Creamy Poblano Chicken Chili (Dairy Free)

This creamy poblano chicken chili is the perfect soup to warm you up this winter! It has a rich and creamy dairy-free base, spice and depth from roasted poblano peppers and jalapenos, just a little bit of tang, and a hidden veggie! Top it off with extra cilantro, avocado, cheese, and sour cream for a comforting and delicious meal.

Creamy Poblano Chicken Chili

This creamy poblano chicken chili is gooooood! I think we are having our first “real” winter here in Texas, meaning it has actually snowed three times now, and been below freezing even more often than that. We typically get 1-2 freezes per year and snow maybe every five years, so it has been an adjustment to say the least. It has also meant that my current cravings are leaning toward soups, casseroles, and roasts that cook for a few hours in the oven and warm the house up.

This poblano chicken chili is also just a bit spicy, which will keep you even warmer! About the spice – if you don’t like spicy I’d recommend leaving out the jalapeno pepper. If you really like spice, roast an extra jalapeno, taste the soup after blending, then decide if you want to add more. You’ll start off by simmering the chicken in the broth for about 30 minutes until the chicken easily shreds. My personal preference is chicken thighs, because they almost never dry out, but if you like white meat, feel free to use chicken breasts here. You can also totally skip this step, and buy a rotisserie chicken from the store and shred the chicken for that. I’ve been known to do this more often than not!

Creamy Poblano Chicken Chili

While that chicken simmers away, you’re going to roast the peppers, and onion, if using. Roasting peppers is super easy! You simply brush them on both sides with a high-heat friendly oil (my favorite is avocado oil) and put them under the broiler for 4-7 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your oven, until blistering and blackened, then set them aside to cool. Once cooled you can peel away the skin from the pepper, slice it open, and remove the seeds and stringy membranes.

Creamy Poblano Chicken Chili

Next is possibly my favorite part of this chicken chili – the creamy poblano base! How do you get a creamy soup without any dairy or flour? Veggies! Now trust me here, my husband hates zucchini more than any other vegetable, and he happily slurped down this soup with no idea that it was loaded with zucchini. The zucchini adds no flavor, boosts the gorgeous green color of the soup, and along with the onion and peppers creates a silky smooth texture. We also add in some cilantro, green onion, and lime for an extra flavor boost.

Creamy Poblano Chicken Chili

I like blending my soup, and most things, with an immersion blender. This way, there’s no worry of blending hot liquids, and no mess transferring from pan to blender because you just blend it right in the pot.  If you do use a blender, make sure you let the soup cool before blending. Adding hot soup to the blender and giving it no way to release steam means that pressure will build up in the blender and the top will come off, sending hot soup everywhere. Trust me friends, patience pays off here!

Creamy Poblano Chicken Chili

After you’re done blending all you need to do is add a few seasonings, taste it for salt, and then serve alongside your garnishes! Garnishes are my favorite part of Mexican-style soups. Here I’ve included additional cilantro, green onions, avocado, sour cream, and cheese, if tolerated. You could also fry up some tortilla strips for extra crunch. I hope you enjoy this creamy poblano chicken chili all winter long!

Creamy Poblano Chicken Chili

This creamy poblano chicken chili has a rich and creamy dairy-free base, spice and depth from roasted poblano peppers and jalapenos, just a little bit of tang, and a hidden veggie! 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 small onion, sliced (or one cup leek tops for low FODMAP)*
  • 4 medium poblano peppers
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, optional (omit for less spice)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, or calabaza squash, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (omit for low FODMAP)
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced (increase to 1/2 cup for low FODMAP)
  • 3/4 cup cilantro, loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, about 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • sliced green onion, for garnish
  • 1 medium avocado, diced, for garnish
  • sour cream, for garnish
  • cheese, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add chicken and broth to pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and cover and simmer.

  2. Brush poblano and jalapeno peppers with avocado oil and lay on a rimmed baking sheet along with sliced onions. Broil for 4-7 minutes per side, until skin is blackened and bubbling. Let cool, then scrape off the papery skins. Open the peppers and scrape off the seeds and membranes.

  3. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool, then shred with two forks. Add zucchini, 2 poblano peppers, and jalapeno pepper to the broth. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

  4. Remove the soup from heat and either blend it with an immersion blender in the pot or allow to cool and pour into a regular blender, working in two batches. Do not blend hot soup in the blender. If using a regular blender, let the soup cool and then allow room for steam to escape. I take the center circular part of the blender top off mine and cover with a paper towel when blending soup.

  5. Add the soup back to the pot and stir in the chicken. Dice the remaining 2 poblano peppers into 1/2 inch chunks and add to the soup. Add the cumin, salt, pepper, lime juice and coconut milk. 

  6. Remove from heat and serve with additional cilantro, green onions, avocado, cheese, and sour cream, as desired.

Recipe Notes

If following Low FODMAP:

Omit onion and garlic. Add leek tops in to simmer with the chicken in the first step, then remove and discard after 30 minutes.

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