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Easy White Chicken Chili_MidPage@2x

Easy White Chicken Chili

The secret ingredient in this easy white chicken chili? Fresh tomatillos! They add a nice hint of tartness that pairs perfectly with the creaminess in this chicken chili recipe.
4.82 from 11 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 331kcal


  • ¾ pound dry great northern beans or 2 15-ounce cans of white beans*
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cubed
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 3 tomatillos husked, rinsed, and small-diced
  • 1 jalapeño trimmed and minced
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2 4- ounce cans diced hot green chiles
  • 5 cups water or chicken stock
  • cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For serving:

  • Diced avocado
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Shredded cheese


Soak the beans:

  • Place the dry beans in a large pot and cover with water. Soak overnight. Alternatively, place on the stovetop and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Drain and set aside. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stovetop.

Sauté the chicken:

  • Pat the chicken dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in an even layer and cook for 5 minutes per side until mostly cooked through and beginning to brown all over. Remove from the pot and transfer to a bowl.

Cook the aromatics:

  • Add the onion, tomatillos, and jalapeño to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Bloom the spices:

  • Melt the butter into the aromatics. Once bubbly, add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, and cayenne powder. Cook for 45 seconds until fragrant.

Simmer the chili:

  • Return the chicken to the pot along with the canned diced green chiles. Pour in the water or stock and add the soaked beans. Ensure you have just enough liquid to cover everything in the pot, so if needed, add a bit more water. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes or until thickened and the beans are very tender.

Finish the chili:

  • Using a spoon, mash some of the beans against the side of the pot to thicken the chili. Taste it and season to your preferences. Add the heavy cream and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.

To serve:

  • Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!


*If using canned beans, reduce simmer time to 30–45 minutes or until the chili is thickened to your liking.


Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 165mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 7mg
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