The goal of this quick white chicken chili recipe is to achieve a velvety texture and deep flavor with few ingredients. Our ruse? Smash a portion of the beans against the soup pot with the back of a spoon, and add ground chicken, warming spices, and canned green chiles for extra flavor.
You can use any variety of canned white beans for this dish, or a combination of them, but Great Northern or navy beans have the nicest texture. Cannellini beans (also known as white kidney beans) have stiffer shells and will not dissolve as quickly into the soup. We choose ground dark meat for this dish because it has more flavor than white meat and is easier to manage (and generally cheaper) than a rotisserie chicken or other cooked and shredded chicken parts.
A bowl of chili isn’t complete without a slew of toppings. However, for this dish, we recommend skipping the shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese and tortilla chips in favor of a dollop of sour cream, a smattering of corn chips (we think Fritos are the GOAT), a squeeze of lime juice, and some chopped fresh cilantro. That said, we wouldn’t say no if you wanted to gild the lily by ladling the chili over a slice of skillet cornbread.
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lb. ground chicken, preferably dark meat
1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground coriander Freshly ground pepper
2 4-oz. cans diced green chiles
2 15.5-oz. cans white beans, rinsed
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. 1 medium finely chopped onion and 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves cook, stirring periodically, until onion is cooked, 4-6 minutes. 1 pound of chicken, preferably dark meat, 12 teaspoon Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 12 teaspoon ground coriander; season with freshly ground pepper. Cook, tossing often and breaking up the chicken with a wooden spoon, for 3-4 minutes, or until mixed and the chicken is no longer pink. Cook, stirring frequently and continuing to break up the chicken, until the chicken is cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
Bring to a boil two 15.5-oz. cans drained white beans and three cups low-sodium chicken broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring periodically and crushing some of the beans with a spoon, for 8-10 minutes, or until flavors blend and chili is somewhat thickened. If necessary, season with additional salt and pepper.
Divide chili among bowls and top with sliced avocado, sour cream, cilantro leaves, sliced jalapeños, and corn chips.
What is White Chicken Chili?
White Chicken Chili is a hearty soup-like dish made with chicken, white beans, and fragrant spices. It boasts a creamy and hearty texture, as well as somewhat sour, gently spicy, and savory flavors.
How do I make White Chicken Chili?
To make White Chicken Chili, you will need ingredients such as chicken breast, white beans (such as cannellini beans), chicken broth, onions, garlic, green chilies, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and optional toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, or cilantro. The chicken is typically cooked and shredded, then combined with the other ingredients in a pot and simmered until the flavors meld together.
Can I use canned beans for White Chicken Chili?
Yes, you can use canned white beans for convenience in making White Chicken Chili. Rinse and drain the canned beans before adding them to the chili. Alternatively, you can also use dried beans if you prefer. Just make sure to soak and cook them according to the package instructions before adding them to the chili.
How can I adjust the spiciness of White Chicken Chili?
The spiciness of White Chicken Chili can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. If you prefer a milder chili, reduce or omit the amount of green chilies or use mild green chilies instead of spicy ones. On the other hand, if you enjoy spicier flavors, you can add additional diced jalapenos or a pinch of cayenne pepper.