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 and the fact 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 7 different versions of chilli – including my Quick Beany Chilli, my Sweet Potato Chilli and my absolute favourite, Slow Cooked Chunky Beef Chilli. But I am always looking for ways of reinventing this delicious classic.
Quicker, easier chilli con carne
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.
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!
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.
A super simple recipe!
This delicious Chicken Chilli Con Carne is so easy to make. Simply fry diced onions, then add the diced chicken thigh fillets. Next add the spices, followed by a chopped red pepper, a tin of kidney beans and a tin of chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, then stir in the chopped coriander, and serve with the rice, lime quarters and extra coriander as garnish.
Easy to adapt…
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.
What to serve with chicken chilli?
To make this meal even healthier, I like to serve it with brown rice… But it’s also great with white rice, or in tortillas.
And if you are making this at the weekend, or when you have more time, it’s fab with all your favourite extras: guacamole, salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips… it’s easy to turn this kind of food into a feast!
What to drink with chicken chilli?
If you want a good wine choice 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 fruity Chilean Merlot.
What to do with leftover chicken chilli?
Place any leftover Chicken Chilli in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the chilli, plus a dash of water, in a saucepan and simmer until piping hot all the way through.
Alternatively, reheat in the microwave, until piping hot all the way through.
Can you freeze chicken chilli?
Absolutely – this recipe is a brilliant ‘fill the freezer’ recipe! Put the cooked and cooled Chicken Chilli into an airtight container and place in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Chicken Chilli Con Carne
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 500 g boneless, skinless chicken thighs diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed or grated
- 2 teaspoons cumin ground
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 red pepper chopped into bitesize pieces
- 400 g tin tomatoes
- 400 g tin kidney beans
- Brown rice (or white rice, or tortillas)
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro) 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 warm the tortillas).
- When the chilli is ready, stir in the chopped coriander and serve with the rice, lime quarters and extra coriander as garnish.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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