When it gets chilly outside, I love to make a big batch of chili, so my family feels all warm and cozy on the inside. While I usually make a traditional tomato-based variety, today, I'm remixing my go-to, with a mean, green Salsa Verde Chicken Chili. Salsa verde is made with tomatillos, which are typically firmer than tomatoes, and a bright, vibrant shade of green when ripe. And we can't talk about chili without mentioning beans! I add a can of dark red kidney beans along with a can of white cannellini beans, but you can swap in any beans you have on hand to make it a filling and fibrous all-star dish. The prep is a breeze, it cooks with ease, freezes perfectly and is sure to be a hit with your crew.
Technique tip: If starting with a whole butternut squash, it should weigh about 1½ to 2 pounds uncut, with skin and seeds.
- 2 to 3 cups diced butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces or smaller
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 to 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced, (about 1½ tablespoons)
- 1 (16-ounce) jar salsa verde
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced, green and white part
- 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro or parsley
- Greek yogurt, light sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped avocado and finely sliced red onion
1. Combine squash, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, salsa and broth in the bowl of your slow cooker. Give it a stir.
2. Add the cumin, oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, and stir again so everything is well-combined. Place chicken breasts on top and submerge so they are fully coated. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high setting for 4 hours or low setting for 8 hours.
3. Thirty minutes before it's finished, remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. Stir in the beans and replace the lid. Let the beans simmer in the sauce while you shred the chicken.
4. Using two forks, shred all of the chicken breasts and return it to the pot. To give yourself more room on the plate, you can add each shredded breast back into the slow cooker as you complete it. Give the contents a really thorough stir, allowing the chicken to sop up all of that liquid and ensuring everything is well-mixed. Place the lid back on the slow cooker and let it continue cooking until your time is complete. Right before serving, stir in scallion and cilantro.
5. Serve with optional Greek yogurt, light sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, avocado and thinly sliced red onion.