Cozy in a Bowl – Smokey White Bean Chicken Chili

Cozy in a Bowl – Smokey White Bean Chicken Chili

One of the things I love about Fall is that it marks the return of cozy.  Cozy sweaters, cozy by the fire, cozy wrapped in your favorite blanket on the couch.  As the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, a comforting bowl of spicy chili is just the thing to create that feeling of warmth.

And brace yourself…this recipe is lowfat.  Gasp!

I prefer to make my chili the day before I serve it.  Not only does it taste better, but it’s tremendously relaxing to come home and know that dinner is already done.

Smokey White Bean Chicken Chili

  • 3 strips of thick-sliced bacon, chopped (See Note)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • Two 14 oz. cans of beef stock (or you can substitute chicken stock)
  • One 10.75-ounce can tomato puree
  • Three 15-ounce cans small white beans, drained & rinsed (about 5-6 cups)
  • Chopped red onion
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Plain low-fat yogurt or light sour cream

Note:  Everything is better with bacon, but if you would like to leave out the bacon, substitute 1 tablespoon of oil instead.


Chop the bacon and sauté in a nonstick skillet on medium-low heat until the bacon is just starting to crisp up, about 5-7 minutes.  Then add the onions.

Continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep golden brown, about 12-16 minutes.  Add oregano and cumin.

Stir 1 minute.  Add the chicken and cook until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.

Sauté another minute.  Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up with back of spoon. Mix in stock and tomato sauce. Bring to boil.

Reduce heat.  Simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the beans to the chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 10 minutes longer.

Remove the bay leaves and at this point, you could eat it, but I think chili is always better the second day, so I recommend that you let it come to room temperature and then refrigerate until the next day.

Ladle chili into bowls. Top with red onion, cilantro and yogurt.  Its really good with some kind of crunchy chip.

This keeps in the freezer for up to 3 months.