Quick and Easy Chicken Chili Stew

chicken chili stew with tomatoes
Diana Rattray
Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 37 mins
Servings: 4 servings

This chicken chili makes an excellent dinner on a cold fall or winter evening, but you don't have to wait for the cold weather to enjoy it. Make it any time of the year. Besides the great flavor, the stew is a fast preparation, and it cooks in under 25 minutes. 

Cubed boneless chicken breasts or tenderloins are the protein in the stew along with the beans. Tomatoes, garlic, onions, a jalapeño pepper, and some corn provide the color and flavor. Feel free to tailor the ingredients to suit your taste. For extra color and texture try a combination of white beans and black beans or small red beans. Or use zesty chili-seasoned tomatoes or fire-roasted tomatoes in the dish instead of plain diced tomatoes. 

Feel free to add one or two chopped sweet bell peppers—a combination of red, green, and yellow—to the skillet when you add the chicken. If you crave more heat in your chili, use two jalapeno peppers or add about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Serve the stew with freshly baked cornbread and a simple salad for a delicious and easy family meal. 


  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts (or chicken tenderloins)
  • 2 onions (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper (seeded, finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans Great Northern beans (drained and rinsed well)
  • 1 lime (medium)
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels (thawed)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • Garnish: 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Garnish: 1/4 cup red onion (finely chopped)
  • Garnish: 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
  • Optional Garnish: Shredded cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican blend

Steps to Make It

  1. Pat the chicken dry and then cut it into bite-sized cubes. Set aside.

  2. Peel the onions and chop them.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is hot and shimmering, add the chopped onion and minced garlic; saute for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion begins to brown.

  4. Add the cubed chicken to the onion and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned on all sides, stirring frequently. A add the chopped jalapeno, coriander, cumin, diced tomatoes, and beans.

  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes

  6. Juice the lime and add it to the stew along with the corn kernels.

  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

  8. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

  9. Serve the chicken chili with sour cream, chopped red onion, and chopped cilantro.

  10. If desired, garnish with shredded cheese.

  11. Serve and enjoy!

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