This recipe was originally published January 28, 2018 and updated on February 27, 2021.
White Bean Chicken Chili is something that started showing up around my Grandma’s house when I was in my teens (and I won’t tell you how long ago that was). At the time, I always refused to try it. What can I say, I was a picky kid. While my grandma made delicious baked goods, she also tried to sneak a lot of weird stuff onto our plates, so I feel I was justified in being a bit cautious.
At any rate, even though this chili has been in my life for a number of years, I didn’t try it for the first time until 2018. I have to say, I’m kind of regretting all those years I missed out on this soup, because it is freaking delicious.
What ingredients go in white bean chicken chili?
Most of the ingredients in this chili are naturally gluten free and dairy free. Pay careful attention if using store bought chicken stock or canned beans, as those are the most likely place gluten would hide.
Chicken – I usually cook a few chicken breasts specifically for soup. But a great alternative is using leftover rotisserie or roasted chicken. You will need a little over 3 cups, which is about 1 1/2 pounds of uncooked chicken.
Onions and garlic – Don’t skip out on these important ingredients for building flavor.
Jalapeños – I love dicing mine fresh and I leave the seeds in for extra heat. You can also use a can of green chilis if you prefer.
Chicken Stock – For prepackaged chicken stock, I always use the Pacific Foods brand. Make sure to use only stock marked gluten free as this is a hidden ingredient in many store brands.
Spices – We are using a combination of cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. This gives a little kick and provides the chili flavor. Skip the pre-made packet and go for ground spices.
White Beans – I always use Great Northern Beans from Bush’s (their products are gluten free). You can also use Cannellini Beans for the same flavor.
Potatoes – Some people like adding corn kernels to their white bean chili but I prefer potatoes. If you want to add corn, go with 1 C of frozen corn kernels.
Coconut Milk – Milk is totally optional for this recipe. It will add a little extra creaminess to the final product. You can leave it out if you don’t care for coconut and the recipe will still turn out great.
How do you thicken white chicken chili?
Some recipes call for a roux (flour & butter) or lots of dairy products (cream cheese, sour cream and cheese) to thicken. In this recipe, we are using the starch from the beans to naturally thicken the soup to keep it gluten and dairy free.
If you like your soup a little thicker, you can always let it cook down for 5-10 minutes with no lid, so some moisture evaporates.
What do you eat with white chili?
We serve our white chicken chili with the same kinds of toppings and sides as a traditional tomato based chili. We usually top with dairy free cheese, dairy free sour cream, or slices of jalapeños if you like spice. This chili is fantastic paired with my sweet skillet cornbread, corn muffins or even chips.
If you love this recipe, check out these other great soups:
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Gluten Free and Dairy Free White Bean Chicken Chili
- 3 C Chicken cooked and cut into small pieces (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 C Onion diced (1/2 a medium onion)
- 4 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1 Jalapeno diced (or use a 4.5 oz can of Chopped Green Chilies)
- 1 ½ tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Oregano
- ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- 5 ¼ C White Beans 3 - 15 oz cans
- 2 C Potatoes cubed
- 3 C Chicken Stock
- 1 C Frozen Corn optional
- ½ C Non-Dairy Milk
- Drain one can of beans and pour the beans into a small bowl. Mash with a fork until pureed and set aside.
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 5-7 minutes until they are translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook for about 2 minutes more.
- Add the chicken broth.
- Mix in the spices, 2 cans of beans (reserve the can of mashed beans), and the potatoes. Also add the frozen corn if using.
- Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the cooked chicken.
- Remove the lid and add the mashed beans. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes more.
- Remove from heat and stir in the coconut milk.
- Serve immediately. Makes 6-8 servings.