When the temperature drops, we turn to comfort foods. Unfortunately, here in Houston the cold weather rarely lasts for long, so we need to be ready for some good hearty foods when it happens! And what's better than a nice and cozy pot of soup on a cold winter's day?? This Creamy Three Bean Chicken Stew is an easy and tasty recipe to enjoy a protein-packed stew with chicken and a variety of beans as the centerpiece.
What Beans are in this 3-Bean stew?
For this Three Bean Stew, we chose to use kidney beans, cannellini beans, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas).
We have tried several combinations and really enjoy the textures, tastes, and visual appeal of the three types of beans we used here. This can also be experimented with to your personal liking with different beans.
Achieving a Thick and Creamy Stew
Pureeing a portion of the beans gives you a nice thicker consistency without having to add other thickening agents such as a cornstarch slurry, flour, or a roux. Making this stew thicker or thinner is up to you, but we feel like this ratio lands right in the slightly thin (thick soup) stew area.
There’s nothing wrong with using the other thickening agents in stews, and they do have their place in dishes like Gumbo or other thicker stews. So if you like a thicker stew, go for it. If you are looking for a thinner broth or soup, reduce the amount of beans you puree with the bacon, and it will be a thinner final product!
Using the cannellini beans (which are white) as a thickening agent in the broth compliments the cream at the end as far as color. It just makes for a more visually appealing dish than pureeing beans of darker colors.
Additionally, adding the heavy cream at the end gives this stew a luscious and rich flavor and contributes a bit to the overall creamy texture of the final dish.
White or Dark Meat?
We chose to stick with white meat and used chicken breasts cut into cubes for this stew. This can be personal preference and dark or white meat chicken works well in this. So use what you like or what you have available.
This recipe is especially great to make on a cold weeknight when you need a dish with little cleanup! Our Calphalon Premiere Nonstick Cookware, especially the 8 qt Stock Pot, is perfect for this recipe so that you can make a big pot of hearty stew for the whole family!
If you are in the market for a new set of cookware, head to Calphalon.com to shop this 11-piece set, and use our code COOKWITHWINE25 for 25% off site-wide (excluding sale items).
Obviously, this dish is very versatile, and you really can’t go wrong making it! It’s simple, freezable, scalable (you can double it and it feeds a platoon) so you are going to be happy if you have leftovers as well! Simply store the stew in an airtight container and enjoy throughout the week for an easy lunch or dinner, or freeze for up to 6 months.
We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Creamy Three Bean Chicken Stew! If you give it a try and loved it, click the heart button, or leave us a comment and a 5-star rating below!
Looking for more recipes like this? Check these out:
- Creamy Potato and Caramelized Leek Soup
- Cozy Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
- Guinness Beef Stew
- Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Asiago Soup
Creamy Three Bean Chicken Soup
- 2 strips bacon
- 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or a combination, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cups onion, medium dice (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 cup carrots, medium dice (about 2 medium carrots)
- 1 cup celery, ¼” sliced (about 3 celery sticks)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 1 can (19 oz) cannellini beans, divided
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 can (16 oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1 can (16 oz) red kidney beans
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 can (15 oz) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- Parsley for garnish (optional)
Prepare the Proteins and Vegetables
- In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon until crispy, remove to a plate with paper towels to drain excess fat, then roughly chop the bacon. In the same pan, add some of the oil to the bacon fat as needed, then add the chicken over medium high heat. Cook the chicken in batches to brown the meat. Remove to a bowl as the chicken is browned.
- Once the chicken is done, add any remaining oil (and more if needed) to the pan and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 6-8 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato paste and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits. Add the entire contents of the sauté pan to the bowl with the chicken.
- Meanwhile, drain and rinse all the canned beans well, but keep the cannellini beans separate from the rest. Remove 8 ounces (about a cup) of the cannellini beans and put them into a blender with the chopped bacon. Add ⅔ cup of the chicken stock to this mixture and blend thoroughly.
- To an 8-quart stock pot, large soup pot, or large Dutch oven, add everything except for the cream and bring to a boil uncovered over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and gently cook for 30 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer for another 15 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt if needed. Garnish with parsley and serve with toasted bread or garlic bread.
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