5-Ingredient Easy Chicken Chili

by Anne Bennett on December 6, 2013


It’s December, the hurry-scurry time of year when nobody has time to plan a healthy meal. At least, that’s the excuse most of us use. “I had to eat Christmas cookies for dinner — who has time to cook?”

You’re going to have to come up with a better reason to reach for the cookies because this chili is really, and I mean really good, and it takes just minutes to assemble.


Cooks Illustrated gives Frontera Tomatillo Salsa its highest rating. Available at major supermarkets.

The idea of making a worthy chili in five minutes with just as many ingredients sounds implausible. Basically, all it amounts to is a short-order assembly line consisting of opening a few cans and jars and dumping them into a pot with a store-bought rotisserie chicken. OK, where are those cookies?

That’s what I thought at first.  But it being December, I was in a rush to make dinner last night.  I stopped at the market for the Frontera Tomatillo Salsa (Cooks Illustrated says it’s the best of the green salsas) and gave it a go with leftover roasted chicken (that I roasted myself the night before — it’s not rocket science.)

What…a…revelation. Delicious. So good that I want to assemble it again and tell everyone I made it from scratch. I’m not above subterfuge. Thanks, gimme some oven, for the recipe, and for making me look good.

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth*
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works fine)
2 cups salsa verde
2 (15-oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini beans)
2 tsp. ground cumin

Stir together all ingredients in a medium pan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve with optional toppings:  chopped avocado, fresh cilantro, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, sliced green onion, shredded cheddar cheese.

*The original recipe calls for 6 cups of chicken broth but I cut it back to 4 because that seemed like a lot of liquid. If you’d like your chili soupier, add more broth.

Serves 6 to 8
WW PP per serving — 8

print recipe only


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Boothe December 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Sounds great and I’m giving this a shot for tonight, though I refuse to call it chili. Chili has beef, tomatoes, beans, peppers, and I made some last night. I’ll call this “Anne’s Chicken Soup w/ Beans”. “White chili” is nothing more than another kind of chicken soup. It may be good, but it’s not chili.

“Chili has all the necessary ingredients to sustain life”– Robert T. Ironside (Raymond Burr)

Jody G. December 7, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Anne, I shopped for ingredients today at HyVee on 95th and Antioch. They didn’t have Frontera salsa. I asked a manager if they might have this brand on another display somewhere. On my phone, I showed him the photo of the salsa jar you had posted. He didn’t think so. I started reading other brands’ labels to see what might suffice. A few minutes later, he hunts me down and brings me the Frontera jar. He had found it in their health food section. If I hadn’t had that photo, I’m sure neither of us would have found it. Thanks for posting it! I’m making it tonight.

Jody December 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I made it and it had terrific flavor, but I also found the broth to be too thin to be considered chili. I added about 1/2-cup of Streits’s Egg Flakes (little squares of egg noodles, found in the Kosher section of grocery store) and boiled them right in the broth and it make the broth much thicker. Great recipe! Thanks, Anne!

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