Green Chicken Chili is a delicious twist on Chili Verde, which is traditionally made with slow roasted pork and a variety of roasted green chilis. This recipe uses shredded chicken and a jar of your favorite salsa verde or tomatillo salsa to make it come together quickly and easily.
Are you a chili lover and looking for a new recipe to try? Or maybe you have never made chili before. In either case you are in the right place! Chicken thighs, white beans, and salsa verde come together with a few other ingredients to make this incredibly healthy, flavorful, and easy green chicken chili.
If you love chili you might also want to have a look at my 3 Bean Vegetarian Chili recipe!
Why you will love Green Chicken Chili
- It's quick and easy.
- It's nutrient rich and packed with protein and fiber.
- It freezes well so you can make a double batch to save some for later.
- It's a one-pot-and-done meal.
- You can easily swap up ingredients to customize it to your liking.
- Your whole family will love it!
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs - Boneless just makes it easier to shred or chop but bone-in works just as well. Chicken breasts can also be used. This recipe is perfect for using up leftover chicken or a store bought rotisserie chicken.
- White kidney beans - I love the creaminess of white kidney beans but any type of canned beans will work for green chicken chili.
- Salsa verde - Green chili salsa or tomatillo salsa are equally delicious here. You can find it in the Mexican section of the grocery store.
- Green bell pepper - Green peppers have a distinct flavour that adds to this chili but you can use any color bell pepper.
- Jalapeno pepper - These add another layer of flavor plus a bit of kick. Leaving in the seeds turns up the heat so add as many, or as little, as you like. Or leave the jalapenos out altogether if you don't care for the heat.
- Spanish onion - A large white or red onion can also be used.
- Corn - Fresh, frozen or canned all work. No need to thaw frozen corn or cook fresh. If you can't eat corn feel free to leave it out. Celery or zucchini would be a great addition. Celery should be added in with the onions and zucchini with the peppers.
- Fresh cilantro - Can substitute with fresh parsley.
- Olive oil - or any cooking oil.
- Chicken broth - low sodium. If using regular sodium, omit the salt in the recipe and adjust salt levels to taste.
For a complete list of ingredients see the recipe card below.
Optional Toppings for Green Chicken Chili
- Sour cream
- Sliced green onions
- Grated white cheddar
- Pickled jalapenos
- Hot sauce
- Extra fresh lime wedges
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Diced red onion
Make it vegetarian - This recipe easily converts to a vegan or vegetarian chili by simply replacing the chicken with 1 or 2 more cans of beans and the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
Switch up the meat - This recipe would also be delicious with ground chicken, pork, or beef. You could also add in leftover pork or beef, cut into small pieces.
Make it creamy - Add 1 cup of sour cream or ½ a block of cream cheese after you remove the chili from the heat. If using cream cheese stir until melted.
Add greens - To kick up the nutritional value even more, stir in a couple of big handfuls of chopped spinach, arugula or kale in the last few minutes of cooking. Cook until the greens are tender. Times will vary depending on your chosen type of green.
🔪How to Make Green Chicken Chili
Step 1 - Fry the onions and celery until softened. Then add both peppers, spices and salt.
Step 2 - Stir and cook until the mixture becomes aromatic. This brings out the flavors of the spices and it called "blooming".
Step 3 - Add the chicken pieces to the pot. Then add the chicken broth and salsa verde. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Step 4 - Remove cooked chicken from the pot and place it on a plate. Using 2 forks, pull apart and shred the chicken. Alternatively, chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.
Step 5 - Add the chicken back to the pot along with the beans and corn. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for another 20 minutes.
Step 6 - Remove from heat and stir in fresh squeezed lime juice and fresh cilantro. Serve topped with any of your choice of toppings.
For detailed instructions see the recipe card below.
Prepare your ingredients - In the restaurant world we call this "mise en place" which means "everything in its place". This is my number 1 piece of cooking advice. Before you start cooking make sure you have all your ingredients measured, chopped, drained etc. This is especially helpful when making one-pan meals that come together quickly.
Adjust the thickness - Add extra chicken broth to make this green chicken chili the consistency you like. More broth will make it more soup-like and with less it's more like a thick stew.
Shredding the chicken rather than chopping creates more tender pieces of chicken.
Adjust seasonings - Taste the chili before serving and adjust the seasoning if needed. You might need more salt, lime juice, or spices.
Traditional Chili Verde is a Mexican dish made with chunks of pork or other meats simmered in a green chili sauce, typically containing ingredients like roasted green chiles, tomatillos, onions, garlic, and various seasonings. It's known for its tangy and slightly spicy flavor profile.
Salsa Verde can vary in spiciness, but it's often considered milder than regular red salsa. However, the heat level can vary depending on the specific ingredients, so it's always a good idea to taste it or check the label for spiciness indicators if you're sensitive to heat.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts will take approximately 20 minutes to cook. Test for doneness by using a meat thermometer and cooking to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Or remove a breast and cut it in half to check if it's still pink inside.
More Easy One-Pot Meals
Green Chicken Chili
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin, ground
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 500 g (1 lb) chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
- 2 (540 ml/ 19oz) cans white kidney beans, drained and rinsed (4 cups)
- 2 cups chicken broth, low sodium
- 2 cups salsa verde or tomatillo salsa
- 1 ½ cups corn, fresh, frozen or canned
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- Sour cream
- Sliced avocado
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Pickled jalapenos
- Hot sauce
- Cilantro leaves
- Lime wedges
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook, occasionally stirring, for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften.2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 Spanish onion,, 2 celery stalks,
- Stir in green pepper, jalapeno peppers, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Cook and stir for 5 more minutes.1 large green bell pepper,, 2 jalapeno peppers,, 5 cloves garlic,, 1 ½ teaspoon cumin,, 2 teaspoon chili powder
- Add chicken thighs, chicken broth, and salsa verde. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Test for doneness by cutting into one piece or use a thermometer reading a temperature of 165 degrees F.500 g (1 lb) chicken thighs,, 2 cups chicken broth,, 2 cups salsa verde or tomatillo salsa
- Remove chicken thighs and place on a plate. Shred or chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken and accumulated juices back to the pot along with the white kidney beans and corn. Bring to a simmer and cover. Continue cooking at a gentle simmer for 20 more minutes.2 (540 ml/ 19oz) cans white kidney beans,, 1 ½ cups corn,
- Remove from heat and add cilantro and fresh lime juice. Top with sliced green onions, diced avocado and a dollop of sour cream if desired.½ cup cilantro,, 1 lime,