White Bean Chicken Chili
This White Bean Chicken Chili recipe starts with a flavorful white bean chili base- then we packed it with extra veggies to boost the nutrition. It’s so hearty and flavorful that your family will be requesting it all year long!
Why You’re Going to Love this White Bean Chicken Chili:
Every year we have to opportunity to attend at least one Chili Cook-Off. And while most of the entries are usually of the traditional beef and tomato variety, there are always a couple white bean chilis. And guess what? Those are always the first to go. There’s just something about tender chicken and beans that have simmered away in a creamy, flavorful base and loaded with toppings that tends to be a real crowd pleaser.
This recipe is no exception. It has all the chicken, flavor, and creaminess- but we decided to up the ante by adding extra veggies. This not only seriously boosts the nutrition, but makes our White Bean Chicken Chili even more hearty and delicious, too! It’s one soup that we turn to all year long. And I know you are going to love it also!
Ingredients for White Bean Chicken Chili:
- chicken breast– I always have chicken breast on hand, and it gets nice and tender after simmering away. But you can use chicken thighs or even ground chicken if you prefer!
- olive oil
- bell pepper
- kale– spinach works here too!
- corn– I always use frozen corn, but you can use fresh or canned if you prefer.
- great northern beans– any white bean will work here.
- chicken broth– I love Better Than Bouillon and use it in any recipe that calls for chicken broth!
- diced green chilies– these don’t add any heat, but a lot of great flavor!
- salt + pepper
- milk– you can substitute heavy cream if you want a richer, thicker chili
- sour cream– can also use Greek yogurt
How to Make White Bean Chicken Chili:
- Chop chicken and veggies.
- Saute chicken, onion and garlic until chicken is almost cooked and onion is tender. Add celery, bell pepper, and kale.
- Add corn, two cans of beans (rinsed and drained), chicken broth, green chilies, and seasonings. Stir and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Puree last can of beans (this helps give you a nice thick chili!)
- Stir the pureed beans, milk, and sour cream into the pot. Heat through.
- Serve with your desired toppings! We love additional sour cream, shredded cheese, diced avocado, and tortilla chips.
Frequently Asked Questions:
This recipe calls for Great Northern beans, but really most any white bean will work here! We have used navy beans, cannellini beans, and pinto beans with great results.
I rely on a can of white beans, pureed, to thicken my White Bean Chicken Chili. This thickens the chili without the addition of heavy cream. If you want a thicker chili, you can substitute the milk with heavy cream. Making a quick slurry of cornstarch and water and stirring it into the pot before adding the milk and sour cream will also aid in thickening your soup.
The toppings are what really make this a standout meal. We like to serve ours with diced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, thinly sliced mini bell peppers, tortilla strips or chips, fresh cilantro, and lime slices. We also like to serve it with a side of freshly made cornbread.
Yes! It freezes amazingly well. I like to portion it into individual freezer containers. It reheats quickly for lunchboxes or a quick dinner option. It should last 3-4 months in a well-sealed container.
More Delicious Soup Recipes to Try:
- Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup
- 15 Bean Soup
- One-Pot Pumpkin Quinoa Chili
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
- Best Ever Taco Soup
- Stuffed Cabbage Soup
White Bean Chicken Chili
- 1 pound chicken breast
- 1 medium onion
- 1 clove garlic 1 tablespoon minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 medium bell pepper, green
- 1/2 bunch kale optional
- 1 cup corn frozen
- 3 15 oz cans great northern beans
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
- 1 can diced green chilies
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1 teaspoon oregano, dried
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- Chop chicken, onion, and press garlic. Heat a a stock pot to medium, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add chicken and cook until almost done. Add onion and garlic and saute until almost translucent, only about 3-4 minutes. Chop celery, green bell pepper, kale (stemmed) and add to pot.
- Add frozen corn, 2 cans of beans (rinsed and drained), chicken broth, green chilies, and all the seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
- While this is simmering, puree the last can of beans and add to the soup (it isn't necessary to rinse and drain the beans before pureeing). This adds a super yummy thickness to the chili.
- Remove from heat and add milk and sour cream. You can add the sour cream as dollups to individual bowls if you prefer. Enjoy!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
Is it possible to make this vegetarian or would it not have enough flavour if I leave out the chicken related items? Are there any ingredients I could replace them with? Cheers!
Yes Amber! there is plenty of flavor. We leave out the chicken all the time and add vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
How about leaving the dairy out? Or maybe using coconut or almond milk instead? Baby can’t have dairy 🙁
I haven’t tried it with coconut or almond milk Jill. You could actually leave it out, and it will still be soup- just not as creamy, more brothy.
This looks lovely, but what I’m smitten with are those square China pieces you’re using as soup bowls! Any leads I can follow to find them? Thank you! 🙂
J Edington- we picked those up at Crate and Barrel!
I am in love with this chili! We are big bean fans over here and this looks perfect.
Looks delicious. Any way to adjust this to be made is a snow cooker? That would help my schedule a ton. Also, any other veggies that would taste good?
If you used pre-cooked chicken Abigail, I would throw all the ingredients in and just turn it on! It would be great with a rotisserie chicken!
Was there any prep for
the beans? Soaking?
Heather- since we used canned beans, they are already cooked. If you use dry beans, you will have to pre-cook them!
Could you make this, up to the point of adding the milk and sour cream and store or freeze it to serve later?
You should be able to Sheila!
Can you substitute Chile powder for the canned Chile’s? If so how much would you suggest.
Hi Jane! You could add chile powder to this recipe, though the flavor profile is quite different (canned chiles have a juicy tartness to them and chile powder has more of a spicy earthiness) Also the color of chile powder would make this chili more like a red chili than a white one. Basically you can do it, but I wouldn’t expect the final recipe to be much like the original.
Can I use cannelloni beans in lieu of great northern?
Gail, absolutely you can use a different bean!
Is the stock just the chicken broth that is in the recipe?