Spicy Chicken Chili with Cashews

This image courtesy of Gentl & Hyers

There are many kinds of chili in our repertoires, but the most interesting may be this chicken chili with cashews, which both of us make frequently. Chicken thighs and spices, as well as dark beer and chocolate, pump up this chili’s many layers of flavor, and we believe it is one of the healthiest versions of chili you can make, as the cashews and beans contribute impressive amounts of fiber. In that spirit, we like to serve it with low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt on the side instead of sour cream.

6 generous servings

Preparation Time40 min

Preparation Time - Text40 minutes

Cooking Time50 min

Cooking Time - Text50

Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 2 hours

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, peanut free, soy free

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturehot & spicy, nutty, rich, savory, spiced


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini or navy beans or two 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups cooked black beans, or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, chopped
  • One 12-ounce bottle dark beer
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) roasted cashews
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the onions, garlic, red peppers, and jalapeños. Cook until they are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the chile powder, cumin, and oregano and stir. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 more minutes.

  2. Add the beans, tomatoes, and beer. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is entirely cooked. Add the chocolate and the cashews and stir. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes, until the chocolate is entirely melted and mixed in and the liquid is well blended. Season with the salt and serve warm.


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