White Bean Chicken Chili

4.62 from 310 votes
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White bean chicken chili simmered in a crockpot with whole roasted jalapenos, tender beans, corn, and lean chicken breast. This recipe is fantastic, if I don’t say so myself!

White bean chicken chili recipe served in a white bowl.

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 stovetop option to have this delicious meal ready in just minutes.

How to make white bean chicken chili in a slow cooker

Making chili in the slow cooker is ideal because it gives all recipe ingredients time to meld together. Here are some tips to maximize the flavor potential of this white bean chicken chili.

A crockpot with whole roasted jalapenos, tender beans, corn, and seasoned chicken breast.

Chicken selection

Use boneless skinless chicken breast for lean pieces of protein. Alternatively, you can use chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken, this is a great time to use it in the chili. You could even add the flavorful bones to the pot to simmer for a more rich and more flavorful chicken stock base.

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 green chilies are added for extra pepper flavor.

Microwave

Pre-cooking the onion, garlic, and cumin together with the oil in the microwave quickly softens the vegetable in minutes. It helps bloom and releases the dry, earthy notes from the cumin for a more robust flavor.

White bean chicken chili simmering in a slow cooker, all the ingredients are mingling together

White beans

Great Northern beans or Cannellini beans work nicely. I buy canned beans because they are super affordable, already pre-cooked, and you don’t have to make them from scratch for two days.

Add creaminess

To create some texture in the soup, add beans, roasted chilis, and chicken stock or broth to a blender to make a puree. Only a tiny amount of each ingredient is mixed, so you still have chunks of bean, corn, cooked chicken, and chilis in each spoonful. The natural sweet starches from the corn also help to thicken the mixture.

You can use canned or frozen corn for the recipe. If you like an extra creamy consistency, stir in some cream cheese or heavy cream right before serving. This also helps to tame the heat from the roasted chilis.

Slow cook the chili

In a 6-quart Crock-Pot, add the chilis, chicken broth or stock, chicken breasts, beans, corn, and pureed mixture. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. After a few hours of slowly simmering in the slow cooker, remove the meat. Shred the chicken into smaller pieces, or chop it into cubes.

This white chicken chili recipe is also excellent for meal prep throughout the week. As you may know, soups taste even better the next day because the flavors get more time to infuse together.

White bean chicken chili simmered in a crockpot with whole roasted jalapenos, tender beans, corn, and lean chicken breast. A healthy recipe pack with flavor and spice.

Topping ideas

Now for the fun stuff, the toppings! Avocado, cilantro, green onions, sour cream, thinly sliced jalapenos, or radishes add fresh flavors and texture to the chili. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top to enhance the taste.

Make some crispy tortilla chips if you have some tortillas lying around in the kitchen. Cut them into about 1/4-inch strips and then fry them for 2 to 3 minutes in vegetable oil at 325°F (165ºC) or until golden and crispy. Please 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!

More slow cooker recipes

Bowls of white bean chicken chili with slices of avocado and radish.

Recipe Science

What makes jalapeno peppers spicy?

Those beautiful green fleshed jalapeno peppers have a hidden spicy surprise in them. A compound called capsaicin is only found in hot peppers. Measured in Scoville Units, a Jalapeno is about 2,500 to 8,000 Scovilles (pure capsaicin is 15-16,000,000 Scovilles, HOT!). You can remove the inner membranes and seeds to reduce the heat. Wear gloves when working with peppers and wash your hands thoroughly as the spice can soak into your skin and burn.

White Bean Chicken Chili

White bean chicken chili prepared in a crockpot with whole roasted jalapenos, tender beans, corn, and lean chicken breast.
4.62 from 310 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree, Soup
Cuisine Mexican

Ingredients 
 

  • 3 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups yellow onion, ¼" dice
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 ¼ pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup roasted green chilies, canned, divided
  • 2 ½ cups white beans, two 15 oz cans, drained
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock, divided
  • 1 ½ cups corn, 15 ounce can
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions 

  • Roast the Jalapeños – Turn on the broil setting on the oven. Line a small baking sheet with foil and evenly space out three jalapeños. Place the sheet tray on the highest rack in the oven. Roast until the skins brown and blister, turning over as needed to get all the sides browned, about 15 minutes.
    Place the roasted peppers in a small bowl and cover them tightly with plastic wrap. Allow them to come to room temperature. The trapped heat will make the skins easier to peel.
  • Remove the Skin and Stems – Once cooled, remove the skin and stems from the peppers. If you like a very spicy chili, leave the seeds. For a mild chili remove the seeds and discard. Set aside.
  • Microwave the Aromatics – In a large microwave-safe bowl, add olive oil, diced onions, minced garlic, and cumin. Stir to combine. Microwave for 3 minutes, stir and cook another 2 minutes until onions are tender.
  • Add to the Slow Cooker – Add the aromatics, chicken breasts, ½ cup of roasted green chilies, corn, 1 cup of white beans, and ½ cup of chicken stock.
  • Puree the Peppers – In a blender, puree ½ cup roasted green chilies, roasted jalapeños, 1 cup beans, and ½ cup chicken stock until smooth, about 45 seconds. Add the mixture to the slow cooker.
  • Slow Cook – Add salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 6 hours.
  • Shred the Chicken – Remove the chicken and shred or cut it into cubes. Add it back to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  • To Serve – Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm with desired toppings.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Serving Size: about 1 ½ cups
  • Suggested Toppings: Avocado, jalapenos, sour cream, green onions, cilantro, and radish.
  • Stovetop Recipe:
    • For step 3, Heat a large pot over medium heat. Heat oil, once hot add the onions and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for 30 seconds.
    • For step 4, Place the ingredients in the pot.
    • For step 6, Turn the heat to medium-low, and simmer with the lid on but slightly ajar. Check after 30 minutes, then check every 10 minutes after that until the chicken is done cooking.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 482kcal (24%)Carbohydrates 50g (17%)Protein 45g (90%)Fat 13g (20%)Saturated Fat 2g (10%)Cholesterol 91mg (30%)Sodium 724mg (30%)Potassium 1414mg (40%)Fiber 11g (44%)Sugar 6g (7%)Vitamin A 89IU (2%)Vitamin C 13mg (16%)Calcium 141mg (14%)Iron 6mg (33%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




91 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Laura Streckfuss says

    I’ll give this a 5 star rating! Not everything was to my liking but I knew that ahead of time and made adjustments. I left out the canned chilis since I don’t care for them. I roasted 3 peppers (which I’ve never done before) but used only 2, keeping the other one just in case I needed it. When it was done cooking, it was a bit thick for me so I added more broth. The cilantro and avocado were great add ons!

    I never microwaved onions before — along with the cumin & oil. I like the idea since it used a dishwasher safe bowl, compared to sautéing in a skillet that I’d have to hand wash.

    I used a small immersion blender to puree the beans & chilis. It worked great, again keeping me from the mess of a blender.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much for sharing your feedback on the chili recipe. The adjustments you made will sure help other home cooks!

  2. Courtney Dreher says

    if i wanted to double or triple the recipe would it all still fit in 1 crockpot? excited to try! thanks!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Courtney, I think doubling that you could at most double or 1.5 times the recipe in a 6-quart crockpot. You may need to add less liquid initially if it’s get over 3/4 full, then add some later once the chili is done cooking.

  3. Cheyrl says

    I didni’t like it. A whole slow-cooker pot of food and money wasted. I have tasted this type of chili before but this one was not a good taste for me. There are a lot of good comments, so I tried it. It just didn’t work for me.

  4. Janie Cassady (The Comeback Kitchen) says

    This chili is SO delicious and easy! The flavors are so interesting, and the textures are great. Would definitely make again!

  5. Michelle says

    if i’m cooking for kiddos and need it to be mild, would i leave out the jalapeños or substitute something else?

    This looks delicious and perfect for a cold, snowy day; can’t wait to try it!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I would leave out the roasted jalapenos and serve it on the side. Also, you may also want to decrease the canned roasted chilies if you think they taste a bit too spicy.

  6. Tara says

    This is my favorite! Even without the seeds it’s still too spicy for the kiddos, but that just means more for mom! ? Can’t wait to have it again for lunch tomorrow.
    Every recipe I’ve tried from your site has been a winner- thank you!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes you can use raw cubed chicken and cook it. However reduce the cooking time for simmering as it will be ready much faster.

  7. RJ Vitiello says

    Hi Jessica, we’d love to make this recipe in the Instant Pot. Can you tell me how to convert the recipe to IP? Thank you! :0)

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi RJ- I would still roast all the peppers in the oven. Then cook the chicken breast in the instant pot on high pressure with the pureed chilis, some beans, and all of the chicken stock for 7 minutes. Depressurize the system and turn the unit to saute. Add the remaining ingredients, shredded chicken, and cook until the chili is hot. Let me know how it goes!

  8. Roben says

    Jessica, I have tried this recipe several tImes. Love the favor of all the ingredients. I will b e making a large Dutch oven full today. Will be using fresh corn, homeny and will be searing one jalepeno. This is going to feed my co-workers and will have leftovers for me. I will sear the chicken lightly for extra flavor. Using black beans and canning beans.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, chicken thighs will work as well. Just make sure to check for doneness as they may cook quicker since thighs are smaller in size.

  9. Dallas Calhoun says

    I tried this and absolutely fell in love. I might have made it a little too spicy, but will definitely make it again. I also loved how easy it was to cook, being that I’m in my early twenties and don’t know the first thing about cooking. <3 Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      You’re amazing Dallas! You can definitely cut down in the chilies next time if needed to reduce the spices.

  10. Devin says

    I love this chili. It’s a favorite in my house and I love your trick to add creaminess to the soup without the extra calories. I’ve added some chipotle peppers in the past to add a little smokiness to the chili. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you Jessica!

  11. Rachel says

    I’m making this right now, and I just wanted to note that it appears that the amount of carbs in your nutrition facts is way off. Two full cans of beans have about 140g of carbs, plus about 32g for the corn, which totals 172g of carbs for the entire recipe. If you divide that into 4 servings you get 43g of carbs per serving. I wish your report of 17g per serving was accurate, because that sounds so much nicer! But unfortunately it is not, unless your beans somehow have way less carbs than normal beans.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thanks for your insights, Rachel! I took a look at the nutritional calculations again and the carbs were definitely off, closer to 50 grams for a hearty bowl of chili as you mentioned. Thanks!

  12. Katie says

    Hi Jessica! I haven’t made this yet but am planning to this next week & I am super excited about it! I was wondering if you could prepare all the ingredients/steps ahead of time but then freeze it in a ziplock bag until you’re ready to put it in the crockpot? Just trying to decide how I should meal prep for this! Thank you!!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I think you can prepare the peppers, garlic, and onions in advance and freeze, but don’t freeze the raw chicken breasts. I would just add the chicken and canned beans and corn when you are ready to slow cook.

  13. Carrie says

    Great recipe, however, I felt some tweaks would make it even better. I used double the chicken, 5 jalapenos, and one roasted orange pepper. Still found this to be a little bland. I think it would be more satisfying with more peppers/veggies (and maybe potatoes.) This came out pretty corn-heavy. If i made again, i would definitely double chicken again, less corn, add 3 unblended jalapenos, and three bell peppers. I decided that this would satisfy me better as a breakfast. Added cheese, bacon, and two over-medium eggs to each bowl!

  14. Emily K. says

    So I made this Sunday night and we have eaten it for lunch the past 2 days as well. We all love it! I’m not usually a fan of leftovers unfortunately, but this Chicken chili is a huge exception. I just finished my 2nd leftover portion for lunch and I just had to get on to share the recipe with my mother and leave a comment to let you know just how much I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve been thinking the leftovers would be delicious as enchiladas on the 2nd night if we could keep any of it around. I’m not sure how I would cut the moisture for enchiladas but I think it’s worth a go.

  15. Karen says

    Hi Jessica, I made this tonight for my family, we are a large group so I doubled the recipe. I cooked it longer as I had more chicken to cook. I find it quite spicy. Next time I will reduce the number of jalopenos I add to the mix.

    • Paula K says

      I made this with no olive oil and it came out perfect. I eat whole food plant based and no oil in my cooking. This recipe is amazing without chicken. I added hominy to make it heartier and substituted vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. So delicious!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Absolutely, great idea! Shred it first and at it towards the end of cooking until it’s warmed through.

  16. Reba says

    Could you clarify timing? Is it cooked in high for 3 hours and then low for 6 hours? Or 3 on high OR 6 on low? Thanks!

  17. Jori says

    I made the white bean chicken chili last night and it was my very first crock pot meal and I loved it!! I shared it with my folks and they loved it too.
    Thank you for sharing it!

  18. Hailey says

    could frozen corn be easily swapped for this recipe instead of canned? trying to use ingredients I already have!

  19. Nicole says

    An absolutely amazing and easy week night meal! I seriously threw this together in 10 minutes! We skipped the jalapeños because they weren’t in the pantry but will definitely try next time!

  20. Dolores Siko says

    Jessica, I’m making this chili for a 8-10 people. It sounds so good. Do I double all of the ingredients? Thank you.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Great question! Some of the beans gets pureed with part of the chicken broth, and some moisture is released from the cooking from the cooking of the chicken and vegetables. It’s a hearty chili, but you can certainly add more broth to your liking.

  21. Whitney says

    I used frozen chicken and raw northern beans. I didn’t strain the corn and added a full cup of chicken broth to allow for extra moisture for the beans. I figure the extra cooking time for the chicken will mean that the beans have enough time to cook all the way through. Fingers crossed!

  22. Chris R. says

    Hi Jessica, I love this recipe. I wanted to know what would you recommend for times for instant pots when making this.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Chris! I would recommend for the instant pot 8 to 10 minutes on high pressure, quick release. I would add the beans and corn after pressure cooking, and use the saute function to warm them through so they don’t become mushy. Let me know how it goes!

  23. Merrideth says

    This looks great! I’ve never heard of microwaving the onion, garlic, and cumin before. I’ll have to give it a try!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Tiffany- Yes, the chicken should be cooked. You can take one out and shred a portion to check. If not, just add more cooking time.

  24. Elizabeth says

    I just made this in 100 degree Texas weather (we needed an easy mixup) – it is so delicious! My husband loved it and there’s leftovers for work tomorrow. I’m adding this to our monthly mixup. We are very busy and have a little one so it’s hard to change it up. So good!

  25. Cyndi says

    Hi Jessica,
    I’m making this tonight. I would like to use less cumin. Could I add any other seasoning? Thanks!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Brad- Are you using canned beans or making them from scratch first? I wouldn’t boil the canned beans.

  26. JoAnn Hendrickson says

    I would love to make this for 8 people. Can the recipe be doubled in the crock pot without it ending up not thick enough?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi JoAnn! I think you could double the recipe, the consistency should be the same. in step 10 just make sure to double the puree amounts.

  27. Karen says

    If you remove the jalapeños is it removing all flavor – I am making this chili for a family member going through chemo and I think that the jalapeños will be too spicy for her. Any recommendations?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Karen- You will lose the smokiness from the roasting and the heat. However, you can roast green bell peppers instead so you have the flavor but not the spiciness.

  28. Jasmine Garza says

    Hi Jessica! So happy to have found your site through Pinterest! I may be missing it, but I was searching for the stovetop method for this recipe. Sorry might be a silly question but I am not a frequent cook in my house lol! Thanks in advance!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I’m so happy that you found me too Jasmine! To make a stove top version I recommend following these steps:
      1. Follow steps 1-6.
      2. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Heat oil, once hot add the onions and garlic, saute for 2 minutes. Add the cumin and cook 30 seconds.
      3. Follow step 9, but place in the pot.
      4. Follow steps 10-11.
      5. Turn heat to medium-low, and simmer chili with lid on but slightly a jar. Cook until chicken is cooked through. I would check after 30 minutes, then check every 10 minutes after that until chicken is done cooking.
      6. Follow steps 13-14.
      Let me know if you have any questions!

      • Paula says

        I absolutely love this recipe. I always make the stovetop method as I do not own a crockpot , etc.. The recipe is perfect, delicious and absolutely fabulous. My husband requests that I make it over and over again.
        Can you please post a stovetop instructions so I dont have to dig around for it in your threads? I took a picture with my phone, but if you can that would be awesome.
        Excellent recipes! Thank you.

  29. Alex says

    I’m allergic to corn, is there any suggestion you have for replacing the corn with something else? The recipe looks amazing!

  30. Tawnya says

    I have to admit I am a wimp and can’t really tolerate spicy food. Can I leave the jalapenos out as I think even with.the ribs and seeds gone it would be too spicy?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I totally know what you mean Tawnya! You won’t have that roasted pepper flavor, but you could leave them out for a non spicy version. I have found that some dried chili powder as small amounts add flavor without the strong heat. Let me know how it goes, I”m curious!

  31. Nellie says

    How do you think this would work with frozen chicken? I wonder if it would release so much liquid from being frozen that it would water down the recipe?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Nellie- Great question! I think there would be some moisture release, but I’m not sure if it would significantly affect the flavor. Perhaps you could add 1/4 cup of the chicken stock to the slow cooker, and then add more at the end of cooking as needed. I would be more concerned about the chicken getting cooked all the way through, you will need a longer cooking time. Make sure the chicken reaches 165 degrees F internal temperature before you shred the chicken after the indicated time. If it’s not fully cooked keep cooking until it reaches that temperature.Let me know how it turns out!

      • Amy says

        I just made this tonight with frozen chicken and followed the recipe above (full amount of chicken stock), and it turned out GREAT! I have a crockpot that allows me to set the timer, so I cooked on low for 7 hours and it stayed on warm until I got home from work (probably fora total of 9.5 hours). Shredded the chicken when I got home. Will definitely be making this again!

  32. Jane streicher says

    I see that you have the nutritional value listed above, but can you let me know what’s considered a serving?
    Thanks!

  33. Maria Terry says

    I made this last night. It was hearty and delicious. I should have known it would be really delicious because it smelled amazing while cooking. I felt good about eating this because it is healthy. The technique of thickening the base by pureeing beans, chilies and chicken stock added so much flavor and very little fat. A tablespoon of mayonnaise has 10g of fat. A whole portion of this has 11g of fat, everyone needs to eat some fat.
    Loved the garnish suggestions. We also had a little leftover steamed rice. Went nicely with the dish. When I try a new recipe I always ask my husband if I should make it again. He said yes. This one went in the recipe binder.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much for making the recipe Maria! Yes, I love pureeing a portion of the ingredients to give a more creamy mouthfeel without the additional calories. Now you know my secret! I love the idea of serving the chili with rice 🙂

      • Kusas says

        Sorry but your prep time of 15 minutes is a joke. By the time one roasts then cools then peel the peppers at least 20 minutes are gone. I am fast in the kitchen but this “easy” recipe took a long time! Yummy ingredients but please … also, bet you had someone to help wash up the multitude of pots and pans. That was additional 10 minutes.

  34. Thalia @ butter and brioche says

    I love trying out different chili recipes – there are so many great variations around! I must make this white bean chicken chili Jessica, it looks hearty, comforting and delicious too.. just what i need!

  35. Howie Fox says

    Absolutely wonderful photos, love the mix of green, white and brown. Will keep that in mind for my next photo stylings!! I also didnt notice the science tips in your blog posts before. Great idea!