Red chicken chili has a tomato-based broth and is loaded with fresh bell peppers and onions for a light and healthy soup that freezes well. The best part? This chili has no beans!
If you've only ever had white chicken chili, you need to try this fun variation and make a batch of red chicken chili with a tomato based broth.
This light and healthy chicken chili recipe is loaded with fresh vegetables and makes a huge batch.
The best news is that it freezes really well. I make a big pot and then freeze and reheat the leftovers for easy dinners on busy weeknights.
Why This is the Best Recipe
Our family loves soup season so much but I think this is the best red chicken chili recipe because:
- Tomato Based: I love the easy canned tomato base for the broth. It has so much more flavor!
- Lots of Veggies: So many fresh peppers and onions get sauteed in the mix.
- Rotisserie Chicken: This is one of my favorite rotisserie chicken recipes, it makes the soup so easy to prepare.
- Freezer Friendly: Make the WHOLE batch, it's a lot. You can freeze it for easy leftovers later.
The ingredients to make this red chicken chili recipe couldn't be easier:
- Rotisserie Chicken: You could use whatever cooked chicken you have, but the ease of a rotisserie chicken is hard to beat.
- Canned Whole Tomatoes: The whole tomatoes give it the best texture, if you use crushed tomatoes you may need to add some chicken stock to thin it out.
- Red and Yellow Bell Peppers: You could use orange or green if you prefer.
- Minced Garlic
- Chili Powder
- Dried Basil
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Cayenne Pepper: I promise this doesn't make it too spicy.
My favorite part about this chili is: NO BEANS!!
I'm not a big fan since they make chili so mealy tasting to me.
Prep the Chicken and Tomatoes
Rotisserie chicken is a very tender meat. You need to be careful to not over cook it or it will fall apart in the chili.
It is best to shred the rotisserie chicken meat and set it aside. Wait to add it to the chili until the very end.
On the other hand, you'll need to puree the canned tomatoes with sauce in a food processor until slightly chunky/smooth.
This takes a little time since you'll probably have to work in batches. Add them to a large mixing bowl and set aside until you're ready to add them to the chili.
Cook the Onions and Peppers
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Sauté the onions until they have softened and become translucent.
Add the minced garlic and cook for one minute.
Add the chopped bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt and continue to sauté until fragrant.
Simmer the Chili Base
Add the tomatoes to the pot along with the dried basil and pepper.
Simmer the chili base over low heat for a minimum of 30 minutes or until the peppers are nice and soft.
Add the Chicken and Serve
Add the rotisserie chicken meat last and stir it in gently.
Let it warm through for about 10 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead and Freezer Instructions
This red chicken chili recipe freezes PERFECTLY so it is the best freezer stocking recipe ever.
You can store it in individual containers for lunches at work or at home.
Let the chicken chili cool completely and then divide it into smaller containers for the freezer. It can keep for up to 6 months.
Thaw the chili in the fridge overnight and then just reheat it on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
If the chili thickened too much, you can always add a splash of chicken stock to thin it out.
When my kids were small, I called this "Hot salsa soup" since it features many of the same ingredients and flavors as The Peanut's favorite salsa.
I always serve it with several toppings options:
- shredded cheddar
- sour cream
- green onions
Then serve a big bowl of tortilla chips or Frito chips for dunking.
She was so distracted by the pile of tortilla chips, she was willing to eat anything if it meant dipping them in. Ha!
More Soup Recipes
If you are looking for more soup season inspiration, don't miss these family favorites:
Red Chicken Chili with No Beans
For the Red Chicken Chili
- 3 (28 oz) cans of whole plum tomatoes in puree
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 onions diced
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 red bell peppers diced
- 2 yellow bell peppers diced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 rotisserie chickens shredded
- sour cream
- shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese
- green onions chopped
- tortilla chips
- In a food processor, puree the canned tomatoes with sauce until the mixture is slightly chunky/smooth. You may have to work in batches. Set the tomatoes aside when finished.
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions until they have softened and become translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for one minute. Add the diced bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt and continue to sauté until fragrant.
- Add the reserved tomatoes to the pot along with the dried basil and pepper.
- Simmer the chili base over medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until the peppers have softened.
- Rotisserie chicken meat is quite tender. You don't want to overcook it. Shred the chickens while the tomato-pepper base is simmering. Once the peppers are softened, add the chicken meat to the pot and stir. Let it warm through for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
- The best toppings for this chicken chili include shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, and tortilla chips on the side for dunking.
Freezer InstructionsThe chicken chili can be completely cooled and then frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw the chili overnight in the fridge and then reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave. You may want to add a splash of chicken stock to thin it out as needed.
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