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Chicken & Barley Chili

chicken and barley chili

Heart healthy, warm & cozy, spicy, barley-filled chili.

My favorite chili recipe to date.

Not even kidding.

barley recipes

I don’t have a lengthy dialogue for you right now because I’m feeling kinda crabby. My 12-year-old was gabbing away LOUDLY on the telephone to a girl all evening (yeah. it’s a thing again. and I just don’t even know what to think about that). Evan left a bowl of potato soup in the floor (WhYYYYYYYYYY do boys do weird things?) and Miss Lucy was more than happy to help him finish it off. She was pretty ecstatic really.

healthy chicken chili recipe

Then I Googled a YouTube tutorial because I got lost on some computer garbledy gook editing. The tutorial proved to be full of super useful information except the guy’s voice made me wanna pull all my hair out. I really wish he’d found a pleasant-sounding person to narrate. Is that mean? Because I really almost couldn’t make it through 9 minutes of his crackly, nasally, I-need-a-drink-of-water-dry-mouthed voice. That guy paired with Andrew’s ongoing totally I-don’t-even-know- what conversation with a girl basically meant that I’ve spent most of the evening wondering why on earth I don’t have a bottle of wine stashed somewhere?

It’s been one of those evenings.

chicken & barley chili
So this chili. It’s awesome. Make it. Goes well with wine.

Chicken & Barley Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10
  • 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, very finely chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup quick barley
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • light sour cream & green onions to garnish
  1. In a large deep skillet heat the olive oil and brown the chicken. Remove the browned chicken and set aside.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet with a little splash of chicken broth and cook until soft, 4 or 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the chicken broth, the diced tomatoes, the chipotle peppers, water, barley, chili powder & cumin.
  4. Bring it to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the black beans, kidney beans, and corn. Add the chicken back in. Re-cover and continue cooking for 15 more minutes. Add more water or broth if you want a thinner consistency.
  6. Garnish with the sour cream and green onions and serve.

Adapted from THIS recipe at

healthy chili recipe

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{No More} Manic Meal Plan Monday | Sugar Dish Me

Monday 9th of December 2013

[…] Chicken and Barley Chili from Sugar Dish Me is heart-healthy AND filling! Perfect for sweats and socks on the sofa for a movie night […]

{No More } Manic Monday Meal Plan - Lemons for Lulu

Monday 11th of November 2013

[…] Chicken and Barley Chili […]


Thursday 7th of February 2013

I CAN'T WAIT to try this...I can totally wait to have a twelve year old though! Especially knowing how I was when I was younger (maybe closer to 13/14, but still - I could talk for hours...I have no idea what about!) Start stocking up on the wine! If I win the lottery, I'll get you that big house near a wine store in a state you can drink in ;) (Not that I'm trying to suggest you'll need it even more as he gets even older...!!)x

Allison@Main St. Cuisine

Wednesday 6th of February 2013

You're scaring me. Talking on the phone to girls at twelve? We're not quite there yet but I suppose it's coming. I'd much rather talk about soup. I am a barley novice. I had no idea there was a "quick barley." You're going to have to hold my hand on this one...barley is found in the rice/grain aisle? Is it similar to oats? I love the flavors in this soup, especially the cumin and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.


Wednesday 6th of February 2013

Yes! With the rice/grain. Bob's Red Mill makes a good one but Quaker is what I used here. Familiar blue box. And when you buy is you'll think of like a billion things you can add it to. I had designs on beef & barley soup but then I used the beef in a stew and ended up with this chili. Barley is good for you!! Andrew is almost 13 and the whole talking to GIRL (just the one) thing is a very recent development. An annoying one. Before your boys talk to girls make sure to stock the liquor cabinet!!

The Foodie Affair

Wednesday 6th of February 2013

Seriously, Heather, you need to be stocked with wine during the teenage years. It's the only way to survive ;) I need to stock up on chipotle peppers. I'm seeing it used more and more in yummy recipes. This would be great to take to work for my lunches!