Smoked Chicken & Bacon White Bean Chili

Smoked Chicken and Bacon White Bean Chili

I have so much fun trying to recreate dishes.  Super Bowl was Sunday and even though we didn’t watch the game, I always like to get in the spirit of the evening by cooking up football grub. 

I decided I wanted to make chili since our weather went from 60F degrees down into the 20s, brrr!!!  I’ve already shared my Autumn Maple Tenderloin Chili that my family adores, and my quick & easy Dump-In Chili that’s great when you’re in a hurry.  However, I haven’t made a white bean chili in a long time or shared one on my blog, so I decided to create one.

I looked online at various recipes and found an old Bon Appetit recipe from 1997 that sounded great.  However, every review, although good, modified the recipe.

After looking over the ingredients I decided to change the ground turkey for smoked chicken.  I purchased prepared smoked chicken from a grocery store nearby that makes their own.

In place of the unsweetened cocoa powder it called for , I used a Lindt Dark Chocolate Bar with spicy red chili, plus added in a chipotle for a little extra heat, with a touch of sugar to sweeten it up.

I left out 2 bay leaves it called for, since I’m not a fan of those, even in stews.  My husband can spot that flavor regardless of what’s in a dish.

I used less chili powder, crushed instead of whole tomatoes, chicken instead of beef broth, and that pretty much sums it up.

Basically I looked at the recipe as a template, then changed it up entirely, adding 2 strips of bacon just for grins, that my husband had purchased online.

Smoked Chicken and Bacon White Bean Chili 15a

The Results: At first my husband and I thought it tasted unusual – not good or bad.  However, he had 3 helpings, and I finished off a huge bowl which I rarely do.  So I’d say we both liked it quite a bit. Leftovers the next day were even better allowing the flavors to meld. So I might suggest preparing this the day before you plan to serve it.

Creating recipes can be fun.  If you’ve never tried it, one way is to simply find one that sounds good, then change up as many ingredients as you like, to suit your taste.  Who knows you may create a prize winning dish!

I’ll definitely make this again!

Smoked Chicken and Bacon White Bean Chili

Smoked Chicken & Bacon White Bean Chili

A hearty chili to satisfy all!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 strips smoked bacon, sliced across into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2  pounds smoked chicken, cubed or shredded
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1.5 oz. dark chocolate with spicy red chili (Lindt Chocolate Bar), chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 15-ounce cans small white beans, rinsed, drained (I used 2 cannelini, 1 northern)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • plain low-fat greek yogurt
  • cheddar/monterey jack cheese blend
  • cilantro for garnish


  1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and bacon; sauté  about 10 minutes. Add oregano and cumin; stir 1 minute. Add smoked chicken and chopped chipotle's. Stir in chili powder, salt and cinnamon. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, chocolate, and sugar. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add beans to chili and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes longer. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before serving.)
  3. Ladle chili into bowls. Top with yogurt, cheese, and cilantro if desired.


If preferred use ground chicken or turkey in place of smoked chicken.

Adapted from Bon Appetit 1997