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White Bean Chicken Chili

My sister shared this white bean chicken chili recipe with me. I usually double it and add one extra can of beans, then serve with cheddar biscuits or warmed tortillas. The jalapeno adds just enough heat to notice but not too much for my children. —Kristine Bowles, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 3 hours
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional toppings: sliced avocado, quartered cherry tomatoes and chopped cilantro


  • Toss chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat; saute chicken until browned. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.
  • In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat; saute onion until tender. Add jalapeno, garlic, oregano and cumin; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add to slow cooker.
  • In a bowl, mash 1 cup beans; stir in 1/2 cup broth. Stir bean mixture and the remaining whole beans and broth into chicken mixture.
  • Cook, covered, on low until chicken is tender, 3-3-1/2 hours. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with cheese; add toppings if desired.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled chili in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Reserve your drained bean liquid—it's a perfect thinner for chili and won't water down your dish.
  • Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
  • These are all the best chili recipes from coast to coast.

  • Editor's Note
    Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
    Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 344 calories, 16g fat (6g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 894mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 6g fiber), 25g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • pawzcozies
      Oct 8, 2020

      This is my favorite white chicken chili. The only thing I do is add another can of beans that I drain and mash to give it a little more thickness. I top the bowls with a little shredded sharp cheese, a dollop of sour cream, chopped and seeded jalapeno.

    • Alan
      Oct 1, 2020

      Great recipe. Very easy to make with raw chicken or leftover rotisserie chicken. Follow the recipe. Ignore Pam, hers is not the recipe in question.

    • Kathy
      Sep 16, 2020

      It's a great recipe. People who want to change the recipe then write it on your reviews should get their own web page. You're supposed to be rating this recipe not your own.

    • Jim
      Sep 14, 2020

      Very tasty recipe - thank you for sharing! It can be easily modified with a few ingredients to people's tastes, but I like it as is. Not sure what "Pam" was doing to this recipe - but looks like she should have just thrown it out completely and added all her silly ingredients to plain chicken stock and wrote her own recipe; rather than destroying yours - lol!

    • Queenlalisa
      Aug 22, 2020

      This was very good. I love beans. This was easy and flavorful.

    • Pam
      Mar 2, 2018

      This is a very good recipe, BUT. I changed a few things. here is what I did & it turned out DELICIOUS . 2pds of skinless chicken, 5 cups of broth ( I use" Better Than Bouillon Chicken Flavored" its in a jar. LOVE THIS STUFF) , 1.5 Cup of heavy whipping cream, 4 stalks of celery, 1 small sweet onion, 3 teaspoons of minced garlic, 1 tea. cumin, 2 tea. oragano, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, salt & pepper, 5 cans of northern kidney beans, boiled chicken, shredded the chicken, added everything in crock pot, then added INSTANT MASH POTATOES ( it works GREAT on thicken the sauce, plus great taste) sprinkle some in, stir, thickens instantly, I just judge the thickness. cover & cook on high for 3 hrs. it makes a lot, so I'm sure I will be sharing with family or freezing some.

    • Jocelyn
      Feb 12, 2018

      A very easy and excellent recipe. It's not going to be that thick chili-consistency, but the heat level is nice and kid-friendly as advertised. I made a few slight alterations: I used about 1 lb of chicken and 1 additional can of beans, since we like our chilies and soups on the chunkier side. I reduced the broth to 2 cups and used liquid from the canned beans when I crushed the 1/2 cup of beans as directed - though I did this with a fork, so it wasn't perfectly smooth. The flavors are a nice blend, although I think I will increase the oregano and cumin to compensate for having more chicken and beans next time. The additions of cheese, avocado, and cherry tomatoes are delicious, and oyster crackers are good, too. My very picky son ate seconds - unprompted! Definitely a winner in my book!

    • Sherri
      Jan 1, 2018

      It was ok. Since some commented it was more soup than chili, I did add more chicken. I didn't adjust any of the spices so maybe that's why it seemed a little bland. Even with the extra chicken there was way more onion than I ever care to have. It reeked of onion when I lifted the lid. Maybe this is a good base to start off at, but I wouldn't make it as written again.

    • judontmesswithme
      Nov 14, 2017

      Easy recipe, it tasted really good. Excellent flavor. My only issue was that it was more soup than chili, which many other reviewers said. It would be nice if it were quite a bit thicker. Then I would have given it 5 stars. I did really like it, and I will probably monkey with the recipe some more.

    • LynneFrancovich
      Sep 23, 2017

      No comment left