An easy peasy twist on a classic, this Chicken Chilli Con Carne is easy, healthy and totally delicious – plus it can be made in under 30 minutes – perfect for busy weeknights!
To say I have a chilli con carne obsession would be an understatement – I just love a good chilli – I love the flavours, it’s simple to make and can easily be made in double or even triple quantities to stash away in the freezer for future homemade ready meals. In fact, so far on this blog I have already shared 6 different versions of chilli – including my Quick Beany Chilli, my Sweet Potato Chilli and my absolute favourite, Slow Cooked Chilli Beef. But I am always looking for ways of reinventing this delicious classic.
The thing about a beef chilli is, if you want to make it properly, it does take a while…and while most of that time is hands off time…well, there are often times when you just don’t have the time to let it simmer on the stove top or cook for hours in the oven.
So I began toying with the idea of a chicken chilli – I have fallen head over heels in love with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, lately – OK maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but I really do like them for their fab combination of flavour, convenience, and nutritiousness. Plus they are really good value for money, meaning you can ether save some pennies or afford to trade up to better quality chicken. 🙂
So anyway I decided to try my beloved (!) boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a chilli…and do you know what? It worked a treat and makes a weeknight chilli con carne a doddle to rustle up…plus it’s fab if you are cooking for fussy children (or adults!) who don’t like beef, or you are trying to cut down on red meat.
If chicken thighs are not your thing, then by all means use the same quantity of chicken breast fillets instead. Or you could easily make this veggie by using Quorn chicken pieces.
If you are wanting to stretch this further, why not add an extra can of beans or a tin of sweetcorn? And if you want to make this even quicker and easier, swap the chilli flakes and other spices for a tablespoons or two of mild chilli powder instead.
To make this meal more healthy, I served it with brown rice, but it would be good with white rice too, or in tortillas. And if you are making this at the weekend, or when you have more time, it would be great with all your favourite extras: guacamole, salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips…it’s easy to turn this kind of food into a feast!
If you want a wine to go with this, I would pick a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc – pretty much anything will go with chicken, but Sauvignon Blanc does well with tomatoes and spice. If you prefer red, try a young fruity Argentinian Malbec or Chilean Merlot.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika (smoked ideally)
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 red pepper, chopped into bitesize pieces
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 1 tin kidney beans
- 300g brown rice (or white rice, or tortillas)
- 2 tablespoons coriander plus extra for garnish (optional)
- 1 lime, quartered for serving (optional)
- Guacamole, salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips etc. (optional)
- Place the olive oil and diced onion in a wide, deep pan and fry on a gentle heat for 3 minutes until the onion is softened.
- Turn up the heat and add the diced chicken thigh meat and brown for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Turn the heat back down and add the garlic, cumin, paprika and chilli flakes, stirring frequently.
- Add the red pepper, tomatoes and kidney beans, give everything a good stir and bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle bubble for 15-20 minutes to cook the chicken and thicken the sauce. Stir occasionally.
- While the chilli is cooking, make the rice according to packet instructions / your own preferences (or heat the tortillas).
- When the chilli is ready, stir in the chopped coriander and serve with the rice, lime quarters and extra coriander as garnish.
Love chicken? Check out my collection of Easy Peasy Chicken Recipes…
Want more delicious and hassle-free midweek meals? Find more here…
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