Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spicy Chicken Chili

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The gravity seems to be increasing lately on my downward spiral of self-loathing. I’ve been quietly beating myself up over my job, my appearance, my weight, my blog, my Instagram game, just about everything. I’m horrible for comparing myself to others, but that’s sort of how I ended up here in the first place. Frustrated by looking at the seemingly perfect lives of comfortably middle class women who seem to have it all figured out, I decided to create my own space for people who are always broke and a bit of a hot mess. I still can’t seem to look away from their perfectly manicured lives. Even their vulnerability seems to be more perfect and beautiful than mine.

Where am I going with this? I have no idea. I guess I need to thank you for going on this journey with me. Chances are, you’re not here for the journey. You’ve skipped over all this self-exploration and gone straight to the food. If you’re digging into this mess, though, let’s hug it out and comfort ourselves with something delicious while we dig deep to remember our own self-worth.

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I made you everyone’s favorite, Spicy Chicken Chili. I make this for guests all the time, and they all want to go home and make it again fr themselves. In fact, I’ve made this dish for this blog before. Maybe I’ve gotten better at this whole food photography thing in the past five years? Still a long way to go.

Any dang ways, if you’re at all fond of the smoky, spicy flavors of chili, you absolutely must try this recipe. It’s hearty and packed with layers of flavor and textures. You can pretend like it’s healthy because of the chicken, but there’s also a healthy dose of cream in this pot of goodness, so I’m not sure it’s diet friendly. I super don’t care. Spicy Chicken Chili is worth every calorie. It’s ridiculous.

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Maybe you’re having a hard time finding the awesomeness in your life today. It’s out there somewhere. Spicy Chicken Chili will definitely bring the awesome to you and everyone who eats it.

Spicy Chicken Chili
Serves 4
Everyone knows that Spicy Chicken Chili is completely awesome.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 4 Tbsp butter
  2. 1-1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size chunks,
  3. 1/4 cup flour
  4. 1/2 onion, diced
  5. 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  6. 2 cups chicken stock
  7. 1 cup heavy cream
  8. 2 Tbsp chili powder
  9. 1 tsp ground coriander
  10. 1 tsp ground cumin
  11. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  12. 15 grinds black pepper (1/2 Tbsp)
  13. 1/2 Tbsp salt
  14. 2 cans cannellini beans, drained
  15. 1 7 oz can green chiles
  16. sour cream to garnish
  17. shredded cheese to garnish
  18. tortilla chips
  1. After you’ve cut up your chicken, don’t forget to season it a bit with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Sprinkle it in and give it a toss.
  2. In a large pot, melt your butter over medium high heat.
  3. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides and just cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate to hang out while you get on with it.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and stir it with the melted butter to make a roux, or thick paste. Sometimes the chicken gives off a lot of liquid when cooking, so you may need to add a bit more flour. If you don’t make it pasty, the sauce won’t thicken later. Cook for about one minute or it starts to smell nutty.
  5. Stir in the onion and pepper. Let it cook for a few minutes to soften.
  6. Add in about half of your chicken stock slowly, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Stir out any lumps before adding in the next batch of stock.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream. Allow the mixture to come back to a boil, then simmer for about five minutes to thicken.
  8. Add your spices and seasonings and make sure they’re incorporated. Don’t leave any clumps of cumin behind.
  9. Next, stir in the beans and green chiles.
  10. Add your chicken back in, give everything a good mix, and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes before serving.
  11. I like to crush some chips into the bottom of the bowl, then spoon over the chili, and top it with some sour cream and cheese. Make it awesome.
  1. If you live in a place where you can't easily buy canned green chilis (such as Scotland) just throw in a couple of extra fresh green or red chilis, diced, with your onion and bell pepper.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Top 17 of 2017 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Top 17 of 2017

Top 17 of 2017 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We survived 2017. There were plenty of days when I it seemed like it might all fall apart, but we’ve been granted one more year. If we’re going to get through this year, we’re going to need lots of comfort food to keep us from completely losing our minds. Here were your favorite recipes from 2017.

Peanut Butter Fudge from Awesome on 20

Peanut Butter Fudge

My mom’s peanut butter fudge is back on top this year, and now I’m feeling sad that I didn’t make any. Must change that.

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Can we come up with an excuse for a party so I can make these again?

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

Nothing beats a classic.

Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

This drink is the bee’s knees. 

Passion Fruit Green Tea | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Passion Fruit Green Tea

It’s like the flavor of summertime.

Double Chocolate Muffins | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Double Chocolate Muffins

For when you absolutely positively have to have chocolate for breakfast.

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

All my efforts as a meatloaf evangelist are finally starting to pay off. This one’s filled with mozzarella and topped with tomato sauce, and it’s bad ass.


Chicken Parmesan from Awesome on 20

Chicken Parmsan

Always and forever a household favorite.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

Our Thanksgiving tradition is still going strong. No one has not loved it.

Buttery Nipple Milkshake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buttery Nipple Milkshake

Sign me up for a boozy cocktail milkshake any day of the week.

Brown Elephant Cocktail from Awesome on 20

Brown Elephant Cocktail 

Amarula forever!

White Cheddar Fondue | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

White Cheddar Fondue

Gooey cheese is one of the four main food groups, right?

Cornbread-Topped Chili Mac | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cornbread Topped Chili Mac

I always look forward to eating this. Opt for the extra spicy chili.

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi from Awesome on 20

Parmesan Fried Gnocchi

Best deliciousness to time/effort ratio of all time.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

This is the third meatloaf on the list, and I’m not mad at it.

Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding

Just try and stop eating this.

Strawberry Soju Slushie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Strawberry Soju Slushie

Mixing Korean spirits with fresh berries? What could go wrong?

Happy 2018, friends. Don’t forget to be awesome.

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Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hopefully you’ve figured out by now that this is not the place to go for light and healthy, trendy super foods. This is not the place to go for your five a day or tips on how to get six pack abs. This is not the place for quinoa, chia seeds, or kale or whatever health food is currently trending. Most of the food you’ll find here might not even look that good on Instagram. Believe me, there are plenty of food blogs out there where you can get all those things. This is not that.

What you will find here is food that tastes really really good. Food that’s indulgent and easy to make. Food that’s so good you’ll want to dance and sing. I guess you could say I’m teaching you self-discipline because this is food you won’t want to stop eating but maybe should. All things in moderation, including Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese. I know my point of view, and I’m sticking with it.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese recipe has three different kinds of cheese, plenty of Transformer Chicken, and enough buffalo sauce to make your nose run. It’s not outrageously spicy, but there is a noticeable level of heat. Get into it.

This recipe is a bit involved and will dirty quite a few dishes. Nothing is difficult, but there are a few separate elements that all have to come together. It’s absolutely delicious, though, and makes enough to feed six very hungry people, so it’s undoubtedly worth it. My husband said this was the best macaroni and cheese he’s ever had, and I make a lot of mac and cheese.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It’s a good thing to know yourself and be content. Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese makes me happy, and I hope it makes you happy, too.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
Serves 6
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese is an indulgent dish with a serious kick.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
  1. 2.5 ounces unsalted butter, divided
  2. 1 pound elbow macaroni
  3. 2 shallots, minced
  4. 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 3/4 cups buffalo sauce
  7. 2 tablespoons flour
  8. 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  9. 2-1/2 cups half and half
  10. 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
  11. 8 ounces pepper jack cheese or cheddar with chillies, cubed or shredded
  12. 2/3 cup sour cream
  13. 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  14. 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  15. 1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and spray a large casserole dish or 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add some salt, then cook your macaroni until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, melt 1.5 ounces of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add your shallot and cook for a few minutes until it softens. Next, add your chicken and garlic and let it cook for a couple more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add 1/2 cup of the buffalo sauce. Stir this all together and bring it to a simmer for a minute or so to thicken the sauce slightly. Turn off the heat and set this aside while you get on with your cheese sauce.
  4. Melt 1 ounce of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and mustard powder to make a paste. Slowly whisk in the half and half, about a half cup at a time, whisking until smooth before you add the next addition. Once you've created a smooth creamy sauce, you can then stir in your remaining half cup buffalo sauce. Once your mixture is bubbling gently, add the cheddar, pepper jack cheese, and sour cream, and stir until the cheese is melted and your sauce is smooth.
  5. Now it's time to toss together all the parts. If your sauce pan is big enough, you can add your pasta and chicken straight into that, but it may need to all go into the pasta pot to give you enough space to stir it all together. Once your mixture is properly combined, transfer the whole lot to your waiting casserole dish.
  6. Scatter the top of the casserole with your panko breadcrumbs, then dot the whole thing with blue cheese all over the top. Finally, sprinkle the parsley over everything.
  7. Bake this mass of cheesy goodness for 30-40 minutes until as brown and bubbly as you desire.
  8. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool before you try to eat this. It's best served straight away, but it's still pretty awesome reheated, though your cheese may become a bit oily.
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Cranberry Mule | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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