I’m not a huge soup gal, but I am most definitely a chili gal. I will gladly eat chili any time of the year. You too? Ok, cool. Glad we’re on the same page. Let’s chat chili! Specifically, white chicken chili. The queen of all chilis, in my personal opinion.
A White Chicken Chili Recipe That’s Actually Healthy For You
The challenge with white chicken chili is that the recipes that often win at your local chili contest are LOADED with cheese. Like to the point where you’ve lost all health benefits and you better pray that you aren’t lactose intolerant if you’re planning on having a bowl.
Don’t get me wrong, I think these white chicken chilis are incredibly delicious. You dip a tortilla chip in a pot of chili like that and you can practically hear the angels sing. It’s glorious, it’s fatty, it’s creamy, it’s really tasty. But personally, I’m not planning on making that for my weekly meal prep (speaking of meal prepping, if you want to learn more, check out my Healthy Meal Prep Guide). So let’s consider a healthier option.
What about a white chicken chili that still has that perfect chili kick, a little creaminess from greek yogurt and 37 grams of protein per serving?! Now THAT’S the kind of recipe I want to meal prep. This chili is satisfying, simple and rocks a macronutrient split that most white chicken chilis can’t level up to (399 calories for a large serving with 15 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbs and 37 grams of protein).
We’re Keeping the Ingredients Simple & Flavorful
There is something about white chicken chili that just reigns above the rest. It has a perfectly balanced spice, yet refreshing zest to it. I am absolutely in love with the flavor that the salsa verde adds to this recipe. The reason I even landed on adding salsa verde to this recipe is because it tackles a few ingredients in one. I feel passionately about making my recipes simple for you guys, so the salsa verde helped greatly with that!
Garnished bowl of white chicken chili
When you are making a recipe with only a handful of ingredients consider the quality of the ingredients you are choosing, for both your health and for the taste of the recipe. The broth aisle can be a sketchy place with lots of lurking ingredients. I know you may think that all broth looks like the stuff your grandma used to make homemade, but that’s not the case.
Due to the low price point of broth, many on the market are made with natural flavors rather than actual herbs. Make sure you are flipping broth cartons to check ingredients when you shop for broth to make this recipe! I used this Kettle & Fire Organic Chicken Broth and loved the taste, along with the super clean, organic ingredient list.
Kettle & Fire Organic Chicken Broth
Ingredients For White Chicken Chili
- Olive oil
- Garlic – I recommend buying a bulb of garlic and freshly chopping it yourself, or if you want to keep things simply used minced garlic from the jar.
- Chicken – this should already be cooked (it’s a great way to use leftovers, hint hint 😉 )
- Salsa verde – I used this mild salsa verde from Herdez and loved the flavor.
- Cannellini beans
- Corn – You could use frozen corn or fresh corn kernels. I’m not a fan of canned vegetables but if you have a can of corn sitting in the back of your pantry this would be an appropriate moment to use it up.
- Chicken broth – here is a link to the Kettle & Fire Organic Chicken Broth that I used.
- Plain greek yogurt
Key Recipe Steps
Let me preface this by saying that this recipe is incredibly simple, but there is one key step that I want to make sure you get right 😉 And it’s the first one. When you start this recipe be a watchdog on your soup pot. Add your olive oil and garlic and sauté the garlic over medium heat until it is light golden brown. This should only take about 3 min. It should look like this when it is done and it is time to add the additional ingredients.
I’m sharing this with you because I’ve made the mistake of overcooking my garlic. It happens fast. Really fast. You’ll go from thinking the garlic looks and smells great to noticing that 15 seconds later it is browned and crispy and smells acrid. No bueno. So watch your garlic like a hawk in the beginning!
I also want to make a note about the chicken you use in this recipe. Don’t feel that you have to make a fresh batch of chicken for this white chicken chili. I tried making the recipe once with leftover homemade breaded chicken tenders and it worked perfectly! As long as you have some sort of neutrally seasoned chicken – shredded, chunked, leftovers – shoot, you could even try canned chicken in here and it would work!
Can You Believe That You Can Make This White Chicken Chili in 20 Min?!
The key to this super simple white chicken chili recipe is the fact that it uses pre-cooked chicken. You could use some simple shredded slow cooker chicken from your meal prep (check out this recipe) or simply purchase a rotisserie chicken and shred it up. With chicken already cooked, you can whip up this recipe in just 20 minute – I’d call that a quick dinner win!
Better yet, the whole meal is made in one single pot. Easy clean up is a big thumbs up for me because doing dishes is far from my favorite thing to do. If you have leftovers from the four large servings that this white chicken chili recipe makes, you can simply put the lid on the soup pot and put it straight in the refrigerator.
Garnishing Your Bowl of White Chicken Chili
One of the most important components of a good bowl of chili is a variety of toppings. You’ve got to garnish that bowl up! White chicken chili has more bright flavor notes to it, compared to regular chili, so amp that up with a squeeze of lime, some cilantro and avocado. I also absolutely adore a little bit of cheese shredded on top. I love that it starts to melt right as it hits the warmth and adds an exciting texture to every bite of white chicken chili. And of course we can’t forget to add a little crunch with some tortilla chips.
Mmmmm I’m starting to salivate just thinking about a warm bowl of this white chicken chili.
This chili is cozy, has deliciously balanced flavor and is PACKED with protein at 37 grams per serving!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp freshly chopped garlic
- 3 cups shredded or chunked chicken (already cooked)
- 1 cup mild salsa verde
- 1 can cannellini beans (15 oz)
- 1 cup corn
- 1 tsp cumin
- Juice of 1 lime
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
In a soup pot, add your olive oil and freshly chopped garlic. Over medium heat, sauté the garlic until it has a light golden color (~3 min), but is not yet browned.
Add all additional ingredients except for the greek yogurt and bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 min.
Add the greek yogurt and stir until thoroughly combined.
Serve with cilantro, lime, tortilla chips, avocado, a sprinkle of cheese and anything else your heart desires!
399 cals ~ 15g fat ~ 29g carb ~ 37g protein
In A Chili Mood?
If you are loving this chili and can’t wait to find more chili recipes, check out this Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Chili. This hearty chili recipe happens to be vegan and is packed with micronutrients from all sorts of veggies and beans! The spices in this chili give it an incredible flavor and the sweet potatoes add the perfect bit of natural sweetness. You could even add ground beef or turkey to this recipe to amp up the protein. Enjoy friends!