Make Ahead

White Chicken Chili

January 30, 2012
6 Ratings
  • Makes 10 generous bowls
Author Notes

This recipe was originally born out of the desire to experiment with salsa verde. As is often the happy way of culinary evolution, it became a vehicle for some of my other favorite ingredients along the way: velvety chunks of seasoned avocado, sharp cheddar, sour cream, cilantro, and tortilla chips. This is a great recipe for entertaining — just prep all the stir-ins ahead of time and set it up buffet-style so guests can serve themselves. There is something appealing about controlling your own food destiny that makes the add-ins especially crowd-friendly, and you get to enjoy the big game or party without interruption. —Spring B.

What You'll Need
  • Chili
  • 3 cooked chicken breasts (or the meat from a rotisserie chicken), cut into bite-size chunks
  • 15 ounces can pinto beans, drained
  • 15 ounces can cannelini beans, drained
  • 7 ounces salsa verde (I use Herdez)
  • 8 ounces can diced green chiles
  • 4 cups quality chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoons ground cayenne (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
  • Toppings
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • few handfuls tortilla chips (I love sweet potato tortilla chips with this)
  1. In large stockpot, saute onion in oil over medium heat 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute more, then add beans, salsa, and green chiles and stir well. Add chicken stock, cream, and all seasonings and bring to simmer. Simmer lightly for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to come together. Add cooked chicken, stir, and simmer just til heated through. Taste once more for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.
  2. While chili is simmering, remove pit and peel from avocados and roughly chop the flesh. Place in small bowl with the juice of the half a lime, olive oil, and salt. Mix well and set aside, then prepare other toppings as needed. Serve hot bowls of chili with mix-ins as desired.
  3. Note: this chili finishes with a thin consistency more like chicken soup than a traditional red beef chili. The melted cheese and sour cream provide some additional texture, and that’s plenty for me. However, if you prefer a thicker chili, there’s an easy fix. At the start of the recipe, add an extra can of cannelini beans. Once you’ve added stock, cream, and seasonings, but before adding chicken, use an immersion blender to puree the beans and create a richer consistency. Continue recipe as above.
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4 Reviews

MaryH52 November 1, 2023
Bloomed the spices with the onion and garlic before adding the rest of the ingredients. Added corn, used the immersion blender for a few seconds to thicken it up. Served with rice as an add-in. As ReeceAmy suggested, offered Fritos as a topping. I thought the spice level was perfect but for some palates, this might be a bit too spicy. Pot was empty at the end of the party!
ReeceAmy November 29, 2019
A favorite in our house! The toppings make it 💯. Will confess we sometimes use Fritos for a nod to Frito Pie.
Erin L. November 15, 2018
Love this recipe. Easy to make and delicious. I did add a meshed up additional can of cannaloni beans to to make it thicker.
[email protected] October 3, 2014
I made this for supper tonight and was delicious!!! I used a smoked chicken. TFS recipe Don