White Bean Chicken Chile Verde

Beans and Legumes, Main Dish, Mexican, Poultry, Soup and Stew | 17 comments

Last fall I had the opportunity to attend a culinary retreat in Napa with Bush’s Beans. We had an amazing time cooking the day away at the Culinary Institute of America along side friends, new and old.

It’s no secret that I love black bean recipes. I even shared my Top 5 Black Bean Recipes of the moment a few months back. As loyal as I am to black beans, it was very fun to learn some new bean recipes using other varieties.

mexican cilantro lime pesto sauce

One of the chef’s in attendance was Connie Guttersen, who was not only an amazing chef and incredibly knowledgeable about nutrition but also so friendly. I recently received a copy of her new book: The New Sonoma Diet: Trimmer Waist, More Energy in Just 10 Days

This was one of those cookbooks that instantly made me hungry. Every recipe I turned too had my stomach growling, but her recipe for Chicken and White Bean Chile Verde especially caught my eye.

This White Bean Chicken Chile Verde is easily going to be one of our favorite soup recipes from this season. Served with a side of whole-grain with flax tortilla chips that I found at the grocery store and topped with some diced avocado it was a filling and satisfying meal.

chicken and white bean chile verde

I love how packed it was with good for you ingredients but it was so full of flavor that never would I call this “diet food.” Connie proves that you can eat well while eating healthy. The cilantro-lime pesto is amazing and I can’t wait to try it with other recipes.

My crock-pot recipe for Shredded Tex-Mex Chicken goes perfect with this soup. If you have a pressure cooker, and are short on time you can cook the chicken that way too which is what I did this time around.

To make Shredded Tex-Mex Chicken in a pressure cooker: add all the ingredients for the shredded chicken recipe to the pressure cooker (plus an extra 1/3 cup broth or water) and bring to a boil. Then, put the lid on and cook over high pressure for 25-30 minutes (about 40-45 minutes if you start with frozen chicken). After all the pressure has released then remove the chicken and shred.

Give this recipe a try next week for National Chili Day on February 24th!

Chicken and White Bean Chile Verde with Cilantro-Lime Pesto

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White Bean Chicken Chile Verde
1 pound tomatillos
1/2 pound poblano chiles
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for tomatillos and chiles
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons oregano
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
3 cups chicken broth
2 - 15.5 ounce cans cannellini beans, with liquid
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (see: Shredded Tex-Mex Crock-Pot Chicken)
4 cups swiss chard, chopped (about 1 bunch), stems removed
1/2 - 1 teaspoons salt, according to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cilantro-Lime Pesto, recipes follows
Sour Cream, optional
Diced Avocado, optional
Tortilla chips, optional

Cilantro-Lime Pesto
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1/3 of a jalapeno, seeds and ribbing removed
1 handful walnuts (around 1/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic
2 ounces olive oil
2 limes, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste


For the White Bean Chicken Chile Verde:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking or cookie sheet with foil. Set aside.

Remove skins from tomatillos. Wash, dry, and cut in half. Place cut side down on foil lined baking sheet. Wash and cut poblanos in half, remove ribbing, seeds and stems. Place cut side down (skins facing up) on the baking sheet. Drizzle the tomatillos and poblanos with olive oil. Roast at 425 degrees F until tomatillos are soft and the chiles are blistered.

Add cooked tomatillos and poblanos (you can skin them if you want, but I opted not to) in a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot. Add the onion and saute until golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin and chili powder. Saute for an additional 3 minutes.

Stir the tomatillo mixture, cook over medium-low heat (lowering heat if sputtering occurs) for 10 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the broth, beans (with liquid) and shredded chicken. Continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

Stir in the chopped chard, season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer for 5-10 more minutes, until chard is tender. Serve topped with cilantro lime pesto, sour cream, tortilla chips and diced avocado.

For the Cilantro-Lime Pesto
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.

Bush’s Beans provided food, travel, and lodging expenses for my trip to Napa last fall as well a fabulous time. Connie’s publisher provided me with a copy of the book The New Sonoma Diet: Trimmer Waist, More Energy in Just 10 Days. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Lisa (Dishes of Mrs. Fish) - February 21, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    Delicious! I love white bean chicken chili! :)


  • 2
    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} - February 21, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    I haven’t had white bean chili in forever. Your recipe looks amazing!


  • 3
    Debbie B. (DebaRooRoo) - February 21, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    Looks great! I’ve never made white bean chili and it sounds so hearty and refreshing. I love cookbooks like that and I try not to read them when I’m hungry!


  • 4
    Blog is the New Black - February 21, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    Looks light and healthy. I’ve never had a white bean chili!


  • 5
    The USA Kiwi - February 21, 2011 @ 8:22 am

    That looks delicious! I’m super-liking your soup bowl!


  • 6
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - February 21, 2011 @ 8:39 am

    How beautiful! This sounds so good – I know my family would like this. Thanks!


  • 7
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - February 21, 2011 @ 10:27 am

    I just love white beans. I bet this would be great with pinto beans too though!


  • 8
    Nancy-The Sensitive Pantry - February 21, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    As usual, Katie, this is a spectacular meal. I know my guys will love this one. Can’t wait to make it.


  • 9
    Kristen - February 21, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    Looks like a winner!


  • 10
    Lauren from Lauren's Latest - February 21, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

    This sounds like the most light and delicious dinner!


  • 11
    Katrina (gluten free gidget) - February 22, 2011 @ 4:42 am

    You put Swiss Chard in this?! Done! I officially love you!


  • 12
    Aimee @ Simple Bites - February 22, 2011 @ 7:57 am

    This would be amazing for a soup swap. My kids actually love beans, so I’m going to have to try this, Thanks, Katie!


  • 13
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - February 22, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    I am definitely bookmarking this one… It looks hearty and filling, but still very healthy! I especially love the cilantro pesto on top. Yum!


  • 14
    The Texas Peach - February 22, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

    I love chili and this one sounds amazing. The addition of the cilantro pesto is something that I hadn’t thought of doing before. Can’t wait to try this!


  • 15
    Leelu - February 26, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

    I made this tonight and it was AWESOME! The pesto took the soup from good to (in my husband’s words) restaurant quality. It really doesn’t need any of the add-ins, wonderful all on its own. Thanks for such an amazing and healthy recipe!


  • 16
    Piper - May 05, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

    I love the sound of this! I can’t wait to try it. I love verde anything but especially with white beans. I wish I had seen this recipe earlier, before I used up my tomatillos in a quick blended salsa. I’m off to the store to buy some more and make this soon!


  • 17
    ashley - January 06, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    My husband and I made this for dinner tonight – SO delicious! Just sent the recipe to my family and friends. Thanks!


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