White Bean Chicken Chili

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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

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 that you can 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 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.

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

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 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 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.

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

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?

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.

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.

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

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

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!

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White Bean Chicken Chili

White bean chicken chili prepared in a crockpot with whole roasted jalapenos, tender beans, corn, and lean chicken breast.
Pin Print Review
3.88 from 225 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
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-inch 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 

  • Line a small baking sheet with foil. Turn on the broil setting on the oven.
  • Evenly space out three jalapeños on the sheet tray.
  • Place sheet tray on the highest rack in the oven. Roast the jalapeños until the skins brown and blister, turning over as needed to get all the sides roasted, about 15 minutes.
  • Place the roasted chili’s in a small bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow them to come to room temperature. The trapped heat will make the skins easier to peel.
  • Once cooled, remove the skin and stems. If you like a very spicy chili leave the seeds. For a more mild chili remove the seeds and discard. Set the jalapeños aside.
  • 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 slow cooker.
  • Add chicken breasts, ½ cup of the roasted chilies, corn, 1 cup of the white beans, ½ cup chicken stock to the slow cooker.
  • 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 to slower cooker.
  • Add salt and pepper to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 6 hours.
  • Remove chicken and shred or cut into cubes.
  • Add it back to slow cooker and stir to combine. Taste chili and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve chili with toppings as desired.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Serving Size: about 1 ½ cup of chili.
  • Suggested Toppings: Avocado, Jalapenos, sour cream, green onions, cilantro, and radish.
  • Stovetop Recipe:
    • Follow steps 1-5.
    • 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.
    • Follow steps 8-10, but place in the pot.
    • Turn heat to medium-low, and simmer with the lid on but slightly ajar. I would check after 30 minutes, then check every 10 minutes after that until chicken is done cooking.
    • Follow step 11.
    • Follow step 12, but place in the pot.

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Nutrition Facts
White Bean Chicken Chili
Amount Per Serving
Calories 482 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 91mg30%
Sodium 724mg30%
Potassium 1414mg40%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 11g44%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 45g90%
Vitamin A 89IU2%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 141mg14%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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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Jessica Gavin standing in the kitchen

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Reader Interactions

78 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. 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!

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. Alex says

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    • Jessica Gavin says

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

  10. Cyndi says

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

  11. 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!

    • 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

    • 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.

  14. 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!

  15. Hailey says

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

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

    • Jessica Gavin says

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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!!

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

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