Oh chili…a food that makes you feel anything but chilly!

My family doesn’t eat a huge amount of red meat, so I decided to lighten up regular chili by swapping chicken for the beef! In this version you combine chicken, tomatoes, and chickpeas with a ton of veggies (in case you haven’t realized it yet, I’m a vegetable pusher haha) and spices. The secret is to add a little cocoa powder and ground cinnamon with the other spices… don’t worry, it totally compliments the other ingredients.

My parents were trying to sneak spoonfuls about 1 1/2 hours in, but remember the longer it simmers, the better it tastes! They loved the chicken/chickpea combo with all the veggies. Since my mom isn’t a huge fan of spicy food, I kept the recipe mild. If you want an added kick, add some hot sauce, cayenne pepper, or diced chilies to the pot while it simmers away on the stove. Hope you like it!

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion (diced)

2 garlic cloves (minced)

14 oz chicken breast (cubed)

35 oz can crushed tomatoes

15 oz can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

1 large dried chili pepper (rehydrated and minced) or small can of chilies

1 red bell pepper (chopped)

2 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon ginger

½ cup frozen corn

Baby spinach (to taste…I used about 2 handfuls chopped)

Hot sauce (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil. After the oil warms slightly (30 seconds) add the red onion and garlic. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.

Add in the cubed chicken and cook for around 3-5 minutes, just to get a light brown crust on the chicken for some added flavor.

Add in the tomatoes, chickpeas, chili pepper, bell pepper, cumin, ginger, chili powder, Worcestershire, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt/pepper. Stir so everything is coated in the seasonings and tomatoes. Change the heat to your low setting, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours (stirring about every 30-40 minutes). You can simmer it for longer if you so desire.

About 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat, uncover the pot and add in the corn and baby spinach. Stir to combine. Raise heat to medium and allow everything to heat through (look for the spinach being wilted and chili bubbling a little bit).

Serve with bread, cheese, sour cream….and enjoy!