Best White Bean Chicken Chili

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5 from 3 votes

Easy, healthy, and flavor-packed, this white bean chicken chili has moist chicken, a flavorful broth from green chiles and spices, and tender cannellini beans. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner that will satisfy all of your comfort food cravings!

What’s better than a giant pot of chili to eat all cozy on a winter night, or better yet, on football game day? Meal prepping white bean chicken chili is one of my favorite winter meals because it’s healthier and lighter than regular chili yet it’s PACKED with flavor. I love to slow-cook the chicken chili so that the chicken pulls apart into perfect tender pieces and soaks up all the added spices. 

You’ll love how the flavors of this chili blend together with tender chicken, delectable broth from green chiles and spices, a burst of sweetness from corn, and creamy beans. Plus, whichever toppings you choose will add flavor too! Want a creamy addition? Add some sliced avocado. Are you a fan of spice? Top with pickled jalapeños!

Make a fun chili bar full of toppings including these Homemade Tortilla Chips! The many different ways you can top this chili is my absolute favorite part. The combinations are endless!

The Best White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

When it comes to winter, I love recipes where you can toss virtually all the ingredients into a pot and let it do its thing. This white bean chicken chili is so delicious, easy, and ready when you need it to be! You’re going to love how light, yet satisfying and filling this chili is. Better yet, the whole family is bound to love it! 

If you have time, consider doubling the recipe to guarantee having leftovers for lunch the next day. Heck, you can even split the recipe and freeze your leftovers to enjoy at a later date! Enjoy now AND later; you’ll get the best of both worlds. 

Step-By-Step Video

White Bean Chicken Chili Ingredients

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – chicken thighs are known for their tender, flavorful meat. 
  • Cannellini beans – cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, have a creamy and tender texture. Use great northern beans if preferred. 
  • Low-sodium chicken broth – low-sodium chicken broth serves as a flavorful base for the soup, maintaining a rich and savory flavor. You can also make Chicken Broth for a homemade approach. 
  • Sweet corn – frozen or fresh works! Corn kernels burst with sweetness and have an overall mild flavor. 
  • Yellow onion – sweating the yellow onions will help develop and sweeten their flavor. 
  • Garlic – garlic…because garlic!
  • Mild diced green chiles – mild diced green chiles are perfect for adding a tiny bit of heat but mostly just delicious flavor. 
  • Masa flour – masa flour has a corn tortilla-like taste, and adds a touch of creaminess and flavor to the chili broth. If you can’t find masa flour, grind corn tortillas in a food processor to a powder!
  • Water – water is used to mix with the masa flour to make a slurry for the white bean chicken chili. 
  • Smoked paprika – smoked paprika has a distinctive smoky, rich flavor and is vibrant red. 
  • Chili powder – chili powder is a traditional blend of all the spices you typically taste in chili.
  • Lime – lime has a tangy, tart flavor with a subtle hint of sweetness. 
  • Olive oil – olive oil is used to sweat the onions and garlic.
  • Cayenne (optional) – cayenne is known for its heat! If you like it hot, add some cayenne.

How To Make White Bean Chicken Chili

Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Bake.

    Bake chicken at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.

  2. Shred.

    Shred chicken and set aside.

  3. Sweat.

    Sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-low for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add.

    Add green chiles, beans, corn, smoked paprika, chili powder, lime juice, and cayenne (optional). Stir. Add chicken broth and salt. Stir.

  5. Combine.

    Combine masa flour with water. Add to soup and stir.

  6. Simmer.

    Add chicken and let simmer for at least 10 minutes before serving.

How To Thicken White Bean Chicken Chili

The purpose of the masa flour slurry is to help thicken up the chili. If you like your chili even creamier, double the masa flour slurry and add it in. This will help create a nice, velvety texture and thicken the chili just a bit further. Continue this process to your desired consistency.

How To Serve White Chicken Chili

Whether you’re serving this white bean chicken chili as an appetizer or as a main course for lunch or dinner, here are some of my favorite ways to serve this cozy chili!

  • Family dinner: serve at home for any weeknight family dinner with Cornbread Muffins and a crisp side salad. 
  • Game day gatherings: bring this white bean chicken chili to eat with Homemade Tortilla Chips or other game day favorites like Buffalo Chicken Wraps!
  • Chili cook-off: stand out from all the other chilis with this white bean chicken chili. It is lighter, flavor-packed and sure to impress the group! 
  • BBQ: serve at your next BBQ with Oven Brisket, Mexican street corn or a delicious black bean salad. 
  • Toppings: serve topped with avocado slices, sour cream or Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, pickled jalapeños, scallions, or any combination of the above! Customize to your heart’s content!

Storing

  • Storing: store leftover white bean chicken chili, once fully cooled, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. 
  • Freezing: place in an airtight container once it is fully cooled and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating for best results. 
  • Reheating: reheat on the stove in a pot until warmed through or in the microwave in increments of a minute until hot.

Tips and Tricks

  • Be generous with toppings. When it comes to toppings, the more the merrier! Set up a toppings bar so each person can customize their chili to their liking. My favorites are fresh cilantro, lime wedges, avocado slices, and cheese!
  • Add extra heat. If you like a little extra spice, consider substituting with hotter green chiles or even using some jalapeños! 
  • Don’t have enough time to slow-cook the chicken? Sear the chicken thighs in a pan for 5-6 minutes per side. Time will vary pending on the thickness of your chicken! Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165℉ at the thickest part. 
  • In a pinch, use rotisserie chicken. While rotisserie chicken won’t be as moist as seared chicken thighs, it works great last minute or when you’re looking for less prep time.

More Chicken Recipes You’ll Love!

Delicious White Bean Chicken Chili

Easy, healthy, and flavor-packed, this white bean chicken chili has moist chicken, a flavorful broth from green chiles and spices, and tender cannellini beans. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner that will satisfy all of your comfort food cravings!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fall, winter
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 511kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2, 15.5 ounce cans cannellini beans drained
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup sweet corn frozen or fresh
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2, 4 ounce cans mild diced green chiles
  • 3 tablespoons masa flour if you can’t find masa flour, grind corn tortillas in a food processor to a powder!
  • cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ lime juiced
  • Salt to taste
  • teaspoon cayenne (optional) if you like a little back heat!
  • Topping ideas such as avocado, fresh cilantro or parsley, lime wedges, sour cream, jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese or queso fresco, scallions or chives, crispy corn tortillas strips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425℉. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 18-23 minutes until chicken registers at least 165℉.
  • Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before shredding. Set aside.
  • In a 4-quart dutch oven (my favorite option!), large stock pot, or crockpot, sweat onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add green chiles, beans, corn, smoked paprika, chili powder, lime juice, and cayenne (optional). Stir until combined. Add chicken broth and a dash of salt, and stir in.
  • In a small bowl, combine masa flour with water. Add slurry to soup, and stir in.
  • Add shredded chicken to soup and stir. Simmer for at least 10 minutes before serving with toppings of choice.

Video

Notes

  • You can also sear the chicken thighs in a pan like in the video if preferred. The faster method is baking them and adding them to the soup like in the recipe above!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 753mg | Potassium: 732mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 244IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 6mg
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