Chicken Chili with Black Beans and Chipotle

I was never a Chili kinda girl. Ground beef really grosses me out, and I could never find a recipe that wasn’t too bean-y, or too runny and tomato based. I’m ultra picky about my chili. I want it to be thick enough to dip a chip into, thick enough to pile on top of a roasted sweet potato, and I want it to freeze and thaw well. This recipe does all of those things.

Like any chili there are a LOT of ingredients- the best thing to do is read this recipe first, then chop and prepare every ingredient before you actually start. This will make you hate me maybe a little less, and You’ll get to the chili faster. This recipe is so delicious- this batch makes enough for 8 to 10 servings, so I typically keep half in the fridge, and freeze the other half for another week.

TIPS: Cook your chicken ahead of time- using two boneless skinless breasts, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper on 375 for 30 minutes. My chicken breasts were HUGE, but if yours are on the smaller side, add 3. I shred it with two forks or my hands when its cooled so that it’s totally ready for the chili. You can do this several days in advance or whenever you have the time. Your chili has to simmer for one hour+ another 10 minutes, so baking your chicken in advance really makes this recipe ready much faster.

If you are unfamiliar with Chipotles– they are actually just smoked jalapeños. For this recipe you need to find the chipotles that are packed in Adobo Sauce. I buy this tiny can from any grocery store, usually in the Mexican food section by different salsas/hatch chiles etc. This recipe starts with 3 which leads to a mildly spicy chili- if you prefer more heat, add another Chipotle. The Masa in this recipe is simply corn flour (what they make corn tortillas out of). Do NOT skip this step. It makes the chili super thick and gives it even more of a mexican flavor. You should be able to find it in the baking aisle of your grocery stove.

Oddly, this chili ALWAYS tastes better leftover than when you first make it. If possible, I try to make it a day ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until we are ready for it. Something about the extra time for the flavors to develop really makes it phenomenal.



  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion (red or white) diced small
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic minced fine
  • 2 Large Chicken breasts, baked and shredded (directions above)
  • 3 to 3 1/2 Cups Organic Chicken Broth (I use bone broth for added nutrients)
  • 2 Cans Low Sodium Black beans
  • 1 can (14-15 oz) diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 (or more) chipotles packed in adobo sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Juice of a Lime
  • 1/4 C Masa

Serving suggestions: Chopped cilantro, shredded cheddar or pepper jack. Dollop with sour cream, spoon some pico on the top, slice some avocado. Serve over an oven baked sweet potato and eat with knife and fork. Also, if you’re my kinda person, you’ll eat this with an ICE cold Modelo or Corona and lime. I adore it with fritos, but its just as good with crispy tortilla chips.

Recipe: Takes 1hr & 10 Minutes to simmer once assembled. Feeds 6-8.

  1. In a large soup pot over medium heat drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the diced onion and stir to coat with the oil. Cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir, cooking until fragrant, about two minutes more. Don’t panic if your garlic and onion begins to turn golden to dark brown, thats flavor you WANT.

    2. After the onion and garlic is cooked and brown bits begin to form at the bottom of the pan, add in 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and stir, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the broth reduce and get thick.

    3. When your chicken broth has reduced and thickened, add in ALL of your shredded chicken. Add just enough chicken broth to cover the chicken, 2 1/4 cup.

    4. Using a fine mesh strainer over the sink, drain and rinse the extra liquid from your black beans. (the extra liquid makes the chili too runny, and it can be a weird sort of slimy texture so you want to give them a good rinse and shake before putting them in the pot.)

    5. If you prefer your diced tomatoes chunky as is, pour the entire can into the pot, juices and all. I put mine into the food processor to give it a smoother texture, which results in a smoother chili. Add to the pot.

    6. Finely chop up the 3 (or more if you like it spicier) chipotles until they resemble a paste. Add them to the pot. Add the teaspoon salt.

    7. Add the Cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika. Stir well to combine. Turn heat to LOW or Simmer. Place a lid on the pot and let simmer for 1 hour. You can come back every 20 minutes or so to stir and make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.

    8. When the hour is up, remove the lid from the pan. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, pour the 1/4 cup of Masa. Drizzle chicken broth slowly and stir until the masa becomes a paste. Add broth and stir until it is a pourable consistency. We will use this to thicken the chili, and the corn flour also gives it a richer taste. (this trick is from the Queen herself, Ree Drummond)

    9. Pour the Masa paste into the center of the chili, scraping to get every bit out. Stir gently until it disappears into the chili. (If you accidentally get lumps, you didn’t add enough broth to the Masa- use a whisk to break them up.)

    10. Squeeze in the juice of an entire lime. Simmer for another 10 minutes. When the time is up, your chili is DONE! I keep mine in the fridge for up to 2 days for leftovers, or freeze and thaw in a large pot with a lid.



    Enjoy this one friends! Great for football, or for a housewarming when people just move in and don’t have any groceries yet. Great for new parents who are exhausted, great for potlucks, parties etc. Serve however you’d like but remember I included my favorites in the recipe above.




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