Chicken Chili with Black Beans & Beer

Since autumn officially starts tomorrow, here's a soup recipe that I'll be eating this fall - it's delicious, chock full of beans (and beer and chicken!), and topped with cheese or whatever else your heart desires. And, it's really only going to take you about 15 minutes of hands-on time (easy dinner alert!). 

Chicken Chili with Black Beans & Beer from Shiny Happy Bright

I'm unreasonably excited about this fall - the cool, crisp weather; pumpkins; wearing one of my many sweaters; changing leaves; and warm, hearty soup. I've haven't experience any seasons besides hot and hotter for the last ten years (except the brief sojourns to the US in December when I froze to death), so I am all in on fall. 

I stood outside Trader Joe's on Saturday while they were setting up their pumpkin display and wanted to clap. Instead, I just touched all the pumpkins one-by-one. If there's a sign outside the Evanston TJs tomorrow that says "Don't touch the pumpkins, just buy them", I won't be too surprised. I saw a sign at the Farmer's Market that said, "Stop taking photos of the cheese, just buy it", right before I was about to take a photo of the cheese display. I wanted to let them know that if they'd make their cheese display a little uglier, perhaps people wouldn't want to take photos so badly, and also, some people have Instagram accounts that could really use a Farmer's Market cheese photo...

Chicken Chili with Black Beans & Beer from Shiny Happy Bright

One quick note - if you're not a fan of beer in your food - it can easily be replaced with chicken stock or water - or it might be even better with apple cider or apple juice (let me know if you make it that way and like it...because that sounds really good!)

Enjoy this delicious soup recipe!

Yield: 4 servings

Chipotle Chicken Chili with Beer

This chipotle chicken chili has black beans, kidney beans, beer, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

prep time: 10 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 45 mins


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 

  • 2 chicken breasts

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced

  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo, diced

  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle lager

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon cumin 

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • Optional for garnish - shredded Colby Jack cheese, sliced avocado, cilantro


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, cook the chicken breasts on both sides for 3 minutes. Remove chicken from pot. 

  2. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the onion. 

  3. Cook the onion for 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent. 

  4. Add the bell pepper and chipotle chili and cook for another minute, stirring often. 
  5. Pour half the beer into the onion mixture and use it to deglaze the bottom of the pot.

  6. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot, then add the rest of the beer, tomatoes, beans, water, cumin, paprika, and salt. Stir to combine.

  7. Nestle the chicken breasts into the chili, so they are covered by the liquid. Cover the pot, turn heat up and bring the chili to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer the chili for 30 minutes. 

  8. Garnish with optional ingredients and serve or freeze for up to one month. 



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