White Chicken Chili with Beer

Chilly weather makes me crazy for chili! I love all sorts— black bean, red bean, vegetarian, turkey, beef…you name it.  Years ago I discovered a recipe for white chili with chicken that I’ve made over and over again.  The other night, I realized I hadn’t planned very well for the week’s meals, and I was left with nothing to make for dinner.  To the pantry I went, and found I had a few cans of cannellini beans and some onions.  In the refrigerator I found a red bell pepper and a few sprigs of parsley hiding in the back of my vegetable drawer, and in the freezer I had a package of chicken breasts.  Perfect—I’d make a variation on the great white chili recipe I’ve loved for years! 

 If you haven’t noticed—my recipes often have a theme of utilizing whatever I have on hand to create something delicious.  This is not to say that I don’t plan plenty of meals.  However, I think this is the type of situation many people find themselves in many evenings: “What the heck am I going to make for dinner?” This is usually followed by “I REALLY don’t want to go to the grocery store!”  This is a perfect example of how a well-stocked pantry can come to the rescue on one of those nights.  It is also a good illustration of how you can make variations of different recipes based on what you have available.  The original version of this recipe did not use any red bell peppers, and instead used a jalapeno pepper.  It also called for cilantro, but I didn’t have any…so parsley would have to do!  Feel free to experiment with different ingredients, either as substitutions or to jazz up a recipe.  If it doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t worry.  The more you get comfortable in the kitchen the more likely you will be to start creating your own versions of recipes. 

To read more about a well-stocked pantry on my other blog, The Secret Ingredient Online, click here.


White Chicken Chili with Beer

Serves 4

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 -15 oz cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed

1 bottle of beer

1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

olive oil

salt & pepper

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and saute onion and garlic until softened.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook for an additional minute or two.

Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 7 minutes.

Add about 3/4 of the bottle of beer and all the beans, lower heat slightly, and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and beans are heated through.

Add parsley and serve topped with cheddar cheese.


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One Response to “White Chicken Chili with Beer”

  1. paula Says:

    Ha! My mother used to make stringbeans and
    potatoes in similar fashion, and she served it warm or cold. I had forgotten
    completely about it and was happy to have
    my memory jarred! Thanks!

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