White Chicken Chili Is Fast But Tastes Like It's Been Simmering All Day


When planning a  or seeking inspiration for a , chili always is always a crowd-pleasing idea. White chicken chili takes some of the creamy flavors from filling and merges it with beans, peppers, and some of our favorite for a dish that's hearty and flavorful. This hearty, comes together quickly but tastes like it's been simmering all day. (And if you've got all day, try this amazing recipe for .) The lime juice and cilantro add a burst of freshness right at the end!

What is white chicken chili?

White chicken chili starts with a mix of tried-and-true chili ingredients: onions, peppers (in this case, poblanos), garlic and jalapeño.


We add white beans, corn, cooked chicken (a works great) and tons of spices, then finish the stew with a little heavy cream, lime juice and chopped cilantro. 

How can I make white chicken chili less spicy?

The great thing about this is the spice is totally customizable. If you can't handle the heat, make sure to remove all the seeds from the jalapeño before dicing it. Or, if you want to really dial down the spice, leave out the jalapeño altogether! Poblanos and green chiles are relatively mild, so there's no reason to leave those out.

How do I thicken white chicken chili?

There are a couple of ways to


. The easiest method is to add a thickener like cornmeal, masa harina, or even polenta. These will need to simmer for a several minutes in the liquid in order to absorb moisture from the soup and thicken. (A medium-coarse cornmeal needs at least 10 minutes of simmering to thicken the stew and become tender.)

Another great way to thicken white chicken chili is to use an ingredient that you are already putting in the soup: beans! There are two ways to do this. First, you can add the beans to the pot and cook as directed. Once the beans have had a chance to soften, use a potato masher to mash some of them into a paste that will thicken the chili.


Or, hold back about 1 cup of the drained and rinsed beans and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock from the recipe. In a blender or small bowl of a food processor, purée the beans and stock for 1 to 2 minutes until thickened and very smooth. Add this puree to the chili near the end of cooking (like when you add the cooked chicken), to thicken the broth. If you are going to try one of these bean thickening techniques, you should omit the cornmeal from the recipe.

What can you serve with white chicken chili?

If you're making white chicken chili for a crowd, you may be looking for a few sides to round out the meal.


Nothing goes better with chili than a skillet of cornbread. Make or spice things up with some . A side would offer some cool, balancing crunch, too. And who can say no to batch of and bowl of ?

2 tbsp.

olive oil


onion, chopped 


poblano peppers, chopped

1 tsp.

kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste


cloves garlic, chopped


jalapeño, chopped (seeds removed, if you don’t like it spicy!)

1 tbsp.

ground cumin

1 tsp.

ground coriander

1 tsp.

chili powder

1/2 tsp.

black pepper

2 tsp.

dried oregano

4 c.

chicken broth, divided

3 tbsp.

cornmeal or masa harina


(15-oz.) cans white beans (such as cannellini or great northern beans), drained and rinsed



(4-oz.) can chopped green chilis

1 c.

frozen corn

3 c.

cooked chicken (from 1 rotisserie chicken)

1/2 c.

heavy cream

2 tbsp.

fresh lime juice

2 tbsp.

chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for serving

Tortilla chips, shredded monterey jack cheese, and sour cream, for serving

Step  1 Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then onion and poblano pepper. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until slightly softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño, and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the cumin, coriander, chili powder, black pepper, and oregano, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.


Step  2 In a small measuring cup, whisk together 1/2 cup of chicken broth and the cornmeal or masa harina. Step  3 Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, cornmeal mixture, white beans, canned green chilis, and corn to the Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, over medium heat. Stir in the chicken and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in the heavy cream, lime juice, and cilantro, and remove from the heat. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste. Step  4 Serve topped with additional cilantro, tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream.


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