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Southwestern Skillet Chicken Chili Mac

i’m always looking for new quick-to-make dinners, so when i saw a recipe for Skillet Chicken Chili Mac on my friend Georgia’s blog, i had to try it. i love pasta, i love comfort food AND i love anything southwestern/mexican, + since this recipe combines all three, i had a good feeling about it. not surprisingly, it turned out absolutely wonderful – as predicted, totally my type of meal.

basically, what you have is a tangy chicken, black bean + kidney bean chili, cooked in a skillet with pasta + chicken broth to make an awesome, flavorful chili mac. and as an added bonus, this meal is actually pretty darn healthy – it has about 300 calories per serving, is full of lean, low-fat protein + high in fiber. you can certainly serve it as is, but i like mine topped with a little sour cream, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, + a bit of shredded cheddar. so, if you’re looking for a meal that both tastes delicious AND can help you squeeze back into those pre-holiday jeans, give this a try!

Southwestern Skillet Chicken Chili Mac

serves 6-8, adapted from The Comfort Of Cooking


1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb. (2) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks OR 2 cups shredded, already-cooked chicken
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15oz. can kidney beans, rinsed + drained
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed + drained
4 cups (32 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups short pasta, like elbows, bowties, or cavatappi (use whole grain pasta for an extra healthy addition!)

optional toppings:
shredded mexican blend or cheddar cheese
chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream or plain yogurt
green onions
hot sauce


in a medium bowl, combine chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt + pepper. add chicken (either uncooked chunks, or already cooked/shredded, depending on what you’re using) + toss to coat.

heat a large skillet to medium-high. once hot, add the vegetable oil to the pan, then add the seasoned chicken + onion. if using uncooked chicken, cook until chicken is no longer pink. if using already-cooked chicken, cook for about 5-7 minutes, until spices are toasted + onions are translucent. add garlic + cook 1 more minute.

add diced tomatoes with chiles, tomato paste, black beans, kidney beans, + chicken broth. bring to a boil. add pasta + cover pot, stirring occasionally. cook until pasta is al dente, according to package directions.

serve + top with desired toppings. enjoy!