This white bean chicken chili is made with tender chicken, homemade chicken broth, roasted poblano chilis, and white cannellini beans. It’s total comfort food!
This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy.
Table of Contents
- About White Chicken Chili
- What’s in white chicken chili?
- Do you have to make this recipe from scratch?
- Can you make this in advance?
- How should chili be stored?
- How long is chicken chili good for?
- Can you freeze chicken chili?
- How do you thicken white chicken chili?
- How do you thin out chili?
- How do you reheat chili?
- Notes & tips for this chicken chili recipe
- More great chicken recipes
- How to make white chicken chili
- Recipe Details
About White Chicken Chili
Have the best of both worlds between comforting chicken soup and classic chili with this version of white chicken chili.
With tender chicken and cooked peppers, this chili is packed with flavor – and, better yet, you can make the soup as made-from-scratch or as easy as you’d like, with tips and tricks for roasting your own poblano peppers and making your own chicken broth to using easy-to-find storebought substitutions.
What’s in white chicken chili?
In order to whip up a big comforting batch of this white chicken chili, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Poblano chili peppers – For flavor and mild spice.
- Water – For cooking the chicken.
- A whole chicken – Used for making the chicken broth and the chicken used in the chili.
- Unsalted butter and olive oil – Used for cooking the vegetables.
- Yellow onion and garlic – For delicious taste and soft vegetable texture.
- All-purpose flour – To thicken the chili.
- Cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin, salt, and white pepper – Delicious seasonings to jazz up the chili.
- Cannellini beans – More great taste and a hearty filler for the soup.
- Mexican blend cheese and sour cream – Both totally optional but a little diary is a classic chili garnish. These will also help cut the heat if the poblano peppers are too spicy.
Do you have to make this recipe from scratch?
This particular recipe is designed to be made completely from scratch. I personally recommend doing it this way (the flavor is out of this world) but there are a few substitutions you can make.
- Roasted Poblano Peppers – Poblano peppers have a moderately spicy flavor and are fairly easy to roast. However, if it’s too much spice or too much trouble, you can substitute the poblano peppers for cut bell peppers. Just saute them in a skillet with a dash of olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 5-10 minutes.
- Homemade Boiled Chicken and Chicken Broth – This recipe also includes instructions on how to make your own boiled chicken and chicken broth, but if you’re pressed for time, you can use pre-cooked chicken (three cups worth) and pre-made chicken broth (eight cups worth).
- Cook it all on a stovetop – After all the prep work is done, this chili is cooked quickly on the stovetop in a large stockpot (can use a 6 quart stockpot or a 12 quart stockpot).
Can you make this in advance?
Yes! In fact, chili is known to taste better once it’s had time for the flavors to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
For the best presentation, I recommend making this chili up to 24 hours in advance.
How should chili be stored?
Whether you’re refrigerating or freezing chili, I recommend storing it in individual-sized containers. And for best results, chili should rest in the container no more than two or three inches deep.
How long is chicken chili good for?
Once prepared and cooled, this chili can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three to four days.
Can you freeze chicken chili?
Yes, you totally can!
When properly stored in a sealed container or freezer bag, this chili can be frozen for up to four to six months. When ready to serve, just thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and warm it up on the stove or in a slow cooker.
How do you thicken white chicken chili?
Since this chili uses chicken broth, its consistency will be on the watery side. If you’d like a thicker chili, try making a slurry.
To make slurry:
- Scoop out 1/4 cup of the more watery part of chili, and transfer to a small mixing bowl.
- Add two tablespoons of all-purpose flour or cornstarch.
- Whisk together thoroughly, making sure there are no longer any clumps
- Pour the slurry back in with the chili, then stir. If needed, return the pot to the heating unit and slowly warm the chili, stirring frequently, until the chili reaches the desired level of thickness.
If the chili still isn’t thick enough, repeat Steps 1-4.
How do you thin out chili?
Because of all the hearty ingredients in this recipe, there’s a chance that the chili might be thicker than you were anticipating. If this is the case, you can add more chicken broth (or water) to the chili to thin it out to your desired consistency.
How do you reheat chili?
Chili is one of the best dishes to reheat! To do this, follow these tips:
- If chili has been frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. TIP: If you’re confident in the seal of the container the chili was stored in, you can speed up this process by submerging the container in warm water for about one hour.
- Microwave: Add chili to a microwave-safe bowl. If desired, add one or two tablespoons of chicken broth to help with consistency. Cover the bowl with a paper towel and heat for one minute, then stir. Continue to heat for 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the desired temperature is reached.
- Stovetop: Add the chili to a saucepan (or other pot that’s large enough to hold the chili). If the chili is thick, consider adding a tablespoon or two of chicken broth to help with consistency. Warm the chili over medium heat until simmering, stirring frequently, until the desired temperature is reached.
- Slow Cooker: Add the chili to the slow cooker, evenly covering the bottom. If the chili is thick, consider adding a tablespoon or two of chicken broth to help with consistency. Warm on LOW for two hours.
No matter which method of heating you use, it’s recommended to heat the chili up to 165 degrees F. You can use a candy thermometer to easily check this.
Notes & tips for this chicken chili recipe
- If you’ve never cooked poblano chilies, don’t fret! When I made first made this recipe it was also the first time I worked with poblano chilies. It’s so much easier than it sounds!
- If you love chili, be sure to pick up The Chili Cookbook by Robb Walsh! This white chicken chili with poblano chilies is just one of the many delicious cooking recipes inside.
- Make sure you have Ziploc bags (gallon sized) and a deep spaghetti pot (like this 12 quart stockpot) or a Dutch oven on hand before making this recipe.
More great chicken recipes
How to make white chicken chili
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In a 12-quart stockpot, melt together butter and olive oil. Add white onion and garlic, then cook and stir until fragrant.
Step 2 – Add flour to stockpot, then quickly stir with the veggies until the flour absorbs the butter.
Step 3 – Season with cayenne pepper, dried oregano, cumin, salt, and white pepper, then stir to mix.
Step 4 – Add the green chilies (whether made from scratch or from a jar), shredded chicken, cannellini beans, and chicken broth, then stir well.
Step 5 – Let cook.
Step 6 – Serve with Mexican blend cheese and sour cream.
White Chicken Chili
- 6 poblano chili peppers, or 4 oz canned green chilies
- 10 cup water
- 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, any weight *
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 43.5 ounce cannellini beans, rinced and drained
- 1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese, for garnish
- 1/3 cup sour cream, for garnish
For Roasting the Poblano Chilies
- Clean and dry poblano chilies. Arrange the chilies on the prepared baking sheet, then set them in the oven on the topmost rack.6 poblano chili peppers
- Let chilies cook until skin is blistered and charred, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the chilies brown too much. Flip the chilies and let the other side cook to the same level, about another 3-5 minutes.
- Take cooked chilies out of the oven and wrap each one in a damp paper towel. Place the wrapped chilies in the zip lock bag, seal it, and allow the chilis to steam for another 10-15 minutes.
- Remove chilies from the bag and unwrap the paper towels. The chili skins will likely come loose with the paper towel. For any skin that remains, use a butter knife to scrape them off.
- Cut the chilies into strips. Place them back in the Ziploc bag
until ready to use in the chili.
For the White Chicken Poblano Chili
- In a stockpot
, add water and cut whole chicken. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.10 cup water, 1 whole chicken
- Remove chicken from the pot and arrange on a plate to cool for 10 minutes. Reserve 8 cups of the chicken broth from the stockpot and discard the rest. If you are short the 8 cups, just add more water.
- Once chicken is cool enough to handle, remove it from the bones and shred with a fork. Meat should remove from bones easily. When finished, you should have at least 3 cups of chicken. Set chicken aside for now.
- Clean stockpot, then return to burner. Add butter and olive oil to stockpot and warm over medium heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 5-8 minutes.2 tablespoon unsalted butter, 2 tablespoon olive oil, 2 yellow onion, 2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
- Reduce heat to low and sprinkle all-purpose flour over veggies, then stir to coat.3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Mix in cayenne pepper, dried oregano, cumin, salt, and white pepper, then stir in cooked & sliced poblano chilies, chicken, cannellini beans, and the 8 cups of reserved chicken broth.1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 43.5 ounce cannellini beans
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Serve chili immediately with Mexican blend cheese and sour cream for garnish.1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese, 1/3 cup sour cream
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.