Dairy Free White Chicken Chili

A delicious recipe for dairy free White Chicken Chili, made with white beans, an array of peppers and corn. This chili is lighter than a red chili, but is still packed with flavor.

diary free white chicken chili

White Chicken Chili will always hold a special place in my heart. I ate it almost every day for the first 10 weeks of my first pregnancy. I had awful morning all-day sickness. But this chili was one of the only foods I could stomach. I’d drive to the grocery store to buy a small container of Ukrop’s White Chicken Chili for lunch almost daily. After the baby was born, I’d still get the occasional craving, so I developed my own recipe.

Chili is one of my favorite comfort foods. But sometimes a traditional red chili is just a little too heavy. On those days, I love to whip up a batch of dairy-free white chicken chili. The chili is full of flavor and absolutely delicious.

white chicken chili

Chili is a spicy stew that typically consists of meat, beans, peppers, onions, garlic, and cumin. Dairy free white chicken chili is made with chicken, white beans, and black beans. Since this chili is white and not red, it does not contain any tomato juice or tomato sauce. Instead, use chicken stock to thin out the chili. I also add corn, orange bell pepper and red bell pepper.

How to Make Diary Free White Chicken Chili

In order to enhance the flavor of the chili, start by sauteing some of the ingredients. Sauteing deepens the flavor of aromatics like onions, garlic, and peppers. The chicken also needs to cook in a bit of olive oil as well. Especially if you’re starting with raw chicken. However, shredded chicken or leftover rotisserie chicken from the store also works great for this recipe. Once the chicken cooks a bit, add white onion, red onion, garlic, red and orange bell peppers, and two diced jalapenos. Allow the peppers and onions to soften a bit. This allows the flavor to bloom.

Once the onions and peppers are fragrant and a bit soft, add two cans of white beans. Be sure to drain and thoroughly rinse the beans! Any type of white bean works great. I typically use Cannellini or Northern beans. Navy beans also work great and make the chili much thicker. Add a can of black beans as well.

Immediately after adding the beans, add frozen corn and about 12 ounces of chicken stock. The chicken stock adds enough liquid for the chili to simmer. But it’s not enough to turn the chili into soup. Technically, water would work for this part of the recipe, but chicken broth contains way more flavor.

white chicken chili

Spices are the Key to a Good Chili

Then, it’s time for the flavor! Stick to lime juice and cumin for white chicken chili. It gives the chili amazing flavor, without turning it red or tasting similar to red chili. Of course, add plenty of salt and pepper as well. I cook a bit of cilantro in white chicken chili. I love the flavor of chicken and cilantro.

Once the chili is seasoned, let it simmer for 30-45 minutes. The key here is to not let it boil, but don’t set it too low either. Simmer means there are pockets of small, constant bubbles. The temperature of the chili should be just below boiling. Chili is one of those dishes that tastes better the longer it simmers, so cook for at least 30-45 minutes. If you start earlier and it can simmer longer, do it!

Once the chili has simmered a while and seasoned to your liking, it’s time to eat! I love to garnish dairy free chicken chili with avocado. The avocado adds a creamy texture to the chili as well. And because I’m not dairy-free, I also add sour cream. Since my white chicken chili doesn’t contain any tomatoes, those also make an excellent garnish. 

Dairy free white chicken chili is packed full of flavor and is a delicious and hearty meal. Since it is made with chicken it feels a little lighter than the average chili, but is still filling and delicious.

Looking for more chili recipes? Check out my recipe for Chorizo Chili or one-pot chicken stew!

white chicken chili

Dairy Free White Chicken Chili

A delicious recipe for dairy free white chicken chili, made with white beans, an array of peppers and corn. This chili is lighter than a red chili, but is still packed with flavor.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Soups and Stews
Servings 10 servings


  • lb shredded chicken
  • 1 cup white onion
  • 1 cup red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 2 jalepeno peppers
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 30 oz white beans
  • 15 oz black beans
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 12 oz chicken stock
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp cilantro


  • Brown the diced chicken in olive oil in a large pot.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, add onions, garlic, and peppers. cook until they soften.
  • Cook until aromatics are fragrant and soft
  • Add beans (after rinsing thoroughly), corn and chicken stock.
  • Season, add lime juice and cilantro.
  • Simmer for 30-45 minutes. The key to a good chili is to let it simmer. It really brings out the flavors the longer it cooks.
  • Serve and garnish with avocado or fresh cilantro.
  • Enjoy!



  1. Neely Moldovan

    Love me some whitechicken chili! Such a great meal my entire family loves. This one looks great!

  2. Ah, we love chilli! But this recipe seems so easy and so unusual :)
    I might try it for dinner, it looks like a perfect substitution to the classic, heavier version.

  3. My mouth was watering as I read this! I love white chicken chili and it makes me smile that you mentioned Ukrop’s originally because they always make the yummiest foods! I think only another RVA person would be able to point that out though haha! I’m horribly allergic to onions, so obviously, that’s a step I’d skip, but aside from that, I’d be golden! I can’t wait to make this for myself sometime soon.

  4. Jennifer L Prince

    This looks so delicious! I make mine without chicken (b/c I’m a vegetarian), but this recipe sounds like it would be great with or without. Yum!

  5. I don’t eat chicken but I could totally see making a vegetarian version of this with just the beans and vegetable stock in place of chicken stock! I’m a sucker for any Mexican/Southwestern flavored dishes. So yum!

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