As a Michigander, I’ve always been a fan of comfort food, in general, and chili, in particular. Even so, I didn’t eat much chicken chili until I became an adult. Let’s just say, once I discovered the familiar flavors of a red-based beef chili produced in the unfamiliar setting of a white-based chicken chili, I became an instant fan! Try my protein-packed White Chicken Chili for a hearty and healthy meal that is easy to make and even easier to consume 🙂
White Chicken Chili
Serves: 6 adult portions
Prep Time: <10 minutes
Total Time: About 2 hours (if using chicken breasts); can also be made in a crockpot* and/or using rotisserie chicken** (see notes at the end of this post)
- 2 medium or large white onions (dependent on how much onion-flavor you prefer), diced
- 2 celery stalks, tiny diced
- 6 TBSP flour
- 5 cups of chicken stock
- 1 cup of half and half
- 1.5lbs of chicken breasts (or one whole rotisserie chicken, see notes below**)
- 2 15oz cans of white beans (cannellini/white kidney, northern, or pinto; any combination of your choosing), drained and rinsed
- 4 4oz cans of green chiles (or 2 7oz cans), undrained
- 8 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 TBSP cumin
- 2 TBSP chili powder
- 1 TBSP salt (I use fine sea salt)
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 2 cups of frozen corn (I use frozen fire-roasted corn) or approximately ½ of a 16oz package
- Additional salt and pepper to taste, as desired
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Toppings: Shredded cheese (I like sharp cheddar, but pepper jack, mild cheddar or colby jack are also good options), crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips, jalapeno (raw or pickled), tomatoes, red onion (raw or pickled), pico de gallo, cilantro, avocado or guacamole
Let’s do this!
- Peel, wash and dice the onion. Wash and tiny dice the celery. Peel the garlic cloves and set aside.
- Heat a stockpot or Dutch oven over MEDIUM heat. Add a swirl or two of EVOO to the skillet and cook the onions, about 10 minutes. Add the celery to the pot, stir to combine, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the celery softens and the onions become golden in color. Season with salt and pepper and add more EVOO to the pot, if needed.
- Turn the heat down to LOW and sprinkle in the flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the onions and celery are fully coated and thick in appearance. Add the cans of green chiles and minced garlic, stir to combine.
- Pour in the chicken stock and add in the chicken breasts, both cans of beans, 2 TBSP of chili powder, 1 TBSP of cumin, 1 TBSP of salt, and ½ tsp of white pepper. Gently stir to incorporate the additional ingredients then cover the pot with a lid. Keep on LOW for 60-90 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked enough to shred. Be sure to stir occasionally as the chili is simmering on LOW.
- Once the chicken is cooked through (check by piercing the chicken breasts with a fork), remove it from the pot and shred with two forks or roughly chop, whichever you prefer. Return the chicken to the pot.
- Turn the heat back up to MEDIUM. Stir in the half and half and frozen corn. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
- Taste test to see if the chili needs any more salt and pepper and once it’s prepared to your liking, distribute into bowls.
- Serve with any of the suggested toppings above. Enjoy!
*You can easily make this chili in a crockpot. Use a skillet to cook the onions and celery as well as the green chiles and garlic. Once you add the flour and stir it to coat the vegetables, turn off the cooktop heat and pour the contents into a crockpot. Add in the chicken breasts, beans, and seasonings. Cover. Cook on HIGH for 2-4 hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours, or until the chicken is ready to be pulled or chopped. At that time, either pull the chicken while it’s still in the crockpot or remove it, pull it, and return it to the crockpot. Once the chicken is back in the crockpot and when you’re getting ready to serve the chili, stir in the half and half and frozen corn. If you add in the half and half too early, the dairy could potentially break down and give the chili a less-than-desirable consistency. Likewise, adding in the corn too soon will make it mushy. If you want to make things even easier and cut down on your cook time, you can use a rotisserie chicken (in place of the uncooked chicken breasts) but be sure to not add in the half and half and corn until you’re ready to eat.
**Of course, you can totally use a rotisserie chicken for this chili if you want to lessen the maintenance. With the skin removed, pull the meat off the bones, and shred it or roughly chop it. Using a rotisserie chicken can cut the cook time down by hours (depending on if you’re cooking over the stovetop or using a crockpot).