Easy White Chicken Chili

Easy White Chicken Chili


  • 1 pound cooked shredded boneless chicken breast (see note)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder for some heat, or ancho for a milder taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 3 to 4 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, 2 rinsed and drained, the other(s) drained but not rinsed and any starchy residue from the can added (see note)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth or the equivalent of homemade
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and when shimmering, add onion to the pan. Cook for several minutes until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, a minute more. Stir in cumin, and chili powders, and cook until mixture looks dry, a minute or two.

Add the green chilis, beans, chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and gently simmer for about 10 minutes. With a potato masher, mash beans to desired consistency. If desired, add a little water to bring to a preferred consistency. Add chicken and simmer gently for about 10 more minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning.  Garnish with sour cream, cheese, cilantro and green onions.

Any leftover chili may need to be thinned a bit with water when being reheated as the chili will thicken a bit upon standing.


  • If you do not have any cooked chicken, use boneless, skinless chicken breast and poach in the chicken broth until done and tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from broth to cool. shred and set aside. Measure the broth and add a little water to bring it back up to 14 ounces, then use it in the recipe as directed.
  • The starchy, salty beans add a thickness to the chili. If you’re watching your sodium intake, feel free to rinse.

Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Beans, canned beans, Chicken, Chili, Freezes Well, Green Chili, leftover Chicken, Mexican or Southwestern, Soup, white chicken chili

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