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4.2 from 5 votes
Two bowls of white chicken chili topped with sour cream, cheese, and cilantro served with toppings.
White Chicken Chili
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Creamy, tangy, with just the right amount of heat, this white chicken chili will become your tailgating staple. It's loaded with shredded chicken, white beans, spices, and cheese, but with an unexpectedly lighter twist!

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chili, white chicken chili
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 623 kcal
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • cayenne pepper pinch
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 lb about 3 poblano peppers, roasted, seeded and diced* (or 2-3 (4oz) cans diced mild green chilies)
  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded** (lightly poach and let cool before shredding)
  • 2 cans cannellini beans (19 oz), drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese blend or mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Mexican cheese blend or mild cheddar, shredded
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro, minced
  • Salsa verde
  • Diced roasted poblano peppers
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Heat a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil.
  2. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5-8 mins.
  3. Add the garlic and jalapeño and continue to cook until soft and fragrant, about 4 mins.
  4. Sprinkle the onion mixture with flour, chili powder, cumin, oregano, 1 tsp salt and dash of cayenne. Stir and cook until spices are fragrant and toasted, 2-3 mins.
  5. Whisk in the stock and bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  6. Stir in the yogurt, peppers, chicken, beans, lime juice, cilantro and cheese and cook mixture over low heat, about 15-20 minutes. Season with remaining salt to taste.
  7. Serve chili with toppings and tortilla chips.
  8. *To roast the poblano peppers: Place the peppers directly over a gas flame on your stove or grill. Roast, rotating, until the skin is charred on all sides. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for at least 10 mins and then remove the charred skin, seeds, and stem.

  9. **To poach chicken: place chicken in a large pot with aromatics (sliced onion, garlic cloves or herbs - use whatever is handy and in keeping with the flavor profile of the dish you're going to make), cover, and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Let stand about 15 minutes or until cooked through). Remove chicken and discard the rest. Allow chicken to cool slightly and shred. I keep mine for a few days in a large ziploc bag in the frig.

Recipe Notes
  • You can use leftover cooked chicken breasts, pick up a roasted chicken from the store and shred, or make your own poached chicken breasts (instructions in the recipe) for this chili. All work and will taste great, use whatever is easiest!
  • I recommend 2% Greek yogurt for this recipe. It lends the right amount of creaminess and body. If you're feeling a little decadent, you can substitute heavy cream for the yogurt.
  • Roasted poblanos have a smoky, earthy flavor but if you can't find them in your market or are strapped for time, go ahead and substitute canned mild chilis. 
  • Keep the heat very low once you add the yogurt, cheese, and remaining ingredients. You don't want the chili to stick and burn or the chili to curdle.
Nutrition Facts
White Chicken Chili
Amount Per Serving
Calories 623 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 159mg53%
Sodium 1767mg77%
Potassium 1781mg51%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 61g122%
Vitamin A 1300IU26%
Vitamin C 69.5mg84%
Calcium 332mg33%
Iron 6.5mg36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.