A good chili recipe is a must in any home cook’s repertoire. Many people have a regional chili that they love and they don’t deviate from making that particular kind, which leads to all kinds of recipes, as well as questions on what the proper ingredients are for an authentic chili recipe. To add beans? Do tomatoes have a place in chili? To use ground beef or browned smaller pieces of meat? To use whole dried chiles or pre-ground spices? No matter what part of the chili debate you’re on, I think everyone can agree that chili should always check a few boxes. It should taste rich and complex, slightly smoky, savory, a little sweet, have a thick red sauce, and of course, have toppings. I am a big believer in toppings. This chili recipe certainly checks all those boxes.
Packed with aromatic spices, chopped up fresh peppers, fresh cilantro and lime juice – this recipe is so comforting and full of flavor. It has fed a hungry group of men gathered around the TV for Sunday football, and it’s great to make for your family, or for even a dinner party on a cold night. As a note, this recipe is designed to feed a hungry crowd or to make for lots of leftovers. Feel free to keep this dish as light or as indulgent as you want with the below suggested toppings. I always at least top my bowl with freshly squeezed lime juice, fresh cilantro, and a dollop of Greek yogurt or creme fraiche. If you’re looking to turn this into a completely vegetarian meal, swap out the meat for a bunch of vegetables such as cubed up sweet potatoes, and use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
Easy + Healthy Chili
- Chili Ingredients:
- 1 Tablespoon oil such as grapeseed or olive oil
- 2 lbs ground chicken or other ground meat of your choice, ground beef works for a richer flavor, ground turkey works for a leaner flavor
- 1 Yellow onion medium dice
- 3 Garlic cloves diced
- 1 Poblano pepper seeded and diced
- 1 Red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 2.5 Teaspoons ground cumin
- 3.5 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons of canned chipotles in adobo sauce plus 1 Tablespoon of the chipotle peppers diced into a paste
- 2.5 Cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 28 Ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes
- 15 Ounce can black beans drained
- 15 Ounce can kidney beans drained
- 2 Tablespoons butter optional
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice this was about the juice of one juicy lime for me
- 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- Topping Options:
- Lime Wedges
- Fresh Cilantro
- Greek Yogurt Sour Cream, or Creme Fraiche
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Sliced Jalapenos
- Avocado Slices
- Crispy Bacon Bits
- Heat a heavy bottom stock pot or enameled cast iron dutch oven over medium heat and add oil, when the pan is heated, add the ground chicken and cook until it's nicely browned. I usually do this in two batches - if you try to brown all of it at once you'll crowd the pan and you'll end up steaming it, which won't give us those delicious brown bits on the bottom of the pan and on the meat. Those brown bits = flavor.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove from pot. Feel free to add another spalsh of oil into the pot if needed, and add the onion, sweat it for 2-3 minutes, then add the diced peppers and sweat for several minutes until everything develops a bit of color.
- Add the cumin, chili powder, chipotle chiles in adobo and sauce, diced garlic, and a pinch of salt, stir and saute for several mins.
- Add the chicken broth and the canned tomatoes to the pot and give everything a big stir to deglaze. Bring the mixture to a boil, and quickly turn the heat down to a simmer.
- Add the cooked chicken back to the pot, and keep the heat on a low simmer (keep the lid off) and reduce the chili for 20 minutes. Add the beans and simmer for additional 20-25 mins, until the chili has thickened significantly. If you want a richer tasting sauce, throw in the butter but feel free to omit it to keep it a bit lighter. Then stir in the freshly squeezed lime juice and freshly chopped cilantro.
- Serve with toppings of your choice!
Did you make this recipe?
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