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Hearty and full of flavor, white bean chili is easy to make and super filling. Tender chicken, white beans, and a rich broth simmer together for a satisfying dinner that can be ready in just 30 minutes.
Warm up all fall and winter with this great alternative to the classic beef chili. Loaded with flavor, the hearty beans and chicken come together in a creamy broth that the whole family will love.
Keep this recipe on hand for weeknight dinners, fall get-togethers, and tailgating parties. It’s a simple and delicious recipe you’ll want to keep on repeat as the weather gets cooler.
White bean chili freezes well, so it also makes for great leftovers. Serve your chili with your choice of toppings including sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, or fresh cilantro, and don’t forget the cornbread.
White Bean Chili Ingredients
- Olive oil
- Onion - small yellow onion, chopped
- Garlic - minced, fresh or in the jar
- Jalapeño - with or without seeds, minced
- Green Chilies - fire-roasted green chiles, diced
- Chicken - rotisserie chicken, shredded
- Beans - white beans (aka: great northern beans), drained and rinsed
- Chicken broth - can substitute vegetable broth
- Salt - to your liking
- Pepper - to your liking
- Celery salt - pinch
- Lime juice - squeeze lime juice from half of a lime
Chili recipes are well-known for being a recipe where you can try many variations and add additional ingredients to the stew. For your white bean chili, you may want to add in some frozen corn, chopped green bell pepper, or any other veggies that sound appetizing.
Using a rotisserie chicken for the chili makes the whole recipe come together quickly and easily. If you don’t want to buy a rotisserie chicken you could also cook and shred chicken breasts or even make the chili with either ground turkey or ground chicken.
Top your finished chili with avocado, sour cream, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, or parsley. To add some extra kick to your chili you could also top it with sliced jalapeños, add in a dash of crushed red pepper flakes, or put in a few drops of hot sauce.
How to Make White Bean Chili
FIRST STEP: Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pot or Dutch Oven on medium heat, when the onions are soft add the minced jalapeños and stir for about 1 minute.
SECOND STEP: Add green chilis with 1 cup chicken broth and 2 cups chicken to the pot. Stir until the chicken is warmed. Pour in the remaining chicken broth and water, then add white beans.
THIRD STEP: Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of celery salt Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
FOURTH STEP: Serve in bowls and top with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.
What toppings can I add to my chili?
Serve your white chicken chili topped with avocado, sour cream, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, parsley, or sliced jalapeños.
Can I make the chili spicier?
Increase the heat of the chili by leaving the seeds in your jalapeños, or by adding some salsa verde, crushed red pepper flakes, chili powder, or cayenne pepper. Remember to wear disposable gloves when cutting the jalapeño peppers as the oils can burn skin, and make sure you avoid touching your face.
Can I make the chili vegetarian?
Yes, you can omit the chicken and chicken stock and instead add more beans and vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian recipe. In addition to the white beans, you could also use cannellini beans, navy beans, Northern beans, pinto beans, or even garbanzo beans in this white chicken chili recipe.
How to Store White Bean Chili
IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover White Bean Chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat chili in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
IN THE FREEZER: Cool chili completely before storing in an airtight and freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat before serving.
White Bean Chili
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 tablespoons garlic (minced)
- 1 jalapeño (minced, with or without seeds)
- 8 ounces fire-roasted green chiles (diced)
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken (shredded)
- 30 ounces white beans (drained and rinsed)
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- salt and pepper (to your liking)
- pinch celery salt
- squeeze lime juice (from half of a lime)
- Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pot on medium heat, when the onions are soft add the minced jalapeños and stir for about 1 minute.
- Add green chilis with 1 cup chicken broth and 2 cups chicken to the pot. Stir until the chicken is warmed. Pour in the remaining chicken broth and water, then add white beans.
- Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of celery salt Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Serve in bowls and top with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.
TIP: Reserve your drained bean liquid—it's a perfect thinner for chili and won't water down your dish.
TIP: If you're serving a crowd, you could keep this warm in your crockpot!