White Bean Chicken Chili Verde

I have found that chili is usually a good recipe to have in my back pocket on busy days because it isn’t very difficult to make and I most always have all the ingredients on hand.

As much as I like the traditional chili recipe, it is always good to mix things up. We love this recipe for White Bean Chicken Chili Verde.

mexican cilantro lime pesto sauce

It’s no secret that I love black bean recipes. I even shared my Top 5 Black Bean Recipes of the moment a while back (though some of those may be subject to change at this point after trying so many new recipes).

In the past year I have really tried to incorporate different varieties of beans to our menu. I love the Chickpea and Chicken Curry Soup I recently posted. I don’t usually use chickpeas very often, unless I’m making a batch of hummus, so it was fun to experiment with them in a new way.

I’m also using white beans a lot more often in recipes like this White Bean Chicken Chili Verde. And Kidney beans have made a few more appearances than usual. Recently we liked this Dirty Rice with Kidney Beans and Andouille Sausage (I’ll be making this again this week).

chicken and white bean chile verde

I really appreciate how full this recipe is of good-for-you ingredients that also taste great! I love adding recipes to our rotation that are absolutely delicious but really good for our bodies too.

I use my recipe for Shredded Tex-Mex Chicken to cook the chicken for this soup. It adds another step, but it is one easily completed in advance. For convenience later, store shredded chicken in the freezer in 1 or 2 cup portions to have on hand for a busy day.

This White Bean Chicken Chile Verde is easily one of our favorite soup recipes to mix things up in the winter. Served with a side of whole-grain with flax tortilla chips and topped with some diced avocado it was a filling and satisfying meal.

Chicken and White Bean Chile Verde with Cilantro-Lime Pesto

Yield: serves 4 - 6


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 Bush's brand 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.

I have a working relationship with Bush’s Beans in which I am compensated for my time, but all opinions are my own.