Chicken Taco Chili

A few months ago whence from vacation I came, I made this dish. It doesn’t really have a name except for generic Mexican-ish one pot chicken dish, and thus I named it chicken taco chili, but it’s so good that you should just ignore the unappetizing sounding moniker and, to be honest, the “meh” appearance in the picture and trust me that good things are happening here.

The story goes like this:

Having not had a chance to go shopping thanks to Mother Nature and my way late arrival home the night before, I needed dinner.  But, after a solid week of eating out, I could not do it again. I needed home cooking, with minimal to no grocery effort, but also the adult requirements of healthy, tasty, fiber-ful and touting some greens.  

I strapped on an apron, cranked up the Sinatra, dug into the pantry and icebox and this is what I found:

chicken parts (as in 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks)


black beans

diced tomatoes

taco seasoning (mine, in a jar. It’s amazing and you should have a jar in your pantry, too)


frozen spinach

frozen corn

That’s actually really all you need for a good base and a perfectly fine meal, but I ran to the store for a few, totally optional (but extra special) ingredients:

a jumbo cornbread muffin from the bakery department

cheddar cheese, extra sharp

fresh cilantro


What I ended up with was sort of a cross between tacos and chili and it was so good that I ate it for dinner that night, and lunch and dinner the next day. When I finally ate it all, I was very sad.

Flash forward to this week when my pots and pans are all but packed and the adult requirements for a meal still hold.  I decided I’d waited too long to remake this so that I could share it with you and here we go.  

Done in 45 minutes, I promise it’s the best no-fuss weeknight meal.  

Chicken Taco Chili
Serves 4
Not quite tacos, not quite chili, this one pot meal is the perfect weeknight favorite
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. chicken parts (as in 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks) (alternatively leftover cooked rotisserie chicken, about 1 1/2-2 cups leftover meat)
  2. 1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  3. 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  4. 1 15-ounce diced tomatoes, with juice
  5. 1 palmful (about 2 TB) your favorite taco seasoning
  6. 1 lime, juiced
  7. 1 cup frozen spinach
  8. 1 cup frozen corn
  9. 1 TB olive oil
  10. 1/2 tsp salt, as needed
To serve
  1. a jumbo cornbread muffin from the bakery department
  2. shredded cheddar
  3. fresh cilantro
  1. In a large,deep skillet, add the oil and the onion and cook until the onions are soft about 5 minutes. Push the onions to one side, and add the chicken parts and sear about 3 minutes on each side (they don't have to be cooked the whole way through). (If you're using already cooked chicken, omit this step)
  2. Once the chicken is browned, add the beans, tomatoes, taco seasoning, corn and spinach. Cover and cook about 35 minutes until the chicken is completely done. If you're using already cooked chicken, cook the beans and tomatoes until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Add the cubed, cooked chicken and mix well.
  3. To finish everything off, add the lime and about 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped. Serve as you will with cornbread and cheese and avocado and all the good things.
Adapted from Chrissy
Adapted from Chrissy
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World

Written after some Native Foods.

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