White bean chicken chili simmered in a crockpot with whole roasted jalapenos, tender beans, corn, and lean chicken breast. The recipe also includes an easy stove top method for a quicker cook time.
White bean chicken chili is one of my favorite comfort foods. A big protein-packed bowl is one easy way to satisfy my hunger. I let my Crockpot do all the work by simmering the ingredients, so I don’t have to hang out in the kitchen all day.
This recipe is perfect for those lazy days so you can just scoop and devour, or pack it up for a gathering with friends and family. Once you’ve tasted this chili, I promise you’ll be coming back for seconds! If you need a quicker cook time, I provided a stove top option that you can have this delicious meal ready in just minutes.
Watch how to make this recipe
Making chili in the slow cooker is an ideal method because it gives all of the recipe ingredients time to meld together. Here are some tips to maximize the flavor potential of this white bean chicken chili.
How to make white bean chicken chili in a slow cooker
- Roasted Chilies: The key to the spiciness and intense flavor is roasting the jalapeños until nice and blistered, and then peeling and de-seeding them before adding them to the Crockpot. The high temperature brings a subtle smokiness to the chili and new flavor compounds from Maillard Browning. If you are a spicy daredevil, leave in the seeds for added heat. Additional canned roasted chilies are added for extra chili flavor.
- Microwave: Pre-cooking the onion, garlic, and cumin together with oil in the microwave quickly softens the vegetable in minutes. It helps bloom and releases the dry earthy notes from the cumin for a stronger flavor.
- White Beans: Great Northern beans or Cannellini beans work nicely. I buy canned beans because they are super affordable, are already pre-cooked, and you don’t have to spend two days making them from scratch.
- Add Creaminess: To create some texture in the soup, add beans, roasted chilis and chicken stock or broth to a blender to create a puree. Only a small amount of each ingredient is mixed, so you still have chunks of bean, corn, cooked chicken and chilis in each spoonful.
Check out my Slow Cooker 101 Guide for more information.
After a few hours of slowly simmering in the slow cooker, the white bean chicken chili is ready to serve. This is also an excellent meal prep recipe to make ahead for the next day or through the week.
As you may know, soups tend to taste even better the next day because the flavors get to play and mingle a little more instead of speed date, you know?
Now for the fun stuff, the toppings! Avocado, cilantro, green onions, sour cream, thinly sliced jalapenos or radishes add lots of fresh flavors and texture to the chili.
If you have some tortillas laying around in the kitchen, cut them into about a 1/4-inch strips and then fry them for 2-3 minutes in vegetable oil at 325°F, or until golden and crispy. Do it. You’ll thank me later.
I’ve been building up my spicy tolerance lately, and let me tell you, on a scale from one to ten. I could handle maybe a 3! So I’m pretty proud of my increased capsaicin capacity, but you won’t be catching me at any chili eating competitions!
Now that you’ve got a warm and spicy bowl of white bean chicken chili, it’s time to get cozy on the couch with a nice snuggly blanket or buddy. Grab a spoon and enjoy each bite!
What makes jalapeno peppers spicy?
Those beautiful green fleshed jalapeno peppers have a hidden spicy surprise in them. A compound called capsaicin which is only found in hot peppers. Measured in Scoville Units, a Jalapeno being about 2,500 to 8,000 Scovilles (pure capsaicin is 15-16,000,000 Scovilles, HOT!). Capsaicin itself is tasteless and odorless and is produced by the glands in the chile pepper’s placenta, found in the top portion of the pepper below the stem. You can remove the inner membranes and seeds to reduce the heat, but keep them in for a stronger kick! Make sure to wear gloves when working with peppers and wash your hands thoroughly as the spice can soak into your skin and burn. Make sure you don’t rub those eyes!