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Brain Healthy White Bean Chicken Chili

by | Aug 31, 2017 | Brain Health Recipes, Entreés, Nutrition, Side Dishes | 3 comments

This Brain Healthy white bean chicken chili recipe is a filling, tasty, and perfect for fall meal that packs a high protein and high fiber punch. Cannellini beans are used to thicken the chili, are high in antioxidants, and have numerous health benefits. Cannellini beans help regulate blood sugar levels, which is good for diabetics and good for all of us. The high fiber content can help prevent heart disease, we understand it is not a miracle bean but every small step toward improving your health is a step in the right direction. Cannellini beans high antioxidant levels are said to protect your skin from skin damage and may help fight cancer. As if that wasn’t reason enough to try this dish, as an added bonus cannellini beans help you lose weight by acting as an inhibitor that stops your body from absorbing carbohydrates quickly. In addition to all these body and brain health benefits this Brain Healthy White Bean Chicken Chili it is extremely tasty! It is fast becoming part of our regular meal rotation.

This recipe comes to us compliments of the nutrition department at Tufts University. We enjoy it plain or served over quinoa.

Brain Healthy White Bean Chicken Chili recipe image of completed dish

Brain Healthy White Bean Chicken Chili

Course: Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: gluten-free
Servings: 8 Eight 1 cup servings


  • 2 (15 or 19 oz) cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs trimmed and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 tsp extra vigin olive oil divided
  • 1 large onion chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced (1 cup)
  • 1 (4 1/2 oz) can green chilies chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 8 lime wedges
  • 1/2 cup scallions chopped
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese grated


  • Drain and rinse beans. Place beans in bowl with 1 tbsp baking soda and cover completely with cold water. Allow beans to soak for at least one hour, this will reduce the side effects of beans flatulence.
  • Place 1 1/2 cups of the beans in a medium bowl and mash with a fork; set mashed and whole beans aside.
  • Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a dutch oven or stew pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, turning from time to time, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tsp olive oil to the pot, then cook onion and red peppers, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add green chilies, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano;  cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the reserved mashed and whole beans and the chicken (with any accumulated juices.)  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and flavors have developed, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in cilantro. Garnish each serving with a lime wedge, a sprinkling of cheese, and scallions, if desired.


Nutrition information per serving (without garnishes):  Calories:  220.  Fat:  5 grams.  Saturated fat: 1 gram.  Cholesterol:  60 milligrams.  Sodium: 510 milligrams.  Fiber:  6 grams.  Carbohydrates:  21 grams.  Protein:  20 grams.
Looking for more brain friendly recipes? Check out our brain health recipes, or schedule a consultation with Dr. Diane® for personal help customizing your diet for your symptoms!

Dr. Diane® Roberts Stoler, Ed.D.
7 Hodges Street
N. Andover, MA 01845
Phone: (800) 500-9971
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