Roasted Poblano Chicken Chili

a bowl of poblano chicken chili.

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5 from 1 review

Creamy white chicken chili with roasted poblano peppers, beans, and chicken is what to make when it’s cold and you’re craving a bowl of something cozy.


  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup masa harina
  • 16 ounces diced cooked chicken
  • 1 (32-ounce) box low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce can) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
  • Optional garnishes: Chopped cilantro, shredded pepper jack cheese, crushed tortilla chips


  1. Move an oven rack to the top spot in the oven and preheat the broiler to high. Place the peppers on a sheet pan and place them under the broiler. Broil the peppers for 10 minutes or so or until the skins blister, turning them a few times. It may take more or less time depending on how close the peppers are to the broiler, so keep an eye on them. You can also rotate the sheet pan if they are not blistering evenly.
  2. Set the roasted peppers aside to cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off as much skin as you can and discard the skin and stem. Remove the seeds (I rinse the peeled peppers under water to make this easier). Finely chop the peppers.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, roasted peppers, and garlic. Stir and cook the veggies for a couple of minutes or until softened.
  4. Add the cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and masa harina and stir. Stir and cook the veggies and masa for about a minute. The mixture will look crumbly and paste-like at this point, which is what you want.
  5. Add some of the broth (about a cup) to the pan. As it simmers, scrape up any masa stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the broth, the chicken, and the beans. Stir until the masa has dissolved into the soup. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook it for 10 minutes.
  6. Take the pot off the heat and drop the cubes of cream cheese into the chili. Stir until they melt into the chili. Serve with the garnishes, if using.


Roasting the peppers is an extra step, but it’s worth it. I’ve made this soup without roasting the peppers first, and the result is not the same. Roasting brings out their flavor, which makes the chili even better.

Using cooked chicken makes this recipe easy. I like to use rotisserie chicken, but any cooked chicken that’s seasoned will work. It’s also a great way to use up leftover roast turkey from a holiday meal.

If you use regular chicken broth (not low-sodium), you might want to halve the added salt and add more at the end. Just give the chili a taste and add more salt, if needed, to your taste.

I like to use kidney beans because they hold their shape well, and I like the pop of red. You can also use other kinds of beans like pinto beans, white beans, or black beans.

Masa harina is a type of corn flour used to make tortillas, tamales, and other Mexican dishes. It’s also used as a thickener, like in this chicken chili (I also use it in my Texas chili recipe).