Healthy White Bean Chicken Chili
Published Feb 15, 2023
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This healthy white bean chicken chili is loaded with cannellini beans, corn and green chiles. It’s packed with protein, 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. 😉
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 comforting. This soup is just that. It’s packed with vegetables and flavor while also being dairy and gluten-free.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Packed with flavor and a hint of spice.
- Loaded with 28 grams of protein per serving!
- Perfect for meal prep – cook once and eat healthy all week!
- yellow onion and garlic – provides a flavorful savory base for the chili.
- jalapeño – for a touch of spice! I used 1/2 of a deseeded jalapeño and the chili had a nice kick. That said, feel free to skip the jalapeño altogether or use less if you’re not a fan of spice or are serving this chili to kids. You can also add the whole jalapeño if you want more spice!
- green chiles – I used mild canned diced green chiles. They’re not too spicy but add a nice, complex flavor.
- boneless skinless chicken breasts – I prefer to use boneless chicken breasts, but boneless thighs work as well. We’re cooking the chicken directly in the soup and then shredding it.
- low-sodium chicken broth – I prefer using low-sodium so I can control the amount of salt in the recipe!
- cannellini beans – adds more protein! I used cannellini beans, but feel free to use 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, sour cream, fresh lime slices, additional jalapeño slices.
How to Make
Sauté vegetables – 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.
Simmer – Add green chiles, chicken, and broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered with lid for about 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is tender and cooked through.
Shred chicken – Use a fork or tongs to remove chicken from the soup, place on a plate and shred using two forks.
Simmer – Place shredded chicken back in the pot and add beans and corn. Stir, bring soup to a simmer again and let cook another 10 minutes. Taste soup at this point and season with additional sea salt and pepper if needed.
Add toppings and serve – Portion chili into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro, green onion, extra jalapeño and/or avocado.
Can I Make This Chili in The Slow Cooker?
I haven’t tested it, but I don’t see why not! Here’s how I would make this white chicken chili recipe in the slow cooker/crockpot:
- Add all of the ingredients except for the toppings into your slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
- Once chicken is tender and falls apart easily, remove from slow cooker, allow to cool slightly and then use two forks to shred.
- Return chicken to slow cooker. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Portion soup into bowls and add preferred toppings!
How to Make a Thicker Broth
This chili is broth-based and doesn’t feel as thick or heavy as chili usually does. That being said if you like a thicker broth and creamy texture 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!
What to Serve With Chicken Chili
This chicken chili is a full meal on its 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 vegan cornbread or pumpkin cornbread would both be perfect!
How to Store Leftovers
This chili is perfect for weekly meal prep or meal prepping before a baby because it’s freezer-friendly! To store, allow the soup to cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
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.
To thaw: 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.
More Soup Recipes to Try
- Easy Black Bean Soup
- Easy Vegetarian Chili
- Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup
- Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
- Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- No-Bean Chili (Beef Chili)
- Vegetarian Green Chili
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Turkey Chili
- Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Chicken Wild Rice Soup
White Bean Chicken Chili
- 1 Tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- ½-1 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 ½ cup frozen corn, no need to thaw
- chopped cilantro, green onion, sour cream, fresh lime wedges, jalapeño and/or avocado, for garnish
- cornbread or tortilla chips, for serving
- 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. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is tender and cooked through.
- Use a fork or tongs to remove chicken from the soup, place on a plate and shred with two forks.
- 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.
- Portion chili into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro, green onion, extra jalapeño and/or avocado.
- 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.