This time of year we are reminded of our traditions. It’s probably the hardest time to be away from family and friends. Every year during Halloween, we would gather with friends and neighbors to walk our littlest ones in costumes around the neighborhood. It’s been tradition for us and our dearest friends to all come home after the cuteness, to share with one another, and devour this bright chili with a really good beer.

This recipe has been shared with friends and adapted so many times over that I feel like it’s finally ready to make an online appearance.

Friends Chicken Chili with Cilantro Onion Relish - (cool) progeny

friends chicken chili with cilantro onion relish

serves 6


  • 4 large chicken breasts (about 1 ½ lbs)
  • 16 oz jar of salsa verde or tomatillo salsa
  • 2 cans of cannellini beans
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 can of jalapenos
  • 1 fresh jalapeno
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 limes
  • glugs of olive oil
  • chicken broth
  • cinnamon
  • cumin


Slow Cooker Chicken

In your slow cooker combine chicken breasts, juice of 1 lime, healthy dash of cinnamon and entire jar of salsa verde.

Set your slow cooker for 2 hours.

If you’re available, you can prep the rest of the soup. If not, you can easily prep ½ hour before serving time and leave the chicken on the warm setting while you’re away from the house.

Friends Chicken Chili with Cilantro Onion Relish - (cool) progeny

Soup Preparation

Chop onions, slice garlic in thin strips, rinse cilantro and dry it out in a paper towel then chop, rinse cannellini beans, dice jalapeno with seeds removed from half (depending on your preferred heat level) or remove completely. Prep onion relish.

Cilantro Onion Relish 
(nice addition for adults!)

Chop approximately 1 cup of fresh cilantro. Chop approximately 1 cup onion.

Add juice of 1 fresh lime and healthy grind of sea salt and ½ of fresh jalapeno with seeds intact.

Fold ingredients gently and cover, refrigerate until serving.

Soup Assembly

Once your chicken is finished, open lid and shred chicken breast really well with two forks. I find this is the hardest part of the recipe! Once the chicken is completely shredded, let it sit in slow cooker, close lid and set to “keep warm” setting.

When you’re ready to prep the rest of the dinner. Start by sautéing 1 whole onion chopped on medium heat in large, heavy pot or dutch oven on the stove. Let these really sauté, and after about 5 minutes, add garlic and a healthy dash of cinnamon and cumin, they should brown up after adding spices, stir and continue sautéing: they should be golden almost brown and translucent when finished — approximately 12-15 minutes on medium heat. Add ½ can of jalapenos or the entire thing depending on your spice preference, these are the pickled jalapenos and they add a nice level of acidity to the flavor.

Stir for a few more minutes, coating everything really well. Next, add the entire contents of slow cooker shredded chicken, then the rinsed cannellini beans, and the rest (handful) of your chopped cilantro, add chicken brothlast. Cover and bring to a very low simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with Cilantro Onion Relish and call it a day or make a toppings bar! There are a lot of options here! Some things we have tried:Lime wedges, shredded Mexican style cheese, sour cream, avocado slices, tortilla chips, dollop of chipotle cream… lots of possibilities.