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Chef John's Green Chicken Chili

Rated as 4.84 out of 5 Stars

"Make this easier version of chili verde using chicken and a tomatillo-based green salsa instead of roasting and pureeing fresh tomatillos. Note that this is a green chili made with chicken and not a chili made with green chicken. Sorry if this disappoints anyone. You can serve it with sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and corn tortillas or corn bread."
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1 h 50 m servings 521
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  1. Season chicken thighs with salt on both sides.
  2. Transfer 1/2 the chicken to a dry, nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl. Brown the rest of the chicken. Let cool to room temperature before cutting.
  3. Combine salsa verde, green chilies, garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro in a blender. Blend, starting on low and finishing on high, until sauce is very smooth and bright green.
  4. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and transfer back into the bowl. Combine chicken pieces, accumulated juices, and the green sauce into a pot. Season with cumin, chipotle pepper, black pepper, oregano, and salt.
  5. Rinse out blender with a splash of water and pour into the pot. Mix together and set heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until chicken is tender, depending on size of chicken pieces, about 1 hour. Stir in kidney beans and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • When selecting green salsas at the supermarket, make sure tomatillos are the first ingredient, followed by onion and chilies.
  • If using chicken breasts, only simmer until cooked through, otherwise they will get dry.
  • Add some chicken stock for a thinner chili, but be careful with the salt, as many ingredients in this recipe have salt included.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 521 calories; 23.2 31.3 43.4 128 1281 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 13
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Always looking for soup recipes that have intense flavor and really feel like a meal. This is fabulous. Got a hot jalepeno, so added sour cream when serving to cut the heat.

Very tasty!! I left out the cilantro because my guest doesn't like it, but I look forward to adding it in next time. It's very easy to make & pretty inexpensive. I served with rice & avocado- to...

I thought this was really good. Easy to make and I'd recommend using the thighs versus breasts b/c the meat was moist and tender and I think a breast would be dry. My kids were suspicious of t...

Loved the recipe. I have made it twice now. Great comfort food for cold weather

Delicious but I knew it would be too spicy (even without the jalapeno) for my kids so I added some chicken broth to the pot and a dollop of sour cream to each bowl. They all liked it.

Tasted too salty, so I added a bit of lemon juice. It was a bit too spicy, so I added a can of low sodium chicken broth. I served it the next day, when the flavor had mellowed a bit (over rice).

Wonderful Dish , I did cut the chipotle and The Jalapeno by half as we like a bite but not to Hot. Was just right

Delicious and forgiving of my mistakes and shortcuts. I used pulled chicken and accidentally opened a can of chickpeas instead of the white kidney beans. It’s still fabulous!

I will be making this again,my husband loved it.