This Easy Green Chicken Chili uses mild, roasted Hatch peppers and rotisserie chicken for a quick, delicious, kid-friendly soup. Use fresh-roasted, frozen, or jarred Hatch chiles. We love it topped with crispy tortilla chips and sliced avocado!
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 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 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 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.
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!
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.