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Simple White Chicken Chili

A warm bowl of this hearty, creamy chicken chili will put you right!

White Chili Chicken Horizontal 1

If you’re looking for a non-traditional alternative to beefy chili, then creating simple white chicken chili is an ideal recipe for you to start adapting into your routine. It’s a flavorful blend of healthy ingredients – packed with healthy veggies and protein – that makes for a fantastically comforting and filling dinner that is light enough to be useful throughout the year.

White Chicken Chili is a lot faster to make than a regular chili recipe, as it requires less simmering time than a beef and beans variation. Our method utilizes chicken breasts for juicy freshness, but you can make the recipe come together even quicker by using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken if pressed for time.

I like to blend a cup of cannellini beans with some chicken broth into puree when adding it to the chili sauce. When it’s added to the chicken, veggies, and rest of the chili’s liquid, the puree helps create a thicker, creamier result naturally. Again, if you’re in a hurry this step can be skipped over – and there’s two cups of cannellini beans in there already – but it does create a tastier result for minimal extra effort.

White Chili Chicken Vertical 1

Despite being a spice lover (understatement alert), I find our Simple White Chicken Chili tastes best as a gently warm, rather than hot spiced dish. The depth of flavor in green chiles, and a little ground chili really is all you need to form the recipe’s bedrock, while not losing the subtle flavors of pantry spices such as oregano, cumin, and coriander. I also like to add a little lime juice into the mix to add some underlying tang to the broth.

White chicken chili is a delicious addition to my family’s hearty meal mix. It’s great for warming cold bones, and also useful for reheating later on the fly. Once you’ve cooked it once or twice you can tinker with it to get the exact layering of tastes you enjoy most!

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Serves 6

15m prep time

40m cook time

Rated 5 out of 5
Rated by 2 reviewers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3 x 15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 x 4 oz cans chopped green chiles
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: 1 green chili pepper, finely chopped
  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken, onion, and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes, or until chicken is browned on both sides.
  2. Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board, and cut them into 1-inch pieces, then set aside. In a food processor, puree 1 cup of beans along with 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
  3. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven with the puree, remaining chicken broth, cannellini beans, green chiles, corn, lime juice and dried herbs. Stir thoroughly to combine, then bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Remove the chili from the heat and ladle into individual bowls. Top with shredded cheese and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Serve with a smattering of green chili garnish, and fresh crusty bread.

Recipe adapted from Once Upon a Chef

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