BBQ Chicken Chili

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A delicious twist the traditional chili recipe – shredded chicken, beans and BBQ sauce simmered in one big pot with just a touch of sweetness that makes this meal Seriously Delish!

A delicious twist on traditional chili – shredded chicken, beans and BBQ sauce are simmered in one big pot which has just a touch of sweetness that makes this meal Seriously Delish!
BBQ Chicken Chili Recipe

I’m sharing this wonderful chili recipe from my friend Jessica of How Sweet It Is, who just came out with her first cookbook – Seriously Delish.  I’ve always loved reading Jessica’s blog, she’s adorable and her book is just as fun to read, filled with beautiful photos and tons of great recipe ideas.

A cookbook titled Seriously Delish with a picture of french toast with whipped cream and berries on the cover

I really wanted to make everything in her book, but I figured since it’s September, and the kids are back to school, this chili is perfect. A hearty, one pot meal that makes enough for several meals and leftovers are perfect to pack for lunch or can be frozen for another day. I didn’t make any changes to her recipe, they only thing I adjusted was the serving size – I found 1 cup to be filling and the perfect portion size.

BBQ Chicken Chili

4.46 from 22 votes
A delicious twist on traditional chili – shredded chicken, beans and BBQ sauce are simmered in one big pot which has just a touch of sweetness that makes this meal Seriously Delish!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
A delicious twist on traditional chili – shredded chicken, beans and BBQ sauce are simmered in one big pot which has just a touch of sweetness that makes this meal Seriously Delish!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Yield: 11 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded
  • 12 oz jar roasted red peppers in water, drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 11 tablespoons reduced fat cheddar cheese, for topping
  • chopped cilantro, for topping


Stove Top Directions:

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil, onion, jalapeño, and garlic.  Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the paprika, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes.  Stir and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
  • Add the chicken, red peppers, beans, chicken stock, tomatoes, and barbecue sauce, stirring to combine.  Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium low, and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove the lid and taste, adjusting the seasoning to taste, if needed.  Cover and cook another 10 minutes.
  • Ladle the chili into bowls and top with cheddar cheese and cilantro. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Directions:

  • Press saute, add the olive oil, onion, jalapeño, and garlic.  Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the paprika, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes.  Stir and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
  • Add the chicken, red peppers, beans, chicken stock, tomatoes, and barbecue sauce, stirring to combine.  Cover and cook high pressure 10 minutes (if using raw chicken, 15 minutes).  Natural release, adjusting the seasoning to taste, if needed.
  • Ladle the chili into bowls and top with cheddar cheese and cilantro. Enjoy!

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 237 kcal, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Protein: 23 g, Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 43 mg, Sodium: 951 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 8 g


A pot of BBQ chicken chili with a wooden spoon

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114 comments on “BBQ Chicken Chili”

  1. Love this recipe ! I added hot smoked paprika because it was all I had- a Tablespoon and boy does it have kick! Lots of flavor- it’s quite thin which is okay for me. I will make rice for my hubby to absorb the extra liquid. We will eat it tomorrow I am food prepping for the week!

  2. My family really likes this recipe.  The only modification I would suggest is to cut the barbecue sauce down to 1/4 cup – it is less overwhelming to the recipe without losing flavour, and on calories!

  3. This is my family’s favorite chili recipe ever! The shredded chicken and the bbq sauce are such a great addition and really take chili to another level. We love eating this with a spoon or some days with a few tortilla chips! Either way, it is so delicious. 

  4. I agree with other reviewers who said this chili is more soup-like than chili. My husband loved it this way while I prefer a less liquid chili. My solution was to just spoon out more vegetables and chicken and less liquid. My pot produced a lot of liquid, and that was with the canned tomatoes being drained. I also used the full 15 ounce drained cans of both beans. 
    Overall- a wonderful, flavor-filled meal. We liked the interesting BBQ sauce take on chili.
    To reduce sodium, I used no-salt-added beans and tomatoes. 
    Husbanded said: this is a keeper!

  5. Confused about the 3 WW blue points. I’m getting 6 when I add the nutrition facts into the calculator. 

    1. The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher)

  6. This was crazy good!  I added more red pepper flakes and some Mexican chili powder for more heat but that’s totally personal taste. Skinnytaste never disappoints!  

  7. My family LOVED this recipe! The only changes I made were omitting the red pepper flakes (my littlest one is heat sensitive and this was borderline for her without the flakes-a little bit of sour cream to the rescue!) and I added a can of corn. My husband and kids all had second helpings of this one, and I’ll for sure be adding it in to the regular rotation!

  8. I’ve made this tons of times and it’s always a huge hit! I use the sriracha BBQ sauce from Trader Joe’s and it’s the perfect amount of heat. I think whoever things the recipe itself is too spicy may just be sensitive, or they added too may jalapeño seeds! This is a regular in my rotation and always in my freezer just in case!

  9. Everyone in our family loved this one. I actually used super lean ground chicken, because that was what I had on hand, instead of the shredded chicken breast. I cooked the ground chicken, onions, jalapenos, and garlic together in the first step and then followed the recipe from there. The kids had it over rice and my husband and I had it over farro. It was so stinking good! Definitely a keeper!

  10. Pretty good! I’ve been meaning to try this for a while.

    It tastes a little salty; I would eliminate the 1 tsp of salt mixed in with the other spices. It also was more liquid-y than I expected. I ended up taking out at least a 1/2 cup of liquid after it simmered for 20 minutes. I also added in a little more bbq sauce, drained the tomatoes before adding and put in 1 chopped red bell pepper instead of using the jarred peppers. Next time I would probably add a little more chicken in too!

  11. I’m a huge fan of Skinnytaste but this recipe was WAY too spicy hot! And I love hot/spicy things…. bleh I’m disappointed. I’m going to have to throw it out. 

  12.  I’m trying to make this right now in my instant pot. I’ve got all ingredients minus 1c of broth and the .5c of bbq sauce. It fills a 6 qu IP up way too much so much that it will not come to pressure. You need to adjust amounts for IP. Dinner disaster

  13. This was great! Hubby said I could make it again, only to cut back on the chili powder. It was too hot for him! lol. I even left out the jarred peppers (mostly because my small town grocery store’s stock had expired!). 

  14. I usually love all Skinnytaste recipes but this one did not come out as I had hoped. I think part of the problem was the barbecue sauce I used which made this dish very sweet.   I noticed somewhere else either this website or a post somewhere that Gina uses her homemade barbecue sauce to make this recipe. I may hunt down that bbq sauce recipe for next time and try a different sauce. Also, the consistency is more soup like, thin and brothy  which I noted in the reviews some people really liked but I think if I were to make it again I would use crushed tomatoes for a thicker texture.   Overall, the spice combinations were yummy!

    1. If you try it again, here is the link for my homemade sauce

      1. So good! I made it with Gina’s BBQ sauce and used fire roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika. Came out perfect! Kid approved too!

  15. Anyone try this in a crock pot and if so, lo? Hi? How long?? I don’t want to have to cook the chicken separately from the chili if I don’t have to. 

  16. I don’t eat red meat so I made this recipe for myself and regular ground beef chili for my husband. He actually preferred this! It’s just the right amount of sweet and hot. And even better left over.

  17. I don’t eat read meat so I made this recipe for myself and regular ground beef chili for my husband. He actually referred this! It’s just the right amount of sweet and hot. And even better left over.

  18. Made this tonight with the last of my leftover Thanksgiving Turkey instead of chicken and it was delicious. Cold, rainy day here today. We went to a movie and I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner. Searched your site and whipped it up in 40 minutes.  Family loved it!  Thanks Gina. 

  19. I made this recipe because it sounded tasty and I had all the ingredients on hand. I cannot tell you how delicious it was. My husband and adult daughter went crazy over it. the only changes I made were that I added more chicken and another can of beans. I highly recommend this!

  20. This is our absolute favorite Weight Watchers Friendly recipe! I’m certain we have it at least once a week–by popular request. I love to vary the flavor of the soup just by changing the barbecue sauce used. The last time I made it, I didn’t have any roasted red peppers, but used fresh instead and still loved it!

  21. Avatar photo
    Cassie McCord

    I can’t get enough of this on a cold day.  This is the first soup I have never “doctored” up the flavor.  Excellent!

  22. Avatar photo
    Decah Lipscomb

    I made this BBQ Chicken Chile a couple of days ago  and my husband and I both love it! it gets better each time we eat it as the flavors meld together. Delicious! This is definitely a recipe I will make again.

  23. IF cooking with raw chicken in the instant pot do you just add the chicken breast whole and then shred after it cooks? 

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  27. How would you do this for a crockpot version? I see your comment on shredded chicken the last 20 minutes but how long should it be in the crockpot whether high or low?

  28. LOVE this chili recipe! Made it multiple times so far! Wanted to make it today but ran out of chicken… Can I still make it with ground beef? If so, what changes to the recipe do I need to make? Should I cook it longer? Thanks!!! 

  29. I've made this three times already this year and it is probably my favorite dinner of all time! Thanks so much for this!!!

  30. Im from Finland and I had to improvise a bit with this recipe but so amazing nevertheless. I'm not familiar with this kind of food but heavens.. This is like the best ever. THANKS!

  31. I made this in the crock pot. Stuck to the recipe except omitted all of the broth and it turned out awesome!

  32. Can I add cooked shredded chicken and follow the instructions as is? Also, can we use black beans instead of the cannellini beans?

  33. Wow! So delicious! I wanted to try something different with chili and this was so good. Sweet and a bit tangy. I added shredded rotissere chicken and fresh bell peppers. Came out great. I love all of your dishes Gina! Thanks again your the best!

  34. Really delicious chili – quite different from any of my usual versions! Liked the soupier consistency. BTW, when I cooked the chicken breasts before hand, I poached them with a jalapeno in the poaching liquid. Worked well and gave the liquid and chicken added flavor. I used the poaching liquid for part of the chicken broth in the chili recipe.

  35. Avatar photo
    Chrissy Lilly

    Made this tonight for my family and it went down a treat!!! So yummy and easy to make! I will say that it tasted more like taco than bbq… but maybe I messed up on the spices.. Either way, it was delicious!

    Chrissy x

  36. Made this last night and it was delicious! Added the chicken breasts raw to the simmering chili and pulled them out after 20 min, shredded them, put it back in the pot, then simmered another 10 minutes. I simmered with the lid off to help thicken up the chili a bit. Great flavors, super filling.

  37. I made this on Saturday and it was delicious! Great for a fall day in Ohio. Thanks for sharing it!

  38. Thank you for another great recipe. I did mine in the crock pot with a few minor changes due to ingredients on hand & family taste. I had some ground chicken breast which I browned first. Since my family is pretty wimpy when it comes to spicy foods, I omitted the jalapeno & crushed red pepper. Used a can of Rotel & 1 can of regular tomatoes. Cut back a little on the chili powder but added a bit of ground chipotle. Everyone devoured it! This one is a keeper!!

  39. I agree with the above poster that it came out runnier than I had expected of a chili, but served over rice it didn't matter. We topped with avocado and crushed tortilla trips. I have a picky 10 year old who ate the heck out of this chili! Said it was the best chili he's ever had. Thanks Gina.

  40. Made this and it came very liquid in the crock pot.Good nonetheless.I used rotel since I had no jalapeno,and didn't use the bellpepper because I thought I had some and I didn't.It was tasty though.

  41. I made this last night and it was amazing! It might replace your Chicken Taco Chili as our standby! I followed the recipe to a T but I only came up with 8sih, maybe 9 cups when it was done, so I'm not sure what happened there. We will definitely make it again and again!

  42. I'm not a bbq sauce fan, but everything else looks amazing and protein packed! Totally making this next week, omitting the bbq. Looks amazing

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    Heather Bellman

    This is the second post I've run across today mentioning Jessica's new book! This chili looks so comforting and I'm sure my family will enjoy it with the cooler temperatures coming our way(hopefully soon). Thanks for sharing, Gina!

  44. Avatar photo
    Beth K. and Nitya M.

    I thought I posted a comment but now I can't tell, so I'll try again and sorry if it's repeated!

    Made this last night, and it was fantastic! I used one can of regular diced tomatoes and one can of Hatch brand diced tomatoes with chilis. This paired with the smoked paprika made my chili spicy, on the edge of too spicy, but nothing a little sour cream and cheese couldn't fix!

    I also followed Gina's recommendation of adding my uncooked chicken in once the ingredients were all simmering. I let it cook 15 min (I had cut the breast into smaller chunks so it'd cook faster, and I used a few thighs), shredded, and then simmered for 10 min. It worked great and eliminated the need for precooked chicken!

    Overall great recipe, it's perfect for fall/winter and I will definitely make again!

  45. I made this tonight, because I had most of the ingredients….ok I had to sub black beans for cannellini, and Harry and David's pepper and onion relish for the roasted red peppers, but it is DELICIOUS. (Also, I added corn) I've tried most of your chili recipes, and while I love them all, this is by favorite. Thank you- Meg

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    Krista Rollins

    That recipe sounds … seriously delish! Need to get that book.

    The chili is perfect for the fall football games!

    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats

  47. Made this last night and we all loved it!!! Definitely going into my recipe stash of "regulars". 🙂

  48. Avatar photo
    Brenna Hawley

    Hi Gina! I love all your recipes and can't wait for the cookbook to come out. I've got a quick question about this recipe. I have a stomach allergy toward any sort of bell pepper. Normally I would just leave the roasted peppers out, but I'm guessing that the roasting adds quite a bit of flavor to the chili. Do you have any suggestions for something I could substitute in?

  49. Avatar photo
    Tammie Starks

    This sounds good but I am wondering also what type BBQ Sauce to use so as not to compromise the WW Points. I also use Knorr HomeStyle Chicken Stock and it is very good. You girls should check it out! Thanks Gina!!

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    Mighty heavens! This looks so so good! Perfect now that it's getting a little chillier outside, mmm x

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    Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Oh this sounds so good to me right now! Perfectly cozy for fall! And I've never put BBQ sauce in chili before. And I don't know why. Seems obvious that it would be delicious!

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    Judith Woodard

    Gina…. do her recipes have WW points on them or is it easy to figure out with a WW calculator? looks like a fabulous book but really need the points info. thanks so much – adding this to my weekly menus!

    1. Avatar photo
      Skinnytaste Gina

      No her book doesn't have calories or points, I should note it's not a low calorie book.

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    This looks amazing, cant believe how low calorie it as well. Must remember to try making this. KBxx

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    Natalie @ Paper & Birch

    This looks perfect for the rainy day we're having here in Vancouver! Can't wait to get her cookbook.

    1. Avatar photo
      Skinnytaste Gina

      I usually do it in the crock pot, but here I added the chicken the last 20 minutes of cook time and shredded it after.

    2. I cook my chicken (usually thighs) in a stock pot with the skin removed first for all my recipes. I always have a use for the chicken stock. We're on a very strict food budget and that saves us lots of money. Stores in a mason jar very well for a few weeks or in an airtight freezer container for 4 to 6 months.