There’s nothing more satisfying than a warm bowl of chili during these cold winter months. I absolutely love it! But way too often people forget about white chili as an option, and I’m out to change that with my White Bean Chicken Chili recipe!
Made with fresh, real ingredients like onions, garlic, red pepper, chicken, white beans, corn, fresh greens, and a delicious blend of spices, my white bean chicken chili packs a flavorful punch. I made it for my brother’s family a couple of weeks ago, and my brother liked it SOOO much, he asked for leftovers so he could pack it for lunch—something his wife claims he’s done only once before in their 8 years of marriage. 🙂
And if you’re having friends or family over to watch a big game, this is definitely a recipe to try. It takes about 15 minutes to prep and is ready in under an hour!
Oh, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan please check out the recipe’s notes for some quick and easy substitutions to customize my white bean chicken chili without sacrificing any taste! I promise … nobody will even guess they’re eating vegan chili!
My White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe
Ready to cook up a batch of my White Bean Chicken Chili? Then let’s get started! And if you try it, please let me know what you think by posting a comment below!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, diced (optional)
- 1 to 1½ pounds uncooked chicken, diced (white and/or dark meat depending on your preference)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour (optional—add for a thicker chili)
- 3 (15-ounce cans) white northern, cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2½ cups frozen corn, thawed
- 4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
- ½ cup heavy cream (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 cups greens such as arugula, spinach, or escarole (packed)
- Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and salt
- Diced Avocado
- Chopped Cilantro
- Chopped Green onions
- Sour Cream
- Grated Cheese (parmesan or Monterey Jack are my favorites)
- Tortilla chips
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper (optional)—cook for 30 seconds. Add chicken, salt, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture.
- Add the beans, corn, and stock. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chili has reduced to the desired thickness. Add red pepper flakes and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Add greens and season to taste, ladle into bowls, and garnish as desired. For a creamier soup pour in the cream when adding the greens and warm thoroughly making sure not to bring chili to a boil.
If you’re looking for a spicier chili, consider mixing in a jalapeño with the garlic (seeded or with seeds if you want an even spicier chili).
Vegetarian / Vegan Option: (1) replace chicken with one additional can of white beans, (2) use vegetable broth, and (3) omit cream or use coconut or almond milk instead.
Kitchen Tips & Resources for My White Bean Chicken Chili:
- A great kitchen ladle is a must for any soup or chili recipe. I recently realized the ladle I had been using was old and plastic … which got me wondering what sort of plastic it was made of and then thinking there might be BPA in it. So I decided it was time to replace the old one with something that I didn’t have to worry about, like this stainless steel ladle from ChefLand.
- A great garlic press makes child’s play of mincing garlic. I love this top-rated one but there are lots of great alternatives out there at all sorts of kitchen, department, and discount stores.
- Looking for a solid set of pans that doesn’t cost a fortune? I’ve been making chili in these Farberware pans for 20+ years, and they still look great!
- A high-quality set of cutting knives can make a huge difference, especially when you’re cooking REAL food. My local knife shop advised me to invest in the higher quality Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature brand (much higher quality than the J.A. Henckels International brand) and time has proven them right. (To make sure you know which Henckels knives are better, here’s a tip — look for the “twins” on the knives vs. the single guy sporting the trident.) While you can buy these knives online, if you’ve got a local knife/cutlery store, support them instead. I love my local cutlery store and bring my knives in every six months or so to get them maintained with a nice, sharp edge!
- A great, non-slip cutting board is an invaluable kitchen asset when cutting up the vegetables. I upgraded to these Epicurean non-slip boards a year or so ago, and I’ve been really pleased with them.