Frugal Foodie Friday: Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili


How is that for an alliterate recipe title? Recently, I discovered a great new-to-me recipe from Giada of the Food Network. Of course, her recipe needed a few little tweaks. Cheese? Not in our house. How much fennel? Lets trim that down – a lot. Ground chicken? Chicken should be chunky! Parsley on chili? Seriously? So after making a few modifications this very chunky Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili was served and it was delicious!

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

The recipe does make for a very chicken-heavy chili. Feel free to cut that down to 3/4 lb, 1/2 lb, or even make it vegetarian if you wish. You can easily double the beans, add some more veggies, or just thicken the broth a bit more and enjoy it with less of the chunky add-ins. While delicious fresh, I have to say this chipotle chicken and char chili becomes even more special overnight. That seems to be the way with chilis and stews! They make great leftovers to have for quick meals and this allows their flavors to develop even more.

We enjoyed our bowls of chili alongside rolls and brown rice – both making delicious pairings.

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

Special Diet Notes: Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and soy-free.

Chipotle Chicken and Chard Chili
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small slices / chunks*
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • Couple pinches of salt (optional)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ large onion, diced or 1 leek, sliced ¼-inch thick and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt or to taste, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons flour (your choice, I used whole wheat pastry flour), depending on how thick you like it
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large bunch swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces OR 1 bag of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 cups regular or low-sodium chicken broth (I used regular)
  • White or brown rice for serving (optional)
  1. Place the chicken in a medium-sized bowl, and stir in the cornstarch or arrowroot (I like to add a pinch or two of salt here too) until it is well-distributed and appears absorbed. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion or leek and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until nice and softened. Add the garlic and sauté for just 30 seconds or so. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the chicken, ½ teaspoon of salt, and the spices – cumin, fennel, oregano, and chili powder. Cook while continuously stirring, until the chicken is cooked (no pink showing). This will take about 7 or 8 minutes. If the chicken threatens to stick, just add a dash or two of the broth.
  3. Stir in the flour to coat, and add the broth, beans, chard, and corn. The chard will look boisterous, but don’t worry, it cooks down significantly.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow it to simmer for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour. The liquid will reduce in half and thicken a fair bit. Taste test it as it is cooking, and season to taste with additional salt (I used another ¼ teaspoon) if desired. You can also add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper as it cooks if you want more spice, but we found the medium-heat to be just right as is.
  5. If desired, serve over rice and with some homemade rolls.


About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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