This Creamy White Chicken Chili is creamy & cheesy with a hint of heat and a touch of smokiness.
This chili is quick and easy and relies on common ingredients, but don’t let that fool you. Toned down a bit, its perfect family fare, but this could easily be a serious contender for game day or a buffet.
Rated “Super!” and “Terrific” by family that loves chili, this Creamy White Chicken Chili was also given the thumbs up by those among us who aren’t really into “heat.” I think it just rides along the cusp of very interesting to mildly spicy. Personally, I sprinkled the juice of pickled jalapenos in my serving and was very happy.
The creaminess of this chili does cut the heat, but you can easily scale the jalapeno and spices up or down. If you’re feeding “littles” adjust by taste or consider taking some of the chili out for them before you get too heavy-handed with any peppers.
Make this with canned beans or dried (except for the one can of Chili Beans in Sauce – it really adds a depth) and buy your chicken, bacon and cheese on sale (they freeze beautifully) and you’ll have a big ol’ pot of chili goodness on your hands that everyone will love!
Creamy White Chicken Chili
- 8 – 8 slices bacon, diced
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large or two small green bell pepper(s), diced
- 1 large jalapeno, seeded & finely diced (two if using 1 for garnish)
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (1 oz) packet chili seasoning *
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 (15 oz each) cans great northern beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 (15.5 oz) can chili style beans in chili gravy
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 (8 oz) package shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided
- salt & pepper to taste
- lime wedges for garnish
In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon until browned & crispy/chewy. Remove bacon & drain. Add chicken breast and cook until no longer pink and until slightly browned. Remove chicken and add onion, bell peppers and jalapeno and cook until softened, about five to six minutes.
Add half of the bacon back into the pot, reserving half for garnish, the chicken, half & half, broth (Depending on how thick you’d like your chili, use one to one & half cups of broth; consider adding one cup now and more after the cheese is stirred in if it’s too thick for you.), chili seasoning, beans and liquid smoke.
Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring now and then. Turn off heat and add about 3/4’s of the cheese, a bit at a time, stirring well, reserving the rest for garnish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the reserved bacon, reserved cheese and additional jalapeno for garnish, accompanied by lime wedges.
Note: if you’d rather not use a chili packet, my preferred spices are: 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 2 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon oregano.