Onion-Free and Garlic-Free Chicken Chili Recipe

chicken chili soup

LauriPatterson / Getty Images

Total Time: 45 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Servings: 8

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

318 calories
10g fat
30g carbs
28g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving  
Calories 318
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 340mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 4g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 28g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 83mg 6%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 1197mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Is onion-free and garlic-free chili just a pipe dream? Making chili without onions or garlic is a double challenge: Not only do virtually all chili recipes include one or both of these ingredients, but you'll normally find one or both in commercial chili powders.

The solution? Make your own by using other aromatics to build a satisfying flavor. You can also use the other flavor components of spice mixes like fresh peppers and spices to add heat and that indescribable "chili"-ness.

Ground chicken can take the place of higher fat ground meat such as beef while providing protein, B vitamins like thiamin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid, and minerals such as iron, zinc, and copper. Regular poultry consumption along with plenty of vegetables is associated with less risk of becoming overweight or obese, and reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Based on a rice-and-bean chili my family ate often when I was growing up, no one will guess anything's unusual about this party-ready onion-free, garlic-free chicken chili recipe. It's free from all "big eight" food allergens to boot.


  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and diced
  • 2 Serrano peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 lbs. ground chicken
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 tbsp. ground red pepper
  • 3 tbsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 15 1/2-oz. can black beans
  • 2 14 1/2-oz. cans diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice, rinsed and drained


  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat a small amount of oil over medium-low heat. Cook peppers gently for about 5 minutes, or until they barely start to brown.

  2. Add chicken to pot and brown on all sides over medium heat (you may need to add a little more oil), about 8 to 10 minutes. When the chicken has browned, add salt and pepper, ground red pepper, paprika, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Stir thoroughly to coat chicken and peppers with spices.

  3. Add chicken broth, beans, and tomatoes to a pot and gently bring to a boil. When mixture boils, add rice, stir, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 25 minutes. Stir every 15 to 20 minutes to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan while simmering. After the rice is cooked, taste and adjust the salt and pepper if desired.​

  4. Serve immediately, or simmer longer for a deeper flavor.

Variations and Substitutions

Try using chicken thighs instead of ground chicken, if desired. Although they are slightly more expensive than bone-in whole chicken thighs, you'll find that boneless thighs are the easiest to use for this recipe.

Switch out or add some canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or some smoked paprika for a smoky-flavored chili. Keep in mind that chipotle in adobo often contains onion so be sure to read product labels.

Ground beef or pork can also be substituted for ground chicken. Note that this will change the recipe's nutrition information.

Kidney beans or any white bean can replace the black beans in this chili.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Chili is ready after the rice is cooked but it can be simmered further—up to several hours—for an even stronger flavor. Simmer uncovered if you want a thicker chili and covered if you prefer a more soup-like texture.
  • Top the chili with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and tortilla strips.
  • This chili stores in the refrigerator for about a week and in the freezer for at least three months.

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1 Source
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Marangoni F, Corsello G, Cricelli C, et al. Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: an Italian consensus documentFood Nutr Res. 2015;59:27606. doi:10.3402/fnr.v59.27606

By Victoria Groce
Victoria Groce is a medical writer living with celiac disease who specializes in writing about the dietary management of food allergies.