Random Deliciousness: White Bean Chicken Chili

Around here, we had winter back in November, spring last week, a brief reappearance of winter over the weekend, and summer on Monday. I’m not sure where that leaves us here at the end of March. But I do know that chili season is quickly slipping away. At least until next November, anyway. It’s not that I don’t make chili all year ’round. It’s just that I don’t make it as frequently in the warmer months. We are generally a Cincinnati Chili family, as I’m from Cincinnati. My son has come up with the treacherous notion that Cincinnati Chili is not actually chili, but a meat sauce for noodles. (He’s only 17, so he’s about 6 months from my being able to boot him out for disloyalty. Unless he changes his tune, of course. Ahem.) I’ll share our family’s recipe for Cincinnati Chili soon (it has a nip of cinnamon in it, but it’s plenty spicy, too), but today I’m going with a new favorite, White Bean Chicken Chili.

I’m not sure where I first had White Bean Chicken Chili, but I liked it so much that I set out immediately to make it to my taste. Most of the recipes I found online are generally the same, though a couple have tomato in them. Madness, I say.

This is a recipe cobbled together from a couple different ones. I’ve linked to a delicious, basic one below, as well.*


(My WBCC didn’t photograph well, and I thought it wasn’t really fair to use a commercial one. So I borrowed this pic of tasty cannellini from the Promenade Plantings folks)


White Bean Chicken Chili



3 cans cannellini beans, 15 ounce, drained, rinsed, and divided

2 1/2 cups chopped, roasted chicken (mix of white and dark meat)

1 medium onion, chopped small

1 jalapeño pepper (chopped and seeded–wear plastic gloves)

1 can green hot chilis, 4 oz, drained

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

6 chopped or pressed garlic cloves

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups chicken broth, divided.


Toppings: sour cream, chopped cilantro, or avocado


Roast a chicken. I know, you’re thinking that’s crazy, but it’s so much more tender when it’s roasted rather than chopped and sautéed. You can definitely use a roasted chicken you’ve picked up at the grocery.

Chop up 1 half chicken after removing skin–leg, breast, thigh, and wing. You should have about 2 1/2 cups. Set aside.

Rinse and drain beans. Puree about one can’s worth with 1/2 cup chicken broth to thicken the chili. Set it aside with chicken and remaining beans.

Heat oil in a frying pan or the Dutch oven you’re using. Sauté chopped onion until almost clear, about 3 minutes.

Add garlic, jalapeño, salt, black pepper, oregano, cumin. Stir into onions and heat for 2 minutes on low heat. Transfer to Dutch oven. or large pot.

Add pureed beans to mixture. Stir until blended. Add remaining beans and 2 cups chicken broth. Cook over medium heat for about 45 minutes. Stir frequently.

After it’s been cooking 15 minutes, add chopped chicken.

After it’s been cooking 30 minutes, add canned chilis.

Heat and stir until desired thickness is reached. Use remaining chicken broth to thin, as necessary. Have a bit extra on hand, just in case.

Serve topped with sour cream, chopped cilantro, avocado, or shredded cheese.


Serves 6-7

*Taste of Home’s recipe is a slow cooker version.



March 22nd  Words
Journal: 300  words
Long fiction: Edited 3 chapters
Short fiction: 0
Non-fiction: 0 words
Blogging: 557words
Exercise: 35 minutes treadmill

3 thoughts on “Random Deliciousness: White Bean Chicken Chili”

  1. skyecaitlin says:

    Laura, this is one of my very favorite dishes ( I also adore chicken tortilla soup), but since it’s just me alone, I usually order a cup of this when I go to a Tex Mex restaurant. Your recipe sounds lovely—I can’t eat cilantro, but I adore basil. I also recently learned that like/dislike of cilantro is genetic ( my dentist told me).

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      I didn’t know that about cilantro–how odd. It makes me wonder what other likes/dislikes are genetic. Also, this chili freezes very well, if you ever want to make it.

      1. skyecaitlin says:

        Thanks for letting me know about freezing it; it’s a wonderful recipe.

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