This Easy Southwest Chili recipe is the perfect for game day or a busy weeknight! It's packed with flavor with black beans, corn and chicken.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – or another neutral cooking oil of your choice like canola or avocado oil.
- Ground chicken – you could also make this chili with ground beef or ground turkey.
- Onion – use white, yellow or red onion.
- Celery – carrot can also be used as an aromatic here.
- Southwest seasoning blend – use a store-bought version or make your own using my recipe.
- Garlic – freshly minced garlic is best, but jarred minced garlic can be used in a pinch.
- Jalapeno pepper – serrano peppers would also be good here. For a milder option, use poblano peppers.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
- Black beans – swap out for another legume of your choice like pinto beans or kidney beans.
- Corn – use fresh, canned or frozen corn.
- Chicken broth – beef broth or vegetable broth can also be used here.
- Canned diced tomatoes – canned crushed tomatoes would also work.
- Tex Mex cheese – or another cheese of your choice like cheddar or Monterey Jack.
- Avocado – add on some diced avocado or guacamole.
- Cilantro – leave this off if you're not a fan of cilantro.
- Sour cream – you could also top with lime crema (mix together sour cream, lime juice and zest, garlic and salt).
- Tortilla chips – tortilla strips would also be good.
How to make southwest chili
Step 1: Sauté the ground chicken.
Add the chicken to a large pot and cook, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Step 2: Add the southwest seasoning, garlic and jalapeno.
Sauté for another minute.
Step 3: Add everything to the pot.
Add all the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Serve and enjoy!
Add on your favourite toppings and serve.
What to serve with southwest chili
I love serving this southwest chicken chili with toppings like cheese, sour cream, cilantro, tortilla chips and even some hot sauce. If you're looking for side dish ideas, here are some options:
You can even use the leftovers to make these delicious chili cheese fries.
Frequently Asked Questions
I haven't tested this recipe in the crockpot, but it should be pretty similar to me slow cooker chili recipe. Sauté the ground chicken, onions and celery first in a pan on the stovetop, then add everything but the toppings to the crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
The jalapeno peppers in this recipe definitely give the southwest chili a bit of a kick. If you want to make it milder, you can swap out the jalapeno pepper for a poblano pepper.
You can use pretty much any kind of ground meat in this recipe. I like using ground chicken, but you could also make it with ground beef or even ground turkey if you're looking for a healthier option.
The longer you simmer the chili, the thicker it'll get, so make sure you take your time and simmer it for at least 25 minutes. If you want the chili to be even thicker, you could also stir in a cornstarch slurry.
Yes! To make vegetarian southwest chili, leave out the ground chicken, use vegetable broth and add in some more beans for extra protein like kidney beans or pinto beans.
Storing and reheating
This southwest chili is great for meal prep. Store any leftovers without the toppings in the fridge for up to 5 days in airtight glass containers or meal prep bowls. Reheat the chili in a pot on the stovetop or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, then add on your favourite toppings and serve!
Freezing this recipe
You can freeze this southwest chicken chili for up to 3 months – it's a great freezer meal to have on hand for busy days. Once the chili has cooled, transfer it to freezer-safe Ziploc bags or containers (I personally love freezing soups and chilis in these silicone cubes).
When you're ready to enjoy your chili, let it defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat as normal, or reheat straight from frozen in the microwave for 6 minutes, stirring halfway through.
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Easy Southwest Chili
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground chicken or ground beef
- 1 onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 tbsp southwest seasoning blend See below for my recipe, or use store bought
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed and diced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 (540mL) can black beans
- 1 cup corn
- 4 cups chicken or beef broth
- 796 mL canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup tex mex cheese grated
- 1 avocado diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- Sour cream
- Tortilla chips
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Add ground chicken, breaking up and cooking for 2 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add onions and celery, sauteing for another 5 minutes.
- Add southwest seasoning, garlic and jalapeno, sauteing another minute.
- Add remaining ingredients except for toppings. Bring to a boil then simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve in large bowls, topping with cheese and any other desired toppings. Enjoy!