Spicy, flavorful, and simple to make, this jerk chicken chili will give you a taste of the islands in your own kitchen!

Image of chicken chili seasoned with jerk seasoning and topped with mango and fresh cilantro.

Today I’m bringing you a taste of the Caribbean. Isn’t that what we all need sometimes? Thoughts of warm sunshine and sandy beaches, tall drinks and palm trees, especially during winter months, when the sun doesn’t shine very much.

My husband and I went to Jamaica for our honeymoon and of course, we loved the food. Many different cultures are represented in Jamaican cuisine, including British, Indian, African, Chinese, and Spanish, so it’s hard to characterize the food. Let’s just stick with unique and delicious!

White chicken chili is credited to the American southwest area but with a few additions, I’ve made it a Caribbean entree. Fusion cuisine, folks! I think you’re going to love it. 

If you’re looking for a more traditional chicken chili, I have a few recipes for that, too. Try my 5-ingredient white chicken chili (so easy!), Instant Pot white chicken chili, slow cooker white chicken chili, or my most requested recipe for white chicken chili.

Image of chicken chili seasoned with jerk flavors.

About this jerk chicken chili:

I love that this is a one pan meal. It’s easy to make; from start to finish, it should take you about 50 minutes. Still sounds like too much time? Only about 15 minutes is active, the rest of the time is pretty much hands off while the chili simmers. 

And you know what? You can let the chili simmer for a lot longer if you want. It’s really easy that way. Prepare it when you have a spare 15 minutes and let it simmer quietly on the stove while you take care of other tasks.

This savory chili is made with bite sized chunks of boneless skinless chicken breasts, white beans, chopped onions, green and red bell peppers, and canned diced tomatoes. To give it Caribbean flavor, add a teaspoon of jerk seasoning and a dash of hot pepper sauce. It’s totally up to you how much you want to add. How hot do you like it? 

What’s jerk seasoning? Jerk seasoning is a combination of spices and herbs and there are lots of different versions. The brand I bought contains sugar, spices (including red pepper, thyme, and allspice), salt, onion, and turmeric. You certainly can make your own mix if you want. I can’t wait to try my friend Jo’s recipe for jerk seasoning over at JoCooks. 

Image of three bowls of jerk chicken chili full of caribbean flavors.

Make it your own:

  • I use boneless skinless chicken breasts but boneless skinless chicken thighs would be fine, too. Or add already cooked chicken (like rotisserie chicken or Instant Pot shredded chicken) to the chili when you add the beans. 
  • Increase the spices and hot pepper sauce if you like it spicy, or decrease them if you don’t. 
  • Add garlic, if you want.
  • Only have one kind of bell peppers? No problem, I use both red and green for the color, but you can use what you have.
  • Use a different type of bean: pinto, black, or navy beans would be good choices.

Image of Caribbean chicken chili made with hot sauce and jerk seasonings, topped with fresh mango.

Storage and reheating:

Caribbean chicken chili is a perfect make ahead meal. You can easily make a double batch for future dinners. Put the chili in freezer safe storage containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator for best results.

Stored properly, leftovers will last for three to four days in the fridge.

To reheat, put the chili into a saucepan over low to medium heat until warmed through or gently reheat in the microwave.

Three bowls of jerk chicken chili. Also pictured are three spoons, a blue and white linen, and fresh cilantro.

Looking for more chili recipes?

I already mentioned my white chili recipes but here’s a few more chili recipes you might want to try:

 

Jerk Chicken Chili

Jerk Chicken Chili

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Spicy, flavorful, and simple to make, this jerk chicken chili will give you a taste of the islands in your own kitchen!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 (14.5oz) can petite diced tomatoes and their juice
  • 2 teaspoons jerk seasoning
  • 2 (15.5 oz) cans white beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken stock or broth
  • Dash of hot pepper sauce, more to taste
  • fresh cilantro and/or diced mango for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. 
  2. Add onions, and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. 
  3. Add tomatoes, jerk seasoning, white beans, chicken broth, and hot sauce and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
  5. If desired, top with diced mango and/or fresh cilantro immediately prior to serving.

Notes

  • Freeze chili in freezer safe storage containers and for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator for best results.
  • Stored properly, leftovers will last for three to four days in the fridge.
  • To reheat, put the chili into a saucepan over low to medium heat until warmed through or gently reheat in the microwave.
  • If you prefer dark meat, try this with chicken thighs. Or add already cooked chicken (like rotisserie chicken or Instant Pot shredded chicken) to the chili when you add the beans. 
  • Increase the spices and hot pepper sauce if you like it spicy, or decrease them if you don't. 
  • If desired, you could use a different type of bean: pinto, black, or navy beans would be good choices.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 449Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 850mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 6gSugar: 19gProtein: 56g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.
Verdict: I really like this jerk chicken chili. It’s a nice change from regular white chicken chili. Love all the peppers and seasoning.
Husband’s take: He likes it, but says it tastes just like my white chicken chili (it doesn’t). Leftovers are perfect for his lunch.
Changes I would make: It could be a little spicier, if you like it that way. 
Difficulty: Piece of cake. Sensing a trend? I gravitate towards simple recipes!