Southwest White Bean + Chicken Chili

By Kate Riley January 16, 2012

Last week I had two leftover chicken breasts and wanted to create something new for dinner, so I invented this batch of white bean and chicken chili with the vegetables in my fridge. I knew it would be healthy but I was delighted that it was incredibly tasty too.  My mister gave it two big thumbs up so I made it again on Saturday, twice in one week! 

This recipe is just filling enough with the beans and chicken, but light too due the vegetables. Bonus, it’s low in fat and high in nutrition ~ I highly recommend it for something hearty, healthy, and extremely tasty on a cold winter’s night!

southwest white bean   chicken chili



2 tbsp olive oil

½ med yellow onion, diced

¾ cup thinly sliced leeks*

1 yellow pepper, diced

32 oz. chicken broth

2 15 oz cans of white beans (cannellini or navy)

2 cooked chicken breasts, diced

¾ tsp cumin

½ tsp white pepper

shredded jack cheese for topping

cilantro for garnish

*If you’ve never had leeks I recommend them for soups and other savory dishes, they are a sweeter more subtle version of onion and they are absolutely delicious. My favorite is the middle section of this vegetable. 

In large pot, sauté diced onion in olive oil over medium low heat. After a minute, add sliced leeks, continue stirring 1 to 2 minutes, then add diced yellow pepper and continue to stir 2 more minutes until entire medley is soft.

vegetable soup ingredients


Add chicken broth, rinsed white beans, cumin, white pepper, and diced chicken to pot, then simmer on low for approximately 20 minutes to allow flavors to infuse.  Serve hot with shredded jack cheese and cilantro as garnish.  

white bean   chicken chili

Printable recipe here.





  1. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. It looks perfect for a cold snowy winter evening, which we are having quite a few this month. It looks easy and delicious … my kind of recipe. Susie

  2. Looks delicous and healthy! Perfect soup weather, too. This will be on our menu this week. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  3. This looks so wonderful. I’ve been dieting and trying to eat healthier and this all fits into my routine wonderfully. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I just made this and it is DELICIOUS! I used low sodium chicken broth, added some extra cumin and black pepper, and added about a cup of frozen corn at the very end. I also let it simmer in the crock pot for a couple of hours…AMAZING! Thanks for sharing- I am definitely keeping this one in my apron pocket ;)

  5. I made this tonight and it is definitely a keeper! I added 2 cans Cream of Chicken soup after it had simmered 10 minutes to make it creamier since my family tends to like cream-based soups better than broth-based ones. SO GOOD!!!

  6. Just made this for my family tonight and they LOVED it. I added same salt and garlic and used a cut up rotisserie chicken so it was super quick and easy. It was even more flavorful than I expected probably from the leeks (and the homemade turkey stock I has in the freezer). With some fresh bread on the side from my local bakery it was perfect on a cold blizzardy night here in Montana. Thanks so much for the delicious recipe!

  7. I made this soup. I didn’t think the recipe was anything special but my family LOVED IT! I can see why you made it twice in one week. I think it’s my new favorite. I threw in some carrot and green pepper, too.

  8. I made this tonight and it was sort of bland. I can’t find leeks here, so maybe that was my problem. I liked the flavor, there just needed to be more of it. Your Corn chowder recipe with the thyme in it is a favorite of mine!

  9. We tried this recipe this weekend and thought it was great! Surprisingly flavorful for the small number of ingredients. There are two things I’d do differently next time. First, I’d shred the chicken, and second, I’d puree some more beans and add them as a thickener.

  10. I made this chili last week and it will be added to the regular meal rotation. I added a bit of lime juice and it brightened it up nicely. Next time, I’ll buy fresh limes and add some zest as well. I think some roasted green chilies would also be a nice addition.

  11. I made this two nights ago and it is A-MAZING! My only regret is that I didn’t make a larger batch! Never fear, I will be making this again when I run out. This was my first time cooking with leeks and at first I was a bit nervous, but they completely make this dish! Thanks for sharing, I’ve already shared this page with some friends :)

  12. Just made this Saturday night–loved it! So easy to make and so yummy! I did shred the chicken to make it more of a southwest style. Our family loves soup and this recipe is now added to the soup rotation.

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)