Winner, Winner, Chicken Chili Dinner!

chicken_chiliFor a weekend camp out, typically we roll into camp on Friday night. The vehicles barf out the gear and we commence setting up tents, camp kitchens, rain flies (here in the Northwest that’s standard-operating-procedure), and all our other little creature comforts. Dinner needs to be fast and easy because we don’t want to be eating and cleaning up at midnight. I, for one, will turn into a pumpkin if I stay up that late!

Here is a super easy, hot dinner that you can have on the picnic table in 20 minutes! It serves 4-6 so multiply it up if you’re feeding a larger group.

For home, if you keep these ingredients in your pantry, this can be a quick, simple dinner on those nights everyone is running in different directions and you need a fast, hot, hearty dinner.


One pot and something to stir and serve with.


2 cups (16 oz) of your favorite salsa. You could also use 2 prepared packages of Backpackers Pantry Salsa.

28 oz of canned chicken (draining is optional depending on how much liquid you want). The amount is approximate depending on the size of your cans. You could also poach a couple of chicken breasts at home, shred them, and bring them in your cooler.

1 can (15 oz) pinto or black beans, drained. I like to use black beans because they go so well with chicken and I like the contrasting color they add to the soup. I can’t help myself; I’m a visual person.

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon pepper

salt to taste (I did not use any salt at all and I thought it didn’t need it, but depending on the type of salsa and chicken you use, and your taste buds, you may decide to add some salt.)


Combine salsa, chicken, beans, and spices in a pot or Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10-15 minutes, until ingredients are thoroughly heated through and you’ve shredded all the chicken. Have a taste-test along the way and add more spices to your liking.

Serve with chips, tortillas, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole or whatever else you like.

Categories: Main Dishes, Meals in 30 Minutes, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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