This healthy White Chicken Chili is an easy, hearty chili recipe with lots of flavor and a great change up from traditional chili. Gluten free and dairy free recipe.
I’ve been on a huge soup and chili kick this season!
This white chicken chili recipe can easily be made the evening of (doesn’t take too long!), prepare it on your day off and enjoy leftovers, or save some of the batch to freeze and bring to new parents who don’t always have time to cook when their newborn arrives.
I actually prepped this for ourselves when we welcomed our first little one and it was perfect.
Best White Chicken Chili Recipe
Let’s go over the ingredients…
What’s so great about this white chicken chili is you probably already have some of these items in your pantry.
If not, the ingredients list isn’t too long and you should be able to find everything you need at your regular grocery store.
White Chili Ingredients
- cooking oil – I typically use avocado or oil for medium heat cooking, but whatever you have on hand will work (as long as it’s not for low heat cooking).
- onion & garlic – always provide such great flavor in chili! For the onion white, sweet or yellow all work.
- canned green chiles – I go for canned because it’s easy and you can find them at just about any grocery store.
- corn – fresh, canned or frozen work.
- Great Northern Beans – If you can’t find these, any white bean will do, such as cannellini beans.
- salt & ground pepper – I ended up adding a full tsp salt, but start with 1/2 tsp and adjust to your liking.
- chili spices – A hefty amount of ground cumin (one tablespoon) is a must for white chicken chili. Then I add a decent amount of ground coriander, and a hint of ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder works too).
- chicken broth – adds loads of flavor; I don’t recommend making chicken chili without broth.
- shredded cooked chicken breast OR un-cooked chicken breasts – you can use rotisserie chicken (or leftover cooked chicken breasts) or use un-cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe.
- limes – I always love adding fresh lime juice to chili recipes.
- cilantro – if you don’t love cilantro you can always omit, but it adds great flavor.
How to make Stovetop White Chicken Chili
This white bean chicken chili is ready on the stovetop in just about 30 minutes! Use a heavy bottomed pot, stock pot, dutch oven or something similar.
Step 1 – Prepare the beans
Drain and rinse the canned white beans. Add half of the beans to a medium bowl and mash until chunky. Reserve the un-mashed and mashed beans for later. This makes for a creamy white chicken chili without adding any heavy cream.
Step 2 – Start cooking the veggies
Heat large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot to medium-high heat. Add oil, onions, garlic, chili seasonings plus salt and pepper; sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add in green chilis and corn, chicken stock, and lime juice then bring to a simmer. Add the beans (both whole and the mashed ones) and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 3 – Add chicken and cilantro
After 20 minutes of simmering, taste test (you might find you want additional salt here). Then add in shredded rotisserie chicken and cilantro.
Step 4 – Simmer until ready
Now just simmer another 5 minutes until ready to serve!
More Ways to Cook
After making this a variety of ways, instead of using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, you can also add uncooked chicken breasts into the pot while the chili simmers, cooking through, then remove the chicken breasts, shred with a fork, and add back to pot.
You can also make this in a slow cooker or Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker). It’s super easy to adapt and I’ve included instructions in the recipe card below.
We are all about those chili toppings! They add extra flavor and texture and help complete the dish.
I love serving White Chicken Chili with avocado, tortilla chips, fresh cilantro and and a little dollop of sour cream or full-fat greek yogurt (if not dairy-free).
In the fridge: Store in an airtight container in the fridge; best enjoyed within 5 days.
In the freezer: store in glass container or storage bag (I like these reusable ones) and enjoy within 3-4 months.
Make sure the chili has cooled down and come to almost room temperature before storing.
How to Reheat Chili
Place the frozen container of chili in the fridge overnight to thaw, then simply warm up on stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and review on the blog! I love hearing from you, and it helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 2 (15 oz) canned Great Northern Beans (or any other white beans)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other oil)
- 1 medium-large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 tsp salt, to taste
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder (can sub chili powder)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 (4 oz) canned green chilis
- 1 (8.75 oz) canned corn (about 1 cup cooked corn)
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1.5 lbs cooked chicken breast, shredded (about 3 cups; see notes)
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Drain and rinse the canned white beans. Add half of the beans to a medium bowl and mash until chunky. Reserve the un-mashed and mashed beans for later.
- Heat large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot to medium-high heat. Add oil, onions, garlic, chili seasonings plus salt and pepper; sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add in green chilis and corn, chicken stock, and lime juice then bring to a simmer. Add the beans (both whole and the mashed ones) and continue to simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.
- After 20 minutes of simmering, taste test (you might find you want additional salt here). Then add in shredded rotisserie chicken and cilantro. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve chili with chips, sour cream, avocado, etc.
- Drain and rinse the canned white beans. Add half of the beans to a medium bowl and mash until chunky; set aside.
- In electric pressure cooker, using “Saute” mode on low heat, add oil, onions, garlic, chili seasonings, salt and pepper; sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add in green chilis, corn, and both beans; stir then add 3 cups* chicken stock and place un-cooked chicken breasts on top – do not stir chicken into broth, just keep them on top of everything.
- Using “Manual” high pressure, set timer for 10 minutes (for medium thickness chicken breasts.) Once the timer is done, allow 10 minutes of natural pressure release, then turn valve to quick release any remaining pressure. Unlock lid and remove chicken breasts with tongs, then shred chicken breasts and add back to pot, along with lime juice and cilantro.
- Change function to “keep warm” and taste taste for any more salt, spice or heat. Serve with your favorite toppings; enjoy!
- Drain and rinse the canned white beans. Add half of the beans to a medium bowl and mash until chunky.
- In slow cooker, add diced onion, minced garlic, corn, green chilis, white beans (both whole and mashed), chili seasonings, salt, pepper; stir then place un-cooked chicken breasts on top and cover with 3 cups* chicken broth.
- Cook on low for about 4-5 hours, or high for 2-3 hours, until chicken has reached internal temperature of 165ºF. Remove chicken breasts from slow cooker and shred; place shredded chicken back into slow cooker and add lime juice and cilantro; stir and serve with favorite toppings.
Adding the mashed beans makes this chili a little bit thicker. You can skip that part if you’d like.
Chicken – if using un-cooked chicken, use about 1.75 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts. Place chicken breasts into pot while chili simmers for 20 minutes. Then remove chicken, shred, and add back into pot with cilantro and simmer for 5 more minutes.
*The Instant Pot and Slow Cooker need less broth than the stovetop version.
Recipe adapted from here.