This ultra easy Pulled Chicken Black Bean Chili is packed full of flavor. Fork tender shredded chicken and black beans are combined with a rich spicy sauce. Served with your favorite toppings, its the perfect family weeknight dinner. Slow cooker and pressure cooker instructions also included.
The spice is mild in this black bean chicken chili so it's suitable for all the family, including the kids. If adults like it hotter, serve the kids first, then stir through some hot sauce or thinly sliced green chilis.
Black bean chicken chili is a great make ahead dish. It's ideal for busy week night dinners when all you want to do is warm something up and serve.
I've made my black bean chili on the stove-top, but I've included instructions on how to cook it in your slow cooker or Instant Pot later in the post.
- Why You'll Love This Pulled Chicken & Black Bean Chili
- Pulled Chicken Black Bean Chili Ingredients
- How to Make Chicken & Black Bean Chili - Step-By-Step
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Variations & Substitutions for Chicken Black Bean Chili
- Tips & Tricks For Making Pulled Chicken Black Bean Chili
- Pin This Pulled Chicken Black Bean Chili Recipe For Later
- What Do You Think?!
- More Easy One Pot Recipe Ideas
- Printable Recipe
- Pulled Chicken Black Bean Chili
- Reader Comments & Ratings
Why You'll Love This Pulled Chicken & Black Bean Chili
- Chili is the perfect dinner time one pot dish - simple, fast and less dishes.
- This chili can be made mild or spicy, so is suitable for all.
- If you like your chili extra spicy, no problem, just add some extra chili powder, fresh chilies, pickled jalapenos, or hot sauce.
- This is a perfect meal prep dish for cold nights. Chili actually benefits from being made a little in advance, allowing the flavors to intensify.
- This recipe can be easily doubled or trebled, so perfect for games night, or if you have family and friends round. Serve one big pot of chili and get creative with the toppings.
- Love Mexican flavors? Try my:
Pulled Chicken Black Bean Chili Ingredients
Find the full recipe in the card below.
Chicken - I have used skinless boneless thighs here but you could also use bone-in thighs instead. Similarly chicken legs work but you may need to slightly adjust the cooking time. You will also have to remove the skin and bone when you come to shred the chicken, but the meat should fall right off the bone.
Vegetables - I've used a combination of red onion, red bell pepper, garlic, a jalapeno pepper and some corn in this chicken chili. You can add in any other veggies that you enjoy eating, like chopped carrot, zucchini, sweet potato or butternut squash.
Beans - For ease I've used canned black beans, but you can use any variety of bean, try kidney, pinto or cannellini beans. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) would also work in this chili dish.
Spices - I use ground cumin and chili powder to flavor the chili. If you like your chili really spicy, add some extra chili powder. Ground coriander or smoked paprika would also work with the other spices.
How to Make Chicken & Black Bean Chili - Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe below.
Season then sauté boneless and skinless chicken thighs in a large heavy pan. Cook until golden brown on all sides then remove from the pan and set aside.
Sauté the diced large onion in the same pan until it starts to soften. Add diced bell pepper and continue to sauté before adding the garlic and jalapeno.
Stir in the ground cumin, chili powder, sugar and tomato paste followed by canned tomatoes, stock and drained black beans.
Season again then add the chicken back to the pot and bring the chili to a boil. Turn the heat to low, add a lid and simmer for around 30 minutes.
Shred the chicken once it is cooked through and fork tender. Mix to combine and serve with all your favorite toppings.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
To make slow cooker black bean chili, I would recommend browning the chicken and all the veggies first. So, follow the instructions up to the end of step 5 in the recipe below, then place the chicken and vegetables into the slow cooker pot.
Now add the remaining ingredients into the crockpot or slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Once cooked, remove the chicken thighs from the slow cooker, shred the chicken and add it back into the pot, ready to serve.
How to Make Chicken Black Bean Chili in the Instant Pot
Use the sauté setting on the Instant Pot to sear the chicken thighs and cook all the vegetables. Following the recipe up to the end of step 7 on the recipe card. Then add back in the seared chicken thighs and give everything a good stir to combine.
Close the lid and cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes. Once it has finished cooking let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes then release the remaining pressure via manual release.
Remove the chicken thighs from the Instant Pot, shred the chicken and add it back into the pot. The chili is then ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is good to serve with chili?
Chili is a versatile dish, I like to make a big pot of chili then serve it with a variety of sides and toppings to go along with it.
Some steamed rice, wheat or corn tortillas or tortilla chips are ideal accompaniments and perfect for mopping up any sauce.
When it comes to toppings, I like to serve these in individual bowls alongside the chili, that way everyone can top their chili exactly how they like it. Here are some suggestions:
- Lime wedges
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheese
- Fresh salsas like tomato or guacamole
- Quick Pickled Shallots
- Hot sauce
- Pickled Serrano Peppers or Quick Pickled Red Jalapeno Peppers
- Chopped cilantro
Can I make black bean chili with turkey?
Yes, I've used chicken thighs, but this black bean chili would work equally well with turkey. For real flavor I recommend using the turkey leg, but turkey breast would work well too.
Variations & Substitutions for Chicken Black Bean Chili
I've cooked chicken thighs, but this recipe would work equally well with rotisserie chicken, shredded chicken, or leftover chicken. As the chicken is already cooked, just pull the chicken and stir it through the black bean chili to warm through at the end of the cooking process.
If cooking chicken you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts as an alternative.
Prefer a beef chili? No problem, omit the chicken and swap it for ground beef.
Not a fan of black beans? You could also make it with white beans. Or add kidney beans.
For a vegetarian chili or a vegan black bean chili, leave out the chicken thighs and swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock.
Other variations for toppings include finely diced green onions or sliced green chiles.
You can also use Greek yogurt as an alternative to sour cream.
Tips & Tricks For Making Pulled Chicken Black Bean Chili
To pull the chicken either shred it with two forks or use a potato masher to gently pull the meat apart.
This chili is a great make ahead dish and tastes even better the day after it's made as this gives the flavors a chance to intensify.
I've deliberately kept this chili mild so the whole family can enjoy it! If you like a spicier chili feel free to add extra chili, hot sauce or top with sliced green jalapenos.
How To Reheat Chicken Black Bean Chili?
Chili is a great made ahead dish, you can make it up to 3 days ahead and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. When ready to enjoy, place the chili into a large pot and heat over a medium/high heat until piping hot.
How to Freeze Chicken Black Bean Chili?
This chicken and black bean chili recipe is easy to freeze. I often double the recipe, enjoying half now, and freezing the rest for a quick and easy dinner next time.
Once cooked and completely cooled, place the chili into an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When ready to enjoy, defrost in the refrigerator, before heating up to piping hot.
Pin This Pulled Chicken Black Bean Chili Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
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More Easy One Pot Recipe Ideas
Pulled Chicken Black Bean Chili
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil - or any neutral oil
- 2 lbs Chicken Thighs - boneless and skinless
- 1 Red Onion - diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper - or yellow, seeded and diced
- 2 cloves Garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 Jalapeno Pepper - seeded and diced
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- ½ tsp Sugar - optional
- 2 tsp Tomato Purée - or tomato puree
- 28 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- 30 oz Cooked Black Beans - canned, drained
- 1 cup Corn
- Sea Salt
- Sour Cream
- Shredded/Grated Cheese
- Fresh Cilantro (Coriander)
- Lime - wedges
- Hot Sauce
- Quick Pickled Shallots
- Pickled Red Chili Peppers
- Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan.
- Season the chicken thighs well with sea salt then sear in the hot oil on a medium-high heat. Turn so all sides are cooked, for around 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve on a plate.
- Sauté the diced onion in the remaining oil in the same pan until starting to soften. This will take around 5 minutes
- Add the diced bell pepper and sauté a further 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and diced jalapeno and fry for a further minute.
- Stir in the ground cumin, chili powder, sugar (if using) and tomato paste.
- Add the canned tomatoes, stock and drained black beans. Season again.
- Add the chicken back to the pot then bring the chili to a boil whilst stirring. Turn the heat to low, add a lid and simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Check the chicken is cooked through and fork tender. If it isn't cook a further few minutes (cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken thighs).
- Shred the chicken either by using 2 forks or by gently mashing with a potato masher.
- Serve with all the 'fixins!
Easy and delicious! I love experimenting with different chili recipes. Yours is one of the best chicken chilis I've ever made.
Jo Keohane says
Wow thank you so much for you lovely comment! So happy you loved this dish, it's one of our favorites!
This chili was so hearty and savory! It was even better as leftovers. Such a win!
Jo Keohane says
Thank you so much Addison, so happy to hear you enjoyed this chili!! Great for winter.
My family loved this chili. It was perfect to warm us up on a cold winter night. I appreciated the instructions for the slow cooker as that's how I prefer to make mine. It turned out delicious!
Jo Keohane says
Thanks so much, so happy the slow cooker version worked so well for you.
Delicious this Chicken Chili, full of flavor and easy to prepare, my family loved it! Thanks for including the Slow cooker directions.
Jo Keohane says
I'm so glad you liked this one Angela, and thank you for commenting.
I love this lightened up chili! It's so good and was easier to make than I thought it would be. I did add a bit of chipotle powder to mine cause I like it spicy!
Jo Keohane says
That's awesome Jenn, so glad to her this one turned out great for you. Thank you so much for your feedback!