White Bean Chicken Chili

White Bean Chili

White Bean Chili is great anytime, but it is especially good in crisp fall (or freezing winter) weather. But first, a word (or a few words) on chili:

You know what I realized? I don’t have a chili recipe up on my website yet. And what, my friends, is a bean-devoted website without at least one bean chili recipe? I know there are some touchy topics in chili world – like should it have beans in it or just meat? Sorry/not sorry, but the answer is ALWAYS yes when it comes to beans. So that resolves that. And then there is white chili versus red chili. I have my little sister to thank for getting me into white chilis. Not that I don’t also love a good red chili, but there is something very satisfying about a white chili, too. Plus, in my world, both styles of chili have lots of beans – aka the correct way to make chili πŸ˜‰ – so I mean really, what’s not to love?

Ready for the recipe? Okay, here we go.

White Bean Chili

Recipe by A Legume a DayCourse: MealsDifficulty: Easy







White Bean Chili is always a good idea, but it is a GREAT idea when you’re looking for something that warms you from the inside out in cooler weather.


  • 1 small yellow onion

  • 1 cup (~240 g) fire-roasted green chiles (canned, mild) – you can use some extra to use up a can

  • 12 oz. (~340 g) chicken thighs

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 4 cups (~960 g) chicken broth (low-sodium, if desired)

  • 2 garlic cloves, or to taste (translation: I basically use a whole head of garlic)

  • Β½ cup cilantro (chopped) + more for garnish (optional)

  • 3 cups cooked white beans (like a great northern, cannellini, or navy bean) and/or Mayocoba beans

  • 1 and Β½ cups fire-roasted corn (frozen or canned, drained) – fire-roasted adds more depth and flavor if available, but regular will work in a pinch

  • 2 Tbs lime juice (about 1 lime), or to taste

  • 1/2 cup cheddar or pepper jack cheese (shredded) *see note

  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt


  • Chop the onion, fire-roasted green chiles, and chicken into your desired size for chili.
  • To a medium-large pot, add the onions, chiles, cumin, chili powder, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer until onions are nearly cooked (they should be turning translucent), then add the chicken and cook through. Food safety note: chicken should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165Β°F.
  • While waiting, mince the garlic and chop the cilantro. Drain the beans and rinse if using canned. Microwave them for about 30 to 45 seconds. This will make them easier to mash. Leaving some whole, mash about half of the beans – this will help the chili have a thicker consistency.
  • When chicken is cooked, stir in whole and mashed beans, corn, and garlic. Heat through.
  • Add cilantro and lime juice. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed (by adding more chili powder, etc.).
  • Serve hot, topped with cheese, a dollop of yogurt, and extra cilantro and lime if desired.


  • *If you get a block of cheese and shred it yourself, it is generally much more flavorful and can also be more affordable.
  • Instead of simmering the onions and chiles, you could sautΓ© the onions and chiles in a little oil with the chili powder and cumin before adding the broth to build depth of flavor.
White Bean Chicken Chili with Cheese

White Bean Chili Nutrition Facts

These nutrition facts were created in Nutritionist Pro. Numbers can vary with factors like different brands.

White Bean Chili nutrition facts

Speaking of Chili…

You know what goes great with chili? I bet you were going to say cornbread. And you’re not wrong, but Chickpea Bread also goes perfectly with chili!

Or maybe you are looking for another warming, delightful dish? Then check out this Lentil Curry.

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