Oven Italian Chicken Chili With Crunchy Cashews

Italian Chicken Chili
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN
Total Time: 60 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Servings: 8 (1 1/2 cups each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

235 calories
9g fat
24g carbs
18g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 (1 1/2 cups each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 235
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 460mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 3g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 18g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 148mg 11%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 990mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This recipe contains all the colors of the Italian flag: white chicken, beans, and garlic, green kale and herbs, and red tomatoes. Including more colors in your meals (in other words, eating the rainbow) means you reap the benefits of more vitamins and antioxidants. Ground chicken is an easy way to add lean protein to the stew. Toasted cashew nuts make the stew unique and they add crunchy texture to the finished recipe.


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 12 ounces kale (about 4 cups), chopped into small pieces
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped oregano, dried or fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme, dried or fresh
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups liquid (water or broth)
  • 1 28-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt (if not using broth as liquid)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, to garnish
  • 1/2 cup toasted cashews


  1. Heat oven to 375F. Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with canola oil spray and set aside.

  2. Mix the chicken with your hands and break apart into the baking dish.

  3. Add the kale, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, beans, water or broth, tomatoes, and salt to the baking dish and stir everything together.

  4. Place in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring midway through baking, until the chicken is fully cooked and the stew is hot.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Instead of ground chicken, you can use chicken breasts or thighs for a comparable nutrition profile but slightly different texture. Bake the recipe as above, pull out the pieces of cooked chicken, shred or chop them, and then add them back to the stew.

Want to make this vegetarian? Double the beans and nix the chicken.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Have you ever made your own vegetable broth? It's easy. Just save all of the trimmings and end pieces of vegetables you use on a day to day basis and save them in a zipped bag or sealed container in the freezer. Once you have a good amount saved up, place in a pot and add enough water to cover. Toss in minced garlic gloves or spices and simmer on the stove for one to two hours. Drain out the vegetable trimmings and voila, you just made your own vegetable broth!

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