White Bean Chicken Chili

The minute the weather drops below 70° I start craving chili. And this is one of my favorites. The key to making this extra special (I even had a co-worker cuss when he tried it!) is using my garlic broth as your base. This recipe is for the stovetop but can be adapted for the slow cookers or Instant Pot.


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken cubed or shredded if using pre-cooked
  • 2 cups garlic broth (or use plain chicken stock if you must)
  • 1 whole medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (omit if using the garlic broth)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinse
  • 1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white chili beans not drained or rinsed
  • 2 cans (4 oz) chopped green chilies (sub 1 can of jalapeños if you like it spicier)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup half & half or heavy cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)
  • a handful of the tortilla chips crumbs from the bottom of the bag (optional)


Heat oil in a large soup pot. Sauté chicken, onion and 1/4 tsp of salt until chicken is no longer pink. If you are using a store bought rotisserie (which I often do!) just sauté onion until soft and translucent.

Add beans, broth, chilis, and seasonings (everything but the dairy). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and half & half. Serve garnished with cheese and tortilla chip crumbles, if desired.


Obviously the perfect bite would be to have a spoonful of everything on it – but I also like to use a big tortilla chip as my spoon!


To reduce the fat or omit dairy altogether – reserve half of the can of the Great Northern Beans and puree in the blender with half of a can of the broth or stock. Pour into the pot at the end and stir to thicken the chili. Your chili will not be as white as what’s pictured here but it will be creamy and dairy-free!


Not My Mama’s Gringo Chili


My mother, God bless her, was not much of a cook. She only had a couple of tried and true recipes in her “go to” list. The rest, in the era that was introduced to convenience foods, was boxed, canned and highly processed. I didn’t like food much as a kid… thanks to meals like Chun King canned Chinese food and powdered potatoes and canned meatloaf (yes, I said canned. It even had the can rings imprinted in the meat when you pushed it out.). Fortunately, during college I dated a guy whose mom was a gourmet Italian cook and I discovered a whole new world!

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