This white bean and chicken chili, a Mexican-inspired meal that’s made with smoky bacon, onions, carrots, celery, peppers, and spices, is hearty, healthy, and completely doable on a weeknight.
White Bean and Chicken Chili
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 1 H
- Serves 6
Fry the bacon in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, turning once or twice, until browned and crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve 3 tablespoons drippings in the pot.
When the bacon has cooled enough to handle, crumble it into pretty small pieces.
Heat the reserved bacon drippings over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, if using, and chile pepper and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the crumbled bacon, stock or broth, chicken, beans, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper to the pot and stir to combine. (If you fancy a thicker, more chili-like chili than chili-like stew, mash some of the beans with the back of a fork prior to adding them to the pot.) Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes before serving. Originally published April 16, 2013.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This was such a quick, satisfying dinner. I never think to make chili when I'm trying to repurpose what's left of a roasted chicken. However, 2 cups shredded chicken (which really isn't much) was stretched into another meal that was entirely unrecognizable from the day before.
Since the chicken is already cooked, the whole dish comes together quickly yet tastes like something that has cooked for hours. I served this with corn bread (also a recipe from LC) and some sautéed kale and collard greens. This will definitely be served again.
I’m truly surprised at how good this white bean and chicken chili is. Being your average, middle-aged, retired, blue-collar guy, I should be predisposed to not even consider white chili. Ignoring this recipe would’ve been a mistake. Something told me that with a half pound of bacon, this was a winner.
It took about 20 or so minutes to prepare and another 30 minutes on the stove. I grated baby carrots and used pearl onions from a jar, which saved some time. Overall, this chili was VERY satisfying and I’m certain will be even better when I reheat it for lunch tomorrow…if I can wait that long.