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+ servings
Bowl of Chicken Chili

Smoked Chicken Chili

Chicken Chili recipe made with leftover grilled or smoked chicken is super easy, jam packed with flavor, and isn't too rich to weigh you down.
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken chili, easy chili recipes, smoked chicken chili
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ large white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ jalapeño, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 cups leftover smoked chicken, shredded
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chilis
  • ¼ cup hot sauce (we love Valentina)
  • ¼ cup coffee (leftover from your morning pot is perfect)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • In a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil and white onions. Soften for 4 minutes. Add red pepper and jalapeño, continue to soften for additional 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 more minute.
  • Add chili powder and stir for 1 minute to toast slightly. Reduce heat if the saute is browning.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and stir. Simmer for 30 minutes covered, with cover slightly open to release some steam. Stir occasionally to avoid browning the sauce. For a richer sauce simmer for 60 minutes total. 
  • When you see desired thickness (can be up to an hour), remove from heat, stir, and serve warm. 
  • Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy.


Recipe for smoked whole chicken can be found here. Otherwise feel free to use any shredded chicken (no skin). 
For more heat consider some chipotle in adobo.
For additional richness, add more tomato paste or chili powder.
Want more liquid, don't simmer as long or add more tomato sauce.