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Candace Pella

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Candy's chunky chicken chili

Serve this spicy combination of fresh ingredients right away or refrigerate to gently reheat another day. Don't worry about the 4 grams of fat per serving; it's "good" fat from olive oil.


4 cups yellow onions, chopped
3/4 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and large diced
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and large diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/4 teaspoon or to taste dried red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon or to taste cayenne pepper
2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes (do not drain)
1/4 cup basil leaves, fresh, minced
12 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 tablespoon olive oil (to rub on chicken)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
To preference, ground black pepper

Optional ingredients*

1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 cup chopped onions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook onions in 3/4 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
  4. Add the peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes and cayenne. Cook for one minute.
  5. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse six to eight times).
  6. Add the tomatoes and basil. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. In the meantime, rub the flesh of the chicken breasts with 3/4 tablespoon olive oil. Place chicken on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
  8. Roast chicken in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked.
  9. Let chicken cool slightly and cut into 3/4-inch chunks.
  10. Add chicken to chili and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  11. Serve chili with toppings. You can also refrigerate and reheat another day.

Serving suggestion

You can serve the chili with low-fat sour cream* and chopped onions*. You can also refrigerate and reheat the chili another day.

*Option is not included in nutrition facts.


Source: Candace Pella, rehabilitation services manager, Courage Kenny® Rehabilitation Institute – Cambridge; Healthy Communities Magazine, fall 2011

First published: 08/04/2011
Last updated: 08/24/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department