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Farmer’s Table: Easy White Chili


By Susan Maslowski

Some would argue that White Chili is not chili at all, just as there are those who say red chili should never contain beans. Chili lovers have strong opinions about what constitutes a good chili.

Years ago, I participated in an International Chili Society’s Chili Cook-Off. They did not permit beans, claiming authentic chili has no beans. Many Texans would agree that “true chili” contains meat (or any combination of meats) cooked with chili peppers and spices. No beans.

Beans were probably were added to stretch the dish further when times were tight. When cooked too long, beans can break down and turn to mush.

At some place and some time, the original meat and pepper chili recipes evolved to include additional ingredients. Today, chili comes in many flavors and colors.

Cincinnati Chili is served over spaghetti topped with shredded cheddar cheese and oyster crackers. Chili Verde contains pork and green chili peppers. White chili is made with cannellini beans and chicken.

Some recipes call for cubes of meat. Others call for ground beef or venison. Vegetarian chili definitely contains beans, with the addition of traditional ingredients like tomatoes, onions and spices.

I am not a purest. In my world, there is room for all of these chili variations. The important qualities of good chili are a pleasing aroma, color and taste. Chili shouldn’t be too thin or too thick, and it should not be exceedingly hot.

Here is a recipe for white chili, but you can call it a chicken bean stew, if you choose. Whatever you call it, it is delicious, so you may want to make a double recipe for leftovers.

Easy White Chili

2 cans Bush’s white chili beans, undrained

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth

1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of chicken soup

1 (4.5-ounce) can chicken breast

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro or tortilla strips, if desired.

For questions about recipes or other information, contact Susan Maslowski at or go to our websites at and Susan also has a Farmer’s Table Facebook page.


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