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 gluten-free chicken 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, I salted and peppered the chicken; stuffed him with fresh thyme, garlic, and a lemon; and threw him in the crock pot on high. After about 5 hours, the house was smelling pretty much like he was done, so I took him out, cooled him for a bit, and then went about pulling the meat off the bones. I saved the bones for stock, and I stored the meat in the fridge for future dinner making. Then I pulled out a bag of Northern White beans and put them in a pan of water to soak over night and went to bed. (You can also use canned beans, if you wish. You don’t have to soak those overnight, though.)

This morning after breakfast had been cleaned up, I decided to go ahead and make the chili. It keeps well, and afternoons get kind of crazy when the kids arrive home from school, so the more dinner prep I can do early in the day, the better.

I started by draining the beans in the sink. (If you’re using canned beans, you will want to rinse and drain them at this point as well.)


Then I chopped an onion and some garlic. I set a stock pot over medium heat, and drizzled in some olive oil, and tossed in the onions.


While the onions sauteed (always wait to add the garlic until the onions are almost done; garlic tends to burn), I chopped some fresh oregano. The recipe calls for dried, but I have some growing on my deck, so I figured I may as well use it. And I got out the cumin, cloves, and ground red pepper. By then it was time to add the garlic. I stirred it around and then threw in the spices and mixed ’em up real good.


While that got all nice and fragrant, I pulled out my homemade chicken stock and retrieved my beans from the sink. I can’t tell you how pleased I was with myself, grabbing jars of homemade stock. Not only is it so nutritious, it just tastes so much better than anything you can get in a can at the store.


I poured them in and gave them a stir.


I brought it all to a boil and then reduced it and let it simmer for about an hour while I cleaned up and prepared the chicken.

Remember that chicken I cooked last night? I went through it and chopped it into nice bite-sized chunks. There was even enough to save out some for chicken salad — one of my favorite lunches when I’m trying to eat more protein.


Then I shredded a block of Colby Jack cheese in the food processor. By that time, the chili had been simmering for about 45 minutes, so I added the cheese, the chicken, and 2 cans of green chilies.


After that I took a stick blender and mushed it all up some. Then I stuck it in the fridge to get all tasty and thickened.

Later this afternoon, I threw together some corn muffins while the chili heated up on the stove. And then I dished up piping hot bowls of chicken chili, garnished with shredded cheese and sour cream and corn muffins on the side.

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


If you want the exact recipe, here you go! (YOu can also omit the cheese if you want, and it turns out *almost* as yummy.

Chicken Chili
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.This chili is best the next day.
This chili is best the 2nd day.

Join the Conversation

34 thoughts on “White Chicken Chili

  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:

    … 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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