Everybody’s Favorite White Chili


It’s been really cold in San Diego lately. Seriously. I mean, not cold by like Green Bay, Wisconsin standards, but really cold by San Diego standards. It was 39 degrees when I got up this morning! Perfect weather to make Everybody’s Favorite White Chili. This recipe is from the very first issue of Bon Appétit that I ever received (remember that gift subscription for my birthday from my friend Linda?)…March 1991. It was called Timothy’s White Chili because it was from a restaurant called Timothy’s in Louisville, KY (which apparently has since closed).

It has chicken instead of beef and white beans instead of the usual red kidney beans. I garnish it with jack cheese, sour cream and cilantro. It’s a little spicy, really hearty and delicious. I’ve simplified it over the years, using a store-bought roasted chicken and canned beans. It’s a family favorite. In fact, I submitted the recipe for the cookbook that was put together at our kids’ elementary school back in 1999. I renamed it Everybody’s Favorite White Chili for that cookbook and the name stuck. Because it is.

It would be great to serve at a Superbowl Party. Or on a cold San Diego evening.

Everybody’s Favorite White Chili


3 16-ounce cans Great Northern white beans, drained

2-3 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 4-ounce cans chopped mild green chilies

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 cups canned chicken broth

Approximately 3 cups shredded jack cheese


Sour Cream


Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, then chilies, cumin, oregano, cloves, and cayenne pepper and sauté 2 minutes.

Add beans and broth and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Add chicken and 1 cup cheese to chili and stir until cheese melts. Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle chili into bowls. Serve with remaining cheese, sour cream, salsa and cilantro.


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