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Southwest Chicken Chili

A bold and zesty bowl of comfort.

I don’t know that there’s ever really a time that chili does not sound good. It’s a meal that always satisfies and luckily it comes in so many different iterations! Take this Southwest Chicken Chili. It tastes like chili – it’s thick and hearty with a deep, rich background of tomato and chili flavor – and yet it’s a far cry from your basic beef chili. Maybe that’s thanks to the hint of sweetness from the corn, or the lighter bite of shredded chicken, but what I know for sure is that that southwest flavor is a welcome addition to your chili routine.

This is a one-pot situation and it comes together in just over half an hour, which makes it an ideal dinner on nights when things are a little hectic. That’s not its only place, though – it makes for great lunch prep too. And it’s easy to throw together.

You just soften some onion and garlic in olive oil before adding in your flavor base, which is tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and green chiles. It’s smoky and spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. Chicken stock and tomato sauce round out the broth.

Then there’s shredded chicken, corn, black beans, pinto beans, and refried beans. Now, refried beans aren’t something that you often see in a chili, but they lend a thickness and almost creamy feel. It’s a good thing. The corn, of course, adds pops of sweetness against all of that smoky chili flavor.

It’s one of my favorite chilis to make when I want that hearty, filling, smoky flavor but I want the whole meal to be just a litttttle bit lighter. I love the combo of black beans and corn here and the little kick of green chiles. It wins a lot of points for being so easy to make and mostly relying on things you have in your pantry, but I have to say, it’s an absolute delight to sit down to a bowl of it.

Serves 6

10m prep time

30m cook time

Rated 4.8 out of 5
Rated by 5 reviewers
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
  • 2 (15 oz each) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3-4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can fire-roasted corn, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can refried beans
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For serving (optional):
  • Sour Cream
  • Tortilla Strips
  • Avocado
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Lime Wedges
  • Cheddar Cheese
  1. In a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and green chiles and cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth.
  3. Add chicken, pinto beans, black beans, corn, and refried beans. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lime juice and serve with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Food.com

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