We Tried Ina Garten’s Chicken Chili, and We May Never Go Back to Beef

This nontraditional Ina Garten chicken chili recipe is equal parts healthy and hearty.

When you want a classic, hearty chili recipe, something like Joanna Gaines’ chili may come to mind. However, if you’re looking to lighten things up and try a chili recipe that’s a little nontraditional, may we suggest you head to the Hamptons and cozy up to a bowl of Ina Garten chicken chili? Or, at least, pretend your kitchen is in the Hamptons for now.

Like our other unique chili recipes, this one veers from the typical kidney beans and ground beef. Instead, Ina’s version is loaded with tender roasted chicken, studded with bountiful amounts of red and yellow bell peppers and bathed in a rich tomato base. This chili is perfect for those wanting to cut back on red meat and are on team “no beans” when it comes to making chili from scratch.

With Ina Garten’s track record for delicious recipes (hello, beef bourguignon), we couldn’t resist putting her recipe to the test.

Ina Garten’s Chicken Chili Recipe

Styled Ina Garten Chicken Chili Lauren Habermehl For TohLauren Habermehl For Taste of Home

This recipe makes six servings.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions (about 3 medium onions)
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and large-diced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and large-diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for chicken
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • 4 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin on
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving: chopped onions, tortilla chips, grated cheddar or sour cream

Directions

Step 1: Saute and season

Saute Vegetables For Ina Garten Chicken Chili Lauren Habermehl For TohLauren Habermehl For Taste of Home

In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-low heat, cook the onions for 10 to 15 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one additional minute, then toss in the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne and salt. Stir to combine.

Step 2: Add the tomatoes

Add Sauce To Vegetables For Ina Garten Chicken Chili Lauren Habermehl For TohLauren Habermehl For Taste of Home

Next, in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse the tomatoes six to eight times, so a few chunks remain (you may also crush the tomatoes by hand). Add them to the pot along with the basil. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Editor’s Tip: Believe it or not, not all canned tomatoes are created equal. For the best Ina Garten chicken chili ever (and the best Ina Garten lasagna), splurge on some high-quality canned tomatoes. The chili will turn out richer, thicker and more flavorful.

Step 3: Roast the chicken

Prep Chicken For Ina Garten Chicken Chili Lauren Habermehl For TohLauren Habermehl For Taste of Home

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil and place them on a sheet pan. Season generously with salt and pepper, then roast the chicken breasts until just cooked (about 35 to 40 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Editor’s Tip: This is one instance where you don’t have to cook the chicken completely to 165° since it will finish cooking in the soup.

Step 4: Chop and combine

Add Chicken For Ina Garten Chicken Chili Lauren Habermehl For TohLauren Habermehl For Taste of Home

Remove the chicken meat from the bones and skin and roughly cut it into bite-sized chunks. Stir the chicken into the chili and continue to simmer, uncovered, for an additional 20 minutes. Serve hot with the toppings of your choice, and enjoy!

Here’s What We Thought

Overhead Ina Garten Chicken Chili Lauren Habermehl For TohLauren Habermehl For Taste of Home

What a crowd-pleasing recipe! Ina Garten chicken chili is hearty without being heavy and subtly spiced, so it will even please those at your table who prefer a mild chili recipe. While it may not be traditional chili, this recipe will have its own spot in our recipe rotation all season long.

Tips for Making the Ina Garten Chicken Chili Recipe

Styled Bowl Of Ina Garten Chicken Chili Lauren Habermehl For TohLauren Habermehl For Taste of Home

While this Ina Garten chicken chili recipe is delicious as is, it is also super adaptable to modifications. Here are just a few options for substitutions:

  • Quicker chicken: If you’re in a pinch for time, you can prepare the chicken in a few different ways that are both faster and equally flavorful. One option is to poach boneless skinless chicken breasts, which only take around 15 minutes to cook. Alternatively, you could opt for a store-bought rotisserie chicken and shred the light and dark meat into the soup during the final step.
  • Spicier chili: If you’re someone who wants a little fire in their bowl of chili, you can play around with the spiciness of this recipe very easily. Try swapping two of the bell peppers for poblano peppers, or amp up the heat further by tossing in a diced jalapeno pepper or chopped chipotle chili in adobo sauce to the pot. A few extra teaspoons of chili pepper or cayenne pepper is also a great way to add some additional kick.
  • Add beans: While this recipe leans toward a Texas-style chili without beans, if you prefer a chicken chili with beans, you could certainly add them to this recipe. Pinto, kidney or black beans would all be fantastic in this recipe.

Lauren Habermehl
Lauren is a recipe developer and food photographer. At Taste of Home, you’ll find her putting famous celebrity recipes to the test, from Dolly Parton’s stampede soup to Stanley Tucci’s six-ingredient pasta casserole. She’s also known for her FoodTok finds and sharing tips for how to re-create Internet-famous 15-hour potatoes, apple pie cinnamon rolls and chamoy pickles. When she’s not trying out a recipe-gone-viral, she’s developing copycat recipes and new twists on comfort food for her food blog, Frydae.