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White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Recipe At-A-Glance

Gluten-Free

2 hours, 45 minutes

This hearty, stick-to-your-ribs White Chicken Chili is surprisingly light and healthy!

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White Chicken Chili

Chili is one of those foods (kinda like chocolate chip cookies), for which everyone has their own definition of perfect. For me, this white chicken version is my absolute perfect chili. I mean, I love a good regular “red” chili, too, but I feel like regular chili requires lots of toppings to make it spectacular. I usually put taco chili on top of noodles, and then top it with avocado, chopped onion, sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, and a handful of crushed saltines. It’s delicious, but a lot of work! With white chicken chili, no toppings are necessary. It is creamy and flavorful all on its own. It’s absolutely wonderful. This is my perfect chili.

White Chicken Chili

My favorite way to make white chili is 100% from scratch—I boil a whole chicken to make the broth and the meat for the chili, plus I cook the beans from dry. It means this dish takes a few hours to put together, but the flavor is out-of-this-world amazing if you go about it that way.

You could definitely sub-in premade ingredients (like canned chicken broth and beans), but if you’re looking for the most flavor bang for your buck (and, honestly, a much more budget-friendly meal), I highly recommend going about it the old-fashioned way. If you’re just putzing around the house on a Sunday afternoon, it really doesn’t take all that much hands-on time. Just a few stirs here and there while you go about your business. I promise, the flavor difference is worth it.

White Chicken Chili

For some reason, we always serve white chicken chili with tortilla chips for dipping, which is a departure from the cornbread we usually serve alongside red beef chili. Either would work, but I love using crunchy tortilla chips to scoop up the creamy, delicious chicken chili. I add a little dusting of freshly minced cilantro to the top of the chili to add a little bit of color, scoop out a handful of tortilla chips, and dinner is served.

Enjoy!
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White Chicken Chili


  • Cook Time: 2 hours 45 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

This hearty, stick-to-your-ribs white chicken chili is surprisingly light and healthy!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans diced mild green chiles
  • 1 jalapeño, diced, seeds and membranes removed
  • 1 pound dried Great Northern or Navy beans
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 114 ounce can whole fat coconut milk OR 2 cups whole cow’s milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Shredded cilantro and tortilla chips for serving

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in a large Dutch oven or soup pot, cover with water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  2. Remove chicken from the water, and let cool to touch. Once cool, remove meat from the bones and shred.
  3. Meanwhile, add the onion, garlic, chiles, jalapeño, dried beans, cumin, and chili powder to the chicken cooking water.
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer for about 90 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
  5. With 20 minutes left in the bean cooking time, add in the shredded chicken, milk, salt, and pepper. Serve topped with cilantro and tortilla chips.

 

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Cassie Johnston

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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10 thoughts on “White Chicken Chili

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  • Stacy Hurt SAYS

    Just wanted to say that I received your new cookbook in the mail last week and LOVE it!!! It is a beautiful book and I can’t wait to get started on making some of those awesome recipes!!!

  • Sara SAYS

    This looks delicious! One quick question though, do you not have to worry about fat from the broth not being skimmed off? Or does that just add to the flavor and not worry about it? I’m very much a beginner but did recently make broth and I skimmed the fat off like the instructions said on that recipe…just curious.

    • Cassie SAYS

      Adds flavor! I never skim the fat off when I make broth. :) That’s the good stuff!

      • Sara SAYS

        Well okay then! :) I’ll give it a go. Like I said, beginner so I read the instructions and follow the rules. One of these days I’ll start breaking them when I get a little more comfortable. HA! I’ll leave it on this time—making the soup on Friday!

  • This looks absolutely delicious! It’s nice to have an alternative from the usual chili.

  • Mmm this looks so very delicious! I’ll bet people are surprised at how tasty it is (as the correlation between fiery red and tastiness is a tough one for people to get around when it comes to chili). Using the boiled chicken water must give this dish so much flavour!

  • Dimitry Apollonsky SAYS

    Looks absolutely delcious. :-) Any recommendations for things to go along with the Chili?

  • Ashley SAYS

    This looks so tasty!
    Have you ever considered adding a “Pin it” option to your recipes? I used to have the browser button but it somehow disappeared and I’m too much of a ludite to figure out how to get it back, haha. So I’m limited to re-pinning or things that have the “pin-it” option. I would pin a gazillion of your recipes if I could!! :)

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