This will become your favorite chili with hearty white beans, tender chicken, and a rich, spicy broth. Just follow these easy step-by-step photo instructions.
My best stovetop white bean chicken chili will leave you wanting more.
With exceptional taste and tenderness, this skin-on-bone-in chicken chili recipe is economical and has loads of tender chicken with a touch of heat.
This an easy recipe to adjust the thickness, spiciness, or even the size of the recipe.The inspiration recipe is The Pioneer Woman Cooks—Simple Hearty White Chili. A few simplifications and modifications were all I wanted.
Check out my other white chicken chili recipes. First, see my personal favorite, Ultra Simple Crock Pot White Chicken Chili. For a healthier alternative, try this Low Fat Crock Pot White Chicken Chili. And for a change of pace, check out
👨🍳How to make this white bean chicken chili
- Trim the split chicken breasts. and cover with broth in a large stockpot and simmer covered until 165°—about 40 minutes.
- Remove and allow the chicken to cool for about 10 minutes, and then hand shred discarding the skin and bones.
- Mince garlic, chop an onion, and clean and mince a jalapeno.
- Combine all ingredients, except any thickener, and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Adjust the jalapeno or cayenne pepper to adjust the heat of the chili.
- Optional thickening with corn starch or Masa flour. Make it creamy with optional milk and shredded Pepper Jack cheese.
- Chicken—Use about 3 pounds of skin-on bone-in split chicken breasts or thighs.
- Chicken broth—low sodium,
- Beans—Great Northern beans, Cannellini beans, or Navy beans drained and rinsed.
- Aromatics—Onion and garlic
- Peppers—Green chilies and jalapeno pepper.
- Chili spices— include cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and white or black pepper.
- Thicken (optional)—Masa flour or corn starch. I usually skip thickening.
- Milk and Cheese (optional)—can be added to make it creamier.
You can also use precooked rotisserie chicken. You will need about 4 to 5 cups of shredded precooked chicken. Pick up the instructions after the shredding of the chicken.
Yes, follow the instructions and start cooking the chicken but use low-sodium chicken broth instead of water.
For every 4 cups of chili to be thickened, add 1 tablespoon of Masa flour or corn starch into a slurry with cold water to remove any lumps and stir into the chili. It will take about 5 to 10 minutes to work. Repeat if needed.
You can also add shredded Monterey Jack cheese to thicken the chili.
Cover airtight in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Or store in the freezer sealed in an airtight container for 3 months.
Reheat on the stovetop over medium-high heat or in a microwave. If frozen, thaw first.
Garnish with cheese, sour cream, slices of avocado, or cilantro. Serve with salsa, pico de gallon tortilla chips, and guacamole.
Add Old Fashioned Cornbread or some Cornmeal Biscuits to round out your meal.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Trim 2-3 pounds of skin-on bone-in chicken breasts (split chicken breasts) or thighs of any trimmable fat, then cut in half to aid cooking.
Place the chicken in a large stockpot and cover it with 8 cups of low-sodium chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then decrease to low to simmer. Cover with the lid and cook until internal temp is 165°—about 40 minutes.
Mince 4 cloves of garlic and chop a large onion. Then prep the jalapeno by splitting it and removing the seeds and veins before mincing.
Remove the chicken and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, then hand shred discarding the skin and bones. Combine all ingredients except thickener or optional dairy products, and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Thickening (I usually don't): Mix 2 tablespoons of corn starch or Masa flour in ¼ cup cold water and mix until smooth. Combine the slurry with the soup and frequently stir for another 10 minutes. Repeat if needed.
Make it creamier: Add 1 cup of milk or cream. You can also add 1-2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese.
White Chicken Chili from Bone-in Chicken
- 2-3 pounds split chicken breast or thighs - both with bone and skin
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 onion - large chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper - cleaned and minced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 72 oz Navy beans - precooked, drained, and rinsed
- 8 oz diced green chilies
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin - increase if you want spicy
- ½ teaspoon paprika - increase if you want spicy
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper - increase if you want spicy
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white or black pepper
- 2 tablespoon masa flour or corn starch - in ¼ cup cold water to thicken
- 1 cup milk or cream
- 1-2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- Trim 2-3 pounds of skin-on bone-in chicken breasts (split chicken breasts) or thighs of any trimmable fat, then cut in half to aid cooking.
- Place the chicken in a large stockpot and cover it with 8 cups of low-sodium chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then decrease to low to simmer. Cover with the lid and cook until internal temp is 165°—about 40 minutes.
- Mince 4 cloves of garlic and chop a large onion. Then prep the jalapeno by splitting it and removing the seeds and veins before mincing.
- Remove the chicken and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, then hand shred discarding the skin and bones. Combine all ingredients except thickener or optional dairy products, and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Options:Thickening (I usually don't): Mix 2 tablespoons of corn starch or Masa flour in ¼ cup cold water and mix until smooth. Combine the slurry with the soup and frequently stir for another 10 minutes. Repeat if needed.Make it creamier: Add 1 cup of milk or cream. You can also add 1-2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese.
Your Own Private Notes
- This is an easy recipe to cut in half.
- You need about 2 pounds of chicken after cooking. You may use almost any chicken. A whole chicken or chicken thighs work well.
- Instructions for skinless boneless chicken breasts and rotisserie chicken are in the recipe post above.
- You can thicken it with Masa flour or corn starch. Or skip thickening entirely.
- This is about 3/10 on my heat scale. You can decrease that by eliminating the jalapeno. Or increase by doubling the jalapeno or adding additional cayenne pepper.
- Good refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for 3-4 months.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Originally Published December 4, 2010. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.
Hi Dr. Dan,
This chili sounds fabulous. I just have a question about the beans. Do you use canned beans or cook dry beans for this recipe? If canned, is the 72 oz based on the weight listed on the label (before they are drained)? If dry, what would the dry uncooked weight be?
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
The 72 oz is the weight listed on the jar including liquid. About 1/4 to 1/3 of the weight is the liquid. So 72 oz becomes about 48 - 54 oz of cooked beans. Consider jar and can as the same.
1 pound of dry beans will make about 2 pounds when cooked (32 oz). When packed in cans or jars with liquid, It would be about 48 oz.including the liquid.
So 72 oz of packed beans will be about 48 oz when drained. So if using dried beans. You could use 1 1/2 pounds to get that. Always soak your beans (Google that), it will decrease the gas. It takes about 2 hours to cook beans at a simmer - but it always seems to a bit longer for me. So you could presoak your beans then just cook in the chili as it simmers for 2 hours. It should work. It may take a bit longer, just cook to the point that the beans ore done.
A lost note, it's chili, a few more or less beans will be fine.
Hope that helps.
This is suppose to be cooking for two, this soup makes enough for 12! I will try it adjusting the ingredients to enough for 4. I don't have kids at home any more there is just my husband and I. When I have tried to adjust your receipes before they didn't come out very good.
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
Yep, this is one of the big ones but it cuts in half fairly well. I cover that above in the post. Use the adjustment in the number of servings, it will do the math for the ingredients. It will not adjust the text in the instructions, however.
Chili recipes tend to be big due to the ingredients. See https://www.101cookingfortwo.com/recipes-not-two-servings/ for a more complete explanation.
You might want to check the Small crock pot are where there are smaller chili recipes https://www.101cookingfortwo.com/recipes-not-two-servings/ The low fat one is a variation of this recipe.
White Chicken Chili is on the regular rotation at our house. I love the fact that you used masa to thicken it up. My recipe calls for cream, but I would love an alternative. I will try this next time.
Exactly why I did it. A hot meal with just enough heat and great taste.
With the cold snowy weather we've had today, this looks so inviting!