Tennessee White Chili

March 22, 2012

Good Lands! What has gotten into me?! Spring has been here for a couple of days now. Though truth be told, here in Virginia it has seemed like “Spring” has been here for quite some time. We’ve been having really warm temperatures for March, after an exceptionally warm winter. I mean today the old mercury is going to be pushing around 79° F (26° C)! I just gotta say, that is as hot as I would like Summer to get, much less Spring! I am absolutely terrified what it will be like here come say July?!! My husband, myself and even our pup just hate the hot, humid Virginia summer and I bet this one, judging from all recent indications, will be a doozy! I think my family will definitely be fleeing north, most likely to Newfoundland

Cuckold's Cove Newfoundland

and probably to Ireland as well.

Slea Head Drive, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

So I have no idea why I am giving you a recipe for Chili today. Other than this Chili is absolutely delicious and hopefully some of you are enjoying more reasonable early Spring temperatures than we are here. We love chili and have already given you a mouth-watering recipe for Texas Beef Chili, which was chock full of steak and not a bean in sight! Today’s chili recipe comes from the great State of Tennessee. A State which my husband, pup and I will be visiting later this year I very happy to say. (Nashville here we come! WooHoo!) In Tennessee, they apparently go for chicken over beef and add plenty of beans to the mix. This recipe called for 3 – 15 oz. cans of cannellini beans. I used two cans and thought the bean ratio was correct. I also added a 4 oz. can of chopped green chilis, because I have mentioned before, we really enjoy spicy, hot food. Though I wouldn’t say this chili was super hot and spicy with the additions of the green chilis, they just added a little kick to it.

The chili was really delicious and very easy to make. You use chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken and there is no need to cook this chili for hours on end, it comes together rather quickly. This hearty, yet light chili is made even better by the addition of some shredded cheese, sour cream and crushed up tortilla chips, not to mention a nice cold beer! I’m very pleased to have added this White Chili to our chili repertoire. Give it a whirl if you’re still enjoying nice, brisk chili weather in your neck of the woods!

Tennessee White Chili

recipe from: Food Republic and The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • 3 15-ounce cans Great Northern or cannellini beans
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 4 oz. can of diced green chilis
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • chicken broth, to desired consistency
  • shredded monterey jack, to garnish
Heat the oil in a 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Stir in the chicken, beans, cilantro, green chilis, cumin, salt, and cayenne and simmer 30 minutes. If you like, you can add chicken broth as you prefer.
Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish each serving with cheese, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.


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