This delicious white chicken chili with great northern beans is the perfect comfort food when you want a quick and healthy weeknight meal.
After a few beautiful and rather unseasonably warm weeks, I think we are officially done with warm weather and are moving into proper November weather. And I’m not complaining because I’ve been in warm food mode…soups, stews, curries, chilis. This brings me to today’s recipe. An easy and healthy great northern beans white chicken chili that’s perfect for busy weeknights, but of course healthy and nutritious.
When I hear the name white chicken chili, the words tangy, light, comforting, and warming come to mind. And that’s precisely what you’ll get with this recipe. I made my version with canned great northern beans and rotisserie chicken to keep things nice and simple. Life has been quite hectic recently so simple and fast one-pot dishes are just what is needed on those evenings. But of course, you’re welcome to make your own shredded chicken and soak and cook the dried great northern beans.
Why You’ll Love This White Bean Chicken Chili
- It’s gluten and dairy-free
- A healthy weeknight dinner
- It’s ready in 30 minutes
- A simple one-pot meal with minimal cleanup
For Your Shopping List
Rotisserie Chicken – You can easily cook your own chicken and shred it before making this recipe but I find rotisserie chicken to be a quick alternative for busy weeknights.
Great Northern Beans – These little beans hold their shape very well in cooking and are similar to cannellini beans, which are a good option if you can’t find great northern beans.
Tomatillos – They are green little tomato look-alike, covered in a paper-like sheath. You can find them in nearly any grocery store and are a staple in white chicken chili.
Poblano and Jalapeno Peppers – Both are mild (as long as you omit the veins and seeds).
Onion and Garlic – Sweet onion or yellow will work in this chili.
Canned Green Chiles – These add loads of flavor and texture. You can use mild or hot, depending on what you like.
Chicken Broth – Opt for low-sodium chicken broth so you can control how much salt goes into your recipe.
Ground Cumin + Dried Oregano – Absolute staples spice and herb.
Nutritional Yeast – This is my little secret ingredient that adds a wonderful flavor to the chicken chili. You can find nutritional yeast in the organic section of your grocery store or shop for it here.
Toppings: Avocado + Cilantro + Green Onion + Tortilla Chips
Let’s Make It
Step 1. On medium heat add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and chopped onion, and saute for 5 minutes.
Step 2. Add chopped jalapeno and poblano peppers and cook for 3 minutes until they release flavor.
Step 3. Add garlic, cumin, and oregano and give them a stir for 30 seconds, followed by tomatillos, chilies, shredded chicken, great northern beans, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 3 cups broth. Bring everything to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 4. Remove about 1/2 cup of liquid from the chili into a small bowl or cup and add the tapioca flour. Whisk it until there are no lumps. Return the mixture to the pot and add 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast. Stir everything together.
Step 5. Serve the chili with chopped cilantro, cubed avocado, and tortilla chips or corn tortillas.
FAQs and Top Tips
Is There An Alternative For Tomatillos?
If you can’t find tomatillos, a good alternative would be to use a jar of salsa verde. The base of salsa verde is made from tomatillos and you will get the tangy taste that’s a characteristic of this chili.
How Do You Use Tomatillos?
Tomatillos can be intimidating but are quite easy to use. Simply peel the outer layer or husk off the tomatillos. They will be sticky so be sure to rinse them under running water until they are smooth. That’s it.
What Is A Substitute For Great Northern Beans?
Cannellini beans are a great substitute for great northern beans as are butter beans, pinto beans, or even kidney beans.
Do You Need Rotisserie Chicken?
If you don’t want to use rotisserie chicken, in step 3, you can add a pound of chicken breast or chicken thighs and cook the chicken directly in the pot. Once it’s fully cooked, shred the chicken with two forks and return it back to the chili. Continue with the next step.
How Do You Thicken White Bean Chicken Chili?
So you’re wondering why your white chicken chili is not thick. There is a simple trick to thickening your chili by simply adding tapioca flour. Make sure to mix the tapioca flour outside of the pot by mixing it with fluid. Refer to Step 4 of the recipe.
Do You Like Your Chili Spicy?
Replace the can of green chiles with hot instead of mild and feel free to add some of the poblano and jalapeno veins as those will all add a spicy kick.
How To Store White Bean Chicken Chili?
You can refrigerate the leftovers for 3-5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the chili in a freezer-safe bag or container for several months.
Why Do You Need Nutritional Yeast?
Besides the fact that nutritional yeast is incredibly healthy, it adds unmistakable flavor to the chili. Slightly creamy and with flavors you’d get from adding some shredded cheese. It’s a gamechanger in this white bean chili.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2 chopped jalapeno peppers, seed and deveined
- 2 poblano peppers, seed and deveined
- 2 cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 2-3 cups shredded chicken
- 1 4oz can mild green chiles
- 6 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped into small pieces
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1-2 tbsp tapioca flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- toppings: avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips
- On medium heat add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and chopped onion, and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add chopped jalapeno and poblano peppers and cook for 3 minutes until they release flavor.
- Add garlic, cumin, and oregano and give them a stir for 30 seconds, followed by tomatillos, chilies, shredded chicken, great northern beans, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 3 cups broth. Bring everything to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove about 1/2 cup of liquid from the chili into a small bowl or cup and add the tapioca flour. Whisk it until there are no lumps. Return the mixture to the pot and add 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast. Stir everything together.
- Serve the chili with chopped cilantro, cubed avocado, and tortilla chips or corn tortillas.
1. If you can't find tomatillos, you can use one jar of salsa verde as a substitute.
2. Peel the tomatillos and rinse them under cold water to get rid of the stickiness.
3. You can use cannellini beans or pinto beans as a substitute for great northern beans.
4. To keep salt down, feel free to use low-sodium great northern beans or soak and cook your own. Also, low-sodium chicken broth.