Ina Garten Adds This 1 Unexpected Ingredient to Her Barefoot Contessa Chili Recipe

Ina GartenChili recipe is a simple and hearty meal that contains one amazing ingredient that you don’t usually find in the dish. Find out why the Barefoot Contessa contains this invisible herb.

Ina Garten will attend the Food Network's birthday party at Pier 92 on October 13, 2018 in New York City
Ina Garten | Noam Galai / Getty Photos for NYCWFF

Ina Garten adds an amazing herb to her chili

Chili is one dish that often gets a lot of love in the colder months, but it can be a challenge to find the perfect recipe. The Barefoot Contessa chili recipe delivers a twist on the classic, with a swap of chicken for ground meat and one unexpected ingredient.

Garten adds a good amount of basil to the recipe, which enhances flavor and replaces the traditional cilantro, which she says she hates.

During a program of Contessa barefooted, where she showed up making her chili recipe, Garten explained why she substitutes basil for the expected cilantro. “So most chili have cilantro but I personally hate cilantro so I’m going to substitute basil for it. Gives it a good taste, ”she explained.

Editor for The Kitchn gave Garten a unique chili recipe and gave him “unexpected basil,” but advised not to spray on the herb. “Adding fresh basil to the chili may be weird, but it was a really bad game change,” they wrote. “He sent a clear, fragrant note that elevated the whole chili. I ended up garnishing my bowl with extra pickled basil while I was serving and I liked the taste it added. ”

Chicken Chili Recipe Ina Garten

Garten’s chicken chili recipe it is nothing but traditional, but it is hearty and satisfying.


  • 8 cups chopped yellow onions (6 onions)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus chicken
  • 1/4 cup mince garlic (8 cloves)
  • 4 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 4 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and heavily diced
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon flakes of dried red pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for chicken
  • 4 (28-ounce) cans of plum tomato filled in puree, without training
  • 1/2 cup mince basil fresh leaves
  • 8 split chest, bone inward, skin on
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Toppings: chopped onions, chopped corn, grated cheddar, tomato, sour cream

Start by cooking the onions in oil for 10 minutes over medium heat, add garlic and cook for an additional minute, then the peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne , and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Garten uses a food processor to grind the tinned tomatoes until they are chopped, then put them into the pot with the die. Cook the chili unscented, rub for 30 minutes, and stir occasionally.

Garten prepares the chicken by cooking it in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. She rubs the chicken breast with olive oil and adds a sprinkle of salt and pepper, placing them on a baking sheet to roast for 35 to 40 minutes. “I’ve found that it’s better to roast it than to boil it,” she explains.

After cutting the chicken into bags, Garten will add it to the chili, rubbing the mixture for 20 minutes.

Serve the chili in bowls with toppings you like, such as cheese, tomato, sour cream, onions and chips.

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