Recipe: Chorizo Chicken Chili

updated Jan 29, 2020
Chorizo Chicken Chili
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This 30-minute chili, featuring the flavorful power couple of chorizo and chicken, is what you make on Wednesday when you hit a wall on what to make for dinner. A change of pace from a beefy chili, this one-pot meal kicks up the flavor with spicy chorizo and seared chicken thighs. Smoky, fire-roasted tomatoes and two types of beans make up the sauce, with a few dashes of spices and herbs added in to give it a complex flavor.

Take Advantage of the Grocery Store Butcher Counter

The key to getting this chili on the table quickly isn’t what you do in the kitchen, but the way you shop for the ingredients. Take advantage of your grocery store butcher to help with the meat prep. For starters, look for Mexican chorizo without the casing. You can also ask the butcher to cut the chicken for you. Make this your first stop when you get to the store, then pick up the prepped meat on your way to the checkout.

Read More About What Your Butcher Can Do for You

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Embrace the “Meanwhile”

My go-to tactic for making dinner prep as efficient and speedy as possible is to embrace the “meanwhile.” This means that instead of prepping all of the ingredients at the onset (as we’re often told to do), you should work as you go. Here, that means taking advantage of the time the meat is cooking. You’ll want to stir and break it up somewhat, but it doesn’t require constant attention. Use this time to gather your spices, open the canned goods, and drain and rinse the beans.

Chorizo Chicken Chili

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 medium

    yellow onion, diced

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 12 ounces

    fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed

  • 12 ounces

    boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon

    tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons

    chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon

    ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons

    dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 (28-ounce) can

    fire-roasted diced tomatoes

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup

    low-sodium chicken broth

For serving (optional):

  • Sour cream

  • Thinly sliced scallions

  • Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chorizo, chicken, salt, and pepper. Cook, breaking up the chorizo with a wooden spoon, until all of the meat is browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.

  2. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring so that the spices don't burn, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, cannellini beans, kidney beans, and broth, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir the chili once more and serve with toppings, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in frozen for up to 3 months.