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To celebrate National Chili Week, why not try this tasty white chili version with bite-sized chunks of flavorful chicken and creamy white beans? 

Creamy White Chili

recipe By: Robin Bashinsky for Eating Well


  • 2 (15 ounce) cans no-salt-added white beans, rinsed, divided
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • ¾ cup chopped celery (2 medium stalks)
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 4 ounces chopped green chiles (roasted from Artisano’s?)
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Mash 1 cup beans in a small bowl with a whisk or potato masher.
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add chicken; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, garlic, cumin and salt. Cook until the onion is translucent and tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining whole beans, the mashed beans, stock and chiles. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cream cheese until melted. Serve topped with cilantro.

Cook’s Note: Mashing some of the beans acts as a quick thickener when your soups, stews, or chiles don’t have a long time to simmer. Use great northern beans, pinto beans, or cannelini beans. Use the chiles of your choice to get the heat you like. See the Epicurious Guide to 20 Types of Peppers and their Uses here.

I think you could add corn to this as well and it wouldn’t hurt it a bit. Another suggestion would be to add diced cooked sweet potato or butternut squash. And I would definitely top with some shredded cheese and avocado!