White Chicken Chili

A few years ago, I made white chicken chili for the first time, using a slow cooker recipe I had cut out of the newspaper. It was a winner – hearty, flavorful, and my kids even liked it. I made it repeatedly that winter. But the next winter, with a new baby at home, I found that I didn’t have the time to puree the base for the chili and brown the bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and saute the aromatics and de-bone and shred the cooked meat. So I didn’t make it that winter at all. This fall, I happened upon a fairly easy stovetop white chicken chili recipe in a kids’ cookbook. I made it a few times, and although I liked some of the unusual tastes – corn, lime juice, bell peppers – I didn’t care for it as much as the old recipe. The one I still couldn’t seem to find the time to make. So, I did what I do when faced with such a recipe problem: I mashed the recipes together, stealing the best bits from the newspaper cutout (the pureed base, the sauteed aromatics that gave it so much flavor) with the surprising flavor additions of the kids’ recipe, with a few tweaks from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. Out with the bone-in chicken thighs, and in with the simpler boneless breasts or thighs. (Use bone-in if you like, I just always worry I’ve missed a bone somewhere!) Here’s a recipe I can get behind: fast prep time, loads of flavor, the family likes it, and you can vary the toppings based on what your family prefers. Enjoy! ~Katie What you need: Ingredients

  • 3 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 3 c. chicken broth, divided (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 can hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 2-4 jalapenos, minced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 T. cumin
  • 2 t. coriander
  • 1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow)
  • 1/2 t. white pepper
  • 1 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 1/2 lbs. frozen corn kernels
  • 1 t. hot sauce
  • 1 T. lime juice (to add at end of cook time)
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, sliced green onions


  • blender
  • slow cooker
  • cutting board and sharp knife
  • garlic press (optional)
  • disposable food prep glove(s)
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 table forks (for shredding chicken)

Time: 30 minutes active + 4-6 hours cook time Freezeable: Yes. I freeze mine in pint mason jars with an inch of headspace. Serves: A crowd. This makes about 5 quarts of chili. Multiplying the recipe: You can’t multiply this recipe, as you’d overflow the slow cooker. White Chicken Chili: In a blender, combine 1 can of cannellini beans, 2 c. of the broth, and the hominy. Puree in the blender until the mixture is creamy, about 1 minute. Transfer to a 5 qt. slow cooker. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, jalapenos, garlic, cumin, coriander, and bell pepper until softened and light brown, 8-10 minutes. Add remaining 1 c. broth to deglaze the pan, and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom as you stir. Transfer to slow cooker. Add the chicken pieces, remaining 2 cans of cannellini beans, hot sauce, and frozen corn kernels to the slow cooker. Stir in white pepper and kosher salt. Mix gently. Set the slow cooker to cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. When the chicken is tender, remove it from the slow cooker and shred the meat using two forks. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir in lime juice. Serve the chili with a variety of toppings.

About Cooking for the Fam

Katie and Theresa are sisters-in-law who are passionate about food, passionate about family, and passionate about making and sharing food with their families. The Fam needs to eat. Make it good!
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