Jan 122012

It’s January 11th and still no snow (with the exception of that little Halloween teaser).  Usually, when the snow comes, I start making soup and stocking my freezer for winter hibernation.  Not that I want it to start snowing, but I realized today that I was ready for the warm comforting soups that come along with winter.  This is a hearty white chicken chili, a recipe that will definitely stay in my rotation from now on.  

Usually when I make soup, I’m chopping for hours…carrots, onions, celery, garlic, etc, etc.  But this recipe was so easy and was done in less than an hour.  It starts with sauteed onions, then garlic and spices, then canned beans, chiles, and chicken broth, a jar of salsa, and some diced chicken.  I know, there are a lot of cans and jars involved here, but sometimes short cuts are OK, especially when they taste this good.  

Nutritional Highlights:  You take a bite of this soup and assume there’s cream in it because it’s so thick and, well, creamy.  But that comes from the pureed beans, which add fiber and protein, not fat like a cream based soup.  It’s a hearty soup, and will keep you warm and full all day.  

White Chicken Chili
adapted from Burnt Carrots


  • 4 chicken breasts (or you could shred a rotisserie chicken if you don’t have time to cook the chicken)
  • 4 cans of great northern beans (low sodium if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans diced green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 jar salsa (I used medium heat)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • Low sodium chicken stock, as needed 
  • Optional garnishes: shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, red onion, etc…
First, poach the chicken breasts.  Place them in the bottom of a large pot in a single layer, and cover with water by about half and inch.  Bring water to a boil and reduce to a very low simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove chicken from water and set aside.  Once cool, dice chicken breast into small pieces. (You can also use any sort of leftover chicken you have, rotisserie chicken, or already cooked chicken that you can buy to skip this step).

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add chopped onions and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes.  While the onion is sweating, blend 3 of the cans of beans (without draining off bean liquid) until smooth.  Add the garlic, spices, and canned chiles to the onion in the pot and cook for 1 minute.  Then add the pureed beans, the 4th can of whole beans, the jar of salsa, the corn and the diced chicken.  Add chicken broth so the soup is your desired thickness.  Let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, top with cheese and other garnishes and enjoy!

  3 Responses to “White(ish) Chicken Chili”

  1. This recipe looks great!! I can’t wait to make it! I love chilli (as long as it’s not too spicy)

  2. Hi!! I’m so glad you liked this!! We keep it on hand through the winter too.

  3. Hi. I love your blog – perfect combo of healthy and delicious! I would like to suffest though that you include info on the size of and or jars that you arevusing. Green chiles can be 7 oz cans or 14 oz, and salsa jars come in many sizes. I can’t wait to try this recipe! You really make great stuff.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>