Chili Con… Pollo!

Once in a while, as in about once a year, I get this insane craving for Chili Con Carne

For some reason, it usually coincides with the  presentation of the Super Bowl and it’s almost become a tradition that we should eat Chili Con Carne on Super Bowl Sunday in this household.

However, this year my craving got kicked off a bit prematurely thanks to Natalie over at Perry’s Plate who recently posted this crazy mouth watering version of a Slow Cooker Steak Chili.

After seeing it (more like staring at it for several veeeeery long minutes), I knew there was no way I was gonna last so long and wait all the way until Super Bowl week-end to have my bowl of chili.

Sadly, I’m afraid this bowl you’re looking at is now long gone…

Chili Con Pollo | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Looks like Super Bowl will have to settle for pizza this year. Home made, Ground Beef and Green Olive Pizza is what I have in mind… Not a bad replacement, if you ask me!

Now, to be honest, as much as I wanted to try Natalie’s recipe, I had a serious craving for my good ole faithful, tried tested and true recipe so I decided to stick to it and make it once again. I’d even posted it earlier, but I felt a little revamp really wouldn’t hurt…

What can I say? I’m so super satisfied with this recipe, so as they say, why fix it if it ain’t broke?

There is only one thing that I did different this time around. Instead of using ground chicken, I cut it into bite size chunks. That much was inspired by Natalie’s version. Oh, how I appreciated biting into those large pieces of meaty chicken! They added so much texture and substance to the dish. Plus, you get to taste it that much more.

Chili Con Pollo | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

If there is one thing that I would change, it would be to add mushrooms to it. Big chunks of beefy, chewy mushrooms. Not whole, but BIG. Maybe quartered. That oughta do the trick.

Now, call me weird, but I LOVE to garnish my chili with shredded iceberg lettuce. What? You’ve never tried it? Oh, you have no idea what you’re missing out on. You HAVE to give this a try.

Chili Con Pollo | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

And you know what? I had never realized before now just how truly healthy chili happens to be. I really don’t think I’ll be waiting for Super Bowl to get here again before I make another batch.

It might even become a regular for me. What a perfect lunch this would make.

It’s highly portable, very easy to reheat and will keep you satisfied for a very long time.

I’m all for that!

Chili Con Pollo

Yield: Serves 6

Nutritional Information based on 1 of 6 servings

Chili Con Pollo


  • 1½ cups dry Kidney Beans
  • 500g chicken breast, bones and skin removed, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Himalayan or fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp chipotle (or chili) powder
  • 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 3 canned chipotle peppers, finely chopped


  1. The previous night, soak the kidney beans in 5-6 cups of water.
  2. Rinse the beans in a colander to remove all the soaking liquid.
  3. Transfer the beans to a pot and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover loosely and simmer for about an hour, until tender but slightly undercooked. Make sure the beans are always covered with water.
  4. In a large saucepan, drizzle some olive oil and cook the pieces of chicken until they take a nice golden coloration on all sides.
  5. Add the onions, bell pepper and celery, and, over medium heat, cook until fragrant and softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add all the seasonings, stir to coat.
  7. Add the water, cooked beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, chipotle peppers and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring from time to time. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  8. Serve piping hot with a generous dollop of fat free plain Greek yogurt and a few chopped green onions. (and if you're weird like me, shredded iceberg lettuce!)

Chili Con Pollo | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Chili Con Pollo | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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  1. ABI says

    Am I being stupid, but i cant see the chicken in the recipe! But this looks yum, never thought to make chili with chicken.

  2. says

    This looks delicious! I love adding chipotle peppers in chili–adds such a wonderful flavor. I could totally use a bowl of this today–it is freezing in Chicago! :)

  3. Louise says

    Hi Sonia,

    I made this for a group of friends who came over at the weekend & they loved it! They asked me what was in it to give such a depth of flavour & I thought it would be the cocoa powder? They were totally shocked to know it was even an ingredient! Thank you for the inspiration :)

    Louise x

    • says

      The cocoa powder is in for a lot, indeed! First time I heard about it I was like, “really?” but now that I have tried it, I wouldn’t even consider making chili (or even spaghetti sauce, for that matter) without adding cocoa powder to it. It does add a lot of depth to the flavor, and I find it also helps neutralize the acidity in the tomatoes. Glad you and your friends enjoyed this recipe, Louise and I am the one who needs to thank YOU for taking the time to let me know. This is something I always truly appreciate! :)

  4. May says

    I made this yday! I used ground turkey instead of chicken breast. And had to introduce a few of my own spices cos i like it much hotter.
    But it was my first try at making chili ever! And i did it, thanks to you! It was a success! I didn’t even realize how much goes into chili until i saw this. But u inspired me to cook something new! So thank you. And my fiance’s ‘no-longer-bored’ palette thanks you too :)

    • says

      That’s just plain fantastic, May! Glad to have inspired you to try your hand at making chili and real glad to hear the experience has been a success. Thanks a bunch for taking the time to leave such awesome feedback, too! You totally rock!

  5. Venita Michelle says

    Does the cocoa powder add any sweetness? I’m not a fan of mole sauces because of the chocolatey flavor, so I want to make sure this recipe doesn’t have the same taste. Thanks!!

  6. HAZEL says

    Have made this today over here in good old England, the spices are superb, and the cocoa powder makes it so rich. For my english friends who do not have any American cups, 2 cups of water is equivalent to filling a 400g empty chopped tomato can, hope this helps. Will definately keep my eye on this site…..

  7. Fee says

    My favorite Chili recipe!! Instead of water I use beef stock or white beer or a mix :-).

    I make this every once in a while and it’s always a huge success.


    • says

      Aw, thanks so much for this, Fee! It’s pure music to my ears and always such a pleasure for me when people take the time to give me feedback on recipes that they make and appreciate. You are a real gem for doing this, really! Thank YOU! :D


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