Chicken Poblano White Bean Chili is an easy, healthy and delicious chili recipe that's awesome for both weeknight dinners and entertaining friends and family. Make a big batch for watching football or a cozy, casual night in!
My chili pepper harvest has been absolutely bonkers this year. Most other crops in my garden were mediocre at best, and while I usually get a decent amount of peppers, I'm completely overwhelmed with them right now.
The poblano peppers in particular are going insane. I've tried growing this particular variety in the past without much luck, but for some unknown reason this season the plants have been dripping with fruit. I've stuffed them, roasted them and just now made them into one of America's favorite fall foods: chili.
This Chicken Poblano White Bean Chili is awesome. It comes together easily and has a really nice depth of flavor thanks to those rich poblano peppers and lots of warm spices. It's also super healthy. The chicken keeps it lean and the white beans and veggies add lots of fiber and nutrients. It's such a great dish to cozy up with on a crisp fall night.
I've been messing around with this recipe for years, but I owe it to my garden's mysterious bumper crop for inspiring me to finally post it. I've made it a lot with leftover shredded chicken, but this time I used raw ground chicken instead. I feel like it's more chili-y this way, as it reads more like a Mexican chicken soup with the shredded chicken. Still, both ways are great. If you have leftover shredded chicken in the fridge, feel free to substitute that in. Just skip browning the meat in the beginning and add it to the pot at the same time you add the beans.
A lot of "green chicken chili" recipes call for using canned green chilies, and while there's nothing wrong with them per se, I just find the flavor of fresh chilies to be so much better. Poblano chilies can really vary in their heat level, sometimes being as mild as a bell pepper and other times being quite hot. I always sample a little piece first and take it from there. I like to add some additional jalapeño peppers to give the chili a more complex flavor, but if your poblanos are extra fiery you can skip them.
Because poblano peppers have a thick skin, a lot of recipes call for roasting and peeling them first. It's a nice way to coax out their flavor and avoid that tough skin, but it's also a huge pain in the ass. I find that if you chop them up nice and small, that skin becomes nearly undetectable. I'll let you make that call.
The best part of this Chicken Poblano White Bean Chili, like all versions of chili, is the toppings. A squeeze of lime, chopped scallions, cilantro, sour cream, hot sauce, grated cheese, avocado and crunchy tortilla strips. I didn't have any store bought chips on hand this time (which is what I would have normally used), but I did have some corn tortillas in the fridge, so I baked some up instead via the same method I use for my Chicken Tortilla Soup.
It's a great recipe for watching football, for carving pumpkins, for entertaining or even enjoying alone. And if you need any poblano peppers, holla at your girl.
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