White Chicken Chili Recipe - Skillful Cook
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White Chicken Chili

11 reviews / 5 average

It rained and I made white chicken chili. It went a little something like this:

Ok, let's you and me have a chat about this chili. Can we agree that white food is super comforting?

Did you love those rain shots? Bjork did all of those as I was slurping up his bowl of soup.

Yep. Rainy days are fun.

Think about it. White sauce. White cheese. White sugar. White potatoes. White bread. White ice cream. White chocolate? White sauce and white cheese and white chicken on white crust named gooey, cheesy white pizza.

White chicken chili in three bowls with sour cream.

Oh, comforting white foods. You are so mean in your delicious, non-skinny ways.

But hold the phone.

White food lovers, what if there was such a thing as a white comfort food that was healthier? Would you be really happy and eat double servings just to make up for its healthiness? I would, too.

Cut peppers in a white bowl.

I started out already loving this white chicken chili because it's really good. Like, fight-over-the-last-bowl good. It's creamy (cornmeal and milk make an all-star team), a tiny bit spicy (hey jalapeno), and super filling (chicken and white beans, yo).

As if that's not enough, I have a little extra-loving going on for this white chicken chili because it's got less than 200 calories per bowl and that leaves room for some double-fisted chip action. Chips are white, too, come to think of it. Unless you're having Baked Doritos which happen to be my embarrassingly favorite chip ever.

Doesn't matter. White chips or bright orange chips or no chips (weirdo), you are going to L-O-V-E this soup.

White chicken chili in three bowls with sour cream.
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white chicken chili

White Chicken Chili


This white chicken chili has chicken, white beans, and a flavorful creamy cornmeal base. So easy to make and delicious served with tortilla chips!


  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 can diced green chiles (optional)
  • 1.5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 14-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup milk


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 30 minutes or until cooked through and no pink remains. Drain water; allow chicken to cool. When cool, shred with two forks and set aside.
  2. Combine the cornmeal and milk in a small bowl and allow mixture to rest as you prepare the soup (the cornmeal will soak up the milk which helps it soften).
  3. Finely dice the bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the peppers and onions and sauté until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add the beans, chicken, broth, and spices to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a low boil. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add the cornmeal and milk mixture. Simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes to thicken.
  6. Top with sour cream, cilantro, and tortilla chips.


Each serving is one heaping cup of chili.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: white chicken chili, chicken chili recipe, chili recipe

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    The rainy scene outside your window is awfully familiar – we get kids playing around in our flooded street here too. I love making soup and stew when it rains – it’s the closest we get to good weather for comfort food in the tropics!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Seriously, almost every shot had a barking dog, a crying baby, or pounding rain on the roof. Sound is a tricky one here! But at least we can laugh about it. 🙂

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love everything you do on here…great recipes but combined with so much heart with your life’s journey right now. This video was really well done, too. I’m so used to seeing really sloppily put together videos but this was a great step by step and you are good with the camera. Anyway, you’ve become one of my favs!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      THanks Ericka! The video thing is totally a team effort (Bjork does all of the recording and editing… I just talk… and eat) but it’s really fun to do and we’re excited to do more videos in the coming weeks/months!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Loved this vidoe; those rain shots were gorgeous and I am pretty sure my weekend is going to involve large amounts of white chicken chili.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, you guys make rainy days look SO fun in Cebu 🙂

    Love the videos you post! I didn’t even notice the barking dog in the background until I read Bjork’s text lol! White chicken chili is ALWAYS something I order off the menu when I see it. I plan to make sweet potato black bean chili this weekend. I can’t wait!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Video makes everything so much more realistic. I loved it! And this recipe looks amazing as usual. So simple and I already have most of those ingredients in my kitchen!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Absolutely love the way you have presented this dish! Great to watch you prepare the lovely recipe and so much fun and yes, I love the look of that rain 🙂 ! May I just ‘lovingly and laughingly’ point out that white coloured food is the unhealthiest one can eat – I would not dream of using white bread, sugar, rice or pasta: but that is just spoil-sport nutritionist me 😀 !

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    The chili looks so yummy! I think I will make a big bowl all to myself…Yeah!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    The two of you are so creative together! You’re such a cool couple! I love making soup when it’s raining or snowing outside and your recipe looks awesome! I’m pinning to to my “to try” board!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks awesome! It’s getting colder here in Seattle and makes me want to curl up to a bowl of goodness like this! Also, favorite part of the video? The note about the dog for ambiance. Made me laugh out loud. 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Oh man, that dog ambiance is what kept me up half the night last night. Filipino dogs are OUT.OF.CONTROL. Glad you got a laugh out of it! 🙂

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    So you’re pulling my leg right? No way it’s under 200 calories…

    god I think I love you.

    In a totally non creepy food junkie way.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      This looks delicious- I’ve never put cornmeal in chili before- can you explain what it does to the consistency of the chili? Thank you!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I was thinking about that! I would still cook the chicken separately, because sometimes it can dry out if you leave it in too long (just personal preference). I would also use dried beans so they don’t get so mushy, and then still add the cornmeal and milk just at the end otherwise it has a tendency to burn on the bottom. Someday I’ll remake this so it works in the crockpot… if you do it first, let me know how it goes! 🙂

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    i think i’ll be making this very soon! looks tasty and i hear you about the chips…though i pretend that i’m not a chip lover, it’s true that i will be topping mine with chips as well.