Chicken Chili with Pesto

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I know, I know, another chicken recipe. But it’s another pretty decent one. Although it was listed in the September 2002 issue of Cooking Light, I only recently found it in their Holiday Cookbook. I didn’t have initial plans to make it, although, I admit the picture looked appetizing but I had some leftover pesto I wanted to use up. The recipe for Chicken Chili with Pesto wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever had from Cooking Light nor the worst (see my Beer Cheese Soup post…). It was a pretty decent recipe and I would consider making it again if I had some leftover pesto again! The only alteration to recipe I made this time around was using store-bought pesto (yes, I know pesto is simple to make). I also pureed some of the white beans to make it a little thicker. Another good recipe for a cold wintry night.

Overall rating: me – 3.5 stars, hubby – 4 stars

Chicken Chili with Pesto

From Cooking Light
Swirl in a generous dollop of pesto before serving to liven up this classic white chili.


2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-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 Classic Pesto

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

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

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

CALORIES 327 (23% from fat); FAT 8.5g (sat 1.8g,mono 3.4g,poly 2.5g); PROTEIN 30.3g; CHOLESTEROL 52mg; CALCIUM 134mg; SODIUM 769mg; FIBER 5.9g; IRON 4.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 30.7g

Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2002

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