Serve your hungry crew a bowl of beautiful, broth-y, home-cooked Minnesota Chicken Chili and you’ll warm their hearts first while their fingers and toes follow. This recipe tastes so darn good on a crisp fall or cool wintery day, especially after coming in from the breezy Lutsen Mountain slopes, hiking the Cascade River State Park trails, snowshoeing the SHT or riding snowmobile trails. It also doubles as a winning game-day pick fit for hungry fans. And, with Super Bowl LII headed for our home state, the timing is right!

Chicken Chili from
Carson sniffing his way to the chili bowl…

Even Carson was wagging his way toward a serving of this comforting goodness one day last fall when we were snapping a few pics of our family’s favorite chili. This tried & true recipe has been adapted from a White Lightening Chili recipe taken from Southwest Ole! by Barbara C. Jones, a mini-cookbook that dates back to 1993.  Over the years, I’ve adjusted with a few modifications and fine-tuned the flavors and prep steps. Here’s the recipe verbatim…

White Lightening Chili,
Our favorite Southwest Ole! cookbook by Barbara C. Jones features White Lightening Chili, which we’ve modified to Minnesota Chicken Chili over the years.

And, now here’s how we’ve made it our own Minnesota Chicken Chili… First, I often don’t soak the beans overnight because I’m not good at planning ahead. Thank goodness for the handy canned variety. For the cooked chicken you can use a rotisserie option, or I usually…

Minnesota herbs,
A handful of herbs can be tossed-in to the stockpot to add flavor while poaching the chicken. Featured here, two types of basil, thyme, Italian parsley and oregano.

poach about 2 pounds of chicken pieces in a stockpot or slow cooker. On this particular day, four bone-in chicken breasts landed in a stockpot, skin removed, and then I tossed in a handful of those precious garden herbs, quartered onion, a stalk of celery, two cloves of garlic, salt & pepper. I turned the burner on medium until the water was simmering and then dropped the heat slightly for about 30 minutes. Cook time varies based on the size of the chicken pieces.

Minnesota Chicken Chili,

While the chicken was simmering, I measured the spices following the recipe suggestions, and added 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder for good measure.

Minnesota Chicken Chili spices,
Minnesota Chicken Chili spice blend…

Next, I prepped the other ingredients: 2 cloves garlic, then diced 1 jalapeno, 2 banana peppers, 2 stalks celery, 1 medium onion; I measured 1/3 cup green enchilada sauce (secret ingredient!), drained & rinsed 2 cans of navy beans and opened 1 can of diced green chilies.

Minnesota Chicken Chili ingredients,

When the chicken was ready, I removed it from the liquid and let the meat cool in a bowl. Then, strained the broth and reserved it to use in the chili. Next I shredded the chicken and tossed it with a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of cumin (not noted in the recipe); then I poured in a cup of the broth, to keep the chick-chick moist.


Re-heating the stockpot, I added about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter (not as much as the recipe calls for) and sautéed the onions, garlic, celery and peppers for about 6 to 7 minutes. Then added the beans, enchilada sauce and chilies as well as a couple cups of the reserved broth. In went the shredded seasoned chicken and all the spices plus extra both, about 5 to 6 more cups.

Cooking up the Minnesota Chicken Chili,

Next, season to taste. I usually add a bit more cumin and salt, maybe another dash of basil. And, usually a pinch of sugar, because that is what my grandmother Muzzy would suggest for most homemade soups and dishes. Next, simmer your chicken chili on low for an hour or so, stirring occasionally so all the flavors blend.

Stockpot of Minnesota Chicken Chili,

For serving options, add your own toppings, such as sour cream, diced green onions, shredded cheese, crackers, corn-bread croutons and/or avocado…

Minnesota Chicken Chili,


Minnesota Chicken Chili,

Serve a hearty bowl of this yummy chili to those you love the most!

Minnesota Chicken Chili,

Let me know if you make this winter warm-up, or if you have any questions, especially since I’ve modified the method quite a bit. Enjoy!

Warm Up, Minnesota, to this Chicken Chili was first shared on FromLutsenWithLove on January 15, 2018. 


Minnesota Chicken Chili.png



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