Bean-less Chicken Chili


What is the secret to making a dish that is restaurant quality? Spices! And butter, but mostly spices! Using dried spices can add so much flavor, texture, and heat to a dish. Dried ground spices usually have a shelf life of 6 months, whole spices will last up to a year, so ensure that your spices are fresh. If they don’t smell strong, it’s time for a new bottle. Store your dried spices in a cool dry place.

This chili recipe has a variety of dried herbs to give it a wonderfully complex flavor. Feel free to adjust the amount of spices you use. Dried cayenne powder packs the most punch! Once you’ve sautéed the vegetables, add a teaspoon of olive oil in the corner of the hot pan and then add the dried spices and let the scents waft, before stirring the spices in with the vegetables.

  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
  • 2 (28-ounce) boxes or cans of chopped tomatoes, undrained (Pomi is my favorite brand)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (you could use a cooked rotisserie chicken, or use left over cooked chicken)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional toppings – more fresh basil, greek yogurt or sour cream, corn chips, grated cheddar or jack cheese

Cook the onions and bell peppers in the oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the boxed or canned tomatoes and basil to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool slightly. Separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the toppings, or refrigerate and reheat gently before serving.

Source: Food Network


  1. This looks amazing- great photo! I love all the spices and the idea of using a rotisserie chicken when in a time crunch! So happy it’s still cold enough to want to make this comfort food dish.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Sheryl Kalis

    Hi Pam,

    Thanks. This sounds terrific. Any suggestions for cooking it for vegetarians?



    Ps I have been cooking lots of kale!

    Sent from my iPhone. Pleaze excuse any typos. 😉


    • Hi Sheryl,
      Thanks for your comment. This chili recipe is cooked without the chicken (chicken is roasted in the oven) and is delicious on it’s own. If you wanted to, you could skip the chicken and maybe add in some of your favorite beans. You could also top it with sliced avocado, cilantro or more basil and salsa.

  3. Michael

    This chili is amazing. Almost as good as the lamb dish, which is saying a lot because the lamb is outstanding. I guess at this point we’re left with which adjective is a more effective superlative; amazing or outstanding.

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