Skip to Content

The Ultimate Hearty White Bean Chicken Chili

If you’re looking for a warming, comforting, and easy-to-make recipe that is perfect for any occasion, then you should try this White Bean Chicken Chili.

A pot of hearty white bean chicken chili topped with cilantro.

The Best White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

As the weather cools and leaves begin to fall, there’s nothing quite like a hearty bowl of chili to warm you up. This dish is a delicious twist on the traditional chili recipe, and it is packed with flavor, protein, and fiber, making it an excellent choice for a healthy and satisfying meal. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just looking for something to warm you up on a cold night, this recipe is sure to please.

This White Bean Chicken Chili recipe is not only delicious but also very versatile and easy to customize. You can swap out the chicken for ground turkey or beef, add more or less spice depending on your taste, or even make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth and omitting the chicken altogether.

If you loved our Classic Beef Chili or are a fan of other comforting soup recipes like Chicken Tortilla Soup, you will fall head over heels for this White Bean Chicken Chili.

This chili also makes a great option for food prep; you only need to portion it out for the week and add some sides. Make it now and enjoy it later! 

Why it’s Good

  • Flavor blend: The combination of chicken, white beans, and spices creates a delicate balance of flavors that dance on your taste buds.
  • Healthy and Hearty: Loaded with protein from the chicken and fiber from the beans, this chili is both nutritious and filling.
  • Versatile: You can customize it to your liking with different toppings and garnishes, making it a versatile option for various tastes.
  • Perfect for Leftovers: White Bean Chicken Chili often tastes even better the next day, making it an ideal make-ahead dish for busy schedules.
Hearty comfort in a bowl, with tender chicken, creamy beans, and warming spices. Perfect for chilly days!

What Do You Need To Make White Bean Chicken Chili Easy?

  • Chicken: For White Bean Chicken Chili, lean and tender chicken breast is often the preferred choice, providing a high-protein and low-fat content. You can also use chicken thighs for a more robust and juicy flavor. Cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken can be a convenient option as well.
  • Aromatics: Onions and garlic lay the foundation for the rich and aromatic base of this chili. You can also add bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, or green chiles for a spicy kick and additional layers of flavor.
  • Oil: olive oil is the preferred choice due to its robust flavor. It used to soften the aromatics – onions and garlic
  • Broth: Chicken broth is typically used in White Bean Chicken Chili, as it complements the flavors of the other ingredients and provides a rich, savory base. Vegetable broth can be substituted for a lighter alternative or to accommodate dietary preferences.
  • Spices & Seasonings: Essential spices include ground cumin, chili powder oregano, cayenne pepper (optional), salt, and pepper to taste. Adjust the heat level to your preference by adding or toning down the spices or peppers.
  • Beans: Cannellini or Great Northern beans are popular choices for this chili, with their creamy texture and mild taste. These beans provide a good dose of fiber, protein, and other essential nutrients, like iron and potassium.

How to make white chicken chili at home? (Step by step)

  1. Sauté Aromatics: Heat olive oil, cook onions until translucent, and add garlic
  2. Cook Chicken: Season with salt and pepper, cook until no longer pink, and set aside.
  3. Start Chili Base: Add beans, broth, and spices; bring to a boil.
  4. Finish: Mix in fresh chopped cilantro.
  5. Serve and Enjoy: Ladle into bowls, garnish with toppings of choice

How should you store Chicken White Bean Chili?

  • Let the chili cool, then transfer it into an airtight container.
  • Note: Don’t leave the chili out for more than 2 hours.
  • It will stay fresh for up to four days in the fridge or up to 4 months in the freezer.

What To Serve With white chicken chili?

There are plenty of delicious side dishes that pair well. Here are three of my favorites:

  • Crusty bread: he firm crust and soft interior make it perfect for sopping up the savory chili broth, ensuring that not a drop is wasted.
  • Caesar salad: Light, crunchy, and packed with flavor. Caesar salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty warmth of chicken chili.
  • Cornbread is also an excellent accompaniment, as it has just enough sweetness to play off the spiciness in the chili.
  • You can also serve it with a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
A plate of white bean chicken chili served with bread

How to thicken white chicken chili?

I used mashed beans in this recipe as a thickener and enjoyed it. If you wish to make it thicker, you can also make a roux with flour or cornstarch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze White Bean Chicken Chili? Yes, it freezes well for up to three months. Let it cool before transferring to an airtight container.

Why is my white chicken chili thin?  ‘You may need to cook it for longer or add less chicken broth. You can fix a thin chili by mixing flour and water in a separate dish and then adding it to the chili. Cook for five to ten more minutes to thicken.

Why is white chili called white chili? This is because this chili uses white beans and chicken.

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • Store your white chicken chili batch in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for 3-4 months.
  • Before reheating, thaw the chili in the refrigerator.
  • You can reheat a single serving in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • For a big batch, warm it on the stove over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, with occasional stirring.
  • Alternatively, reheat it in the crockpot on low setting for 1-2 hours, depending on the quantity.

Notes:

  • You can use pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken in this recipe to save time.

Other Chicken Recipes to Try

Hearty comfort in a bowl, with tender chicken, creamy beans, and warming spices. Perfect for chilly days!

White Bean Chicken Chili

This White Bean Chicken Chili is a heartwarming, satisfying meal that combines tender pieces of chicken, creamy white beans, and a beautiful blend of spices. It’s flavorful, filling, and easy to make. Plus, it’s healthy, full of protein and fiber.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 265.2kcal

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed (if desired) and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts skinless, boneless
  • 2 15.5 oz cannellini beans (cans) drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • hot sauce optional

Thicken: Optional

  • ¼  cup  milk (to make it also creamier)
  • 2 tablespoons  tablespoons cornstarch

For the Garnish:

  • Freshly chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced jalapeños

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add diced onion and jalapeno peppers to the pot, and cook for 5 minutes until they are softened.
  • Stir in minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until lightly browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in cumin, chili powder, cayenne, oregano, and smoked paprika ensuring the chicken and vegetables are coated in the spices.
  • Add the drained white beans and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Allow the chili to simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the flavors can meld together.
  • After the chili has simmered, use a fork or spoon to shred the chicken pieces into smaller chunks. If you prefer a thicker chili, you can also mash some of the white beans. For a much thicker consistency, combine the cornstarch and the milk in a small bowl mix well and stir the mixture into the chili.
  • Serve the white chicken chili in bowls, garnished with jalapeno slices, fresh chopped cilantro, or parsley.

Nutrition

Calories: 265.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.8g | Protein: 28.6g | Fat: 13.8g | Saturated Fat: 5.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.8g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 95.2mg | Sodium: 197.1mg | Potassium: 661.6mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 2.6g | Vitamin A: 419.9IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 65.7mg | Iron: 1.2mg

You can find me on Facebook, and Instagram. I love keeping in touch with all of you! If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram or Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen