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Hearty Chicken and White Bean Soup

You’re going to love this comforting Chicken and White Bean Soup. It’s flavorful, quick, and super easy. Make a batch of this protein and nutrient-packed soup once to enjoy all week! Gluten-free, dairy-free, and ready in 40 minutes.

Chicken and white bean soup in bowls standing on a tea towel.

This delicious soup is made with a bright blend of vegetables, creamy white beans, and chicken.

A soup recipe is not often simple enough to make after work, but this chicken soup can be prepared on a weeknight.

I love making a big batch on Sundays to have it for lunch or dinner throughout the week. There’s nothing better than quickly warming up a bowl of homemade chicken and bean soup on a cold day!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s delicious! This hearty soup is sweet with a bit of spicy and savory notes.
  • This is an easy low glycemic soup to throw together in under 40 minutes.
  • It’s perfect for lunch or dinner with a light salad and slice of crusty bread.
  • You can use leftover chicken to save time.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ready to warm up with a bowl of chicken and white bean soup? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Olive Oil: You’ll need olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking. You can also use avocado oil or another high-heat cooking oil.
  • Onion & Carrot: The first layer of flavor comes from lightly caramelized onions and carrots. If you think cooking carrots and onions makes your house smell amazing, wait until you add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Zucchini: As it cooks, it breaks down a bit, thickening the broth.
  • Red & Green Bell Pepper: Add bell pepper for pops of color and sweet flavor. Feel free to use orange and yellow bell pepper as well.
  • Chicken Stock: To cut back on the salt, use low-sodium chicken stock.
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes: Use low sodium or no salt added canned tomatoes.
  • Skinless, Boneless Chicken Thighs: See RECIPE TIPS for how to cook the chicken thighs. If you have any leftover breast or rotisserie chicken, that works too.
  • Canned White Kidney Beans: You’ll most likely see those labeled as “cannellini beans.” They’re soft, sweet, and creamy. You can also use navy beans, great northern beans, or butter beans.
  • Paprika, Garlic & Cayenne: This trio of spices brings sweet and smokey heat to the soup. Use more or less to your liking.
  • Salt: Add to taste. Salt enhances the natural flavors.
  • Frozen Green Peas: I love the bursts of sweet and earthy flavor green peas add to each bite.

How To Make Chicken and White Bean Soup

  1. Saute the aromatics: In a large soup pot, over medium heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent (2 to 4 minutes). Add the carrot and cook until soft, and the carrot and onion begin to brown and caramelize (about 4 minutes).
  2. Add the veggies: Add the zucchini and bell peppers to the pot. Stir and cook until they begin to soften (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  3. Simmer the ingredients together: Next, add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, shredded chicken, beans, spices, and salt. Stir everything together and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 more minutes.
  4. Finish and serve: Last but not least, add the green peas and simmer for an additional minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Chicken and white bean soup in bowls.

Recipe Tips

This is an excellent recipe for repurposing cooked chicken. I used cooked chicken thighs. You can also use chopped chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken.

If you do not have cooked chicken prepared, that’s okay. You can cook it while chopping the veggies. To quickly cook chicken, submerge it in a pot of boiling water or broth and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked. Let cool for a bit before chopping.

Store-bought broth and canned foods are typically high in sodium. To reduce the sodium content as much as possible, use low sodium stock or homemade, fresh-diced tomatoes and white beans cooked from dried.

Recipe Variations

  • Bacon – A reader mentioned adding bacon for the extra calories, which sounds insanely good. Bowls of chicken and bean soup garnished with crispy chopped bacon? YUM!
  • Corn – Add it along with the frozen peas.
  • Ground Sausage – Brown your ground sausage in the pot first and then set it aside while you follow along with the recipe. Add the sausage back to the pot with the broth, etc., and simmer together.
  • Kale/Spinach – Stir in a couple of handfuls of chopped kale or spinach leaves when adding the green peas at the end.
  • Lemon Juice/Lemon Zest – Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of lemon zest to the pot before serving.
  • Parmesan – Ladle your soup into bowls and finish with freshly grated parmesan or your favorite plant-based parmesan alternative.
  • Pasta – If you’d like to add pasta, I recommend cooking it separately and adding it to individual servings. Otherwise, the pasta will absorb the broth and turn to mush.
  • Fresh Herbs – Add chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, cilantro, chives, etc., to the pot or sprinkle on individual servings.

Storing & Freezing

There’s no need to make dinner in a rush with a batch of chicken and white bean soup stored in your fridge. I usually cook a batch to have plenty of leftovers throughout the week.

  • Storing: Let your soup cool completely to room temperature and refrigerate in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. To reheat, microwave for a few minutes or warm over medium-high heat.
  • Freezing: Pour cooled soup into a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months—Thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Chicken and white bean soup in a bowl. A silver spoon to the right.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are white beans the same as cannellini?

Cannellini beans are a type of white bean. They’re also known as fazolia beans, white kidney beans, and Italian kidney beans.

What can I substitute for white beans in soup?

White beans have a creamy and smooth texture, similar to navy beans. In addition to navy beans, you can swap red kidney beans, great northern beans, navy beans, butter beans, and garbanzo beans for white beans in soups. A variety of beans in this soup would be great!

Can you put dried beans directly in chicken and bean soup?

This recipe calls for canned beans because they are cooked before being canned. To add dried beans directly to your soup instead of canned, they need to be simmered longer, and you’ll need more liquid. That said, it’s much easier to make soup with canned beans.

Soup Swap

Have you ever participated in a soup swap?

This is a great way to incorporate various new foods and flavors into your diet.

It’s simple. You prepare big batches of your favorite soup recipes and exchange them with your friends!

It works well for groups of people with similar dietary lifestyles. How fun is that? This chicken and white bean soup and the recipes below will surely be a hit!

More Healthy Soup Recipes

Chicken and White Bean Soup

Hearty Chicken and White Beans Soup

Yield: 6 portions
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This Hearty Chicken and White Bean Soup is really easy to prepare, healthy, filling and comforting. Make a big batch and you are set for the whole week.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 can (796 ml/28 oz) diced tomatoes, low sodium or no salt added
  • 4 skinless boneless skinless chicken thighs, cooked and cut into small pieces, See the notes
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) white kidney beans, low sodium or no salt added
  • 1/2 Tbsp red paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups frozen green peas

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent for about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until the vegetables start to caramelize, for about 4 more minutes.
  2. Add the zucchini and red and yellow bell pepper. Stir and saute the vegetables until they start to soften for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, chicken, beans, red paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 20 more minutes.
  4. Add the green peas. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 more minute.

Notes

1. If you don't have ready-cooked chicken, cook raw chicken meat in water or chicken broth. It takes about 15 minutes. You can cook it while prepping the veggies.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1/6 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 291.2Total Fat 8.7gSaturated Fat 1.6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7.1gCholesterol 61.4mgSodium 635.4mgCarbohydrates 31.5gFiber 8.7gSugar 10.2gProtein 23.1g

Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.

Did you make this recipe?

If you tried this recipe, please give it a 5-star rating! To do this, click on the stars above. You can also leave a review or comment below. And don't forget to tag me @mariaushakova.blog if you share a picture on Instagram!

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Megan

Wednesday 15th of January 2020

My son needs extra calories so my husband added bacon and it was delicious!! I use low sodium chicken stock and added only a tiny bit of Himalayan salt. It was very flavorful.

Maria Ushakova

Saturday 18th of January 2020

So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment :)

Larry S

Monday 8th of January 2018

This recipe sounded great until I saw the sodium content. The sodium content is equal to or higher than most store bought soups. With so many Americans - like myself - struggling with high blood pressure this is not a healthy recipe. If you made your own chicken stock and used dried beans and fresh tomatoes you would replace that unhealthy sodium with potassium and help us lower our blood pressure and reduce heart attacks.

Maria Ushakova

Monday 8th of January 2018

Hi there! The sodium content is a rough estimate and depends on the products used to prepare the recipe. One option to reduce the sodium content is, like you mentioned, to use homemade chicken stock, fresh tomatoes, and dried beans. The other option is to use low sodium stock, canned beans, and tomatoes. We are all different and what is healthy for one person, might not be so healthy for the other and vice versa. Good for you for knowing what to watch out for in recipes!

Robert

Monday 23rd of October 2017

Hi soup looks great..just wondering why it shows 10.5 grams of sugar..I've had to cut my sugar intake..would like to try it but....

Maria Ushakova

Monday 23rd of October 2017

Hi there, the sugar in this recipe comes from all the vegetables, beans, and peas.

Just me Jack

Saturday 10th of January 2015

By the way I also do Holistic Nutrition.

Maria Ushakova

Thursday 15th of January 2015

Hi Jack! Thanks for letting me know that you liked it. So glad my recipe was approved by a nutritionist :) !

Just me Jack

Saturday 10th of January 2015

Hi Maria -- I tried the Chicken & White Bean soup and it was great. Thanks

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