I have tried countless recipes for White Chicken Chili over the years, from this popular “dump it all in a pot” recipe to more authentic versions made with a wide array of chili peppers and hominy. All were fine, but not what I was looking for. Finally, I came upon this easy 5-star recipe by the Neelys. With over 150 favorable reviews — some even claiming to have won chili contests with it — I was hopeful. I made the recipe as written and it was delicious but since I’m not one to leave well enough alone, I read through each and every review, took into account all of the suggestions, and then came up with this modestly adapted (and, dare I say, slightly improved) version. I think you’ll love it — and it’s a one pot meal that you can have on the dinner table in under an hour.
As you can see, the chili is made with a store bought rotisserie chicken, which makes it easy. I always shred the chicken as soon as I get home from the grocery store — it’s easier to do while the chicken is still warm, eliminates a step at dinnertime, and also takes up less room in the fridge. The small chili pepper you see in the photo is a jalapeño; the larger peppers are poblanos. Three chili peppers might seem like a lot but the chili is still relatively mild. The key is to remove and discard the seeds and ribs — that’s where most of the heat is — unless, of course, you like a spicier chili, in which case you can save the seeds and stir them in at the end to taste.
Begin by combining half of the white beans in a food processor with one cup of the chicken broth.
Process until you have a smooth purée. This is what will thicken the broth. Set aside.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the onions and peppers in oil until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.
Stir in the cumin, coriander and ancho chili powder and cook, stirring frequently, for another minute to toast the spices.
Add the chicken broth, salt and puréed bean mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Next, stir in the shredded chicken, beans, corn, lime and cilantro and simmer until everything is warmed through.
You will notice that the chili is quite soupy. This is intentional. It thickens as it sits — in fact, if you make it ahead of time, you will likely need to add some broth or water to thin it out. Plus, I find that if the broth is too thick, the chili gets gloppy and unappealing. A soupy broth is good!
Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with sour cream, lime wedges and crushed tortilla chips.
My Recipe Videos
White Chicken Chili
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (see note)
- 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and diced (see note)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and shredded (about 4 cups)
- 3/4 cup frozen corn
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime, plus more to taste
Optional For Serving
- Sour cream
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Lime wedges
- In a food processor, blend 1/2 of the beans (1 can) with 1 cup of the chicken broth. Set aside both the puréed beans and the remaining whole beans.
- Add the vegetable oil to a large pot or Dutch oven and heat it over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeño pepper and poblano peppers and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute more. Add the cumin, coriander and ancho chili powder and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for one minute more to toast the spices. Add the chicken stock, puréed beans and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the shredded rotisserie chicken, reserved whole beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice; bring back to a simmer and cook until everything is heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and lime juice, if necessary. (The broth will be somewhat soupy -- that's how it is supposed to be. It thickens the longer it sits; see note below.) Serve the chili in individual bowls with a dollop of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, and lime wedges.
- Note: The seeds and ribs in the peppers hold all of the heat. I don't use them to keep the chili mild and family-friendly, but if you like a spicy chili, save them and stir some in at the end. (If you do touch the seeds, be sure to wash your hands well and avoid touching your eyes.)
- Note: The chili thickens as it sits. If you make it ahead of time, you will probably need to add more broth or water to thin it out.
- Note: Nutrition info does not include optional toppings.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The chili can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat it on the stovetop over medium-low heat until hot. (The chili will thicken up some when frozen, so you’ll likely need to add some broth when reheating.)
- Per serving (6 servings)
- Serving size: about 2 cups
- Calories: 487
- Fat: 21g
- Saturated fat: 6g
- Carbohydrates: 43g
- Sugar: 4g
- Fiber: 8g
- Protein: 33g
- Sodium: 522mg
- Cholesterol: 75mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.