Onion-Free and Garlic-Free Chicken Chili Recipe

White rice and black beans
Thiago Santos / 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 and by using the other flavor components of spice mixes like chili powder and adobo to add heat and that indescribable "chili"-ness.

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 pounds ground chicken
  • 3 tablespoons ground red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 15.5-ounce can black beans
  • 2 14.5-ounce 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 to taste, 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. After rice is cooked, taste and adjust the salt and pepper.​

  4. Chili is ready to eat at this point but can be simmered further—up to several hours—for even stronger flavor. Simmer uncovered if you want a thicker chili and covered if you prefer a more soup-like texture. Stir every 15 to 20 minutes to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan while simmering.

Ingredient Note: 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.

Storage Note: This chili stores in the refrigerator for about a week and in the freezer for at least three months.

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