Rosemary Chicken Chowder with White Beans

Main Dish, Poultry, Soup and Stew | 15 comments

This recipe for Rosemary Chicken Chowder with White Beans started came to fruition on one of those nights where I found myself starting into the pantry wondering what on earth I was going to make for dinner.

You might be pleased to know that I am not perfect at meal planning.  Or at making just the right thing every night at home for dinner. That we eat out on occasion. Or eat simple things like Grilled Cheese for dinner. But lately I have had enough of that.

I have had periods of time where I am really organized but lately I feel very much like a chicken running around with her head cut off.

rosemary chicken chowder with white beans

I have so much wanted to sit down to a delicious home cooked meal and feel completely satisfied upon completion of that meal.

On that busy night I knew soup or chowder would be the answer to that craving. Even on nights when I’m scrounging through the pantry and fridge after days of failed plans to go to the grocery store I can usually drum up enough ingredients for a soup or chowder.

Rosemary Chicken Chowder with White Beans probably sounds decadent. Really, I didn’t have enough potatoes for Baked Potato Soup and not enough chicken for much else.

The chowder was looking awfully bland in color so I asked Eric to swing by the store on his way home for a bunch of kale to add some color and more vegetables.

rosemary chicken chowder with white beans and kale

Some stale bread turned Homemade Sourdough Garlic Butter Croutons and crumbled bacon turned this pantry emergency into a masterpiece.

It turns out this make-shift Rosemary Chicken Chowder with White Beans was good enough to add into the rotation.

We’ve already enjoyed it a few times this fall – good thing I took notes that first time I made this tasty chowder recipe so I was able to recreate it.

Tasty Fall Soups and Chowders:

Need some more soup and chowder inspiration? Here are a few favorite recipes for this time of year.

Do you ever create unexpected deliciousness in your kitchen?

Rosemary Chicken Chowder with White Beans

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For the Soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 large sprigs of rosemary
1 bay leaf
12 ounces unpeeled red potatoes, cut into bite size cubes
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 can Bush's Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
dash nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
2 - 3 ounces of chopped kale

Topping Ideas:
Homemade Sourdough Garlic Butter Croutons
Bacon Crumbles


In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the onion and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until tender and golden. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute. Now, add the chicken and cook with the onion and garlic until cooked through and golden on the outside.

Stir in the broth along with the rosemary springs, bay leaf, and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Then, turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the broth is fragrant with the smell of rosemary.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour into the milk. After the broth has simmered, stir in the flour and milk mixture along with the cream cheese and cannellini beans. Turn heat up to medium until it reaches a slow boil again. Then, turn the heat back down to low to maintain a simmer. Add a dash of nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Just before serving, stir in the kale and cook until tender and wilted, about 3 - 5 minutes over low. Remove the bay leaf and rosemary. Serve topped with Homemade Sourdough Garlic Butter Croutons and Bacon Crumbles.

Looking for more great winter comfort food recipes? Join Aggie’s Kitchen and Real Mom Kitchen to share a family favorite Winter Comfort Food recipe for the Bush’s Beans Recipe Exchange!

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
    Amy - October 22, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

    This sounds like such great comfort food. Rosemary is one of my favorite flavors—definitely have to try this one!


  • 2
    Lynna - October 23, 2012 @ 12:23 am

    This looks so hearty and delicious for a chilly day!


  • 3
    Elle - October 23, 2012 @ 4:45 am

    This really looks good – Do you think I could substitute the rosemary with thyme? my little one will not touch anything with rosemary in it.
    Also, do you think it’s ok if I skip the cream cheese?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — October 24th, 2012 @ 12:47 PM

      Thyme should work fine. Cream cheese makes it a little richer tasting but you can definitely leave it out.

  • 4
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme - October 23, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    Sometimes the very best cooking happens when we look to our pantries. I’ve made delicious soups and stews based on whatever I happen to have on hand at the moment. They almost always turn out to be what I call “happy accidents.” This chowder, with its combination of rosemary, chicken, beans, milk, and cheese sounds like one of those very happy accidents!


  • 5
    allison - October 23, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    This is right up my alley – definitely adding it to the dinner rotation this week! It was so cold this morning when we woke up and I am so ready for warm soups and stews for dinner now.


  • 6
    Shaina - October 23, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    I’m a sucker for rosemary in just about anything. This looks delicious, Katie.


  • 7
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel - October 24, 2012 @ 6:53 am

    I love pantry soups and chowders. Tis the season! And so glad I’m not alone with the flip flop of organized to craziness.


  • 8
    Kerstin - October 24, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    Yum, I’m impressed you just threw this together – it looks so tasty, hearty, and satisfying!


  • 9
    Rachel Cross - October 29, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight & it turned out terrific! I used 1 cup almond milk and 1 cup organic 2% dairy milk (trying to cut down on dairy products) as opposed to the 2 cups dairy milk called for – and it was great! You could definitely sub both cups for almond milk & not effect the final result of chowder. Just be sure to use regular unsweetened almond milk (some have cane sugar and would be too sweet for this recipe). I did use cream cheese too, no substituting there lol! It smelled delicious as it cooked with the aroma of rosemary wafting thru the house – Thanks for sharing such a good recipe.


  • 10
    mo - October 30, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

    Simply wonderful! Even with substitutions: half soy for the milk, about half reduced fat sour cream for the cream cheese, mustard & tender greens, turkey bacon. Adjusts well to what’s in your fridge. Thank you for sharing this.


  • 11
    Rachel (teacher-chef) - December 06, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

    Thank You for just throwing this together! This looks so good, looking forward to next week’s soup now!


  • 12
    Rose - January 07, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

    This sounds marvelous. My favorite dinners are often dashed together from this and that.


  • 13
    Maggimade - April 05, 2014 @ 5:18 pm

    I often cook “by the seat of my pants” , and then can’t remember what I put in. Maybe I should record my culinary adventures. Then I could erase the flops.


  • 14
    Melissa French, The More With Less Mom - May 05, 2014 @ 10:13 am

    Hello from Melissa French, The More With Less Mom. I have included this recipe in my May Real Food Meal Plan. I’m all over the comfort food. Thanks for sharing! http://www.morewithlessmom.com/index.php/2014/05/05/may-real-food-monthly-meal-plan/


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