add chili powder and bring to a boil.
  • Add chicken and beans and simmer for a few minutes, until heated through.
  • Add salt and cilantro. Stir to combine.
  • To serve, garnish with cheese.


Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 457mg | Potassium: 1800mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1958IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 6mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!


bowl of chicken chili with text
bowl of chicken chili with text

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Reader Interactions


  1. 5 stars
    Yum! Such a great use of leftovers and I love how quickly the chili comes together. Sounds perfect with those spices and the grated cheese on top.

  2. 5 stars
    I love chicken chili and this recipe looks easy and delicious! Layers of goodness. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 5 stars
    The weather is cool here, and this is a wonderfully warming dish – we enjoyed it very much and love the flavours!

  4. 5 stars
    We are all about chicken chili in our house, and I make the same one over and over. I am so excited to try your recipe. It looks terrific!

  5. 5 stars
    I love chipotle so much and this chili really tasted amazing. I love the added cheese on top too. My family ate the whole pot!

  6. 5 stars
    I love the sound of this chilli chicken with the chipotle and garlic. I can see it being the perfect comfort food on a cold day to warm the belly. Can’t wait to try out your recipe. Thanks!

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