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bowl of pinto bean chicken chili

Pinto Bean Chicken Chili

A warm, comforting pinto bean chicken chili recipe that’s easy to make. Each bowl is hearty and healthy, and wonderful when served with a side of cornbread.

Course Dinner, Healthy, Soup
Keyword Pinto Bean Chicken Chili
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 286 kcal
Author Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breast (about 3 cups)
  • 1 - 15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained
  • 1 - 28 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat until shimmering. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until onion is soft and translucent, about 6-8 minutes. 

  2. Add the garlic and cook a few minutes more until fragrant then add in chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and a bit of fresh black pepper and stir for 1 minute more. 

  3. Add in the tomatoes, chicken broth, pinto beans, chocolate, cinnamon, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. To cook chicken: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle or rub a tiny bit of olive oil over chicken and generously season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake 18-25 minutes, baking times differ depending on the size of your chicken breast but remember to cook until juices run clean. Alternatively you could use about 3 cups of rotisserie chicken. 

  5. Cool chicken for 5-10 minutes then pull and shred chicken with two forks and add to chili, simmering uncovered for about 20 more minutes or until chili reaches desired consistency. Serve with fresh queso, cornbread or chips if desired. I love topping mine with a little bit of greek yogurt.

Recipe Notes

This recipe is freezer friendly and can also be made in the slow-cooker.

Nutrition Facts
Pinto Bean Chicken Chili
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 286 Calories from Fat 61
% Daily Value*
Fat 6.8g10%
Carbohydrates 26.3g9%
Fiber 6.2g26%
Protein 31.2g62%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.