Savory Comfort in a Bowl: White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

In the realm of comforting, hearty meals, few dishes can rival the appeal of a steaming bowl of chili. Its robust flavors, diverse textures, and ability to warm you from the inside out make it a perennial favorite, especially during colder months. While traditional chili often features beef or pork, a delightful alternative that’s gaining popularity is White Bean Chicken Chili. This lighter yet equally satisfying version offers a delicious twist on the classic recipe, incorporating tender chicken, creamy white beans, and a harmonious blend of spices. Here’s a mouthwatering recipe to introduce you to this culinary delight:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced (optional, for added heat)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans (such as cannellini or Great Northern), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup diced green chilies (canned or fresh)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)
  • Lime wedges (for serving)
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, tortilla strips


Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in minced garlic and diced jalapeño pepper (if using), and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add diced chicken to the pot, season with ground cumin, dried oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink on the outside, about 5-6 minutes.

Pour in chicken broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it cook for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Add drained and rinsed white beans, frozen corn kernels, and diced green chilies to the pot. Continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the chili has thickened slightly.

Taste and adjust seasoning if needed, adding more salt, pepper, or spices according to your preference.

Once ready, ladle the White Bean Chicken Chili into bowls. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the chili.

For an extra indulgence, top each serving with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, diced avocado, or crispy tortilla strips.


White Bean Chicken Chili offers a delightful departure from traditional beef-based chili while still delivering all the comforting flavors and warmth we crave. With its tender chicken, creamy beans, and flavorful spices, this recipe is sure to become a beloved addition to your culinary repertoire. Whether you’re cooking for a cozy night in or entertaining guests, this savory dish is bound to impress with its satisfying taste and inviting aroma. Give this recipe a try, and experience the joy of savory comfort in a bowl.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Can I use canned white beans for this recipe?

Absolutely! Canned white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern beans, work perfectly fine for this recipe. Just make sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly before adding them to the chili.

How spicy is this White Bean Chicken Chili?

The level of spiciness can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. If you prefer a milder chili, you can omit the jalapeño pepper and reduce the amount of cayenne pepper. Conversely, if you enjoy a spicier kick, you can increase the amount of jalapeño or add additional cayenne pepper.

Can I use leftover cooked chicken instead of raw chicken breasts?

Yes, you can certainly use cooked chicken for this recipe. Simply shred or chop the leftover chicken and add it to the pot during the final stages of cooking, allowing it to heat through before serving.

How long will this White Bean Chicken Chili keep in the refrigerator?

Stored in an airtight container, leftover chili can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Just make sure to cool it down to room temperature before transferring it to the refrigerator to maintain food safety.

Can I freeze this chili for later use?

Yes, this chili freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then warm it up on the stove or in the microwave until heated through.

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