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White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

This delicious white bean chicken chili recipe is the perfect dish to make during the chilly fall and winter months. It’s an easy and inexpensive dish that will fill you right up. This white chili is made from scratch and is full of amazing flavor!

A white bowl containing White Bean Chicken Chili with a Cilantro Garnish

The first time I ever heard of white bean chicken chili was when my mom made it after she tried some at her work. She was hooked and just had to have the recipe.

So she came home and made it for my sister and I. I didn’t even know white chili was a thing but I was instantly hooked! It became one of my favorite meals.

Although the recipe that was given to my mom consisted of canned beans, canned broth and canned jalapenos it was still yummy.

That was probably over ten years ago. These days I like to make white chili from scratch. It’s so much better that way!

Usually I don’t write down exact measurements. I usually just go by taste.

But I still wanted to provide you all with a basic recipe you can follow just in case you’ve never made white chicken chili before.

What Are the Ingredients for White Chicken Chili?

White chicken chili may seem like it has a lot of ingredients because of how delicious and full of flavor it is. But it’s actually a super easy recipe consisting of basic ingredients that you most likely already have at home such as:

  • White beans (such as great northern)
  • Chicken (I prefer to use thighs or drumsticks)
  • cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • onion
  • jalapeno
  • shredded cheese

How to Make White Bean Chicken Chili

The first thing you need to do is boil the chicken. I always use bone in chicken pieces such as thighs or drumsticks because it has more flavor and the meat is more tender.

Cover the chicken with about 8 cups of water and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Make sure to skim off the grayish stuff that rises to the top. I’m not sure what this stuff is called but just discard it.

Then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about an hour or until the meat is tender and easily falls off the bone.

A sealed package of Perdue Brand Chicken Thighs

The very first time I tried making it from scratch I cooked the beans in water and then added in the homemade chicken broth. Big mistake!

The beans need to be cooked in the chicken broth or the chili won’t have much flavor.

Once the chicken is done transfer it to a plate. Once the chicken has cooled remove the skin and discard. Then shred the chicken, cover it and set aside. Then strain the chicken broth and return it to the pot.

Pile of Chooked Shredded Chicken on a Gray Plate

Now it’s time to add the beans to the broth. Make sure to rinse them well before doing so. Dried beans can be dirty and have rocks and you don’t want that in your chili so always rinse them. I do this in a strainer.

Once rinsed and beans are clean add them to the pot of chicken broth. Now add the onion, jalapenos, cumin and cayenne pepper and stir well. Bring the beans to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender.

You can add a little water to the pot if it starts to run low during the cooking process. It can take between 2 and 3 hours for the beans to finish cooking depending on how old they are.

Overhead View of Cooked White Bean Chili with Cheese

I like to add shredded cheese to the pot after the beans are done. This is totally optional though. But I really like the way the cheese melts and gives it a creamier texture.

After adding the cheese I add a little salt. Taste it before you add any salt though as you may not think it needs any. Continue to simmer for a few more minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Now add the shredded chicken to the pot. Give the chili a stir and remove from heat. It is now ready to be served.

We absolutely love this white bean chicken chili recipe. I will never make it with canned products. There’s just no reason to. It’s easy enough to make it from scratch and doesn’t take all day to make. Obviously it takes a bit longer since its from scratch but the extra time is totally worth it.

My white chili is a little spicy from the jalapenos and cayenne pepper. However you can always add more or less depending on your tastes. It is also really creamy because of the cheese I add to it while it’s still cooking. However you could always add the cheese as a garnish when serving. It’s totally up to you.

I prefer my chili to have more beans and cheese than chicken. Honestly to me it doesn’t even need the shredded chicken but my husband prefers it with. Plus my kids love to eat the chicken after simmering it.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

White Chili Topping Options

  • Diced onion
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • crushed tortilla chips
This homemade white bean chicken chili is the perfect chilly weather recipe. #whitechili #chili #whitebeanchili #whitebeanchickenchili #recipe #dinner

White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Use bone-in chicken as it has the most flavor
  • Cook the beans in the chicken broth not water!
  • Rinse the dried beans well to get rid of any dirt
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after cutting the jalapenos or wear gloves.
  • Don’t salt the chili until after the beans are done cooking.

White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

You’re going to love this amazing white bean chicken chili recipe. It’s especially great during the chilly Fall and Winter seasons. Everyone loves a good white chili recipe and this one is sure to impress all your friends and family! If you enjoyed this chili recipe please don’t forget to give it a rating below. Thanks so much!

This homemade white bean chicken chili is the perfect chilly weather recipe. #whitechili #chili #whitebeanchili #whitebeanchickenchili #recipe #dinner
4.5 from 2 votes
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White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

This homemade white bean chicken chili recipe is the perfect dish for the chilly Fall and Winter weather.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Southwestern
Keyword chicken chili, white bean chicken chili, white chili
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 552 kcal
Author Carissa

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 pound dried great northern beans rinsed
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 3 jalapenos chopped
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring chicken and water to a boil. Skim off the grayish stuff on top.

  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour or until meat is falling off the bones.

  3. Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Then remove skin and shred meat. Cover the shredded chicken and set aside.

  4. Strain the chicken broth and return to the pot.

  5. Add the beans to the broth. Then add the cumin, cayenne pepper, onion and jalapenos.

  6. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and cook until beans are tender. You can add more water later if necessary to help the beans cook.

  7.  Add the 8 oz of cheese to the pot.

  8. Stir and continue to cook until cheese has melted.

  9. Taste and add salt if desired.

  10. Add the shredded chicken to the pot and stir well.
  11. Remove pot from heat and serve.
  12. Top with your favorite garnishes.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure to use bone-in chicken pieces for maximum flavor.
  • Cook the beans in the chicken broth.
  • Rinse the dried beans thoroughly to get rid of any dirt.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after cutting the jalapenos or wear gloves.
  • Don’t salt the chili until the beans are done cooking.
Nutrition Facts
White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 552 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 138mg46%
Sodium 307mg13%
Potassium 1089mg31%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 365IU7%
Vitamin C 10.2mg12%
Calcium 313mg31%
Iron 4.6mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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