This white chicken sausage chili has been a repeat recipe in our house. I thought we were in the clear. Made it until March, and then the dreaded flu hit our house. Luckily, it seems that only 2 out of 3 boys went down and the parents stayed upright. Not only is this recipe really easy, my kids love it when they don’t feel well. AND, that is good news because research shows that soup, in particular, chicken soup with veggies may help speed up recovery.

woman's hand holding a bowl of white chicken chili

Chicken Soup to the Rescue

Mom’s homemade soup might be just what the doctor ordered. Studies looking at the benefits of chicken soup compared to over-the-counter cold remedies showed that the chicken soup wins. Its salty broth not only hydrates, but the warm liquids help thin mucus secretions allowing the body to rid itself of germs more quickly.

A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics suggested that a compound called carnosine, which is found in chicken, could help reduce inflammation associated with the initial stages of viral infections and prevent the development of the common cold [1].

Other Anti-Viral Ingredients in White Chicken Chili

Garlic: One study showed that those with the common cold who received a garlic supplement were able to recovery more quickly compared to the placebo group.  [2]. Health-promoting sulfur-containing compounds in garlic may play a role in its antiviral effects.

Onions: A compound called quercetin may may provide antiviral properties [3]  

Oregano: While research is sparse in humans, test tube studies show two compounds found in oregano (carvacrol and thymol) have  antiviral properties. For example, in one study, these compounds inactivated norovirus, a viral infection that causes diarrhea, nausea and stomach pain, within one hour of treatment [4].

Spice It UP

I also added some spice to this white chicken chili. Spicy foods help ease congested nasal passages, help with breathing problems from bronchitis, and relieve flu symptoms, too. Other tasty and spicy additions in this soup could be hot sauce, horseradish, or wasabi. I find they are a tastier alternative to over the counter expectorants for that winter cold. 😉 SPRING IS ALMOST HERE!

What about you, friends? What are your go-to, feel-better foods?

References:

  1. Management of the virulent influenza virus infection by oral formulation of nonhydrolized carnosine and isopeptide of carnosine attenuating proinflammatory cytokine-induced nitric oxide production.” Am J Ther. (2012).
  2. “Garlic for the common cold.” The Cochrane Library. (2009)
  3. “Onion: Natural Protection Against Physiological Threats.” Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. (2013).
  4.  2012 Oct;78(15):1636-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1315208. Epub 2012 Aug 13.
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white bean chicken chili with a napkin beside it

White Chicken Sausage Chili


  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 8 oz. spicy or Italian seasoned chicken sausage
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2, 15 oz. canned Northern white beans
  • 1, 4 oz. green chilies
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1 T. dried parsley
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1 t. cumin powder
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t. salt

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add chopped sausage. (My kids liked the sausage finely chopped #highmaintenance, but they are sick).
  3. Sauté chicken for 5-7 minutes until cooked through.
  4. While sausage cooks, puree 1 cup of canned white beans with 1 cup of chicken broth using an immersion blender or regular blender.
  5. After chicken has cooked through, add remaining ingredients including pureed beans and chicken stock.
  6. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve!

Notes

  1. While 4 cups of broth was enough in making the recipe, leftovers often soak up the liquid. You might have to add more broth when serving this recipe again.
  • Category: soup
  • Method: sauté
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: chicken sausage white bean chili

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.