chicken chili

White Chicken Chili

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White Chicken Chili
white chicken chili

This is an update on my old white chicken chili recipe. It was originally created for our neighbors
annual chili and margarita cook-off every year. The first time we were invited I made the chili, but not the party because I was giving birth (pretty good excuse, huh?)

white chicken chili

The next year I missed it because we are lame and out of town. Last year I was lazy, and Pete and I just exclusively floated on a margarita flavored cloud and pigged out on other peoples hard work. This year, I made the same chili that I had prepared the first year and was all excited to bring home an award, or at least some indegestion from sampling a dozen types of chili. But I didn’t make it because I was tired. I know, but I was really tired, like falling asleep sitting up tired. Eye balls burning in the socket, room spinning bone aching tired. But anyone who is a mom knows that you are always tired. I usually just swig like 6 cups of coffee and sorta get on with it, you know? But when it was still here after 10 days and was then accompanied by a delightful fever and walnuts bulging out of my neck, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to go to the Dr. Turns out I’m sick. lol! Who has time for that?

white chicken chili

I guess sometimes your body tells you what’s what, and that it is time to take a rest huh?

So this is the chili, that never made it to the party. again.



Recipe: White Chicken Chili


  • -4 large chicken split breasts (with skin and bones)
  • -3 Tbs olive oil
  • -2 large sweet yellow onion, diced
  • -2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • -1 jalapeno minced
  • -1 bag frozen premium white pearl onions
  • -8 cups chicken broth
  • -5 16oz cans of white beans, rinsed and drained
  • -1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)
  • -4 Tbs of cumin
  • -2 tsp of smoked paprika
  • -½ tsp of cinnamon
  • -2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • -Kosher salt to taste


  1. 1-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 2-Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet tray.
  3. 3-Sprinkle them heavily with kosher salt, and place in the oven to roast.
  4. 4-Cook the chicken until the chicken is cooked almost all the way through, about 25 minutes.
  5. 5-Set aside to cool.
  6. 6-Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot, add the olive oil, and then the diced onions and sprinkle them with salt.
  7. 7-Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is beginning to soften and turn translucent.
  8. 8-Add the garlic and jalapeno and continue to cook over a medium heat.
  9. 9-Make sure that the onions and garlic are not browning.
  10. 10-When the onions and garlic are soft, add the bag of pearl onions.
  11. 11-Let them cook with the other onions and garlic for another few minutes.
  12. 12-Add the chicken broth and let it come to a simmer.
  13. 13-While the broth is heating, shred the chicken breasts.
  14. 14-Discard skin, fat and bones, keeping the breast meat of the chicken.
  15. 15-Using forks, shred the chicken into bite sized chunks and set aside.
  16. 16-When the broth and onions are simmering, add the rinsed, drained white beans and the chicken chunks.
  17. 17-Season the chili with the peppers, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and vinegar.
  18. 18-Cover the pot and let the chili simmer for about 30 minutes.
  19. 19-Remove the pot, and cook over a low heat for another 20 minutes.
  20. 20-At this point, season the chili further with kosher salt, or, if desired, more crushed red pepper flakes.
  21. 21-Serve this chili hot with cilantro, shredded white cheddar, avocado and pico de gaillo. I also like to eat this with tortilla chips.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

white chicken chili

But it is really delicious and we enjoyed it around here for days!

By the way- my sincere apologies that this does not have my usual step by step photos, but don’t worry the directions are detailed!

white chicken chili

white chicken chili

white chicken chili

Leave a Reply


  1. So sorry to hear you’ve been sick. I hope you feel better soon. I bet this warm chili felt good on a sore throat!

  2. I love white chicken chili and really need to make it again. Your recipe looks delicious!

  3. Hi Heather!
    Ugh… hope you are feeling better! I remember when my boys were young I was sick far more often than they were. This chili looks like just the thing though to help you recover – love the touch of cinnamon in it!

    • thanks Nancy! yeah- school is like a cesspool!

  4. maria says:

    I love the avocado on top! Great meal for this time of year!

  5. I love that there is cinnamon and cumin in this recipe. Those of two of my favorite spices to cook and bake with. I hope you feel better!

  6. Yum Heather. Just Yum.

    • oh good! this chili is like “an oldie but a goodie!”

  7. Lisa says:

    This was absolutely delicious for dinner tonight! Thanks so much!

  8. I live for smoked paprika, and I love the color contrast here with the avocado!

  9. marla says:

    I have never made a white chicken chili, but I am determined to do so soon. I can use this recipe :)

  10. JulieinMichigan says:

    Heather this looks so yuumy! How much does it make? should I 1/2 it for 2 people?

    • Sorry Julie! It serves 8- I would halve it and have left overs!

  11. Divya says:

    Hope you’re feeling better now! The chilli sounds like the perfect way to warm up on a chilly fall night. :)

  12. Judimae says:

    This recipe look fantastic. I love the use of the smoked paprika and will try this soon. Your photos are dazzling as well.

  13. Curt says:

    Awesome ingredients in there. Cinnamon and cloves sound great in chili!