Deliciously Spicy Chicken Tomatillo Chili Recipe

What’s better than a hot bowl of chili on a chilly fall day? A chicken tomatillo chili that packs a flavorful punch, that’s what. As a culinary explorer, I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting recipes to add to my repertoire, and this one is definitely a winner. Whether you’re cooking for your family, hosting friends for dinner, or meal-prepping for the week ahead, this chicken tomatillo chili recipe is sure to satisfy any palate.

But let me tell you, this isn’t your average chili recipe. This dish combines the wonderful flavors of tender chicken thighs, tangy tomatillos, and hearty white beans with a blend of aromatic spices like ground coriander and cumin. Add in some garlic cloves, onions, and green chilies and you’ve got yourself a one-pot wonder that’s both delicious and easy to make. Trust me, once you try this recipe, it’ll become a regular in your meal rotation.

So grab your apron, preheat your stove (or slow-cooker), and get ready to embark on a culinary journey with this incredible chicken tomatillo chili recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chicken Tomatillo Chili
Chicken Tomatillo Chili

There are few things better than a warm bowl of chili on a chilly evening. This Chicken Tomatillo Chili Recipe, however, is not your average chili. It’s filled with fresh, delicious ingredients that will leave you wanting more.

The succulent boneless skinless chicken thighs bring a rich flavor and tender texture to the dish that will make each bite taste like heaven. The green chilies and fresh tomatillos add a tangy, bright flavor which perfectly complements the savory chicken broth.

This hearty and wholesome chili is perfect for satisfying your hunger and will make an ideal meal for lunch or dinner.

But what truly sets this recipe apart is how well it lends itself to various dietary restrictions or requirements. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, and keto-friendly – making it the perfect recipe for any dietary needs.

So whether you are cooking for yourself or an entire crowd, this simple yet tasty Chicken Tomatillo Chili Recipe should undoubtedly be at the top of your list. Get ready to taste the flavors of Mexico in every spoonful!

Ingredient List

 Spicy and savory chicken tomatillo chili.
Spicy and savory chicken tomatillo chili.

Let’s gather the ingredients!

Here’s what you will need to create this delectable Chicken Tomatillo Chili recipe:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs: This is our star ingredient! We will need 2 pounds (32 ounces) of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. Chicken thighs are perfect for slow cooking because they remain moist and tender, even when cooked for a long time.

  • Fresh tomatillos: We will need about 8 fresh tomatillos, with husks removed. Tomatillos are a type of green tomato that has a slightly tart flavor. They add a tangy taste while also adding some acidity to the dish.

  • Green chilies: You’ll need 2 cans of diced green chilies. These add some mild heat to the chili as well as providing some depth to the overall flavor.

  • Onion and garlic cloves: Onion and garlic add some natural sweetness and depth of flavor to the chili. You’ll need one diced onion and three minced garlic cloves.

  • White beans: Use two cans (15 ounces each) of white beans in this dish. Great northern beans or cannellini beans are good options, but you can use any variety you prefer.

  • Chicken broth: You’ll need 1 cup of chicken broth, which adds more chicken flavor into the dish beyond just using the chicken thighs.

  • Ground cumin and coriander: To spice things up, we will need 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and ground coriander. These spices are common in many Mexican dishes and provide an authentic taste to your chili.

  • Chili powder: Adding flavor to chili is not complete without chili powder! We’ll add one tablespoon here, choosing between mild or hot varieties depending on your preference.

  • Olive oil and canola oil: We will use two types of oil here to cook the ingredients separately before combining everything in one pot. Two tablespoons olive oil will be used for roasting the tomatillos while one tablespoon canola oil is used for cooking onion and garlic before adding it to the pot.

  • Sea salt: Sea salt enhances flavors and brings everything together perfectly. Use according to your taste preference!

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Prepping the Ingredients

First things first, we need to prep our ingredients. Start by taking 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and trimming off any excess fat. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Next, finely dice 1 onion, mince 3 cloves of garlic and roughly chop 8 fresh tomatillos with their husks removed.

We’ll also need 2 cans of white beans (such as great northern beans), drained and rinsed, and 2 cans of green chilies, diced.

Gather your spices which include, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, and a pinch of sea salt.

Step 2: Cooking the Chicken

In a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat up 2 tablespoons of canola oil or olive oil. Once heated, add in the diced onion and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and fragrant.

Add in the chicken pieces to the pot once the onions are cooked through. Sprinkle the spice mix over the chicken pieces and stir well to combine all ingredients. Cook for about 8-10 mins until the chicken is golden brown on all sides.

If you are using a slow cooker or pressure cooker, now is a great time to transfer the chicken mixture into it.

Step 3: Adding Additional Ingredients

To add more flavor to our chili, we’re going to add in fresh tomatillos, green chiles, and white beans.

Add in the can of diced green chiles with their juices and stir everything together.

Next, we’ll add in our freshly chopped tomatillos along with drained white beans into the pot with chicken.

Stir everything together so that all ingredients are well combined.

Step 4: Allowing Chili to Simmer

Bring everything to a boil before reducing the heat down low to allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Make sure you stir it every few minutes so that nothing gets stuck onto the bottom of the pot.

If you’re using an oven-safe or stovetop-safe casserole dish allowing this mixture cook on low heat for another hour would give you a better chance for flavors to blend in perfectly.

Check at intervals if additional water is needed till you have achieved desired thickness or consistency which should be soupy enough but not too watery.

Step 5: Serving the Chili

Once done cooking serve hot without forgetting toppings like shredded sharp cheddar cheese or chopped fresh cilantro.

This green chicken chili recipe pairs best with crusty bread slices or sprinkled with tortilla chips as extra toppings.

Substitutions and Variations

Variety is the spice of life and that holds true with this chicken tomatillo chili recipe. In case you are missing an ingredient, here are some substitutions that can work great in a pinch.

If you don’t have boneless skinless chicken thighs on hand, you could use boneless skinless chicken breast instead. The chicken breast will work great in this recipe, but remember to adjust the cooking time so it doesn’t dry out.

For those who are vegetarian, swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth and skip the chicken altogether. Add some more white beans or chickpeas to bulk up the protein.

If you love heat, substitute the green chilies with hotter peppers like serranos or jalapeños. You could also bump up the flavor and heat with an additional teaspoon of chili powder.

Don’t have fresh cilantro? Use dried cilantro instead, but remember that it won’t have that fresh taste and aroma that makes this recipe so delicious.

To make this dish even creamier, add a dollop of sour cream or even some heavy cream at the end. For a cheese lover like me, I like to sprinkle some sharp cheddar cheese on top of my bowl for extra richness.

If you feel inspired to get creative with this recipe, try adding some corn kernels or diced potatoes for more texture and flavor.

Remember not to be too rigid with recipes – adding your own twist can often lead to something amazing!

Serving and Pairing

When it comes to serving and pairing this delicious chicken tomatillo chili recipe, there are many options available. The heat from the chilies and warm spices, coupled with the tart flavor of fresh tomatillos, makes this chili perfect for those cold, winter nights or even game day parties.

To bring out the full flavors of the dish, try serving it over some fluffy white or brown rice with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh cilantro leaves sprinkled on top. Some people also choose to serve this chili with a side of crunchy tortilla chips or cornbread that balances out the smooth texture of the chicken and beans. Top it off with a generous helping of sharp cheddar cheese for an added burst of flavor.

For those who are looking for a healthier option, serving this chicken tomatillo chili over quinoa or roasted vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots or cauliflower is a great idea as well. These veggies add a sweet note that cuts through the richness of the dish making it more well-rounded.

As for pairing options, a bold red wine such as Cabarnet Sauvignon or Shiraz would complement this dish perfectly. However, if you prefer beer, an amber or a stout will do just fine too! Whether you’re catering to picky eaters or die-hard foodies, this flavorful chicken tomatillo chili recipe is bound to be a crowd-pleaser!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

If you’re finding yourself with leftovers of this delicious Chicken Tomatillo Chili, worry not – it stores and reheats very well! Here are some tips to make sure you enjoy it to its full potential.

Make-ahead: This chili can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Simply let it cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to reheat it. The flavors will continue to meld together as it sits, making it even more delicious with each passing day.

Storing: If you want to store your chicken tomatillo chili for longer than three days, consider freezing it instead. To do so, let the chili cool completely, then ladle it into freezer-safe containers, leaving some room at the top for expansion. Label and date the containers before placing them in the freezer. The chili should last for up to three months in the freezer.

Reheating: When you’re ready to reheat your chili, there are a few methods that work well. If you have leftover chili from a party, consider reheating it on stovetop over medium-high heat until warmed through. You can also reheat it in the microwave on high power for 2-3 minute intervals until hot, stirring occasionally between intervals.

As for toppings, feel free to add any of your favorite garnishes back into the chili as you reheat it – I recommend fresh cilantro and sharp cheddar cheese. Now you can enjoy this flavorful chicken tomatillo chili all over again with minimal effort!

Tips for Perfect Results

Looking to create a mouth-watering and delicious chicken tomatillo chili? Look no further than these helpful tips for perfect results.

First of all, when cooking this recipe, be sure to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. The thighs are more flavorful and more tender than breasts which tend to dry out quickly if overcooked.

Secondly, make sure you season your chicken liberally with chili powder and sea salt before browning it. This will bring out the depth of flavor in the meat and add a nice kick of heat to the chili.

When cooking with fresh tomatillos, it’s important to roast them properly before adding them to the mixture. This will give them a subtle smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients in the dish.

While this recipe calls for white beans, feel free to experiment with different types of beans such as great northern or black beans for a fun variation.

To thicken up your chicken tomatillo chili, consider adding masa harina. This is a type of flour made from corn that is often used in Mexican cuisine as a thickening agent. It will give your chili a nice texture and flavor.

Lastly, when serving your chili consider topping it off with a generous amount of fresh cilantro and some sharp cheddar cheese. These toppings will add fresh flavors and richness that compliments the spiciness of the dish perfectly.

By following these tips for perfect results, you’ll be able to create a delicious and satisfying chicken tomatillo chili that everyone will enjoy.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this chicken tomatillo chili recipe is a must-try for any culinary enthusiast. The combination of tender boneless skinless chicken thighs, flavorful tomatillos, and savory spices make for a mouth-watering dish that is both filling and delicious. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty dinner or looking to impress your friends at your next potluck, this recipe is sure to please. So don’t wait any longer, gather the ingredients and give it a try! You won’t regret it. Remember: with a little bit of patience and attention to detail, you can achieve the perfect balance of flavors, textures, and aromas that will keep everyone coming back for more. Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!

Chicken Tomatillo Chili

Chicken Tomatillo Chili Recipe

I really love this recipe. I make it all year round, Even the kids like it! Inspired by Country Living Magazine, January 2001. Pork tenderloin can be used as well. Be sure to top with chopped cilantro. It is great without BUT so much better with it!
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 524.1 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 -8 large fresh tomatillos, husked remove, cored & quartered or 1 lb fresh tomatillo
  • 1 large jalapeno, I use serano chili
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (12 ounce) can northern white beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • sharp cheddar cheese, shredded for topping (optional)


  • Add oil to pot. Over medium heat, sauté chicken, season with salt, cook until no longer pink. About 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from pot, set aside.
  • In the mean time, in a food processor, make a flavor paste. Combine tomatillos, green chilies and jalapeño and blend until thick & smooth. May need to make 2 batches.
  • Add more oil if desired, add onions and garlic, sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Careful not to burn the garlic. Add chicken back to pot. Add cumin and coriander. Stir.
  • Add the flavor paste, green chilies, chicken broth and beans to the cooked chicken pieces.
  • Simmer for at least 45 minutes or until desired thickness is achieved. I prefer to simmer longer, for up to 2 hours.
  • Top with cilantro at serving.
  • Serve with warm torn flour tortillas or crispy tortilla chips.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 453gCalories: 524.1kcalCarbohydrates: 31.6gProtein: 57.6gFat: 18.4gSaturated Fat: 3.3gCholesterol: 188.9mgSodium: 1443.6mgFiber: 6.9gSugar: 7.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Lunch
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