This Southwest Chicken Chili is a 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!
The Most Delicious (and easy!) Southwest Chicken Chili
This healthy southwest chicken chili checks all of the boxes:
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!
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.
How to Make
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.
My Favorite 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.
Diced red 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
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.
For the best results, store this soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
I 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.
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This is so good! It’s really easy to make and SO tasty! It’s on my regular rotation!
I’m so glad you loved it Carie!
We’ve made this recipe three times in the crockpot and it is 100% easy and delicious. I added corn and the chicken thighs are so tender. Great for weekday lunches—the flavor develops more with each meal!
Hi! How long do you cook in the slow cooker? Are there any considerations for making in the crock pot? Thank you!
Hi, Sally! I cover crockpot instructions in the post!
Hi!! I’m making this tomorrow, but thinking of doubling it. Do you know if this freezes well?
Hi, Sarah – yes, I think this recipe would freeze well.
Another ATHT winner!! It was actually chill all day yesterday, which obviously called for a chili night. This was so delish, filling, and simple. I added an extra can of beans to beef it up a bit, and topped it with plenty of lime juice. Had it for lunch today and it was even better. Thanks Ashlea!
Looks so good & can’t wait to try! What would be a good sub for the coconut milk? We aren’t a big fan of coconut milk 🙂
Hi, Audrey! you can’t taste the coconut milk at all in this recipe but the best substitute would likely be whole milk.
Very tasty and easy to make.
I’m so glad you liked the recipe, Lynne! Thanks for sharing!
So delicious and easy to prepare! Definitely adding it to my lunch/dinner rotation.
Happy to hear that, Lindsay! Thank you for sharing!
Absolutely loved this! Easy to follow recipe, the chicken turned out great. I added some corn at the end. I love the extra topping ideas! Would probably add bell peppers too next time. Added tortilla strips, cream cheese, red onion and shredded cheese on the top. Loved the creamy-ness. Everyone came back for seconds!
I’m so glad everyone loved it, Jamie! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
Red pepper flakes, guessing 1/4 tsp??
Yes! Thanks for your question, Nancy!
This looks so great! Could I make this in my slow cooker?
Hi, Kate! Absolutely! Feel free to make this in your slow cooker!
This is my new go-to for chili 100%. So tasty and easy plus the leftovers are AMAZING
Thank you for sharing, Casey! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe!
I made this recipe and substituted the chicken for Jackfruit to make it vegan and it was delicious!! All the spices came together to make a very delicious meal. Love how adaptable all of your recipes are!!
I’m so happy you made this recipe work for you, Ray! That idea is so smart! Thanks for sharing!
Made this for dinner tonight. So good!
So glad you loved it, Mary!
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 🙂
Thanks for sharing, Sarah! I’m so glad you loved the recipe!
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!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Katie! Thank you for sharing!
Perfect quick and easy meal for a weeknight. Made it for my family! It was a huge hit!!! First time using coconut milk. Excellent!
I’m so happy you and your family enjoyed it, Yvette!
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!
I love this recipe, Ashlea!! Do you happen to have the nutrition information for it? Starting to be more aware of my macros.
Hi, Amber! It should be updated with the most nutrition information at the bottom of the blog post!
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!
I’m so glad you love it, Kimberly!
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!
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.)