White Chicken Chili

I buy a lot of whole chickens these days because it’s much easier to find pastured chickens in whole form than in parts. As a result, I’m always trying to come up with new recipes that use a whole chicken.

If I plan to serve the chicken whole, I roast him, using Ina’s trusted roasting techniques. But if I plan to harvest the cooked chicken meat and shred or chop it for casseroles or soups, I usually stick him in the crock pot. Either way, I always use the leftover bones for chicken stock. (See how to make chicken stock.)

Last night I had a chicken thawing in the fridge that I needed to use up, so I decided to make one of our favorite gluten-free chicken recipes: white chili.

Looking for Gluten-Free Chicken Recipes? Try this White Chili. It is always a hit at our house.

First, you salt and pepper the chicken and stuff him with fresh thyme, garlic, and a lemon. Throw him in the crockpot on high until he’s done (5 or 6 hours) and then cool him for a bit and pull the meat off the bones.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain the beans, and dice the onion and garlic. Sauté the onions in olive oil or bacon grease, add the spices and garlic, and then pour in your chicken stock and add the beans.

Bring it all to a boil, reduced the heat, and let it simmer for about an hour.

Just before serving, add about a cup of grated Colby Jack or cheddar cheese, toss in the chicken and the green chilies, and use a hand blender until you get your desired consistency.

Looking for more gluten-free chicken recipes? This White Chili is always a hit at our house.

We like to serve chicken chili with corn muffins and garnish it with shredded cheese, scallions, and sour cream.

Chicken Chili Recipe

Recipe Type: Main Dishes
Author: Jo-Lynne Shane
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8


  • 2 lbs shredded chicken
  • 1 lb Great Northern beans (or 3 cans)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 med onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 4-oz cans chopped green chiles (mild)
  • 3 cups shredded jack cheese (divided)
  • salsa
  • sour cream


  1. Soak beans overnight in water using 3 to 1 ratio (3 parts water to one part beans). (Or you can scrap that and use 3 cans of beans. Whatever works!)
  2. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil.
  3. Stir in all spices.
  4. Add beans and broth.
  5. Simmer 60 minutes.
  6. Add chicken, chilies, and 1 cup cheese; stir to combine. Use stick blender if desired. (I like to add half the chicken, use the stick blender, and then add the rest of the chicken. So some is shredded fine, and there are still some nice chunks.)
  7. Serve with remaining cheese, salsa, and sour cream.
Notes: This chili is even better the 2nd day.

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20 Responses

  1. Does this chili freeze well? My BFF is coming over Saturday and we are cookin’ up a storm to have ourselves about 12 meals to freeze for those days when we don’t have time to cook (we have 7 kids between us, so those days happen a LOT!). Anyway, this sounds so delicious and will be perfect when the weather starts to cool off (you know, around December here in Houston). So, just wanted to know if we could add it to our list of freezable meals for Saturday.


    P.S. I came to you from June of the Bye-Bye, Pie Junes. I love her and am totally jealous that you got to meet and have a meal with her! Maybe one day…*sigh*!

  2. This sounds…and looks…DELICIOUS! You inspire me to do more with the whole chickens I get from my meat co-op…I tend to be intimidated by them for some reason. I’m too used to boneless, skinless breasts. Homemade chicken broth….it ruins us forever on the store-bought stuff, doesn’t it? I cook mine way down and freeze it in ice cube trays…SO convenient. And chicken salad…mmmmm. One of my all time favorites! Okay…I’m officially hungry!

  3. That looks wonderful! Is it a bit hit with the kids?

    I’ve got Buffalo Chicken Chili on my menu for tonight – talk about YUM!

  4. Jennifer, I soaked the beans overnight and then just threw them in with and cooked them for an hour in the broth. I would think you’d need to soak them before putting them in crockpot? I’m not sure. I don’t do much with soaking beans.

  5. Neena, it was a huge hit with the girls. My son ate it, but he didn’t love it. I sent it in thermoses in my girls’ lunches today.

  6. You are a God-send. I have a whole chicken sitting in my crockpot at home. I was planning on putting most of the chicken in a creamy roasted red-pepper pasta dish, but the kiddo’s don’t like it so much. It’s chicken-chili for us tonight. I love that it will easy to whip up before soccer practice.

    QQ: Have you already posted how you make your broth? I’m a newbie at that.

  7. Can’t wait to hear how you actually make the chicken stock! You’ve inspired me to check out local farms for my meat – so I think I’ll be visiting a local chicken farm this weekend… but I have no idea what to do with non-boneless, non-skinless chicken non-breasts. Help?

  8. That looks delicious!! I will have to try it sometime.


    On a slightly irrelevant note, I found an interesting article here: https://www.good.is/post/picture-show-visions-of-fast-food/?GT1=48001

    … it’s about a photographer who takes pictures of fast food to attempt to make it look more disgusting than it already looks (and most of it does actually look rather nasty if you think about it). It is a good way to deter me from wanting fast food, that’s for sure. I thought you might find it interesting since you are into eating better and avoiding gross things like that! 🙂


  9. I don’t see the ground gloves or red pepper listed in the ingredients or directions. Did you make some changes? Which do you like better?

    1. Hm. They must be in the original recipe I got from a friend. I don’t know that I always use them. I’m not a big fan of cloves added to a savory dish. I’m not sure why I didn’t put red pepper in there. Must have overlooked it when I typed up the recipe.

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