Healthy White Chicken Chili Recipe

Filled with mushrooms, beans and ground chicken this healthy white chicken chili recipe has lots of flavor thanks to the cumin and cinnamon. While the chopping can take a bit of time, this recipe serves 12-14 people so you will have plenty to enjoy and freeze for later!

White Chicken Chili Recipe

Since I’m traveling for work this week, Bo and I wanted to make a large batch of chili today for he and my mom to enjoy this week. Since she is using her precious days off to come help out while I travel, the least we can do is have a healthy, delicious dinner. Since I posted pictures of this dish on Instagram, I’ve received multiple requests for the recipe. It is one of our favorite chili recipes and we’ve already made it twice this fall. I know that chili can be a fairly polarizing topic, particularly in places like Texas – should it have beans, what is the right cut of beef, should the beef be ground or in chunks, what are the types of chilies to use, how spicy should it be – this list could obviously go on forever and if any of you chili fundamentalists out there are reading, this might not be the recipe for you.

All that said, this is a recipe that uses no tomatoes, no cream, gives you a blast of flavor from the cumin and gets its thickness from the beans and just a bit of sauce thickener. It is garnished with scallions, a little sour cream and fresh cilantro which rounds out the freshness and really makes it sing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

White Chicken Chili Ingredients

Ingredients (Makes 12 – 14 servings)

  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 pound (500 grams) dried white beans (navy beans)
  • 4 pounds (2 kg) of ground chicken
  • 6 – 8 cloves of garlic
  • Two medium size jalapeño peppers or to taste – also, if you want to add some additional complexity add other green peppers like Poblanos and Serrano
  • 2 large white onions finely diced
  • 1 pound (500 grams) white mushrooms sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of cumin or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 2 teaspoon of coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cups of chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A touch of sauce thickening agent (arrow root, corn starch, Xanthan gum, etc.)
  • Any combination of sour cream, grated cheese, chopped scallions, white onions and/or fresh cilantro to garnish

1) Begin by placing the beans in a pot with enough water to cover them by at least 2 inches

2) Place the pot on high heat and bring to a boil, once the water is boiling, turn the heat on low and leave, uncovered for 2 – 3 hours

3) Meanwhile, place a large sauté pan on high heat, add about 1 tbsp. of oil and start cooking the chicken in batches. It is very important to season the chicken as you cook it. For all 4 pounds, use plenty of salt, fresh pepper, about half the cumin and coriander, and all the garlic and onion powder. The chicken should taste very well seasoned – if it doesn’t, add more salt and spices.

4) Once the beans have soaked up enough water – you’ll know because the water will be well below the level of the beans and they are firm yet edible, begin assembling the chili.

5) Place a large stock pot on the stove over medium heat, add the remainder of the oil and add the garlic and let sweat for a minute, add the peppers and let soften, add the onions and let sweat for a few minutes and then add the mushrooms (there is a school of thought here that the onions should be browned separately here but quite frankly, I don’t think it adds much flavor and it adds a ton of headache).

6) Once the mushrooms release their moisture (you’ll know as there will all of a sudden be a ton of steam coming from the pot), add the chicken, the beans, the stock, and the remainder of the spices and the oregano. Turn the heat on high, bring to a boil and then turn to low to simmer for 2 – 4 hours.

7) Taste and adjust the seasoning adding salt, pepper and cumin to your taste.

8) Serve with any combination of the garnishes.

Looking for a more traditional chili recipe? This healthy turkey chili recipe is delicious!

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  1. Laura February 9, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    YUM, this sounds awesome and I’ve been looking for a good white chili recipe!

    • ashleyd February 10, 2015 / 7:19 pm

      It is SO SO good!

  2. Keelie (Sweat Equals Success) February 9, 2015 / 11:45 pm

    If I could do the backstroke through any liquidy food, it would indeed be chili. By a mile. Probably this one.

  3. Katie February 10, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    This looks amazing Ashley! If you don’t have any white beans in the cupboard, do you have any suggestions for substitute beans to use that work best with this recipe?

    • ashleyd February 10, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      Hi Katie! Best sub would be cannelloni beans – very similar just larger, could also i guess use kidney beans though it doesn’t look as good or you could use chickpeas but it would effect the flavor. Hope you enjoy it!

      • Katie February 12, 2015 / 9:34 pm

        I will probably go with kidney beans since I always have them handy, can’t wait to try it!

  4. Courtney! February 10, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    I rarely follow a recipe when I make chili (just dump in all the things), but I might have to make an exception for this one!

    • ashleyd February 10, 2015 / 7:19 pm

      Courtney this recipe is SO good! I’m already looking forward to enjoying our frozen leftovers!

  5. Kayla November 13, 2017 / 1:03 am

    This sounds soooo tasty and perfect for the recent chilly weather.

  6. Katie @ Hungry Runner November 13, 2017 / 11:55 pm

    I was just talking to Mark about adding new dinner recipes to our mix and he said, just tell me what you want and I’ll make it. Definitely handing this recipe over to him! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • ashleyd November 14, 2017 / 12:38 am

      I hope you love it as much as we do – SO GOOD!

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