Southwestern White Chicken Chili


I’m not sure what I love the most about chili. The endless varieties, the hearty texture, or that it takes less effort than pouring yourself a glass a wine (okay, maybe not that easy but you get the point).   Either way, chili is certainly a fall dish. It’s a reminder of football season beginning and the all-day-long aromas that make guests and household members alike feel ‘at home.’ It’s one of my favorite comfort foods for that very reason.

This chili looks like sunshine and will warm you up from the inside out.

The Southwestern spin on this white bean chili is double whammy for twists. Although us Canadians typically think of chili as using a ground meat, Texans (including mine) would say a traditional chili is with chunks of meat and ahem, no beans! BUT who wouldn’t want beans?!  The bean debate is still one of our disagreements but I added whole chunks of chicken – instead of ground beef – and let me tell you, I may never go back.  Again, the endless available options with chili are one of my favorite things.

Here is my recipe for Southwestern White Chicken Chili.



Print Recipe
White Chicken Chili


In a large dutch oven or pot, on medium high heat, add olive oil, all the peppers and all the onions. Saute for a couple minutes then add all your spices and minced garlic.   Cook down the spices (about 5 minutes) reducing heat to medium.  Add shredded chicken, white kidney beans, navy beans and corn. Pour chicken broth to cover mixture about 1/2 inch above. Cover with lid and allow to cook for minimum 1 hour.  The longer it cooks, the better the flavor. If you need to add more broth after it reduces some, go ahead!

After an hour, add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water into a cup and stir until mixed.  Slowly pour half the cornstarch mixture into the chili and stir. Cover with lid and allow the chili to thicken up to desired consistency.  If you want your chili more thick, repeat the above with the last half of the cornstarch mixture.  Make sure you allow time in between for it to thicken.

When just about ready to serve, stir a handful of chopped cilantro into the chili.

To Serve

Scoop into desired serving bowl and garnish with diced avocado, red onion, green onion and fresh cilantro.



  • This chili is meant to be spicy. If you prefer less spice, omit the cayenne, and remove all the seeds from the hot peppers.
  • Add more or less seasoning depending on your preference.  The amount above is just a guideline.
  • Get creative with your toppings. Add cheese, sour cream or whatever else tickles your fancy.
  • If you don’t want to cook the chicken yourself, opt for a whole chicken already cooked and shred with fork and knife.
  • Vegetarian? Great! Swap out the chicken for extra beans/vegetables and replace chicken stock for vegetable.