White Chicken Chili

It rained and I made white chicken chili.

It went a little something like this:

Did you love those rain shots? Bjork did all of those as I was slurping up his bowl of soup.

Yep. Rainy days are fun.

White Chicken Chili

Ok, let’s you and me have a chat about this chili. Can we agree that white food is super comforting?

Think about it. White sauce. White cheese. White sugar. White potatoes. White bread. White ice cream. White chocolate? White sauce and white cheese and white chicken on white crust named gooey, cheesy white pizza.

White Chicken Chili

Oh, comforting white foods. You are so mean in your delicious, non-skinny ways.

But hold the phone.

White food lovers, what if there was such a thing as a white comfort food that was healthier? Would you be really happy and eat double servings just to make up for its healthiness? I would, too.

White Chicken Chili

I started out already loving this white chicken chili because it’s really good. Like, fight-over-the-last-bowl good. It’s creamy (cornmeal and milk make an all-star team), a tiny bit spicy (hey jalapeno), and super filling (chicken and white beans, yo).

As if that’s not enough, I have a little extra-loving going on for this white chicken chili because it’s got less than 200 calories per bowl and that leaves room for some double-fisted chip action. Chips are white, too, come to think of it. Unless you’re having Baked Doritos which happen to be my embarassingly favorite chip ever.

Doesn’t matter. White chips or bright orange chips or no chips (weirdo), you are going to L-O-V-E this soup.

White Chicken Chili

5.0 from 6 reviews
White Chicken Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 can diced green chiles (optional)
  • 1.5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 14-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup milk
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 30 minutes or until cooked through and no pink remains. Drain water; allow chicken to cool. When cool, shred with two forks and set aside.
  2. Combine the cornmeal and milk in a small bowl and allow mixture to rest as you prepare the soup (the cornmeal will soak up the milk which helps it soften).
  3. Finely dice the bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the peppers and onions and sauté until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add the beans, chicken, broth, and spices to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a low boil. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add the cornmeal and milk mixture. Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes to thicken.
  6. Top with sour cream, cilantro, and tortilla chips.
Each serving is one heaping cup of chili.



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  1. Chili is a FAVORITE of mine, esp white chicken chili! That is my “go to” chili recipe. I just experimented with a pumpkin chili- it was amazing!

  2. I love white chili but have never made it myself, this looks so yum!

  3. The rainy scene outside your window is awfully familiar – we get kids playing around in our flooded street here too. I love making soup and stew when it rains – it’s the closest we get to good weather for comfort food in the tropics!

  4. Beautiful video!! I particularly liked the bit about the barking dog :)

    • Seriously, almost every shot had a barking dog, a crying baby, or pounding rain on the roof. Sound is a tricky one here! But at least we can laugh about it. :)

  5. I love everything you do on here…great recipes but combined with so much heart with your life’s journey right now. This video was really well done, too. I’m so used to seeing really sloppily put together videos but this was a great step by step and you are good with the camera. Anyway, you’ve become one of my favs!

    • THanks Ericka! The video thing is totally a team effort (Bjork does all of the recording and editing… I just talk… and eat) but it’s really fun to do and we’re excited to do more videos in the coming weeks/months!

  6. Loved this vidoe; those rain shots were gorgeous and I am pretty sure my weekend is going to involve large amounts of white chicken chili.

  7. You guys are brilliant!! Loved the video and all the pics!!

  8. LOVE the video and the rain shots. You make me want to go out videoing! Looks delicious.

  9. Extraordinary Lindsay! Great Video!! Totally engaging.

  10. Lindsay, you guys make rainy days look SO fun in Cebu :)

    Love the videos you post! I didn’t even notice the barking dog in the background until I read Bjork’s text lol! White chicken chili is ALWAYS something I order off the menu when I see it. I plan to make sweet potato black bean chili this weekend. I can’t wait!

  11. I love this kind of chili. I don’t make it nearly enough. Thanks for making such a delicious looking batch and reminding my how much I love it.

  12. Oh white chicken chili… my fave!! I love the ingredients in this. I didn’t know we were allowed to admit to the public that we like Doritos. lol. Great video (as always)!

  13. Video makes everything so much more realistic. I loved it! And this recipe looks amazing as usual. So simple and I already have most of those ingredients in my kitchen!

  14. Absolutely love the way you have presented this dish! Great to watch you prepare the lovely recipe and so much fun and yes, I love the look of that rain :) ! May I just ‘lovingly and laughingly’ point out that white coloured food is the unhealthiest one can eat – I would not dream of using white bread, sugar, rice or pasta: but that is just spoil-sport nutritionist me 😀 !

  15. I am in NEED of a white chicken chili recipe, so this is getting copied stat!

  16. The chili looks so yummy! I think I will make a big bowl all to myself…Yeah!

  17. I love white chicken chili…your version sounds and LOOKS so delicious!!!!

  18. You are so adorable! I love the video :)

  19. The two of you are so creative together! You’re such a cool couple! I love making soup when it’s raining or snowing outside and your recipe looks awesome! I’m pinning to to my “to try” board!

  20. This looks awesome! It’s getting colder here in Seattle and makes me want to curl up to a bowl of goodness like this! Also, favorite part of the video? The note about the dog for ambiance. Made me laugh out loud. :)

  21. Jess @ OnSugarMountain says:

    So you’re pulling my leg right? No way it’s under 200 calories…

    god I think I love you.

    In a totally non creepy food junkie way.

  22. Looks yummy, do you think it could be made in the crock pot?

    • I was thinking about that! I would still cook the chicken separately, because sometimes it can dry out if you leave it in too long (just personal preference). I would also use dried beans so they don’t get so mushy, and then still add the cornmeal and milk just at the end otherwise it has a tendency to burn on the bottom. Someday I’ll remake this so it works in the crockpot… if you do it first, let me know how it goes! :)

  23. i think i’ll be making this very soon! looks tasty and i hear you about the chips…though i pretend that i’m not a chip lover, it’s true that i will be topping mine with chips as well.

  24. That rain is beautiful and what an awesome video!!

    Not to mention the chili :) It looks delicious!!

  25. ooh lovely great simple recipe!

  26. I’m not sure if there is a better way to spend a (rainy!) Fall day than with white chicken chili. for reals. thanks for a new recipe, I have a great excuse to make some now :)

  27. I love rainy day soups! It is going to be a week of cold weather here in Ohio and I’m so excited for recipes like this one :)

  28. Love chilli! It does taste so good on the days it rains or snows, or when it’s simply cold.

  29. It has a lot of sodium though… :(

  30. Sarah Johnston says:

    Cool video, and nice to see your beautiful face. The chili looks definitely yummy! Can’t wait try it…

  31. I am from the Midwest and am also no longer there…what inspiration for me to cook while away from my family and loved ones!!! I love your blog, and look forward to your recipes ahead! I have always loved white chicken chili, and now I have no excuse not to make it….awesome! White chicken chili + lime chips + lime chips + lime chips = delicious! :)

    • Hahaha! Sommer. You are my BFF for your love of lime chips. :) And for being a misplaced Midwesterner! Where are you living now?

      • Hahaha! So Lindsay, I just died. I read your hummus recipe, watched your video and was like, “thank god, i am not alone!!!! we totally can finish off one of those hummus containers in a day. no problem.”

        So although I am not in another country…Baltimore, MD feels quite different than Minnesota! Needless to say, I have a curfew for myself and I am 25! Never out alone after dark! My plan is now just to stay in and eat me some of your hummus while skyping my loves back home!

  32. I found this recipe on Pinterest and made it on Sunday – it is sooooo good! We only had 3 chicken breasts, but it turned out fine. I also added some garlic to the onion/pepper mix, but otherwise followed directions :) Thanks so much!

  33. I live in northern Canada, and just made/canned a huge amount of salsa verde this fall (a first for me, both the canning and the salsa verde) after my very large tomato yield wouldn’t ripen. So, I have been searing for ways to use it, and I keep reading recipes that call for canned green chilies. But, I am confused, what kind of chilies are in the can? Are they jalapenos, serranos, hatch, etc? Are they pickled? What size can? Brand names?
    Sorry for all the questions, I want to make so many of the recipes I have found, both with and without the salsa, but I don’t know what to get. I even went to a Latin grocery, but didn’t know what to choose…

  34. Hi,
    I just made this and it was awesome! I know you said to use 4 large chicken breasts, but can you give me a guesstimate of how many lbs of chicken that would be the equivalent of. Thank you so much!

  35. I know this recipe was posted last October but I just got around to discovering your site and love it. I made this recipe tonight and it was delicious.
    Keep up the good work.

  36. Hi Lindsay!
    My husband I loved this recipe–we tried our hand a making it in the slow cooker and it was wonderful–perfect for the days that it has been 10 degrees in IL! Thanks for the ideas/inspiration/love/recipes!

  37. Hi there! This sounds really great. What would you recommend to be a good substitute for the cornmeal tho? Can’t seem to find any here :S

  38. That looks so delicious, and I love your photos! Here’s another great white chili recipe – my favorite! Creamy White Chili: http://ambrosiaandnectar.com/creamy-white-chili/
    So. Stinkin. Good.

  39. This looks so good! Do you think it would be weird to do pinto beans instead?

  40. This was a great recipe! It feels like an official fall day and I just caught a cold. I’m not a fan of chicken noodle soup and this was just the recipe I was looking for! Very hearty and definitely some kick. Hit the spot! Thank you!!

  41. I can’t find green bell peppers where I live, Switzerland. Isn’t that random? We have orange yellow and red. 😛

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