March 9, 2021

Healthy Southwest Chicken Chili

This Southwest Chicken Chili is and quick weeknight dinner that’s full of flavor. Not only is it delicious, this easy chili is also completely dairy-free and gluten-free. All you need is one-pot and thirty minutes to get this hearty meal on the table. Plus, the leftovers taste even better the next day, which makes it a great meal prep option!

chicken chili in a white bowl with toppings

Healthy Southwest Chicken Chili

This healthy southwest chicken chili checks all of the boxes:

  • EASY.
  • DELICIOUS.
  • FLAVORFUL.
  • oh, and did I mention easy?!

This recipe is a flavor packed weeknight dinner stunner that never disappoints. Chili is delicious, but if you are anything like me, you may get tired of eating the same (or similar) beef versions and want to switch things up a bit. This chicken chili is a great way to incorporate a different kind of protein in a classic dish. It’s delicious, filled with flavor, and comes together on the stove top in around thirty minutes. I know you will love it!

southwest chicken chili ingredients

What’s In Southwest Chicken Chili?

Chicken thighs: boneless skinless chicken thighs are one of my favorite proteins. They stay tender even after simmering for a bit and they add a great flavor to hearty chilies and stews like this one. You could always use boneless skinless chicken breast, if you prefer.

Spices: this chili relies heavily on a blend of spices and seasonings for it’s delicious flavor. Some of the spices include cumin, chili powder, and coriander.

Fire roasted tomatoes: fire-roasted tomatoes have a unique flavor that works really in the chili. If you do not have fire roasted tomatoes, regular canned diced tomatoes are fine.

White beans: I love using cannelini beans as my white bean of choice in this recipe.

Green chilies: another simple but flavorful ingredient.

Broth: chicken broth works well in this recipe but you could also use veggie broth if you like.

Coconut milk: to add some delicious creaminess at the end, this recipe uses light canned coconut milk.

shredded chicken in chili

How to Make This Chicken Chili

Step One: First, start by heating a large heavy-bottomed pot, like a dutch oven, over medium high heat. While the pot is heating, season the chicken thighs with one teaspoon of salt.

Step Two: Once the pot is hot, drizzle in the avocado oil and then add the boneless skinless chicken thighs to the pot. Sear the chicken thighs on both sides for three four minutes until browned.

Step Three: Once the thighs are brown, add in the spices, tomatoes, white beans, green chilies, and broth. Stir everything until it is well combined.

Step Four: Now, all you have to do is allow the chili to simmer on medium low for thirty minutes or until the chicken is tender and easy to shred.

Step Five: Use two forks to shred the chicken in the pot. Next finish off the chili by adding in the coconut milk. Give everything a stir until the coconut milk is well combined. Now, give the chili a taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference. Let the chili simmer for another five minutes (just to ensure that everything is heated through) and then serve with your favorite toppings.

chicken chili in large pot with ladle

Topping and Serving Ideas

For me, one of the best parts of a chili like this one is the toppings! There are so many great options and ways for you to customize your bowl to make it your own. Here are a few of my favorite topping ideas to finish off your chicken chili.

  • Lime juice
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar
  • Diced red onion
  • Cilantro
  • Green onion

Can You Make This Recipe in the Crockpot or Slow Cooker

Yes! This chili is a great candidate for the slow cooker. Here is how I would adapt this recipe for the slow cooker:

Step One: Add all of the ingredients, except the coconut milk to the base of your slow cooker.

Step Two: Cover and cook the chili on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-6. The exact time may vary depending on your slow cooker. The most important thing you want to look for is that the chicken is tender and can be easily shredded.

Step Three: Once the chicken is tender, turn the slow cooker setting to low if it is not there already. Then, use two forks to shred the chicken in the slow cooker.

Step Four: Next, add in the coconut milk and give everything a stir until well combined. Let the chili stay in the slow cooker for another 10 minutes (just to ensure that everything is heated through) before serving.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Southwest Chicken Chili

  • If you prefer, you can use boneless skinless chicken breast in this recipe instead of chicken thighs.
  • Feel free to add extra veggies to this chili if you like. Some great options would bell peppers or stirring in a few handfuls of baby spinach at the end.
  • If you like things a bit more on the spicier side, you can amp up the spice by adding more red pepper flakes or by using hot diced green chilies.
  • Need a vegetarian version of this chili? You can leave out the chicken entirely and add a few extra cans of white and black beans to keep the chili nice and hearty.

Storage Instructions

For the best results, store this soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

southwest chicken chili in a white bowl

More Delicious Chili and Hearty Soups Recipes

Pumpkin Chili 

Healthy Slow Cooker Chili

Healthy White Chicken Chili 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili 

Healthy White Bean Turkey Chili

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

hope you give this Southwest Chicken Chili a try! This makes a quick and easy dinner that everyone will love!

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: Casey Colodny / THE MINDFUL HAPA

Print

Healthy Southwest Chicken Chili

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
/
Scale:
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon avocado, coconut, or olive oil
  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 red pepper flakes (plus more if you like more heat or you can leave it out if you don’t like spice)
  • 114.5oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 116oz can white/cannellini beans
  • 14oz can green chilis
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 113.5oz can light coconut milk
  • Toppings: lime juice, tortilla chips, cilantro, red onion, cheddar

Method

  1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. While the pot is heating, season the chicken thighs with one tsp of salt.
  2. When pot is hot, add the oil and then add the chicken thighs. Sear the chicken thighs on both sides until golden brown.
  3. Once the thighs are brown, add in all of the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT the coconut milk and stir to combine.
  4. Simmer on medium low for 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is tender and easy to shred.
  5. Once the chicken is tender, use two forks to shred it in the pot. Then, add in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Give it a taste and a little more salt if needed.
  6. Let simmer for 5 more minutes and then serve with your favorite toppings!

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Recipe rating

    14 comments
  1. This was so good! I followed the recipe ingredients exactly except I left out the oil and I threw everything in my instant pot except the coconut milk and pressure cooked it for 20 min. Then shredded the chicken and stirred in the coconut milk. Topped with cheddar cheese, avocado, lime juice, greek yogurt and cilantro. So much flavor! Will definitely be making this again 🙂

  2. YUM – made this tonight and everyone in my house (plus a friend of my daughter) all loved it! I make normal chili and white chicken chili, but never chicken chili with tomatoes and more of a red sauce. AND this was my first time buying chicken thighs! EVER!

    Thanks for the great tips!

  3. Perfect quick and easy meal for a weeknight. Made it for my family! It was a huge hit!!! First time using coconut milk. Excellent!

  4. A friend shared this recipe with me when we found out my son couldn’t have gluten or dairy. I wondered if we/he would be able to enjoy food anymore. This recipe gave me hope. It’s delicious! My whole family loves it and we get asked for the recipe every time we serve it to guests. And it’s so quick and easy. We even make it when my son is out of town! That’s saying something!

    • I’m so glad you and your son loved the recipe, Cathy! Thank you for taking the time to share and leave a review!

  5. I’ve made this recipe twice and my family loves it! It has the perfect amount of spice to give you a little bit of a kick. It also smells amazing while cooking. Thanks for a great recipe!

  6. I made this today and it is delicious! I added avocado to my bowl as I ate it. This soup is creamy, a little spicy and satisfying! Other favorite recipes from your site are Garlic Butter Steak Bites and Sticky Ginger Meatballs. We have made these recipes for family and friends and all have rave reviews!

  7. Wowie! This was VERY good, I saw there were no comments and want people who see this to know that it is creamy and has a nice sweet/spicy kick.
    I will be making it again! Thank you so much!

    (*I added yellow bell peppers and a couple shakes of tabasco to this recipe.)

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