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EatingWell: When you don’t have time to cook, reach for this chili recipe

EatingWell: When you don’t have time to cook, reach for this chili recipe

From the 5 recipes to make when you don't have time to cook series
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Cream cheese adds richness to the dish.

This rich and creamy chili comes together in a flash thanks to quick-cooking chicken thighs and canned white beans. Mashing some of the beans acts as a fast thickener when your soups don’t have a long time to simmer. Cream cheese adds the final bit of richness and a hint of sweet tang.

Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese

Serves 6

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added great northern beans, rinsed, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (2 medium stalks)
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

1. Mash 1 cup beans in a small bowl with a whisk or potato masher.

2. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add chicken; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, garlic, cumin and salt. Cook until the onion is translucent and tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the remaining whole beans, the mashed beans, stock and chiles. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cream cheese until melted. Serve topped with cilantro.

Recipe nutrition per serving: 319 Calories, Total Fat: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 61 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 9 g, Total Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 23 g, Sodium: 329 mg, Potassium: 662 mg, Iron: 3 mg, Folate: 50 mcg, Calcium: 140 mg, Vitamin A: 511 IU, Vitamin C: 50 mg.

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at


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