Easy 30-Minute Homemade White Chicken Chili
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Easy 30-Minute Homemade White Chicken Chili — Hearty, healthy, loaded with tender chicken, and packed with bold flavor!! Fast and easy comfort food that everyone loves!! It’ll be on rotation all winter!!
The BEST White Chicken Chili Recipe
Chili is the ultimate fall and winter comfort food. Who can say no to a bowl of warm, thick chili that’s loaded with tender chicken and hearty cannellini beans?
This white chili recipe was some of the best chili I’ve ever had and is now in our rotation. It’s robustly flavored from sweet Vidalia onions, jalapeño peppers, and green chilis.
It’s so easy and ready in 30 minutes. No need to stand over a simmering pot for hours. Many ingredients get tossed into the pot all at once and in no time this hearty, healthy, and comforting chili is ready.
My family loved this easy white chicken chili, and I love that it’s ready so quickly and with very minimal effort.
Like all chili, it tastes better the day or two after you make it and the flavors marry, making this a perfect make-ahead meal. Make a batch over the weekend and you can enjoy it during the week.
Or you can stash half of it in the freezer for nights when pulling something out of the freezer for dinner is all you can muster.
White Chicken Chili Ingredients
For this white bean chicken chili recipe, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Canned green chiles
- Chicken broth
- Shredded cooked chicken
- Cannellini beans
- Lime juice
- Dried herbs and spices
- Fresh cilantro
How to Make White Chicken Chili
Add the olive oil to a large stockpot or Dutch oven and sauté the onion, chiles, and jalapeño until softened. Add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant.
Dump the remaining ingredients into the pot and bring to a boil. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes, then stir in the cilantro.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with tortilla chips, cheese, cilantro, and / or sour cream.
How to Make Chili Thicker
I prefer my white chicken chili to be fairly thick. To achieve this, I blend about 1 cup of the cannellini beans in a food processor to make a bean paste of sorts. This gets added to the white chili to make it even heartier.
For a super thick chili, let it simmer uncovered for longer than the recipe calls for.
How Long is Chili Good For?
This white bean chicken chili will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Can I Make The Chili In A Slow Cooker?
I’m sure you ‘could’ but I don’t see the point because it’s ready in 30 minutes. Why lengthen an already rapid cooking time is my question? You’re just lengthening (and complicating) the amount of time it will take from start to finish for you to be enjoying this fabulous chili.
If you want to keep it warm in a slow cooker for an event or something along those lines, go for it. But prepare it on the stove as written is my advice.
Tips for Making White Chicken Chili
This white bean chicken chili has mild to medium kick, but you can make it spicier by using the jalapeno seeds or by adding more red chili flakes or cayenne pepper.
To save time, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken that you have on hand. Of course, you can roast or pan sauté chicken if you’re so inclined.
Make sure to salt your chili to taste. I use low-sodium chicken broth, low-sodium beans, and add a bit of salt to the chili so I can control the overall salt level. The saltiness of low-sodium broth, beans, rotisserie chickens, and personal preferences for salt all vary so salt to taste.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 2 medium/large onions)
- 1 large jalapeno pepper (about 4 to 5 inches long), diced very small (the seeds are where the heat is concentrated; included or discard them based on preference)
- 7 to 8 ounces canned green chiles, don’t drain (I used mild heat)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
- 32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use about 1 whole storebought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken in a skillet)
- two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (see step 4 below about blending 1 cup of the beans with a splash of chicken broth or water)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced
- tortilla strips, chips, crackers, diced avocado, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream; all are optional for garnishing
- To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
- Add the onion, jalapeno, green chilis, and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
- Add the chicken broth, chicken, cannellini beans including whole beans and blended bean mixture (take 1 cup of the beans, add to a food processor or blender, add a splash of chicken broth or water and blend until smooth; mixture should be thick.
- Add the blended bean mixture along with the whole beans to pot), lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil.
- Allow mixture to boil gently for about 7 to 10 minutes. It’s unlikely, but if at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your chili to be thinner, add 1 cup of water or as desired; you’ll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end. For thicker chili, allow mixture to boil longer and reduce until desired thickness is reached.
- Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
- Taste chili and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, beans, and rotisserie chicken are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, etc.).
- Ladle chili into bowls, and optionally garnish with tortilla strips, chips, crackers, avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately.
- Chili will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 604Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 4395mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 13gSugar: 19gProtein: 40g
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Originally published October 19, 2015 and republished February 19, 2020 with updated text.
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