White Bean Chili with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

  • White Bean Chili with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Posted on December 12, 2013

We had some seriously cold weather here last week. And I don’t just mean cold for Seattle. I mean really, actually cold. There were a few nights that the temperature dropped down below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. And even at the height of the day, the thermometer didn’t creep above freezing. This cold snap wreaked some havoc on my little floating home. You see, the pipes from my house travel out under the house, through the water and then run up above ground along the dock. Can you guess what may have happened? They froze. So for three days I had no running water. No showering, cooking or laundry. What a hassle. But I’m all thawed out now. And while it is slightly warmer around here, it’s still cold enough to be chili weather. So I got right back in the kitchen and made this White Bean Chili with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes.

This chili tastes like you’ve been slowly simmering it for hours. But in actuality, the whole thing comes together in just about 30 minutes. My secret: using a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. The meat on those rotisserie chickens is so flavorful, juicy and tender. I remove the meat from the bones while the sweet potatoes and beans are simmering, then just toss it in at the end to warm everything through. It’s a great little trick that allows you to enjoy all the flavors of a slow cooked chicken chili in just a fraction of the time. Perfect for a weeknight meal!

The balance between warmth and coolness is perfect in this chili. The red pepper flakes, chili powder, ginger and roasted green chiles provide the right amount of heat. While the lime juice and cilantro bring fresh, citrusy, bright flavor notes to the pot.

Stay warm!



Recipe slightly adapted from Gluten Free Goddess

White Bean Chili with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Serves about 6

White Bean Chili with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 3-3 1/2 cups), peeled and diced into cubes
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cups roasted green chiles (hot or mild)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans (Great Northern or cannellini), rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped


  1. In a large heavy-bottom pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped red onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the minced garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, until it becomes fragrant. Add the sweet potato and all the spices (through the red pepper flakes). Stir to coat and cook for an additional minute. Add the roasted green chiles, white beans and chicken broth. Cover the pot with a lid and bring the chili to a boil. Then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, for about 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, gently stir in the cooked chicken and warm through. Add the fresh lime juice.
  2. Serve the chili hot with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro leaves. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

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  • This looks and sounds delicious! I think I might give it a try… thanks Liz! BTW, your photography is beautiful.


    • Thanks, Kate! Glad you like it. Though I’m hoping Santa brings me a new camera for Christmas…..

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