Easy Southwestern Chicken Chili

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

This is an easy recipe that can be cooked on the top of the stove or in a crockpot. Cornmeal is used in this recipe, both for texture and taste.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:  144 calories, 10 grams protein, 2 grams of fat,  19 grams of CHO, 6 grams of fiber,  807 mg sodium.

Serves: 8

Preparation Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time:  3 hours in crockpot on high 6 hours on low.  30 minutes stove top until done.


  • 8 ounces chicken breast, skinless, boneless, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar salsa
  • 1 can black beans
  • 10-12 ounces V-8 or tomato juice*


In ziploc bag, combine oregano, cornmeal, chicken pieces, garlic, chili powder and cumin.  Set aside. Toss onions, celery, and peppers in crockpot or large heavy deep-sided skillet.  For crockpot, cook on high for 10 minutes.  In skillet, cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Add chicken mixture, salsa, juice and beans.  Cover and simmer for 3 hours on high, 30 minutes if skillet method is used.  Add additional juice to reach desired consistency.  Serve with fruit and crackers

Shopping List

  • Chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
  • Cornmeal
  • Minced garlic
  • Onions
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Celery
  • Salsa
  • Black beans
  • V-8 juice

*To lower the sodium, you can use low sodium V-8 Juice or low sodium tomato juice.

Image from: www.mccormick.com

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHEALTHWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 12 grandchildren.    



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