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Easy Chicken Chili

I wanted to create a healthy chicken chili that would be light and at the same time super comforting. This Kale Chicken Chili can also become a Paleo Chicken Chili by omitting just one ingredient but more on that later.  I used chicken to keep the protein light and easy to digest. I love the different layers of depth and spice from the Poblano peppers, Jalapeño peppers, and the Cayenne powder. The kale is such a great addition because it doesn’t interrupt any of the flavors of the chili but adds a beautiful texture and of course great health benefits too! This chili is such a great and easy way to sneak a ton of vegetables into your diet while enjoying what feels like a big bowl of comfort and indulgence. You can top it with a squirt of lime, some slices of avocado, a little chopped cilantro or even a little greek yogurt.

Healthy Chicken Chili + Paleo Chicken Chili

While my original recipe does include some Cannellini Beans, the dish is Paleo friendly since it easily allows for the omission of the beans. If you do want to make this purely paleo, just add about 1/4 lbs more chicken to replace the beans. I like the beans in there for the fiber, and they also have a good amount of protein. But if beans are a problem for you…well no problems here man! Just kick them out. No hard feelings.

Want more Healthy Kale Recipes?

If you’re craving more Kale, cause let’s be honest who isn’t? Be sure to check out my Sauteed Kale with onion and carrot for a healthy side dish. If you’re looking for raw kale or looking to learn to love kale salad…well my Kale Lemon Salad recipe will be your best friend.

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Kale Chicken Chili

Print Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
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A chili that is both rich, and refreshingly light with tons of healthy veggies hiding behind yummy chicken and bacon. Even the biggest kale haters will eat this up!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Healthy Cooking Fat, Examples: Coconut Oil, Ghee, Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 large Onion (yellow or white), Finely Diced
  • 2 Carrots, Finely Diced
  • 3 medium Poblano Peppers, Seeded + Finely Diced
  • 2-3 medium Jalapeño Peppers, Seeded + Finely Diced (Depending on your desired spice level you can do 2 or 3)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground Coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 lbs ground dark meat Chicken
  • 2 cans (15 oz) Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed (To keep it paleo these can be omitted...just add about 1/2lbs more chicken)
  • 2-3 large handfuls Kale leaves, washed and rough chopped
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Yummy Topping options

  • Cilantro Leaves
  • Greek Style Yogurt
  • Avocado
  • Lime Juice

Instructions

  • Heat large Pot or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add healthy cooking fat to the pan over medium heat, add the ground chicken (in 2-3 batches so as so not overcrowd your pot...you want to get a good sear on them). Break up large pieces and cook for about 3 minutes or until chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove from pot and repeat with rest of chicken until all chicken is seared and set aside.
  • Add the onion, carrots, poblano and jalapeño peppers to the pot and cook over medium-high heat stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and the veggies are soft. (about 8 minutes)
  • Add the ground chicken back in and stir to combine everything well.
  • Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne and oregano. Stir well to combine with all the other ingredients. Cook for about 1-2 minutes for the garlic and spices to become fragrant and develop.
  • Add the broth and give it a good stir ensuring that nothing is stuck to the bottom of your pot.
  • Add the white beans (if using), and add your chopped kale. Since the kale is so fluffy you will probably need to add it in batches. Add a little at a time, stir that under the liquid it will wilt very quickly allowing you to add the next handful. I also like to use the lid of my pot to cover it for a minute to help speed this up.
  • Once all your kale as been added, cook the chili over medium-low heat partially covered for at least 30 minutes but preferably closer to 60 minutes. The longer it goes the more flavorful it gets. Keep an eye on it and it is starts to stick at the bottom or is bubbling too much...turn it down. It should be at a soft simmer.
  • Ladle into bowl and let each person top as desired with avocado slices, a squeeze of lime, chopped cilantro or even a dollop of greek yogurt.

Notes

You can make this Paleo-friendly by omitting the Cannellini beans and just add a bit more ground chicken.
You can also easily make this a vegetarian dish by omitting the chicken add adding more kale and Cannellini beans.
You can also add some bacon if you want extra smokiness, just be sure to add it at the beginning before even searing the chicken.