Creamy Beans with Chicken

dsc_0256RECIPE #432, DAY #599


ORIGINAL RECIPE: “I’m Dreaming of a White Chili,” from the Podleskis’ Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry*

TIMING: 30 minutes, unless your average age is 10 years old

DIFFICULTY: My kids actually made this while I was under the weather

TOOLS: Soup pot, etc.

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: Sure, there is rather a lot of dairy in there, but this really a moderately healthy entree which feels very indulgent. I could even do without the chicken. And for bonus points, serve this over quinoa instead of rice.

dsc_0257EXPERIENCE: This recipe defies defining. It was written as white chili, but it is much too thick and tame for a chili. Years ago, I renamed it in our files as “Creamy Beans,” which, I am afraid, does not sound entirely appealing. Plus, what do creamy beans taste like? What do I do with them? I regret to inform you that there is nothing in our usual American diet that tastes quite like them. You’ll have to check the ingredients and then trust me. Sorta Southwestern? Sorta. Sorta casserole? Sorta.

This makes a great weeknight entree, served over a grain, and can easily go vegetarian. It won’t fit neatly into any of your entree categories, but it you have to try, maybe beans and rice? Or a stew? It’s awfully creamy for either. At any rate, it tastes good and all of us eat it up happily.

NOTES: You may omit the chicken and use a veggie broth, for a vegetarian (and cheaper) dinner. Of course, my son mostly just wants the chicken in his bowl.

You could pull back on the creaminess and make this more of a soup or chili, just take the flour down to 1 tablespoon and add 1 can diced green chiles.


  1. In a soup pot over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 1 pound diced chicken breast, salt, and cook until no longer pink. Add 1 diced onion, 2 diced stalks celery, and 2 cloves pressed garlic. Stir until onions are translucent.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander. Give it a stir, then add 1/4 cup all purpose flour and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in 3 cups chicken broth and 15 ounces evaporated milk. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer until thickened.
  4. Add 30 ounces drained navy beans, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes to meld flavors.
  5. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup of the hot liquid with 1 cup sour cream. Then stir the sour cream and 2 tablespoons minced cilantro into the beans.


Serve with shredded Jack cheese, sliced scallions, and optional sliced jalapenos, especially if you are making it more of a soup/chili.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: This keeps for a few days, covered in the fridge. Add more broth upon warming it on the stove, and made some fresh rice/quinoa. You could also combine the beans with the leftover rice, spread in a casserole dish, sprinkle with the jack and scallions, and bake until bubbly.

*Recipe changed from the original.



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