Cheesecake Factory White Chicken Chili

Post image for Cheesecake Factory White Chicken Chili

by Amber on April 11, 2012

Are you a Big Bang Theory fan? If you are, you’ll get this post more than others. Recently, James’s best friend from high school, the fellow that introduced us to each other all those years ago, came for a visit. Mark brought with him his new bride, the lovely Heather, or as she’s affectionately known, Penny.

They celebrated their honeymoon throughout Canada and the NYC area, somewhat just to come hang out with us! On their honeymoon! That’s love, people. And family. Welcome to our family, Penny. We’re so glad to have you.

We did all the requisite NYC sight seeing and endless eating you can imagine, but one request gave James and me a pause and a chuckle. They insisted we go to a Cheesecake Factory at some point during their trip. They didn’t care when, or which location, we just had to go.

The reason behind their fascination with this ginormous chain is completely to do with the television show The Big Bang Theory, where the group of friends on the show tends to eat at least once a week, and where the main female lead works.

Not going to lie, James and I enjoy eating at this chain restaurant on occasion. Their molasses oatmeal bread is divine, and James could eat their White Chicken Chili every day of the week and be happy. That this chili appears on their “Skinnylicious” menu only makes him love it more.

We’ve been back several times to eat the chili so I could analyze it for recreation at home. At least, that’s the excuse James and I kept telling ourselves!

It’s a chili that is definitely full of flavor, and comes together quickly. But like most chilis, the longer you let it sit, the better it will taste. So make it a day ahead of time, or make a double batch so you have leftovers all week. It’s also great for going straight in the freezer.

What makes this chili so delicious? I like to think it’s a combination of all those fabulous spices: cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion, with the background notes of navy beans and juicy chicken.

We added red kidney beans to ours simply because I felt it needed a second can of beans, and we didn’t have more navy beans on hand. Feel free to switch out the red kidney beans for more navy beans if it strikes your fancy. I also added white shoepeg corn because I love corn in chili. Feel free to omit it if that’s not your thing.

As Sheldon says, Bazinga! There’s your dinner.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

shelly (cookies and cups) April 11, 2012 at 9:13 AM

The Cheesecake Factory is one of my most favorite restaurants on earth…I’m classy like that.
Love white chili!


Amber April 11, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Shelly, have you tried their sister restaurant, Grand Luxe? Oh my… the freshly baked chocolate chip walnut cookies. I. die.


shelly (cookies and cups) April 11, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Where is THAT?! MUST GO!


Amber April 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

I know there’s one in Dallas, and there’s one up here near us in Paramus, NJ. Looks like there’s also one in Houston. http://www.grandluxcafe.com/locations.htm


shelly (cookies and cups) April 11, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Awesome! Totally gonna talk my husband into going to the one in Paramus! He’s CCF lover too, so it won’t take much coaxing :)

Amber April 11, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Shelly, why did I think you were in Texas?! If we’re so near each other, we should hang out! I’m in Union County.


shelly (cookies and cups) April 11, 2012 at 10:01 AM

I grew up in Texas! That’s probably why…lived in Houston most of my life! Two displaced Texans are we :)
We should absolutely plan a lunch. I am in Andover, out 80 West

Erin April 11, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Hahaha oh how I do love that show so much!


Amber April 11, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Us too, Erin. We’re so glad it’s in syndication now. It’s replaced our “repeated watching” show, Scrubs.


Cookbook Queen April 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM

It is my life dream to eat at a Cheesecake Factory. The closest one is about 2 hours away, in Tulsa. My husband keeps telling me that is too far to drive just to eat at Cheesecake Factory, but I keep telling him, 2 hours is nothing when you’re talking about a life long dream.

In the meantime, I’ll make this chili. And pretend.


Amber April 11, 2012 at 10:42 AM

I have a better idea, Kristan! You come visit Shelly and me, since we just figured out we live about an hour from each other (and I’m 45 minutes from NYC too), and we’ll go to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch, and then spend the afternoon drinking margaritas on my deck. Life = Perfect.


Cindy @ Once Upon a Loaf April 11, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Ohhhh…I love white chicken chili and you know what? Cheesecake Factory, too. This looks BETTER than anything there, however. I will make this next week for dinner. Can’t wait!


Amber April 11, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Thanks, Cindy! Lovin’ your guest post on MBA today too. You had me at Bourbon, baby.


Cindy @ Once Upon a Loaf April 11, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Thanks, lady! It is safely in the cabinet, untouched, today, even if it appears otherwise…


Amy @ A Little Nosh April 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM

That looks so delicious! Makes my mouth water.


raquel@eRecipe.com April 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I like the way you describe your featured dish. The way they looked great and delicious in the photos got me hungry and had this recipe in my must try list. Thanks for sharing =)


Casey@Good. Food. Stories. April 11, 2012 at 6:41 PM

I’m surprised a Texan like you has accepted white chicken chili into your life! That James, he’s a bad influence. (Kidding. White chili is my favorite chili, but I’m a Yankee-Appalachian weirdo.)


Amber April 11, 2012 at 7:52 PM

I can get behind a good white chicken chili, Casey, so long as no one calls it Texan. :)


Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray April 12, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Ohhh yum. My sister insists on going to the Cheesecake Factory for her birthday dinner every year, and I’ve never ordered this dish…but I love chicken chili so much I think I’m just going to have to make it for myself. :)


Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 12, 2012 at 12:19 PM

What a fabulous chili! It looks so darn delicious I just might have to make it soon! Thanks for sharing your mouthwatering recipe, Amber.


Deborah April 14, 2012 at 5:36 PM

I haven’t seen The Big Bang theory, but I’m pretty sure I’ll still be thinking about this chili until I try it!! Love everything aobut it!


Rachel Cooks (formerly Not Rachael Ray) April 16, 2012 at 11:43 AM

This looks so good! I have a favorite white chili recipe…but I might have to switch it up…


Tracy April 18, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Such a fun reason to visit the Cheesecake Factory! Though I can’t eat their cheesecake, I LOVE going there for dinner, and I will absolutely be making this chili at home. I love that wheat bread too; we always devour two servings of it. I think perhaps you should recreate that too…more trips to the Cheesecake Factory! ;-)


Rick Strong April 21, 2012 at 11:24 AM

This looked so good I had to make it; every bit as good as I had imagined, and more. Big big hit with the family, even better the second day, of course. Thank you!


Jamie | My Baking Addiction April 23, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Well, you know me and my love of cheesecake, so naturally I adore both The Cheesecake Factory and Grand Luxe Cafe. This chili looks pretty – how do you say it? Amazeballs.


Patricia May 12, 2012 at 6:54 PM

So, dumb question I’m sure, but the cans of beans and corn–drained and rinsed, or not?


Donna December 31, 2012 at 6:06 PM

I made a low fat version of this recipe. I used a can of low fat evaporated milk instead of half and half and low fat sour cream instead of regular. The chili was delicious! I will be making this again.


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