Easy weeknight dinner: White bean chicken chili

When I was in residency, we had a chili cook-off where everything had to be made from scratch.  I wanted to be different from the pack so I chose to cook a white bean chicken chili.  The competition was stiff as there was buffalo chili, vegetarian chili, and chili with exotic fire roasted peppers in contention for the Chairman’s prize.  I am happy to say that my chili took home the grand prize.  This was the recipe that I followed.

Now that I’m a busy working mom of two little boys, I need my meal prep to be quick and the food to be delicious.   I have modified the recipe so that it is “semi-home-made” but equally nutritious and delicious.   The prep time is 20 minutes and you can cook it in a slow cooker on low for 4 hours or in a Dutch oven on low for 1.5 hours.  For either option, I leave the beans out until the last 30 minutes so that they retain their shape and texture.


1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1.5 pounds of chicken breast or thigh: cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup onion, diced

2 cans of white beans

1 can roasted green chiles

1/2 lb frozen corn

1 red bell pepper: cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 bunch cilantro: 1/4 cup for cooking and some for garnish

sour cream for topping




Heat Dutch oven and add olive oil and salt

Sauté onions until translucent

Add chicken and cook until color changes from pink to white


Combine red bell peppers, cilantro, corn, green chile to chicken


Once softened, add chicken broth and cook on low for 1.5 hours in Dutch oven (or combine contents into slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on low).  Since the canned beans are already cooked, I simply rinse them off in cold water and add to the mix for the last 15-30 minutes.


Top with sour cream and cilantro to serve.


Both of my boys really like this dish and it’s good comfort food for cool winter nights.

Have you ever tried something similar?  What are your go-to weeknight meals?

Thanks for reading!


3 thoughts on “Easy weeknight dinner: White bean chicken chili

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