Chili is the ultimate fall and winter comfort food. Who can say no to a bowl of warm, thick chili that’s loaded with tender chicken and hearty cannellini beans.
It’s some of the best chili I’ve ever had and will be on rotation all winter.
Who can say no to a bowl of warm, thick chili that’s loaded with tender chicken and hearty cannellini beans. It’s some of the best chili I’ve ever had and is robustly flavored from sweet Vidalia onions, jalapeno peppers, and green chilis. The chili has mild to medium kick, but you can make it spicier by using the jalapeno seeds or by adding more red chili flakes or cayenne pepper. It’s so easy and ready in 30 minutes. To save time, use a storebought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken that you have on hand. Salt your chili to taste. I use low-sodium chicken broth, low-sodium beans, and add a bit of salt to the chili so I can control the overall salt level. It makes enough to stash half in the freezer for the future.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 2 medium/large onions)
1 large jalapeno pepper (about 4 to 5 inches long), diced very small (the seeds are where the heat is concentrated; included or discard them based on preference)
7 to 8 ounces canned green chiles, don’t drain (I used mild heat)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use about 1 whole storebought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken in a skillet)
two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (see step 4 below about blending 1 cup of the beans with a splash of chicken broth or water)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced
tortilla strips, chips, crackers, diced avocado, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream; all are optional for garnishing
To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
Add the onion, jalapeno, green chilis, and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
Add the chicken broth, chicken, cannellini beans including whole beans and blended bean mixture (take 1 cup of the beans, add to a food processor or blender, add a splash of chicken broth or water and blend until smooth; mixture should be thick. Add the blended bean mixture along with the whole beans to pot), lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 7 to 10 minutes. It’s unlikely, but if at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your chili to be thinner, add 1 cup of water or as desired; you’ll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end. For thicker chili, allow mixture to boil longer and reduce until desired thickness is reached.
Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
Taste chili and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, beans, and rotisserie chicken are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, etc.).
Ladle chili into bowls, and optionally garnish with tortilla strips, chips, crackers, avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately. Chili will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.