It's Hatch green chile season here in Colorado, so because my kids love soup (and because I've found that's a good way to introduce them to new flavors!), I decided to make a big pot of green chicken chili to give them a taste of Hatch chiles!
Roasted green chiles don't have to be spicy. I used mild Hatch chiles, so the soup was kid-friendly but still rich and savory—and with a great chile flavor!
Why Is It Called Green Chili?
Nothing too complicated here: It's called "green" chili because it calls for (surprise!) green chiles, as opposed to your standard "red" chili, which is made with beef and tomatoes.
I also added a green bell pepper and a few big handfuls of herbs to really play up the "green" factor!
What Kind of Chicken Should I Use?
You can certainly poach your own chicken for this if you want. If you do, use the poaching liquid to make a stock and then use that in the chili. You'll end up with a really rich and delicious soup.
But perfect is the enemy of good in the kitchen, so I used rotisserie chicken for this quick weeknight chili recipe. A small-to-medium rotisserie chicken will give you about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of shredded chicken meat, which is the perfect amount for this recipe.
The Best Green Chiles for This Soup
There are a lot of options out there for Hatch chiles, especially this time of year. Here's the hierarchy of chile choice:
- Freshly roasted Hatch chiles: If you live in an area where you can find freshly roasted green chiles, those are far and away the best and should always be your first choice where possible. You can also roast your own chiles at home!
- Frozen roasted Hatch chiles: If you can't find freshly roasted chiles, opt for frozen roasted chiles, which still have great flavor. Look for them with the other frozen vegetables, especially at Mexican grocery stores or stores that have a good selection of Mexican ingredients.
- Canned or jarred green chilies: If you can’t find either of those two options, then a jar of green chiles is the way to go. You need a lot of green chiles for this recipe, so go for a big 16-ounce jar if you can find it! If you are using canned green chiles, look for Hatch green chiles, but also Old El Paso makes a great canned mild green chile. I also like the diced mild green chiles from La Preferida.
How to Make Green Chili In a Slow Cooker
This recipe is meant to be a fast weeknight recipe, but it can also work in a slow cooker.
If you're doing it this way, place a whole (3ish-pound) raw chicken in the slow cooker. Add the water, onion, garlic, and 1/2 cup each chopped carrot and celery. (The carrot and celery are only called for if you make this in the slow cooker, since I find it helps with the stock’s flavor. It’s not needed if you make the chili on the stove.)
Cook for four hours on high, then strain the stock and use it for your soup. Discard the veggies. Shred the chicken and return it to the slow cooker. Add all the remaining soup ingredients except the cilantro and cannellini beans.
Simmer the soup on low heat for two hours. Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the cannellini beans with 1/2 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup water. After two hours, stir the blended beans into the soup to thicken it slightly. Done!
How to Store Leftovers
If you like this recipe, I recommend doubling it so you can have some for dinner and plenty to freeze for later! This chili stores well in the fridge for up to five days, and will freeze perfectly for up to three months if stored in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Reheat the soup gently on the stovetop.
The Dad Add: Crispy Corn Chips
These are basically upgraded tortilla chips, but they add some delicious crunch to the chili! I like to add a pinch of sugar to the chips' seasoning; the sweetness goes really well with the chili's subtle heat. Make sure to pile them high in your bowl!
The Kid Report Card
My kids love soup, so I hoped this would be a winner. My only concern was that it might be too spicy, even with mild green chiles. Both of my kiddos picked out the chicken first and loved it. Then they slurped the soup a bit, but when they saw my Dad Add chips they proceeded to steal ALL OF THEM for dipping and eating. A dad’s sacrifice is real.
So, yes, kids like this soup! If you want more of a kick, spice up your own bowl with a bit of hot sauce, which I definitely did.
More Great Green Chile Recipes:
Easy Green Chicken Chili
Use poached chicken for this recipe, or give yourself a break tonight and pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup sweet corn
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mild roasted Hatch green chiles, chopped or diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 quart chicken stock
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup water
1 lime, juice only
Cilantro, for garnish
Avocado slices, for garnish
Hot sauce, optional, for garnish
For the Crispy Corn Chips (Dad Add)
10 small corn tortillas, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
Make the corn chips (optional Dad Add):
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread out the corn tortilla slices on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, sugar, and chili powder. Toss well to combine spices.
Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice to make sure the strips are baking evenly. Remove and let cool. Strips will get crispy as they cool.
Make the soup:
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, green peppers, corn, and garlic. Sauté for 5-6 minutes until vegetables soften.
Add roasted green chiles to the pot along with the cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir together and cook for a 3-4 minutes .
Add shredded chicken and chicken stock and bring chili to a low simmer.
Simmer the soup:
Turn heat down to low and simmer for five minutes.
Blend the beans:
In a blender or food processor, add drained and rinsed cannellini beans, water, and cilantro. Blend until the mixture has become a green paste. Add to the chili and stir until the soup has thickened slightly.
Adjust seasonings and serve:
Serve with toppings: Add lime juice to the chili, taste, and adjust for seasoning. Serve garnished with avocado, cilantro, hot sauce (optional), and crispy corn chips.
Leftover green chili can be stored in the fridge for five days, or frozen for up to three months. Reheat gently on the stove.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 22g||28%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||20%|
|Total Carbohydrate 42g||15%|
|Dietary Fiber 10g||37%|
|Total Sugars 9g|
|Vitamin C 151mg||757%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|