Winter Harvest Chicken Chili

Thick, rich and flavorful, this Winter Harvest Chicken Chili is a must-make on a cold winter’s night.
Packed with tender chicken cubes, an assortment of fragrant seasonings and heart-healthy pinto beans, this dish contains both protein and a good amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Preparation time: 45 minutes + overnight if using dry beans

Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Yield: Six, 1-1/2 Cup servings


  • 4 cups cooked pinto beans (2 cups dry or 2-16 oz. cans)
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, cut into ¾ chunks
  • 3 cups eggplant cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, chopped fine
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, mild
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika +2 teaspoons
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt (to taste) +1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, dried
  • 2-1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • Splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar


Top with Greek yogurt (plain), sour cream, crème fraiche.
Add a dash of cayenne pepper for spicier flavor.
Add a splash of lime juice to brighten the flavor.

Preparation (Overnight):

Rinse pinto beans under cool water and soak in a bowl with enough water to keep them submerged and allow for tripling in size.) Allow to soak overnight.

Preparation (Next Day):

Drain and rinse beans and place in a pot of water on the stove. Once water comes to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for an additional 45 minutes or until beans are fork tender. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Season the chicken pieces by coating with 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil and add the following seasonings: 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon dry oregano & 2 teaspoons smoked paprika.

Place the chicken in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Combine the eggplant cubes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Place the eggplant in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

In a Dutch oven or large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add onions and celery and sauté’ for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions become translucent. Add garlic and sauté’ for another 2-3 minutes.
Add remaining spices, broth and tomato paste. Stir to dissolve and gently simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cooked pinto beans, roasted chicken (with juices) and the roasted eggplant. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, allowing flavors to meld. Stir in chopped parsley. Salt to taste and serve.