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Red Chicken Chili Recipe

This is the best red chicken chili recipe! It’s a hearty, flavorful meal that is easy to make and one of those dinners that everyone loves. The perfect comfort food for cold winter nights and game day feasts.

Serve it with evaporated milk cornbread or Bisquick cornbread for a perfectly cozy meal!

bowl of tomato chicken chili.

Easy red chicken chili

When it’s cold outside, there is nothing better than to cozy up with a bowl of warm, homemade chili.

This red chicken chili is one of my family’s all-time favorites because it’s so hearty and comforting.

The only thing better than enjoying it for dinner, is eating the leftovers for lunch the next day!

I’m sure once you try this red chicken chili recipe, you’ll find yourself coming back to it again and again.

If you love hearty chicken recipe, also try my Chick Fil A chicken noodle soup and this easy chicken pot pie!

What is red chicken chili?

Red chicken chili is a type of chili that is made with chicken instead of beef. The dish gets its red color from red kidney beans and tomatoes. It also uses kernel corn, onion, and seasonings to add flavor.

Chili is a bit heartier and thicker than soup. Part of the secret is to blend some of the beans to thicken the chili and create a wonderful, creamy texture.

If you’re interested, I also have this white rotisserie chicken chili and this red bean and chicken chili!

Need a meatless version? Try this hearty vegetarian chili!

red chicken chili ingredients.

Ingredients

Please see the recipe card below for exact measurements.

Rotisserie chicken: You can use any type of cooked chicken (e.g., poached chicken breasts or thigh, leftover roasted chicken). I really like rotisserie chicken because it’s flavorful and cuts down prep time. Either way, you want to shred your chicken into small bits.

Red kidney beans & navy beans: Use canned beans as they cook faster. Drain and rinse them well. If you want to simplify, use only red kidney beans.

Whole corn kernels: fresh or frozen corn kernels work great. They add color and a burst of crunchy sweetness to every bite.

Diced tomatoes with green chilis are the liquid base of the chili and make the dish very flavorful. Feel free to swap in regular, fire-roasted, or Italian-style diced tomatoes in case you aren’t a fan of green chilis. Don’t drain them as we need the extra liquid.

Seasonings: You need a sachet of taco seasoning, salt, and black pepper to emphasize the flavors of this tomato chicken chili. I sometimes also use salsa seasoning instead of taco seasoning.

Onion: Any kind of onion is fine; I usually opt for a white or yellow onion.

Lime juice adds a hint of tanginess to round out the other flavors.

Olive oil is needed to cook the vegetables. Feel free to substitute any light-tasting cooking oil or even butter.

How to make red chicken chili

step 1 sauté aromatics.

1. Saute aromatics

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onion softens and becomes translucent.
  • Strin in the taco seasoning.
step 2 puree beans.

2. Puree beans

  • Add 1 can of red kidney beans and half of the navy beans to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  • Then, stir the bean puree into the pot with the onion.
step 3 add the other ingredients.

3. Add the other ingredients

  • Next, mix in the remaining beans, corn kernels, diced tomatoes, and shredded chicken. Stir to combine well.
step 4 simmer chili.

4. Simmer to build flavor

  • Let the red chicken chili simmer over medium heat until fully warmed through and steaming, about 15 to 20 minutes.
step 5 serve chili.

5. Season & serve

  • Drizzle the lime juice into the pot and season the chili with salt and pepper according to your taste.
  • Ladle the chili into individual serving bowls. If desired, garnish each portion with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar choice, a slice of lime, and taco chips or strips. Serve hot and enjoy!

Tips

  • How to shred rotisserie chicken: First, pull the meat off the bones, then use two forks to pull the chicken into smaller pieces. It’s easier to shred a rotisserie chicken while it’s still warm. If your chicken is cold or was in the fridge, warm it gently in the microwave.
  • Thicken the chili: The chili is quite already, but you can thicken it further with more pureed beans or a thickening agent such as cornstarch. Remove a cup of liquid from the chili, whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, pour the cornstarch slurry back into the pot, and bring to a boil for 1 minute.

Variations

  • Make it creamy: After cooking, stir in 4 oz of cream cheese for a creamy chili. The cream cheese makes the texture extra thick and creamy and will cut down the heat.
  • Add some heat: My red chicken chili recipe is mild and has just enough heat to create flavor. If you prefer a spicier chili, add chili powder, cayenne pepper, and or jalapeños.
  • Use turkey: Leftover roasted turkey is an excellent substitute for chicken in this recipe. You need about 4 to 5 cups of shredded turkey.
two bowls of chicken chili with tomatoes.

Topping ideas

Red chicken chili tastes delicious garnished with any of your favorite chili toppings. Try it with:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
  • A dollop of sour cream
  • Green onion
  • Jalapeños
  • Corn tortilla chips or Frito chips
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Avocado slices
  • Fresh cilantro
  • A slice of lime and/or lime juice

Serve the chili with freshly baked dinner rolls or cornbread for a cozy, warming meal.

We sometimes also eat this chili over macaroni noodles or spaghetti to make chili mac.

red chicken chili in a bowl topped with chips, sour cream, and lime.

Storage instructions

How to store red chicken chili

Kidney bean chicken chili stores well for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It actually gets better with time and tastes deliciously reheated.

Freeze tomato chicken chili

To freeze, let the chili cool completely before transferring it into a freezer-friendly container or resealable bag.

You can freeze chicken chili with red beans for up to 3 months.

Let the chili thaw in the fridge overnight, or place the frozen chili into a glass bowl and defrost in the microwave.

More stews & soups

If you love homemade soup as much as we do, have a look at these other recipes. They are easy to make and will be a hit with your family.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Give it a 5-star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a comment! Appreciate it so much, thank you!

If you had any issues, I’d appreciate the chance to help you troubleshoot before you rate.

red chicken chili.

Red Chicken Chili Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This is the best red chicken chili recipe! It’s a hearty, flavorful meal that is easy to make and one of those dinners that everyone loves. The perfect comfort food for cold winter nights and game day feasts.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 cans (31 oz / 880 g) red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can (15.5 oz / 440 g) navy beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz / 425 g) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cans (29 oz / 410 g) diced tomatoes with chiles, undrained
  • 1 sachet taco seasoning
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 4 to 5 cups total)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt, to taste,
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Shred the chicken. First, pull the meat off the bones, then use two forks to pull the chicken into smaller pieces. It’s easier to shred a rotisserie chicken while it’s still warm. If your chicken is cold or was in the fridge, warm it gently in the microwave.
  2. Sauté aromatics. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onion softens and becomes translucent. Stir in the taco seasoning.
  3. Puree beans. Add 1 can of red kidney beans and half of the navy beans to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Then, stir the bean puree into the pot with the onion.
  4. Add the other ingredients. Next, mix in the remaining beans, corn kernels, diced tomatoes, and shredded chicken. Stir to combine well.
  5. Simmer to build flavor. Let the red chicken chili simmer over medium heat until fully warmed through and steaming, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Season. Drizzle the lime juice into the pot and season the chili with salt and pepper according to your taste.
  7. Serve. Ladle the chili into individual serving bowls. If desired, garnish each portion with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar choice, a slice of lime, and taco chips or strips. Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes

Tips

  • How to shred rotisserie chicken: First, pull the meat off the bones, then use two forks to pull the chicken into smaller pieces. It’s easier to shred a rotisserie chicken while it’s still warm. If your chicken is cold or was in the fridge, warm it gently in the microwave.
  • Thicken the chili: The chili is quite already, but you can thicken it further with more pureed beans or a thickening agent such as cornstarch. Remove a cup of liquid from the chili, whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, pour the cornstarch slurry back into the pot, and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 574mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 8gSugar: 10gProtein: 14g

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