Bacon ranch chili with chicken is everything that you want from a winter dish…warm, thick, flavorful, and hearty. Try this different twist on white chicken chili!
I’ve talked, oh, at least once or twice (?) about how much I love soup when the weather starts to get coolers. All kinds of soup…brothy soups, creamy soups, smooth soups, soups with lots of texture. Oh, and stews, which are really just thicker or chunkier soups. But what is chili? Is chili soup? Yes? No? I think it counts, but when you can ladle a soup onto a hot dog it is definitely leading a double life.
I’ve been making regular old chili (that sounds awfully dull, but really it isn’t) for years, but I’ve failed to happen upon a recipe for white chicken chili that really made my spine tingle. I remember that years ago when we used to visit Panera often that they served a white chicken chili that Philip loved to order in a bread bowl and it was quite good. Years later, during my short-lived stint as a Pampered Chef consultant (yes, really. That sort of thing is not my bag, baby. ?? I am definitely better as a blogger than as a salesperson.) I made a chicken chili from a Pampered Chef recipe and it was so spicy I couldn’t eat it. It kind of ruined chicken chili for me for a while.
This summer as I was dreaming up recipes for the blog I decided that it was time to make a white chicken chili. Not just any white chicken chili, I decided. Chicken bacon ranch chili. I started searching for recipes to see if anything like it existed, and let me tell you…there are lots of recipes for chicken bacon ranch chili and none of them were anything like I had in mind. Good, because that meant that I could develop an original idea on my own…bad because I had no measuring stick, no springboard. All the other recipes were tomato-based…some of them with ranch dressing poured on top. Definitely not what I was going for.
It took me a few tries to get this right. The first time I used chunks of chicken and Philip vetoed that. The second time, I forgot to thaw the chicken and ended up just making bacon ranch chili (oops). Third time is a charm, though, and this chicken bacon ranch chili is everything that I had hoped it would be…warm, thick, flavorful, hearty. I served it with ranch-flavored tortilla chips, which turned out to be exceedingly dangerous for me to have in the house (where are my stretchy pants?) but you could serve it with plain tortilla chips, corn chips, or crusty bread. Which ever way you serve it, I hope you’ll love this chicken bacon ranch chili!
Yield: 4 servings
10 minPrep Time:
30 minCook Time:
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
- 1-1 1/5 pounds chicken thighs, trimmed
- ranch dressing mix (recipe above or use one envelope of store-bought)
- 1 14.5 ounces can diced tomatoes
- 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- salt, to taste
- tortilla chips, for serving (optional)
- Monterey Jack cheese, for serving (optional)
- sour cream, for serving (optional)
- Stir the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a 6-8 quart Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the onion and peppers to the pan and cook until softened.
- Add the chicken thighs to the pan in a single layer. Cook for two minutes then flip and cook for two additional minutes.
- Add the ranch dressing mix, tomatoes, beans, and chicken broth to the pan and stir to combine completely. Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate or a cutting board and shred with two forks.
- Add the chicken back to the pot along with the cream cheese. Cook and stir until the cream cheese has melted completely. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve topped with the bacon and, if desired, sour cream, cheese, and chips.
Click here to print the recipe for chicken bacon ranch chili!