White Bean Chili with Kale & Roasted Chicken

Last winter I posted a recipe for White Chili – chili made with white beans and shredded chicken breast. It’s delicious – full of cumin, chili pepper, and garlicky flavor, a little spicy, and creamy from those delicious white beans. But in order to achieve perfect one-pot meal status, it was missing a vegetable. So I threw some kale, and it turned out really well.


Below is essentially the same recipe as the original white chili, but there’s a little more cooking liquid needed, along with increasing a couple of the spices. This recipe starts from dry beans, so it cooks slowly – but it’s worth it. If you’re in a hurry, you could definitely use canned beans, just skip steps 1 and 3 and be prepared to use much more stock since you won’t have the bean cooking liquid as a base.






Chili is one of my favorite winter meals. Hope you enjoy!


White Bean Chili with Kale & Roasted Chicken

serves 4-6



  • 1 pound, white northern beans, soaked at least 8 hours
  • 2 medium, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, peeled but left whole
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1, 15oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock, optional


1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, add the beans with enough water to cover. Add the whole peeled onion, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and bring to a boil. Cover slightly and adjust the heat so that the beans boil steadily (sligtly above a simmer).

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Trim any fat off the chicken breasts. Coat the chicken with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and season with salt and pepper on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

3. After the beans have been cooking for about half an hour, season with salt and pepper and cook until the beans are soft but not falling apart (another 25-30 minutes). Add water to cover the beans as necessary.

4. Once the chicken is cool, shred it and set aside.

4. Remove the whole onion from the beans.  Add the chopped onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and can of diced tomatoes. Stir well and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chicken. Bring to a simmer and cook another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add the chopped kale, stir to combine and let simmer another 10 minutes, or until the kale is tender. If the chili seems too thick, add some low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock, about 1/2 cup at a time.

6. Garnish with light sour cream or nonfat plain yogurt. Serve.



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