Healthy White Bean Chicken Chili

This healthy white bean chicken chili is loaded with cannellini beans, corn and green chiles. It has a ton of flavor and cooks up in just 30 minutes.

You asked, I listened! A few weeks ago I asked what recipes you wanted to see from me and I had a ton of requests for soup! Ask and ye shall receive. 😉

Dutch oven pot o white bean chicken chili. Large spoon in the pot.

Prior to this recipe, I had never made a white bean or a chicken chili before, so I decided that this would be a fun one to test! I gravitate towards soups that somehow feel relatively light and refreshing while also being comforting. This soup is just that. It’s packed with vegetables and flavor while also being dairy and gluten-free.

Make a Thicker Broth With Mashed White Beans

This chili is broth-based and doesn’t feel as thick or heavy as chili usually does. That said, if you like a thicker broth you can always use a fork or potato masher to mash one can of the cannellini beans before adding them into the pot. This is a great trick for thickening up any broth-based soup!

ALSO, fair warning: my version of this soup turned out quite spicy because the jalapeños I purchased were extra strong. I love spice and it gave the chili a great flavor, but if you don’t love spicy or have kids who will be eating this too, I recommend using less jalapeño.

Bowl of white bean chicken chili topped with avocado, jalapeños and corn tortilla chips.

Here’s What You Need:

  • vegetables – garlic, yellow onion, jalapeño
  • green chiles – I used mild canned diced green chiles – they’re not too spicy but add a nice, complex flavor
  • boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • low-sodium chicken broth – I prefer using low-sodium so I can control the amount of salt in the recipe!
  • cannellini beans or another white bean like navy beans or great northern beans
  • corn – I like using frozen corn and there’s no need to thaw before adding to the chili
  • spices and seasonings – dried oregano, ground cumin, chili powder, sea salt and pepper
  • optional toppings – chopped cilantro, green onion, avocado and additional jalapeño slices

How to Freeze (and Thaw!)

This chili is freezer friendly… aka perfect for weekly meal prep or meal prepping before a baby. To freeze, allow the chili to cool completely. Place in a freezer-safe storage container and freeze. Soup will be good for up to three months.

When you’re ready to enjoy, place the frozen chili in the refrigerator the night before to partially thaw. The next day, add to a saucepan and heat until warm, stirring occasionally. If the soup is too thick for your liking at this point, feel free to add a little broth or water to thin.

Bowl of white chicken chili topped with crumbled tortilla chips, avocado, jalapeño and cilantro.

What to Serve With Chicken Chili

This chicken chili is a full meal on it’s own – especially if you add all the toppings! That said, I love serving this chili with a little something extra like tortilla chips. If you want something more filling, it’s also delicious with cornbread. My pumpkin cornbread would be perfect!

Love Cozy Soups and Stews? Try These:

If you try this white bean chicken chili please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers.

Print
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Dutch oven pot of white bean chicken chili. Large spoon in the pot.

White Bean Chicken Chili


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description

This healthy white bean chicken chili is loaded with cannellini beans, corn and green chiles. It has a ton of flavor and cooks up in just 30 minutes.


Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • ½1 jalapeño, seeded and diced*
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 (4 oz) cans mild diced green chiles
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed*
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw)
  • chopped cilantro, green onion, jalapeño and/or avocado, for garnish
  • cornbread or tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and jalapeño and cook until soft and fragrant, about 5-6 minutes. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder and cook about 1 minute more. Add green chiles, chicken, and broth and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is tender and cooked through.
  3. Use a fork or tongs to remove chicken from the soup, place on a plate and shred with two forks.
  4. Place shredded chicken back in the pot and add beans and corn. Bring soup to a simmer and let cook another 10 minutes. Taste soup at this point and season with additional sea salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Portion chili into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro, green onion, extra jalapeño and/or avocado.
  6. This chili is great served with tortilla chips or cornbread.

Notes

  • Feel free to use a full jalapeño. I used 1/2 of a deseeded jalapeño and the chili had a nice kick.
  • To make the chili thicker, you can mash 1 can of the drained and rinsed beans before adding them to the pot.
  • To freeze: cool chili, place in a freezer-safe storage container and freeze. To use, partially thaw chili in the refrigerator overnight. Add to a saucepan and heat until warm, stirring occasionally. If soup is too thick you can add a little broth or water to thin.
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove-top
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe without toppings
  • Calories: 285
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 1160mg
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Protein: 28g

Keywords: white bean chicken chili

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    28 comments
    1. Wayne Minske
      October 20, 2020 AT 12:18 am

      That was a very flavorful and tasty chili. Even my lovely wife said it was great. Put in a can of spicy green salsa to sub for green chilies. Served with cornbread. Thanks for recommending the avocado and cilantro. I think that put it over the top.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 20, 2020 AT 2:15 pm

        Yay! That makes me so happy to hear, Wayne. I’m so glad this chili was a hit. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    2. Tracey Stone
      October 6, 2020 AT 3:53 pm

      This recipe was very easy to make and tastes amazing! Very bold flavors! I will be making this again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 7, 2020 AT 9:56 pm

        Yay!! Glad this chili was a hit, Tracey. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    3. Tracy G
      September 24, 2020 AT 12:52 pm

      Outstanding. Simple. Common Ingredients that I had on hand. Everyone in the family LOVED this. This is going into my weekly rotation for sure! Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 24, 2020 AT 11:24 pm

        So glad this chili was a hit with your family, Tracy! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    4. Andrea
      September 21, 2020 AT 8:18 pm

      This was SO good and full of flavor. I used low sodium chicken stock and found myself adding more salt at the end. Our avocado wasn’t ripe so we left that out and garnished it with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprinkled with cilantro and had tortilla chips along side. Will definitely be a repeat recipe in my house!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 23, 2020 AT 1:47 am

        Ahh yay!! I’m so glad this chili was a hit. Thanks for making it + for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, Andrea. I so appreciate it.

    5. Adora
      September 14, 2020 AT 1:36 pm

      This recipe is delicious! Do you have any suggestions for increasing the healthy fat? I was thinking about doubling the olive oil.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 14, 2020 AT 2:57 pm

        Yes, more olive oil or more avocado added to the top!

    6. Katherine Stout
      May 14, 2020 AT 8:37 pm

      I really enjoyed this recipe! For those looking for a vegan-ized version, this is what I did for a half batch. I replaced the chicken broth with vegetable broth and the chicken with about 3/4 of a package of Comrade Cluck (I chopped it roughly first and just left it in the pot after step 2). I halved all the ingredients except for the garlic and jalapeno (because yum). After I added the beans and corn, I also added the juice from half a lemon and 1 tbs nutritional yeast. It was delightful! Thanks, Brittany!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 14, 2020 AT 10:35 pm

        Thank you so much for sharing the subs you made with us, it’s super helpful to other readers!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this soup, Katherine. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. <3

    7. Christina
      April 19, 2020 AT 11:42 pm

      Loved this recipe! Perfect just the way it is.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 20, 2020 AT 2:06 pm

        Yay!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Christina!! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. <3

    8. Lauren B
      March 26, 2020 AT 6:53 pm

      This chili is AMAZING. Seriously the perfect amount of spice and it is so wholesome and filling. I made it for meal prep and ate it for lunch this week and I enjoyed every single bite.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 27, 2020 AT 12:01 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Lauren!! So glad you enjoyed this chili. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment and star rating, I so appreciate it. <3

    9. Juliana
      March 24, 2020 AT 11:31 pm

      So easy and delicious! Thank you!

    10. Danielle
      March 18, 2020 AT 3:54 pm

      SO good. My family doesn’t love spice, so I used green and yellow pepper instead and added some red chili pepper flakes for a little heat! I tripled the recipe and everyone loved it.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 19, 2020 AT 2:42 pm

        Yay!! So glad this recipe was a hit with your entire family. 🙂 Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I really appreciate it. <3

    11. Lilys T.
      March 15, 2020 AT 6:04 pm

      Delicious recipe! So balanced and clean taste. I added roasted corn instead of regular. Definitely a fave at our home.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 17, 2020 AT 1:36 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear! Thanks for trying my recipe and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating, I so appreciate it!

    12. Katie
      March 8, 2020 AT 7:10 pm

      Loved this recipe, added stewed tomatoes with green chiles and red pepper instead of the jalapeños.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 9, 2020 AT 4:34 pm

        Yay!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Katie. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    13. Larissa
      March 7, 2020 AT 12:51 pm

      Made this last night for dinner–it was sooo good! My 7 year old actually ate 2 helpings, which doesn’t happen often. Definitely keeping this one on hand!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 7, 2020 AT 1:34 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Larissa!! I’m so glad this soup was a hit. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    14. Michelle L
      March 6, 2020 AT 2:54 pm

      This sounds great! Is there any way to make this vegan?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 7, 2020 AT 1:05 pm

        Hey Michelle! I haven’t made this without the chicken yet, but I bet you could add more types or white beans or chickpeas instead of the chicken. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!!

    15. Nicole Fry
      March 6, 2020 AT 9:55 am

      Can’t wait to make this soup this weekend. One thought: before adding shredded chicken back to the broth, you could add and purée a few of the beans using an immersion blender to thicken the soup!

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