White Chicken Chili Recipe

This white chicken chili recipe is a hearty, comforting delight packed with lean protein and fiber. The perfect balance of spicy poblano peppers, green chilis, and robust spices, along with tender chicken, corn, and white kidney beans, make this a warming, healthful choice for those chilly evenings.

White Chicken Chili Recipe

Poblano peppers and green chilis may not be readily available in all households. If you're planning on heading to the supermarket, look out for these. Poblano peppers are mildly spicy chili peppers from Mexico. They're wider than most other chili peppers and perfect for stuffing. Green chilis are a catch-all name for any green chili pepper, but in this recipe, they offer a mild heat and a unique, somewhat smoky flavor.

Ingredients You'll Need for White Chicken Chili

Olive oil: A healthy cooking oil used for sautéing vegetables and chicken.

Onion: Adds a sweet and savory flavor to the chili.

Poblano peppers: Provides a mild spice to the dish.

Green chilis: Gives a smoky flavor and additional heat.

Chicken breasts: Lean protein source.

White kidney beans: Adds fiber and makes the chili hearty.

Corn: Gives a touch of sweetness to balance the heat.

Chili powder: Essential spice for any chili, adding heat and depth of flavor.

Cumin: Adds a warm, earthy flavor.

Oregano: An aromatic herb that enhances the flavor profile.

Chicken broth: Provides the liquid base for the chili.

Cilantro: Adds a fresh, citrusy flavor.

Sour cream: Gives the chili a tangy, creamy taste and texture.

One reader, Ellwood Hinson says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This white chicken chili recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so rich and comforting, and it's incredibly easy to make. The combination of tender chicken, creamy beans, and zesty peppers is just perfect. It's become a family favorite in our house, and I can't recommend it enough!

Ellwood Hinson

Techniques for Making the Best White Chicken Chili

How to dice chicken: Cut the chicken breasts into ½-inch cubes. This will ensure that the chicken cooks evenly and is easy to eat in the chili.

How to soften vegetables: Cook the onion and peppers over medium heat until they are translucent but not brown. This will help to release their flavors and aromas into the chili.

How to simmer: Cover the pot and cook the chili over low heat for 25 minutes. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the chicken to cook through.

How to stir in sour cream and cilantro: Gently fold in the sour cream and cilantro at the end of cooking to add creaminess and freshness to the chili without curdling the sour cream.

How To Make White Chicken Chili

Inspired by Mexican flavors, this white chicken chili is another comfort food for you to try. It has all the goodness of peppers, chilis, and corn as well.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes



  • 2tspolive oil
  • 1onion,large, diced or two small
  • 2poblano peppers,seeded and diced
  • 4ozgreen chilis,mild, canned, not drained
  • ¾lbchicken breasts,diced
  • 19ozwhite kidney beans
  • 1cupcorn
  • tspchili powder
  • ½tspcumin
  • ½tsporegano
  • 2cupschicken broth,reduced sodium
  • 3tbspcilantro
  • cupsour cream


  1. Dice chicken into ½-inch cubes.

  2. Add olive oil to a dutch oven. Soften onion and peppers over medium heat until translucent but not brown.

  3. Add remaining ingredients except sour cream. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and cilantro. Serve with desired toppings.


  • Calories: 533.42kcal
  • Fat: 14.05g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.14g
  • Trans Fat: 0.06g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5.24g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.28g
  • Carbohydrates: 67.59g
  • Fiber: 24.00g
  • Sugar: 8.19g
  • Protein: 37.37g
  • Cholesterol: 51.98mg
  • Sodium: 210.44mg
  • Calcium: 182.04mg
  • Potassium: 1737.87mg
  • Iron: 8.85mg
  • Vitamin A: 93.44µg
  • Vitamin C: 89.98mg

Crucial Technique for Perfecting White Chicken Chili

When dicing the chicken, make sure to keep the pieces uniform in size. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly throughout the chili. Also, when softening the onion and peppers, stir occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the dutch oven. This will also help to distribute the heat evenly and prevent any ingredients from burning. Lastly, when adding the sour cream, make sure the chili is removed from heat. This prevents the sour cream from curdling and maintains a smooth texture in your chili.

Time-Saving Tips for White Chicken Chili Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and measure all ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Use rotisserie chicken: Save time by using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken from scratch.

Canned beans: Opt for canned white kidney beans to skip the soaking and cooking time required for dried beans.

Instant pot: Consider using an instant pot for a quicker cooking time, allowing flavors to meld in a fraction of the time.

Frozen corn: Utilize frozen corn instead of fresh corn to eliminate the need for shucking and cutting.

Substitute Ingredients For White Chicken Chili Recipe

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a mild, sweet flavor similar to onions and can be used as a substitute in this recipe to add a slightly different depth of flavor.

  • poblano peppers - Substitute with Anaheim peppers: Anaheim peppers have a similar mild heat and flavor profile to poblano peppers, making them a good substitute in this recipe.

  • green chilis - Substitute with jalapeños: Jalapeños can be used as a substitute for green chilis to add a similar level of heat and flavor to the dish.

  • chicken breasts - Substitute with turkey breast: Turkey breast can be used as a lean and flavorful alternative to chicken breasts in this recipe.

  • white kidney beans - Substitute with cannellini beans: Cannellini beans have a similar creamy texture and mild flavor, making them a suitable substitute for white kidney beans in this recipe.

  • corn - Substitute with hominy: Hominy, which is dried maize kernels, can be used as a substitute for corn to add a unique texture and flavor to the chili.

  • chili powder - Substitute with ancho chili powder: Ancho chili powder can be used as a substitute for regular chili powder to add a slightly smokier and milder heat to the dish.

  • cumin - Substitute with coriander: Coriander can be used as a substitute for cumin to add a citrusy and slightly sweet flavor to the chili.

  • chicken broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can be used as a substitute for chicken broth to make the recipe vegetarian-friendly while still adding depth of flavor.

  • cilantro - Substitute with flat-leaf parsley: Flat-leaf parsley can be used as a substitute for cilantro to add a fresh herbaceous flavor to the dish.

  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier substitute for sour cream, providing a similar creamy texture and tangy flavor to the chili.

Presentation Tips for White Chicken Chili

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the white chicken chili, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Use a wide-rimmed bowl to showcase the vibrant colors and textures of the dish. Ensure that the chili is the focal point, and arrange the toppings in an artful manner to create a visually stunning presentation.

  2. Garnish with finesse: Add a touch of sophistication to the dish by garnishing with finely chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream. The garnishes should be delicately placed on top of the chili, adding a pop of color and a fresh, aromatic element to the presentation.

  3. Incorporate texture: Consider adding a crispy element to the presentation, such as a small handful of tortilla strips or tortilla chips. This will not only enhance the texture of the dish but also add a visually appealing and dynamic element to the overall presentation.

  4. Emphasize balance: Focus on creating a balanced and harmonious presentation by paying attention to the distribution of ingredients. Ensure that each component of the dish is thoughtfully arranged to create a visually pleasing balance of colors, shapes, and flavors.

  5. Attention to detail: Pay close attention to the finer details of the presentation, such as wiping the rim of the bowl to remove any smudges or spills. The presentation should exude precision and attention to detail, reflecting the high standards of a Michelin-starred culinary experience.

Essential Tools for Making Chili

  • Dutch oven: A heavy-duty pot with a tight-fitting lid, perfect for slow cooking and simmering soups and stews.
  • Cutting board: A sturdy surface for chopping and preparing ingredients.
  • Knife: Used for dicing the chicken, chopping vegetables, and other prep work.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Essential for accurately measuring ingredients.
  • Wooden spoon: Ideal for stirring and mixing ingredients while cooking.
  • Can opener: For opening canned ingredients like green chilis and beans.
  • Ladle: Used for serving the chili.
  • Cooking pot: For boiling and cooking the chicken and beans.
  • Tongs: Useful for handling and flipping the chicken while cooking.
  • Serving bowls: For serving the finished white chicken chili.

Storing and Freezing White Chicken Chili

  • Let the white chicken chili cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming and maintain the quality of the chili.

  • For short-term storage, transfer the cooled chili to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. The flavors will meld together and intensify over time, making leftovers even more delicious.

  • If you plan to freeze the chili, consider portioning it into individual serving sizes for easy reheating later. Use freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, leaving some headspace for expansion during freezing.

  • Label the containers or bags with the date and contents to keep track of your frozen meals. White chicken chili can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months without significant loss of quality.

  • When you're ready to enjoy the frozen chili, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. If you need to thaw it quickly, place the container in a bowl of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes until the chili is fully thawed.

  • Reheat the thawed chili in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds to ensure even heating.

  • If the reheated chili appears too thick, add a splash of chicken broth or water to achieve the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed, as flavors may change slightly after freezing and reheating.

  • Serve the reheated white chicken chili with fresh toppings like sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheese, or tortilla chips for added texture and flavor.

How To Reheat Leftover White Chicken Chili

  • Stovetop method: transfer the leftover white chicken chili to a pot and reheat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. This method allows you to control the heat and ensure that the chili is evenly reheated without burning or drying out. If the chili seems too thick, you can add a splash of chicken broth or water to thin it out.

  • Microwave method: place the desired portion of leftover chili in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel or a microwave-safe lid. Heat the chili in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until it is heated through. Be careful not to overheat the chili, as it may cause the sour cream to curdle or separate.

  • Slow cooker method: if you have a large amount of leftover chili, you can reheat it in a slow cooker. Transfer the chili to the slow cooker and heat it on low for 1-2 hours, or until it is heated through. This method is convenient if you want to reheat the chili without much hands-on attention, and it can help the flavors meld together even more.

  • Oven method: preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the leftover chili to an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Place the dish in the preheated oven and heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the chili is heated through. This method is useful if you want to reheat a large batch of chili and keep it warm for serving.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to stir the chili well before serving to redistribute the ingredients and ensure that it is evenly heated. You can also taste the chili and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more chili powder, cumin, or salt to taste.

Interesting Fact About White Chicken Chili

White chicken chili is a hearty and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cozy night in. It is a great source of protein and fiber, making it a nutritious meal option. This recipe can be easily customized to suit different tastes by adjusting the level of spiciness or adding extra toppings such as avocado, cheese, or tortilla strips. White chicken chili is also a great make-ahead meal as it tends to taste even better the next day, allowing for easy meal planning and preparation. It's a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Is Making White Chicken Chili at Home Cost-Effective?

This white chicken chili recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as chicken breasts, white kidney beans, and corn, are affordable and readily available. The recipe yields a hearty and satisfying meal for a family of four at an approximate cost of $15. With its flavorful blend of spices and creamy texture, this dish is a solid 9 out of 10.

Is White Chicken Chili Healthy?

This white chicken chili recipe has some healthy elements, but there's room for improvement. Let's break it down:

Healthy aspects:

  • Lean protein from chicken breasts
  • Fiber-rich white kidney beans and corn
  • Vitamin C and antioxidants from poblano peppers and green chilis
  • Olive oil provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Spices like chili powder, cumin, and oregano offer antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties

Less healthy aspects:

  • Sour cream adds saturated fat and calories
  • Chicken broth can be high in sodium
  • The recipe lacks leafy greens or other nutrient-dense vegetables

To make this chili even healthier, consider these tweaks:

  • Swap regular sour cream for a low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt, which will provide protein and tanginess with less saturated fat
  • Choose a low-sodium chicken broth to reduce the overall salt content
  • Add leafy greens like spinach or kale during the last few minutes of cooking for an extra nutrient boost
  • Experiment with additional vegetables like diced zucchini, carrots, or bell peppers to increase the fiber and vitamin content
  • Use a combination of black beans and white beans for more variety and color
  • Garnish with creamy avocado slices for a dose of healthy fats and a silky texture

Editor's Opinion on This White Chicken Chili Recipe

This white chicken chili recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The combination of tender chicken, creamy white kidney beans, and the subtle heat from the poblano peppers and green chilis creates a comforting and satisfying dish. The addition of sour cream adds a luscious creaminess, while the cilantro provides a fresh, herbaceous note. The recipe is well-balanced and easy to prepare, making it a perfect choice for a cozy weeknight dinner or a casual gathering with friends.

Why trust this White Chicken Chili Recipe:

This recipe uses fresh, high-quality ingredients such as chicken breasts, poblano peppers, and white kidney beans, ensuring a delicious and nutritious meal. The combination of chili powder, cumin, and oregano adds depth and warmth to the dish, while the addition of sour cream and cilantro provides a creamy and fresh finish. The use of chicken broth enhances the flavors, and the careful cooking process ensures a well-balanced and satisfying chicken chili that users can trust and enjoy.

Share your thoughts on the White Chicken Chili Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum.
How spicy is this white chicken chili?
This white chicken chili has a mild level of spiciness. The poblano peppers and green chilis provide a subtle heat that is balanced by the other ingredients. If you prefer a spicier chili, you can add some extra chili powder or a dash of hot sauce to suit your taste.
Can I use canned beans for this recipe?
Yes, you can absolutely use canned white kidney beans for this recipe. Just make sure to drain and rinse them before adding them to the chili.
What can I serve with this white chicken chili?
This white chicken chili pairs well with a variety of toppings such as shredded cheese, diced avocado, sour cream, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. It also goes great with some warm, crusty bread or a side of cornbread.
Can I make this chili ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this white chicken chili ahead of time. In fact, the flavors tend to develop even more if you let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Just reheat it gently on the stovetop before serving.
Is it possible to make this chili vegetarian?
Absolutely! You can easily make this chili vegetarian by omitting the chicken and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also add extra vegetables like diced bell peppers or zucchini to enhance the flavor and texture.

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