White Chicken Chili

A delicious recipe for 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.

White Chicken Chili will always hold a special place in my heart. I ate it almost everyday for the first 10 weeks of my pregnancy with Mara in 2015. I had awful morning all-day sickness and it was one of the only foods I could stomach. I was still working my corporate job and so everyday I’d drive to the grocery store to buy a small container of Ukrop’s White Chicken Chili for lunch. After Mara was born, I’d still get the occasional craving, so I developed my own recipe. white chicken chili

White Chicken Chili

I love chili that is rich and full of flavor, so I start by sauteing diced chicken in a large stew pot or Dutch oven. I like to use finely diced chicken, that I brown in a bit of olive oil. However, shredded chicken or even leftover rotisserie chicken from the store would work. Once the chicken is cooked a bit, add white onion, red onion, garlic, red and orange bell peppers and two diced jalapenos. This allows the peppers and onions to soften a bit and for the flavor to bloom. Once the onions and peppers are a 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 would work. I usually use Cannellini or Northern beans. Navy beans also work great and make the chili much thicker. After the beans, add frozen corn and about 12 ounces of chicken stock. The idea is to have enough liquid to cook the chili, but not so much that it turns into a soup. white chicken chili

Then, it’s time for the flavor! I like to stick to mostly lime juice and cumin for white chicken chili. It gives the chili amazing flavor, without turning it red or tasting similar to other, red, chilis. Of course, add plenty of salt and pepper as well. I also cook a bit of cilantro in white chicken chili because 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 to low either. A simmer means that there are pockets of small, constant bubbles because the temperature of the chili is just below boiling. Chili is one of those dishes that tastes better the longer it simmers, so I recommend at least 30-45 minutes. If you start earlier and it can simmer longer, do it! Once the chili has simmered awhile, and seasoned to your liking, it’s time to eat! I love to garnish chicken chili with avocado and sour cream. The sour cream adds a creaminess to the chili and avocado is a perfect pairing. Since my white chicken chili doesn’t contain any tomatoes, those also make an excellent garnish.  white chicken chili

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!

white chicken chili

White Chicken Chili

A delicious recipe for 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 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
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 2 cans
  • 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 the bottom of a large pot in a little bit of olive oil.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, add the onions, garlic and peppers and cook until they soften.
  • Add beans (after rinsing thoroughly), corn and chicken stock.
  • Season, add lime juice and cilantro, and 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 sour cream, tortilla chips, avocado or fresh cilantro. Whatever you prefer!
  • Enjoy!

5 thoughts on “White Chicken Chili”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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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