Chicken & White Bean Chili

Ah, it’s good to be back in the old blogging world. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been around much lately. I feel bad I haven’t kept up with this blog as much as I’d like, but I honestly haven’t had the time. The only time I’m able to photograph and write recipes for HH is on the weekends, and if my weekends are busy, then unfortunately blogging gets pushed to the back burner. I’ve photographed a couple recipes over the past few weeks, but I wasn’t particularly excited about them, so I wanted to wait until I had a post I thought was worth sharing.

Chicken & White Bean Chili is a fun twist on the traditional. It’s made with shredded chicken breast, green chiles, classic chili spices, and uses a chicken broth instead of tomatoes. It has all the wonderful flavor of tomato chili, but with a slightly lighter taste and is lighter on the calories, too. A combination of cornmeal and milk is used to thicken up the soup a bit, though it tastes delicious just with the broth if you want to save further calories. It’s a simple one-pot meal that comes together in under an hour and makes for great leftovers during the week.

This is a recipe I originally wrote a post for about a year ago, and have made a few times, but my photos were less than impressive. It’s not the most photogenic soup, but it sure is tasty. Last time I made it, I used cornstarch to thicken the soup, but I didn’t like the consistency. After reading a few similar recipes, it seemed like cornmeal and milk was the way to go, and I definitely liked the results better.

Chicken & White Bean Chili
adapted from White Chicken Chili on AmyBites and Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:serves 5 -6

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Spices:
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 32 oz. container low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 raw chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 lb)
  • 2 14 oz. cans white beans, rinsed and drained (Cannellini, Northern White – any kind will work!)
  • 1 4 oz. can of diced chiles
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • juice from 1 lime
  • Optional toppings: chopped scallions, cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal and milk until combined and set aside. Let it sit while cooking the chili so the cornmeal can soak up the milk and thicken up.
  2. In a large cooking pot, heat olive oil and begin sauteing diced onions. After about 10 minutes, add diced bell pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until veggies are softened. Add butter and garlic and saute for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in spices and let them toast for a minute or two. Pour in chicken broth and can of diced chiles and bring to a boil. Place chicken breasts in pot and cook over a medium simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken breasts from broth and let them sit on a cutting board for a few minutes before shredding it. Add shredded chicken back to the broth, along with beans. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, covered loosely.
  5. Pour in the cornmeal and milk mixture and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Finish off with lime juice and any spices or salt as you see fit. Serve with optional toppings and enjoy! 🙂

Begin by whisking the cornmeal and milk together to let it thicken while your soup is cooking
Saute up your onion, pepper, and garlic
Stir in spices and then pour chicken broth in, along with diced chiles. Bring to a boil and add raw chicken breasts right into the broth. Let them cook for about 10 minutes and then remove to a cutting board.
Shred your chicken using forks (or your hands if it’s cooled off enough!)
Add chicken back to the pot, along with the drained beans. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, loosely covered.
Stir in your thickened cornstarch/milk mixture and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Finish off with lime juice for an extra bite.
The finished product!
Add your favorite toppings
Nom nom nom
And what chili is complete without avocado? 🙂


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol Ann says:

    Hannah, this recipe is fantastic! Thanks for posting it.

    1. It’s one of my favorites!

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