This salsa verde chicken chili is sweet, spicy, and super flavorful, thanks to the ultimate shortcut: pouring a bottle of salsa verde into the pot for instant flavor. Salsa verde, made from tomatillos, onions, serrano peppers, and cilantro, makes short work of building those flavors yourself.
I like the Herdez brand because it’s readily available at most stores, it’s smooth (not chunky) so it blends well into the broth, and it has the right amount of heat for our taste buds. But I’ve also used the Trader Joe’s brand of salsa verde with a lot of luck. Experiment and find what you like best! If you’re serving children, I recommend making sure you choose the “mild” version.
Since the salsa provides so much flavor, the bulk of your work preparing this chili will come from prepping and cooking the mirepoix and chicken. So first, the mirepoix: you can read more about this aromatic trio of vegetables here. But in the meantime, make sure you dice the vegetables in similar sizes so they cook evenly. And in this recipe, I like to use yellow and white carrots in lieu of orange to keep the chili looking monochromatic. But that’s just me being picky — go ahead and use whatever you’ve got!
For the chicken, I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They have a lot more flavor than chicken breasts, and are often cheaper. But chicken breasts would absolutely work here too, as would pork tenderloin. Just make sure you chop the meat up into similarly sized pieces so it cooks evenly.
Baked Tortilla Chips
My mom used to bake tortilla chips all the time when we were growing up, and now my kids love to help me make these too. The chips are so good when they come out of the oven hot and salty!
Here are a few notes: you can use corn tortillas or flour tortillas. Corn tortillas have that nice corn flavor, so they are usually my preference; however, flour tortillas work really well and actually turn out a little more crunchy. So I think you should experiment with whatever you’ve got in stock.
Also, the chips will become a little more crispy the more oil you use. Without as much oil, they are a little more chewy, but still delicious. Sometimes I’ll drizzle the oil on the chips and sometimes I’ll use an olive oil spray.
You can vary the flavor of the chips by using different seasonings, like a chile-lime season salt, or garlic salt.
We serve this chili with the chips, sliced avocado, cilantro, and grated cheese. You could also add diced onion, jalapenos, and sour cream. It’s a great make-ahead meal, and you can double it easily for a crowd. It freezes and defrosts well too!
Chicken Chili with Baked Tortilla Chips
This salsa verde chicken chili is sweet, spicy, and super flavorful, thanks to the ultimate shortcut: pouring a bottle of salsa verde into the pot for instant flavor.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt divided, plus more to taste
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 3 carrots diced
- 3 cups cooked white beans (about 2 14.5 ounce cans)
- 1 1/2 cups corn off the cob
- 2 cups salsa verde (I like the Herdez brand)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 avocados
- 1 bunch cilantro
To Make Chili
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Place cut-up chicken in oil, and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over chicken. Using tongs, stri chicken to distribute salt evenly. Cook until chicken is golden brown on outside and no longer pink in middle.
Transfer chicken to plate, and wipe chicken fat out of dutch oven. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat again. Place onion, celery, and carrots in oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using wooden spoon, stir vegetables to distribute salt. Cook vegetables until beginning to brown and soft when pierced with a knife.
Add cooked chicken back to the dutch oven with vegetables. Add white beans, corn, salsa verde, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Turn heat down to low and simmer until heated through.
To Make Baked Tortilla Chips
Turn on oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Tear tortillas into quarters. Spread over parchment-lined baking sheet.
Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over tortillas. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
Place baking sheet under broiler for 3-5 minutes until chips start to become crisp and golden brown.
Serve chili with a handful of chips, sliced avocado, and chopped cilantro.
I like the Herdez brand because it's readily available at most stores, it's smooth (not chunky) so it blends well into the broth, and it has the right amount of heat for our taste buds.
I also like to use yellow and white carrots in lieu of orange to keep the chili looking monochromatic. But that's just me being picky -- go ahead and use whatever you've got!
Finally, you can use corn tortillas or flour tortillas for the chips. Sometimes I'll drizzle the oil on the chips and sometimes I'll use an olive oil spray.