Full of spice and zip, this hearty gluten-free Picante Chicken Chili is just what the doctor ordered on a crisp, fall day. It’s quick and easy, too!
Guys. It’s FALL. (I’m not sure if you’ve heard that yet 😉 ) And you know what fall means?!?!
SOUP IS BACK ON THE MENU!
There are very few things that I love more than a big bowl of warm soup on a chilly fall or winter day. There is just something so cozy and inviting about soups, stews, and chili – they have this way of enveloping you and making you feel at home, no matter where you are.
In honor of my love for soup, and in
celebration of preparation for the chillier months ahead, I’ve decided to kick off a little series over the next few weeks called SOUPER SUNDAY.
Every Sunday I’ll share one of my most favorite soup/stew/chili recipes with you — most of which are wonderful family recipes (and all are gluten-free, obviously) — and share a little bit about the warm memories they hold.
First up? Meg’s Picante Chicken Chili ♥
This recipe came from, you guessed it – Meg!
Meg is a woman that my family knows from church – she was the leader of the Heavenly Hands Puppet Team that I was a part of at church as a kid (Yes, there is such a thing in this world as a “puppet team” and yes, I was a puppeteer for a solid 3 years of my childhood. Honestly. You can’t make this stuff up.) and she passed this recipe along to my mom, who later passed it along to me.
Meg is a wonderful lady who is FULL of pep and spunk, just like her wonderful chili. So, while a name like Red Chicken Chili or Spicy Picante Chicken Chili or Chicken Chili would easily work for this recipe, it just doesn’t feel right leaving Meg’s name out. PLUS, this might be one of the simplest and easiest chili recipes in the history of ever, which also reminds me of Meg. Not to say that she is simple – she’s not! – but she didn’t seem to be one to care for a fuss all too much, and I love that this chili, like her, is fuss-free.
So fuss-free and easy, in fact, this chili was one of the first “from scratch” dinners that I ever made by myself, and the one meal that I would make almost every time I was home from college. It’s basically foolproof. If a 9th grader could flawlessly make this by herself when her only dinner specialties were Kraft mac and cheese or spaghetti with jarred sauce, it’s safe to say that just about anyone can whip up this epic chicken chili.
Even if you are thinking “Leah, I don’t think you grasp just how culinarily challenged I am,” I still promise you can handle this one. And GET THIS. Everyone will think you slaved over it for hours. Seriously! The flavors are so rich and so deep that no one will guess it is a cinch to make.
The only real “work” involved in this recipe is the cutting/chopping. I know, I know, I can hear you groaning from way over here, BUT, thanks to my ♥mom♥ who is the QUEEN of kitchen hacks (seriously, she should write a book), I have a couple epic tricks to share with you to make this simple soup even simpler:
- Use kitchen scissors to cut up the chicken. If you’re not already doing this in life in general, you need to start NOW – you’ll never have to worry about which cutting board is the “meat” cutting board and which one is the “everything else” cutting board ever again! I just pick the chicken breasts right up from the package, and cut them into pieces right over the package, and then add ‘em straight to the stockpot. With this method, the only item you’ll dirty is the scissors, which means less clean-up! Hooray!
- To save time, use pre-chopped frozen onions and green peppers. It feels like a culinary SIN to say this, but you can barely tell the difference. Honestly! While I usually go the fresh route, well, just because, I bet you any money I’d never be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test.
- Save even more time (and save your fingers from getting smelly!) by using jarred, diced garlic. My mom swears by it, and she’s a pretty great cook, so if she uses it AND it means less chopping, I’m in!
Did you catch that? We started with 4 things that needed to be cut/chopped for this recipe and took it to zilch/zero/none. HIGH-FIVES for moms and their crafty kitchen genius!
Also, I feel that I must give a little disclaimer to all of you heat-averse people out there. While this soup isn’t SUPER spicy, it definitely has some zip from the picante sauce. That’s probably because I love using hot or medium picante sauce in this recipe (to me, chili isn’t chili if it doesn’t clear your sinuses! Can I get an amen?!) but if you want to dial it down a little bit, just make sure you use mild picante sauce. I’d also recommend reducing the chili powder by half – you’ll still get lots of spice and flavor, just without the added kick.
This chili is easily in my top 5 favorite soups EVER and I absolutely CANNOT wait to curl up on the couch with a big bowl this afternoon while I
watch football with Anthony play on Pinterest. (Just being honest 😉 )
Happy [Souper] Sunday!
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut in cubes
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 14.5 oz. cans stewed tomatoes
- 1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
- 1 cup Picante sauce*
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- cilantro, for garnish
- In a large soup pot, cook chicken, onion, green pepper, garlic in oil over medium-high heat, until chicken is cooked through.
- Add the stewed tomatoes, beans, Picante sauce, chili powder, cumin, and salt to the pot, stirring well.
- Bring the soup to a low boil, and then turn down heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro, and top with shredded cheddar cheese and spoonful of sour cream, if desired.
On instagram? Be sure to follow me and tag your recipes #grainchanger so I can see the recipes you make!