Aggie's Kitchen

Bush’s White Bean Chile Verde with Sonoma Pesto

Here’s the recipe a lot of you have been asking me for…

After getting back from my trip to Napa, I couldn’t wait to make this chili for my family.  I convinced my children to try it using an idea I got from my new friend Connie Gutterson…she asks her kids to rate some of the recipes she makes for them…my son totally bought into the “rating game” and ate a nice bowl himself.  My daughter, she didn’t care so much about the rating part, she just dove in and gobbled up her share.  I had to restrain myself from showing too much excitement so they wouldn’t get suspicious…

Sammy (age 5) rates this “5 spoons” and “3 thumbs up”!

bowl of chile verde with white beans and chicken topped with cilantro with a spoon resting in the bowl

I added a little quinoa to the chili to make it even more nutritious.  My kids think of quinoa as “rice”…whatever works right?!

Another tip I learned from Connie…Be sure to “fry” your sauce before adding in the liquids.  What that means is cooking down the roasted pepper and tomatillo puree in a little olive oil along with the onions and garlic until it “pulls away from the pan”…doing this enhances the flavor by concentrating and thickening up the sauce a bit.

skillet on stove with chile verde cooking


(Oh…and to keep things on the up and up here’s a little disclaimer…Bush Beans covered the costs of my trip but does not pay me to say nice things about them.)


Bush’s White Bean Chile Verde with Sonoma Pesto

  • Author: Aggie's Kitchen
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Oven/Stovetop


  • 1 lb tomatillos
  • 1/2 lb poblano chiles
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano (use regular oregano if you don’t have Mexican)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cans (15.5 oz) BUSH’s Cannellini Beans, with liquid
  • 2 TB chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 4 cups Swiss chard, stemmed, cut 1 inch wide strips
  • salt and pepper, to taste

* Optional Toppings

  • Salsa Verde (purchased)
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
  • Sonoma Pesto (see recipe below)

Sonoma Pesto

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 serrano chile
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts or peanuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • zest and juice from 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400°F.
2. Place tomatillos and poblano chiles on sheet pan. Roast in oven until peppers have blistered and tomatillos are soft. Remove from oven. Place tomatillos in blender. Once poblanos are cool enough to handle, remove seeds and skins. Add to blender, blend until smooth.
3. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add onions, cook until caramelized, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano, cook until aromatic.
4. Add tomatillo mixture, cook for 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
5. Add stock, beans and their liquid. Bring to simmer, cook for 20 minutes.
6. Add cilantro, chicken and chard. Bring to a simmer, cook for 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Sonoma Pesto

  1. Combine all pesto ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Drizzle the pesto on top of the chile verde and finish with salsa verde, as desired.

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25 comments on “Bush’s White Bean Chile Verde with Sonoma Pesto”

  1. What a great atke on chili. I liked that your kids thought quinoa was rice.

  2. I really love the addition of quinoa here – in fact, that caught my eye in the picture and made me open the post 🙂 I think it should be in the title of the recipe! The whole thing sounds wonderful.

  3. That looks so good!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. This looks and sounds delicious. I love cannellini beans and there are lots of great flavors going on here with them! Thanks!

  5. This is a beautiful Napa style chili. Very nice.
    I definitely need to try the rating game with my child to broaden his horizons on the food sphere 🙂

    This is my first time to your blog. I really like it.

  6. Looks like a fabulous dish Aggie! I love the rating system. I wonder how that would work with teenagers 🙂 I’ve never had chard or tomatillos before. I wonder if I would like it. You might have to walk me through this recipe Aggie but I do really want to try it.

  7. Love the quinoa addition, this looks great!!

    I’m very familiar with the Culinary, I grew up near the one in Hyde Park NY and we had an intern from there working at our family business for several years. 🙂


  8. It looks like it could be really filling and suitable for lazy cooks like myself who like to make big pots of food that can be frozen and used later.

  9. Wow, this looks really delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I would sure love to try it!

  10. This chili looks and sounds wonderful. I think your addition to add extra nutrition is very clever indeed! I’m printing this up to try vey soon. p.s. I love your blog!

  11. Oooh, looks good. I will just take the chicken out for me:)

  12. Looks wonderful, I love tomatillos (and beans of course!)

  13. This looks awesome!! I’m always looking for more ways to use my quinoa, too – thanks so much!

  14. Glorious chili! I actually, just added that to my recipes folder and put the necessary ingredients on the shopping list.

  15. I love tomatillos… (green tomatoes)? This looks gorgeous, the presentation looks absolutely fantastic, I like that you added quinoa too = )

  16. It was so tasty, wasn’t it?

    Pix make me miss our time together! 🙂

  17. That healthy dish must be very tasty! A wonderful recipe!



  18. This looks absolutely delicious. I love the chile in the pesto, what a great addition. I love everything about this recipe.

  19. mmmmm looks and sounds wonderful!

  20. so excited that I found this!!!! My son loves chili and my husband and I were just talking about coming up with a recipe! We are going to work on a red chili–but I am def going to try son loves white bean chili!!! My daughter needs it to be– not so hot…lol
    THANKS for posting this! YEAH!

  21. Oh this looks amazing! I love the sonoma pesto- it looks great and I’ll have to give it a try for sure! Keep up the awesome work Aggie!

  22. This looks soo good! I could really go for a bowl right now 😉

  23. Your chicken chili verde looks tasty. Instead we used pork, as done in many recipes and didn’t use any beans or other spices. Ours chili verde is described at . Would love to hear your comments.

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