Chicken chili—an easy, gluten-free, one-pot dinner idea

This recipe was borne out of the need for an easy, fast dinner that also packed nutrition and flavor. I’ve been down with terrible allergy symptoms since planting my garden last weekend and needed something requiring minimal work and even less cleanup, but it also needed to be warm and satisfying. I’ve made many different chicken chili variations before, but this one is by far the easiest. You literally put everything into a Dutch oven or heavy lidded pan and throw it in the oven. The only other step is slicing the chicken and placing it back in the pan at the end. We were so hungry when this came out of the oven that I didn’t manage to get a photo of the final product!

Ingredients (makes 4 large servings):

  • Three medium sized chicken breasts, thawed (they can still be partially frozen if you are pressed for time)
  • One 4 oz can of green chilis
  • One 15 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (click here for the ones I love)
  • One can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • One onion, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked pimenton (paprika)
  • A handful of your favorite chopped herbs (I used a spicy oregano and cilantro from my garden)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350. Place the chicken breasts in the pan. Pour all other ingredients on top. Stir slightly, just to mix. Cover pan and bake for one hour. Pull the pan out and take the chicken breasts out with tongs. Place them on a cutting board, and, when cool enough to handle, dice them. Put the chicken back in the pot and stir gently. Place the pot back into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and enjoy with your favorite tortilla (I like this kind, which are gluten-free and paleo).

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Sweet Potato With White Chicken Chili Topping for an Easy Weeknight Meal

There are many white chicken chili recipes out there, and yet somehow I’ve never made it until this week. I decided to use this version as a sweet potato topping, but it would be good on its own or rolled into a tortilla as a taco or enchilada.

Ingredients (makes six servings):

  • Six boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • One large white onion, diced
  • Two four-ounce cans of green chili
  • One fresh jalapeno (seeds removed if you want to tone down the spice, leave them in if you like it hot)
  • One can white beans, drained –navy or cannellini work best
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons grass fed butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Six sweet potatoes
  • About 1/4 cup water
  • About 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • Sea salt, enough to coat the potatoes in (about a tablespoon)
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

For the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 and prep a baking sheet with foil. Wash the potatoes and set on a paper towel to dry. Once they are dry, coat them with the avocado oil then roll them in the sea salt. Poke them each with a fork twice and place them in the heated oven for about 40 minutes, or until they are soft and can be easily pierced with a knife.

For the chili: While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onions in a tablespoon of avocado oil in a large, heavy pot. Add the green chili and the water and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken thighs whole, then dust with salt. Add the cumin and allow to simmer for a few minutes, turning the thighs occasionally. Add the beans and the heavy cream, and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the thighs are cooked through and tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs and shred them or cut them into small chunks. Place the chicken back into the mixture. Add the butter, and allow to simmer about five more minutes, until the butter melts. Correct for salt and pepper.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to sit for five minutes. slice them open lengthwise and top with about a cup of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro.

White chicken chili topped sweet potato

There are many white chicken chili recipes out there, and yet somehow I’ve never made it until this week. I decided to use this version as a sweet potato topping, but it would be good on its own or rolled into a tortilla as a taco or enchilada.

Ingredients (makes six servings):

  • Six boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • One large white onion, diced
  • Two four-ounce cans of green chili
  • One fresh jalapeno (seeds removed if you want to tone down the spice, leave them in if you like it hot)
  • One can white beans, drained –navy or cannellini work best
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons grass fed butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Six sweet potatoes
  • About 1/4 cup water
  • About 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • Sea salt, enough to coat the potatoes in (about a tablespoon)
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

For the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 and prep a baking sheet with foil. Wash the potatoes and set on a paper towel to dry. Once they are dry, coat them with the avocado oil then roll them in the sea salt. Poke them each with a fork twice and place them in the heated oven for about 40 minutes, or until they are soft and can be easily pierced with a knife.

For the chili: While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onions in a tablespoon of avocado oil in a large, heavy pot. Add the green chili and the water and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken thighs whole, then dust with salt. Add the cumin and allow to simmer for a few minutes, turning the thighs occasionally. Add the beans and the heavy cream, and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the thighs are cooked through and tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs and shred them or cut them into small chunks. Place the chicken back into the mixture. Add the butter, and allow to simmer about five more minutes, until the butter melts. Correct for salt and pepper.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to sit for five minutes. slice them open lengthwise and top with about a cup of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro.

The easiest and best paleo chili

Years ago my husband and I owned a CrossFit gym. We decided to host a “paleo challenge” for our clients, which means, everyone basically cuts out processed foods and follows the paleo diet for 30 days and at the end we hosted a big potluck and handed out prizes. This was when I first discovered how food makes us feel, and that I have a pretty significant sensitivity to gluten. We’ve since added lots of foods back into our diet, especially since we had kids, but we’ve kept many of those clean recipes in our rotation. One of them is a good, classic and easy sweet potato chili. Below is a very easy way to prepare this dish, which has enough for two or three family dinners during the week. This takes less than 15 minutes to prep and can simmer for as little as 30 minutes and as much as 3 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 lbs grass fed ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons (more or less to taste) sea salt. I start with one teaspoon and work up after that.
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 large cans Italian Style tomatoes, either whole or diced (with the juice)
  • 1 small can of green chilis, diced (heat level is up to you, I use hot!)
  • 1 bag of cubed sweet potatoes (16 oz). You can dice your own, but this makes it so easy.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, but only if you don’t care if it’s paleo! If you are a paleo person this can be omitted.
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • Chopped red or green onion, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pan or dutch oven. Add the onion and saute until soft, about two to three minutes. Add the beef and chop it down to small chunks. Add the spices, and stir for three to four minutes, chopping the meat to small chunks all the while. Add the tomatoes, green chilis and sweet potatoes and let simmer about ten minutes on medium. Taste and correct for salt and pepper. If you don’t care if it’s paleo, you can add about a half a cup of brown sugar at this point for extra richness. Cover the pot and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes and up to three hours. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and onions of your choice. I also like to add a little bit of goat cheese cheddar.

This chili topped with crispy roasted Brussels sprouts