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Chicken Chili with Pesto

Prep Time

20 minutes

Prep Notes

Chicken Chili with Pesto

Quickand easy meal for dinner, with leftovers for lunch! Swirl in a generous dollop of pesto beforeserving to liven up this classic white chili.

QUICK TIPS: Buy precooked chicken strips, pre-cut veggies, canned beans, canned green chilies, pre-made pesto (or use Traditional Pesto with Carrot Tops.)  Fry up the veggies as indicated, add chicken last to warm, add spices.

Cooking Time

25 minutes


4 servings (1/5 cups each)


2 teaspoons vegetable oil

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut intobite-sized pieces

1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrot

3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

3/4 cup thinly sliced celery

1/4 cup canned chopped green chiles

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans,rinsed and drained

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons Traditional Pesto with Carrot Tops or other prepared pesto


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and chicken; sauté 5 minutes.
  2. Add carrot, bell pepper, and celery; sauté 4 minutes.
  3. Add chiles and the next 6 ingredients (chiles through broth); bring to a boil. Cover,reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes. 
  4. Stir in pesto and serve.


Photo by: Becky Luigart-Stayner; LydiaDeGaris-Pursell

The chili and pesto can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months. Prepareand freeze 3 tablespoons Classic Pesto. Prepare the chili without ClassicPesto, and spoon into a freezer-safe container. Cool completely inrefrigerator; cover and freeze. Thaw chili and pesto in refrigerator. Place chiliin a large skillet; cook over medium-low heat until thoroughly heated, stirringoccasionally. Stir in Classic Pesto.


Cooking Light Magazine, SEPTEMBER 2002