White Bean Chicken Chili


The change in weather also changes my food cravings. When the weather starts to dip below 60 degrees, my stomach hungers for stews, meat and potatoes, warm soups, and things stuffed inside something carbohydrate-y. I’m already daydreaming about Irish stew, baked potatoes, and hearty chowders. This also means packing on some winter weight, though, and that is discouraging because I never got to quite hitting my summer healthy weight goals.

What to do? Seek out healthy recipes, I suppose, and control those portions! With this next recipe, the latter at least is the case. I can’t vouch for how I will do with the latter part.

White Bean Chicken Chili with Avocado garnish

White Bean Chicken Chili with Avocado garnish

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Cooking Light magazine. It’s healthy, filling, and easy to make.

The original recipe calls for you to cook the chicken within the chili, pulling it out when it’s cooked through, shredding it, and adding it back into the final product. This could be easier if you didn’t have to take the chicken out and shred it, but because it’s not, I went a different route in order to give the shredded chicken some more flavor.

Cook the chicken in a separate pan

Cook the chicken in a separate pan

In a separate pan I cooked through a few chicken thighs. Heat a small amount of oil and add the chicken, seasoned with salt, pepper, a dash of sugar, and whatever seasonings you’d like (I add onion powder and garlic powder in addition). Cook about 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to shred later.

Mmm, onions

Drain the cans of beans and rinse them. I used cannelli and navy beans in this case (it was what I had). I took half the beans and mashed them before I put them in the pot, but you can mash them in the chili as well if you’d like. I find this easier and less messy.

Strained and drained white beans

Mix, mix, mix and when it’s simmered and thickened, spoon the thick chili into a bowl and garnish with fresh green onions, sour cream, and sliced avocado if you wish. You can substitute plain greek yogurt for the sour cream, and it works just as nicely.

Here’s the full recipe with directions:


* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 2 teaspoons of hot sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 1/2 lbs. cooked and shredded chicken
* 2 tablespoons cornmeal
* 2 15 oz cans cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained

* Sour cream
* 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions for garnish
* 1 ripe avocado, sliced


1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add chopped onions, cook for five minutes until onions are softened, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for one more minute, make sure to stir so as not to burn the garlic.

2. Add chicken broth, hotsauce, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Season chicken with salt, pepper (I also like to add onion powder and garlic powder for flavor). Cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat. Shred the chicken when it has cooled.

4. Drain the beans and rinse with cold water. Take half of the beans and mash them up in a separate bowl. Add the cornmeal and beans to the broth. Mix well. Simmer for another 15 minutes with the lid off. Add the shredded chicken to the pot. Simmer for another five minutes or until the chili thickens, stirring frequently.

5. Top each serving with sour cream, sprinkle with green onions, and serve with sliced avocado.


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4 Responses to “White Bean Chicken Chili”

  1. Allison Says:

    I randomly was on tastespotting and was like yum this looks good, and it turned out to be you cousin! Good work.

  2. Kevin Says:

    That looks good! I like the avocado slices on top.

  3. Recipe Master List « matzo&rice Says:

    […] white bean chicken chili […]

  4. Calcium Ascorbate Says:

    when i cook at home, i always make sure that i only cook healthy recipes because i don’t want to get fat :-.

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