Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

Three Bean Chicken Chili

Yesterday I accidentally slept until 10:00.  Yup, you read that right.  I have no kids at home, or barking dogs, and my husband quietly got up and made his own coffee and breakfast, so I slept until TEN!  The problem with that, was that by the time I got showered, dressed, checked my email, ran to the grocery for a few things, made a quick recipe, and cleaned up the kitchen, it was 4:15 and getting dark out already.  I had to go for my walk in the dark, so I swear I’ll never sleep until 10 again. 

The early darkness here in New England definitely makes me crave more comfort food.  There really is a link to warm, starchy comfort food and darkness.  Your serotonin levels drop off when it’s dark for longer, and carbs actually increase your serotonin.  For anyone who is not as well versed in the language of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as I am, the lack of serotonin is the reason millions of us get so SAD :(.

Rather than indulge too much in starchy happiness, I invested in a “happy lamp” a few years ago, and I try to sit in front of it for a few hours each day.  I haven’t really decided if it works or not.  I do know that my neighbors wonder what the heck that weird bright light is in my house.

Although I often give in, I try to make my comfort food a bit on the healthier side.  This Three Bean Chicken Chili is a favorite, because it’s an easy, one-pot meal AND it’s healthy and delicious.  The secret ingredient is milk. Kind of weird in chili, I know but it really works, and it also makes this dish calcium rich.

Three Bean Chicken Chili|Craving Something Healthy


If you need a little extra comfort, serve this with a nice big bag of chips.

Three Bean Chicken Chili

Serving Size: 6 servings


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium red peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 14 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 1-15 oz can black beans
  • 1-15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1-15 oz can pinto or white beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • Kosher salt and pepper


Season chicken with salt and pepper, and cook on the grill, or roast in the oven at 350 degrees. Set aside to cool.

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven, and sauté onion, red pepper, jalapeño and garlic about 5 minutes, or until soft.

Add spices and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add flour and stir to coat all vegetables.

Add broth and milk, and stir while bringing mixture to a simmer to thicken.

Rinse beans in a colander, and add to the chili.

Shred the cooled chicken with 2 forks, and add it to the chili.

Simmer chili for about 20 minutes.

Add chopped cilantro, green onion, and lime juice.

Season with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 430 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 675mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 17%
Dietary Fiber 11g 44%
Sugars 5g
Protein 35g 70%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Do you live where it gets dark super early in the winter?  Please tell me how you survive!


Eat well!

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