Midwestern White Bean Chicken Chili | Cleveland East Side Moms

Midwestern White Bean Chicken Chili


Who doesn’t love hearty soups? Hearty, healthy soups are even better.  I’m a sucker for a great chili & I make them about once a month in the fall & winter, but with the cilantro and lime kick this one packs, it’s great all year round! This is my favorite white bean chili recipe. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and hot to provide warmth and comfort, and it’s versatile enough to be modified in countless ways.  I’ve modified it relentlessly over the years, but it still serves me well & keeps bringing me back.  If you’re an avocado fan, serving this chili with an avocado garnish and a squeeze of line is sure to please!

Midwestern White Bean Chicken Chili

Ingredients (makes ~ 8 generous servings):


2 tablespoons medium-heat oil (I use avocado)
2 large chicken breasts or 4 chicken thighs, diced
1 package sweet chicken sausage, cut into 1/4″ thick medallions (I like Trader Joe’s Chicken Apple sausage for this, but any sweet sausage will do)
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup frozen or canned sweet corn
1 can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted are best, plain are also fine)
8 garlic cloves, minced (one tablespoon of minced garlic also works)
2 medium-spicy peppers, minced (jalapenos work fine, you can always add a dash of red pepper flake for more heat if you want)
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained (great northern or white kidney are best, but I’ve used garbanzos as well in a pinch so feel free to mix & match)
12 oz tomatillo salsa/salsa verde
1.5 cups chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
Coarse salt (to taste)
Crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (to taste)



1) In a medium skillet (I prefer cast iron for flavor purposes), heat the oil until water sizzles & pops. Add half of the onion and half of the garlic. Sautee for ~1 minute, then add the chicken & cook through.
2) Move the chicken aside, then throw the sausage into the chicken pan & sautee for a few minutes to grab some of the flavor from the chicken.
3) Combine your sauteed meat (chicken & sausage) with all the remaining ingredients in a 6-qt slow cooker or dutch oven.
4) Cook on HIGH for ~3-4 hours, on LOW for ~6-8 hours, or in a dutch oven for 1.5 hours on a low simmer
5) To serve, a dash of fresh lime juice brings out all the flavors. Avocado and cilantro are always a great garnish too!



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