This post has been sponsored by Swanson®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I am not going to lie, I did not grow up eating chili. The Turkish cuisine equivalent of chili was beef stew. That is what we ate in the thick of winter when we couldn’t put on any more layers to feel warm. But after living in the US for almost 10 years now, I find so much comfort in chili recipes and this Healthy White Chicken Chili recipe is one that I make often.
My mother used to call it “warming yourself inside out.” Eating a big bowl of her beef stew was the only way to beat the cold winters of my childhood.
Fast forward to today, 19 years of living in the US and being married to an American man, and I am now finding comfort in various chili recipes during the coldest days of winters.
Though once again, I am realizing that eating a big bowl of this healthy white chicken chili is the only way to handle this -2 F degree weather. So, if you are in the same boat, let’s warm ourselves inside out, like my mother used to say, and make a big pot of chili.
I love this Easy White Chicken Chili recipe because
- It is made with rotisserie chicken, canned beans, and Swanson® Chicken Broth: America’s #1 broth and trusted for 70 years. In other words, you can easily grab everything from the supermarket on your way back home from work.
- The whole recipe comes together in less than 45 minutes, and it easily feeds a family of 4.
- It freezes well. If you are a small family like us, you can easily freeze the leftovers and serve them later.
- It can also be made in a pressure cooker if that is what you prefer. If you need a good recipe for it, be sure to check out my Instant Pot White Bean Chicken chili recipe.
What is white chili?
Before I continue to explain how I make this easy white bean chicken chili recipe, I want to go back to the basics and explain the difference between regular chicken chili (like I made in this Easy Chicken Chili Recipe) and white chicken chili.
The traditional chili recipe is usually made with ground beef mixed in with chili powder (made from roasting chili peppers and grinding them), ground cumin and ground coriander, jalapeno pepper, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and various cooked beans like black beans and red kidney beans, depending on what you have on hand. Obviously, the end result is a thick chili that is dark red.
On the other hand, white chili (some also call it white bean chili) is made with ground coriander, ground cumin, white beans (either Navy or Cannellini beans), mild green chiles, corn, and chicken (or turkey and pork). Since there are no tomatoes or chili powder, it ends up being a white chili.
Though, I have to say, as you will see in the white chicken chili recipe below, I added a teaspoon of chili powder as I love its taste. And since it is much less compared to the regular chili recipe (as opposed to ¼ cup), it doesn’t change the color of the overall dish.
How to make?
When it comes to making this low fat white chicken chili, you have a few options. I made the recipe on the stove top as I wanted this to be a quick and easy weeknight chili recipe.
However, I will outline a few other methods below:
Stove top method
First method is the stove top method. Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted this recipe to be one that you can make on a Tuesday night.
To do so, I picked a small rotisserie chicken, a can of green peppers, some canned Cannellini beans, and Swanson® ’s chicken stock from the store.
I love Swanson® products, not only because they taste good but also because they are made without the use of artificial flavors or preservatives.
I also love that they have a wide collection of broths and stocks that you can pick from. I opted for their unsalted chicken stock as I wanted to adjust the seasoning myself, but you can pick whichever works for you and your recipe.
The process of making this healthy white chicken chili recipe has 2 parts.
- Cook the aromatics & add in the rest of the ingredients: Cook a chopped onion along with spices, green peppers, and garlic. Then add in the beans, shredded chicken, corn, and chicken stock.
- Let it simmer: Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. After a good 20-25 minutes of simmering on the stove top, you end up with a healthy and delicious pot of white chicken chili.
If you have more time, then you can easily make it in your slow cooker. Though, for this method, I recommend using uncooked chicken and letting the crockpot (and time) do its magic.
To make healthy crockpot chicken chili, you add in onion, spices, green chiles, garlic, corn, beans and chicken stock in your slow cooker. Then, nestle the chicken (I recommend using 1 ¼ pounds of chicken thighs) into the mixture.
Put the lid on and cook for 4-6 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high heat setting. Once it is cooked, all you have to do is to fish out the cooked chicken, shred it, and add them back into the mixture.
Some people use an immersion blender to blend some of the mixture (half of the chili mixture) to make it thicker. While it is an extra step, it does a really good job of making your white chili thicker with chunks of shredded chicken with every bite.
This Crockpot Chicken Tomatillo Soup I shared a while back is a great example of using this technique.
However, please know that you would totally be fine if you skip this step.
Low calorie white chicken chili
Okay, this one is not quite a “method” per se. However, I wanted to include it just in case you are calorie conscious and prefer a skinny white chicken chili instead.
While I am a big fan of dark chicken meat, by using chicken breasts or chicken tenders, you can easily cut down on calories.
If you are using rotisserie chicken (like I did), you can just shred the chicken breasts and add them into the chili.
If you are using the crockpot method, then you can swap chicken thighs with chicken breasts.
What to serve with white chicken chili?
When it comes to serving chili, I usually go for a lot of toppings. Chopped red onion, cubed avocados, fresh cilantro, pickled jalapeños, Mexican (or cheddar) cheese, tortilla chips, and a dollop of sour cream are a few that comes to mind.
However, this is the part that you can get as creative as you like and add in whatever you have on hand.
Whether you are looking for a chili recipe you can make on a Tuesday night or feeling under the weather during these cold days of winter, I hope this chicken chili recipe will come handy.
Other chili recipes you might also like
- Pumpkin Turkey Chili
- Vegan Chocolate Chili
- 3 Bean Turkey Chili
- Vegan Chili Recipe
- Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa
- Check out all our heartwarming soup recipes
Other chicken recipes you might also like
- Chicken Thighs with Fennel
- Instant Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Fricassee Chicken
- Authentic Lo Mein Recipe
- Lemongrass Chicken Recipe
- Chicken Vegetable Soup
- Healthy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Chicken with Olives and Lemon
- Check out all our easy chicken recipes
Healthy White Chicken Chili Recipe
For The Chili:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 can of green peppers or 1 large jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 15-oz. cans of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 small rotisserie chicken deboned and shredded (approximately 4 cups)
- 1 cup whole corn kernels plus more as garnish
- 4 cups Swanson® unsalted chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
As Garnish (Optional)
- 1 ripe avocado cut into small pieces
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- 4 tablespoons of sour cream
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot (with a lid) on medium-high heat. Add in the onion, ground cumin, ground coriander, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent—4-6 minutes.
- Stir in the green peppers and garlic. Sautee for 30 seconds.
- Add in the white beans, shredded chicken, corn, Swanson® chicken stock, salt and pepper. Give it a stir.
- Put the lid on and bring it to a boil. Then, turn the heat down to medium and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until it is slightly thickened.
- Add in the chopped cilantro and give it a stir.
- When ready to serve, divide it amongst 4 bowls and garnish with cubed avocado and sliced jalapeños if preferred.
- Add in onion, spices, green chiles, garlic, corn, beans and chicken stock in your slow cooker. Then, nestle the chicken (I recommend using 1 ¼ pounds of chicken thighs) into the mixture.
- Put the lid on and cook for 4-6 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high heat setting. Once it is cooked, all you have to do is to fish out the cooked chicken, shred it, and add them back into the mixture.
This healthy white chicken chili recipe was originally published in March of 2019. It has been updated in February 2021 with more helpful information and no changes to the originally published recipe.