A stovetop green chili chicken soup made from pantry ingredients like white beans and salsa verde! This easy soup bursts with bright, bold, satisfying flavors and is healthy to boot. And it comes together in less than an hour, perfect for a weeknight dinner.
If you’re looking for a soul-warming, super cozy chicken chili soup, this one’s for you!
Just grab a jar of store-bought or homemade salsa verde (green salsa made from ingredients like tomatillos and hatch chiles), chicken, a can of green chiles, white beans, and a myriad of spices instead.
Deeply flavorful. Brothy, yet hearty. Comes together quickly, from pantry staples. And has absolutely no rules for toppings – just be sure to load them on!
Making Green Chile Chicken Soup on the Stovetop
When I polled ya’ll on Instagram about the method you wanted for this Green Chili Chicken Soup I’d been dreaming about, your resounding votes said STOVETOP! Not slow cooker, or instant pot, but a classic stovetop soup.
And I love you for that, because there’s a certain type of comfort that comes from stirring a richly flavored soup, standing at the stove and letting your thoughts about the rest of life flow free.
First the chicken breasts are seasoned and seared, then set aside to shred into the soup once it comes together. Thanks to mostly pantry ingredients, this Green Chili Chicken Soup comes together in less than an hour yet tastes like it simmered all day long (just like my Cozy Split Pea Soup or any of these deliciousgluten-free soup recipes).
Use Chicken Thighs and Spices for Flavorful Soup:
The beauty of this soup is it’s on the table in less than an hour, but tastes like you put a whole day of prep into it. There are three key elements to the richness you’ll taste.
When making soup, spices bloom and intensify when sautéed in olive oil, which you’ll do at the beginning of this recipe, along with the onion – here’s how to dice an onion! You’ll smell the fragrances of the high quality Watkins organic spices emerge, a sign that the extra flavor is being released!
Rather than using chicken breast, you’ll use chicken thighs, which are ideal for making a hearty soup. A mix of white and dark meat has stronger flavor and a little more fat, which also improves the mouthfeel of the soup.
Browning the chicken is an added step, but the golden crust achieved on the chicken is where much of the flavor is at. Don’t skip it!
Where did Green Chile Stew Originate?
Green chile stew is a widely popular dish in New Mexico that you’ll find in every home and every restaurant. It is a spicy, slow-cooked concoction of pork, hatch green chiles, and potatoes that warms you from the inside out.
Why is this soup called “Green Chili” but has a red hue?
You may be wondering why this soup appears more red than green when the main ingredients of this soup include salsa verde and diced green chiles. Well, both those ingredients are a rather muddy green color and don’t stand up to the smoked paprika and chili powder used.
These two spices shine through the chicken brothand create a beautiful rust colored soup.
A stovetop green chili chicken soup with white beans and salsa verde and warm spices like chili powder and cumin! The beauty of this soup is it’s on the table in less than an hour, but tastes like you put a whole day of prep into it.
garnishes: shredded cheesetortilla chips, sour cream, green onions
Prevent your screen from going dark
Sprinkle salt over chicken thighs. Heat 1 tablespoon olive over medium high heat in a heavy stock pot, and add chicken thighs in individual layer. Sear on both sides 4-5 minutes to get a golden brown crust. Remove chicken thighs and set aside.
Turn heat down to medium and add diced onion + pinch of salt to chicken drippings in pot, and saute until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, and oregano leaves. Stir and coat onion, and you will start to smell the spices become fragrant, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add a tablespoon more olive oil, and stir in garlic, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
Add chicken back to pot, along with salsa verde, diced green chiles, chicken broth, and bay leaves. Stir, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a light simmer, and cover. Cook for 20 minutes.
Remove chicken thighs and shred using forks. Add back to pot, along with white beans, cook for 10 more minutes. Stir in fresh lime juice.
Remove bay leaves, and serve with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, and minced green onions.
This has become our go-to chili/soup. So, so good. We like spicy, so usually add a can of hot diced green chilies, also. If you are a fan of cilantro, it’s a great topping as well!
This soup was easy and so delicious. It had a little kick, perfect for a cold winter da!
I forgot the Bay Leaves but added frozen corn and a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Rave reviews from my hubby!!
wonderful, glad to hear it was a hit!
So good! The flavor from the spices and the green chilis was amazing, and it really did taste like something that had been simmering all day (instead of just for the hour it took to put it together).
so glad you liked the soup, Barry!
I just had to share that this was the best soup recipe ever- I could actually feel the nutrients being absorbed by my body as I enjoyed it; it was so incredibly satisfying. For anyone preferring chicken breasts over thighs, I would highly recommend using breast meat from a roasted whole chicken. The bones and skin seem to impart more flavor. I also used chicken bone broth so both of those components mimicked the deeper flavor of using thighs alone. So much nutrition, so insanely delicious with the spice bouquet, and collagen as well from the bone broth. All I can say is ‘More!!’
Hi Gigi! I’m so glad you liked this recipe. Yes, so much great flavor when using bone broth!
I made this soup for lunch just as written in the recipe. I will make this again. Nice to make everything in one pot.
What do you think of using bone broth and shredded rotisserie chicken for this scrumptious looking recipe? Hoping for the green light because I’d love to make this and that’s what I have in hand for a quick go! Planning on making some honey jalapeño cornbread muffins for serving!!
I think it would be great! The bone broth should mimic the flavor of the fat from chicken thighs.
How could I sub boneless skinless chicken breasts for the thighs in this muy delicioso recipe? Wasn’t certain if going about it as instructed would work or if it’s best to poach then shred, etc.
Hi! You could use the boneless skinless chicken breasts the same as instructed for the thighs, just know that the soup will not have as much flavor.
My DIL was coming for dinner and she’s gluten free so I googled gluten free meals and this popped up. It is now one of our absolute favorites. So easy to make and so flavorful. Thanks! P.S. I didn’t change a thing!
yay, so glad to hear that everyone enjoyed the recipe Shaun!
I made this recipe last night – very delicious. Loved the spice combo and the depth of flavor brought by the smoked paprika. Served it with a cast-iron blue cornbread. Will definitely make again!
so glad to hear that! and awesome pairing with the blue cornbread!
great recipe, love the green chili and chicken combo and in a savory soup with beans too, has everything for my diet (legumes, protein and veg) so thank you!