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!

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White Chicken Chili! 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! | HomemadeHooplah.com

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.

White Chicken Chili! A white chicken chili recipe made with whole chicken, homemade chicken broth, tender poblano chiles, and flavorful cannellini beans. This chilly weather comfort food will quickly become a new dinner favorite! | HomemadeHooplah.com

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).
White Chicken Chili! A white chicken chili recipe made with whole chicken, homemade chicken broth, tender poblano chiles, and flavorful cannellini beans. This chilly weather comfort food will quickly become a new dinner favorite! | HomemadeHooplah.com

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:

  1. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the more watery part of chili, and transfer to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add two tablespoons of all-purpose flour or cornstarch.
  3. Whisk together thoroughly, making sure there are no longer any clumps
  4. 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.

Recipe Details

White Chicken Chili! 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! | HomemadeHooplah.com
4.52 from 33 votes

White Chicken Chili

30 mins prep + 50 mins cook
644 kcal
Yields: 6 servings
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!

Ingredients 

Instructions

For Roasting the Poblano Chilies
  • Set oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Dampen 6 paper towels and have a Ziploc bag handy.
  • 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

Notes

* Use any weight of chicken that you prefer. For this recipe, you should have at least 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken, but more is okay.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 644kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 1085mg | Potassium: 559mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1017IU | Vitamin C: 101mg | Calcium: 319mg | Iron: 7mg

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.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating




29 comments

    • Bonnie
    • 5 stars

    Love❤️
    The video forgot to add chilis??

    • Betty Sammons
    • 5 stars

    I made this with canned chilis and rotisserie chicken. It is delicious. I like the persons comment about thickening it a bit.

    • Robert

    The onion is the dominant flavor of this dish. In fact it’s overwhelming. I recommend no more than 1/2 of an onion. This recipe calls for two whole onions. Otherwise it’s very good

      • Bonnie

      Depends on onions you use! Just use sweet onion, NOT vidalia, they are on the sweet side but super strong when added to food, I can’t use vidalia at all anymore they make me sick 😊

    • LuAnn

    Love the chicken chili. I’ve been making it for years. If you don’t want to turn on your oven (it makes my house too warm in the summer). I use the outdoor grill. For thickening I also, use the immersion blender for 1 can of beans. Love poblanos! I use them for everything! Great chili recipe.

    • Dee

    Can you use pinto beans instead of cannelloni beans !
    Thanks!

      • Bonnie

      Yes! If that’s your favorite bean! I use Great Northern usually for any bean soup, but like all beans so I’m happy with any!! Pinto bean probably stays nice and firm too in this recipe:))

    • ANNETTE

    Please add videos with the your recipes for a quicker how to ….

    Thank you

    • Shirley D
    • 5 stars

    Since it’s Hatch chili season, I used mild Hatch chili’s in lieu of the poblanos. Also cooked my chicken in Instant pot. Was delicious.

    • Sarah

    Could you do this in a slow cooker? I’m planning on making this today! 🙂

    • Hey Sarah, sorry for the super late reply! I haven’t tried making this soup in a crock pot, so I’m not sure offhand. If you tried it, I’d love to know the results!

    • Melody
    • 5 stars

    I made this a few weeks ago and it was a hit! The only changes I made was using a rotisserie chicken instead of boiling one, only because I am not a fan of boiled chicken and I used Knorr chicken bouillon. It was fantastic and it’s going into my recipe book!

    • Thank you for writing in, Melody! I’m so glad everyone liked it 😀

    • Elaine

    At what point do you put the shredded chicken back in? I couldn’t see it

    • Thank you for catching that Elaine! It’s the most important ingredient and I somehow forgot to write it in. The recipe has been updated 🙂

    • Lisle

    What ever formatting you’ve used makes it next to impossible to copy and edit instructions to save in a tidy format. I’m bummed.

      • Lisle
      • 5 stars

      I figured it out, and am happily editing the recipe. Very tasty, enjoyed!

    • Megan @ Meg is Well
    • 5 stars

    I’ve come to believe that poblano peppers are magical. They add such awesome flavor to anything, but especially soups. The broth in the pictures looks amazing! Can’t wait to try this.

    • Nutmeg Nanny
    • 5 stars

    LOVING the look of this soup. It’s so packed full of goodness.

    • Joanie @ ZagLeft
    • 5 stars

    I love white chicken chili and your version looks and sounds amazing. I honestly could eat this year round!

    • Alisa Fleming
    • 5 stars

    It’s been years since I’ve made a white chicken chili, and this one looks amazing. I’ve never roasted peppers for chili specifically -will need to give that a try.

    • Thanks Alisa! Roasting the poblanos is so worth it 😀

    • Dee Dee (My Midlife Kitchen)
    • 5 stars

    Once you start roasting your own peppers, you can never go back! I love, love, LOVE poblanos, too. Smoky and rich flavor without too much bite–they’re perfect for just about any dish!

    • Exactly Dee Dee! I’ve started to keep roasted poblanos on hand in the fridge – they’re good on so many things 😀

    • Melanie @ Gather for Bread
    • 5 stars

    That looks amazing. I love white chicken chili, especially with cornbread!