by Olena

Healthy White Chicken Chili

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Olena Osipov
5 from 90 votes

Healthy White Chicken Chili is a 30 minute meal with chicken breast, white beans, corn, cumin and yogurt. This healthy comfort food is easy to make on the stove, crockpot or Instant Pot.

A true crowd pleaser just like shrimp tacos, Instant Pot turkey chili or fish tacos.

Healthy White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Healthy white chicken chili is a welcome change to another healthy chili, turkey chili. It might be not the chili you are used to but it’s delicious! It is not too spicy, so kids will polish off the bowls.

Unlike any other white chicken chili recipe out there that calls for cream cheese and heavy cream, I thicken my white chicken chili naturally. With a bit of mashed white beans during cooking and full fat yogurt after adds colour and creaminess. I do the same with healthy broccoli cheese soup and chicken wild rice soup.

And depending on your life situation that day, you can quickly whip up this easy stew on the stove or Instant Pot after work. Or set in the morning before going to work.

Need more help meal planning? Check out iFOODreal healthy meal plans.

Healthy White Chicken Chili in a pot

What Is White Chili?

I did not grow up in Ukraine eating any kind of chili. Especially white chili. We warmed up every single day with a bowl of soup like borscht, beef stew or chicken noodle soup.

My grandma was a doctor and she started her shift at 3PM. Every single day before going to work, she would make soup for lunch and something else for dinner. Every single day.

Living in Canada for last 20 years, naturally we eat a lot of chili now. So, unlike traditional beef chili made with ground beef or turkey, kidney beans and tomato sauce, white chili is made with navy or cannellini beans, chicken, cumin, green chiles, cream cheese and heavy cream.

Again, I can assure you there are 100 versions of white chili on the Internet, just like Korean ground beef or chicken tacos. This is my healthy white chicken chili recipe with corn for volume, simple seasonings and yogurt at the end for creaminess.

Healthy White Chicken Chili ingredients

How to Make White Chicken Chili on the Stove

  • Saute veggies with spices: Saute onion and garlic for a few minutes. Then add spices for 30 seconds to allow them release their flavors. You want to stir chili at this point constantly to prevent burning. how to make Healthy White Chicken Chili step by step
  • Mash about 1 cup of white beans with a fork and a bit of water, if necessary. Bean starch will thicken chili as it cooks. I find mashing beans before rather than after cooking much easier. Especially, no blender to wash.how to make Healthy White Chicken Chili step by step
  • Cook: Then add chicken, broth, green chiles, corn and simmer for 20 minutes. Tight lid on a heavy bottom pot or even better option Dutch oven cooks chili fast. how to make Healthy White Chicken Chili step by step
  • Shred chicken: You can try to do it inside the pot with forks. I like to use meat claws (also great for chicken salad), so I remove chicken on the cutting board.how to make Healthy White Chicken Chili step by step
  • Combine with seasonings: Return chicken to the pot along with lime juice, cilantro and yogurt. Make sure the stove is off so yogurt doesn’t curdle. Your healthy white chicken chili is ready!how to make Healthy White Chicken Chili step by step

How to Make White Chicken Chili in Slow Cooker

There is detailed recipe card below.

The difference between stovetop and crockpot white chicken chili is that you have to saute onion, garlic and spices in the skillet and then transfer to a slow cooker. And add only 1 cup broth.

  • Cook veggies in a skillet: Saute onion, garlic and spices in the skillet. Transfer to a large slow cooker.
  • Combine in slow cooker: Mash 1 cup of beans and add to slow cooker with other whole beans, only 1 cup broth, chicken and corn.
  • Cook: Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.
  • Shred meat and season: Shred chicken and return it to the crockpot along with cilantro, lime juice and yogurt.

Tip: If you like to Keep Warm your chili, I recommend to add yogurt in individual bowls to prevent it from scorching.

how to make Healthy White Chicken Chili step by step

How to Make White Chicken Chili in Instant Pot

There is detailed recipe card below.

If you know me, you know I am obsessed with Instant Pot recipes. It just makes healthy dinner a reality and so much easier.

I do have an official Instant Pot white chicken chili recipe. However, here is a quick run down:

  • No saute: You don’t have to saute the veggies or spices. Food cooked under pressure comes out more flavorful.
  • Add and cook: Just throw everything in Instant Pot in the order listed in the recipe (please note only 1 cup broth). Pressure Cook on High for 20 minutes.
  • Quick release, shred and season: Quick Release the pressure. Shred chicken, maybe even right in the pot cause it’s stainless steel. Add cilantro, lime juice and yogurt.

Tip: Just like with a slow cooker, if you like to Keep Warm your chili I recommend to add yogurt in individual bowls to prevent it from scorching.

Healthy White Chicken Chili in a bowl with garnishes

Chili Toppings Ideas

When it comes to chili toppings, it is all about personal taste, heat preference and availability:

  • Cilantro: Never too much but I know some people find it soapy.
  • Yogurt: Or sour cream which has more creaminess.
  • Tortilla chips.
  • Avocado: If you have a ripe one. There is always use for one – mashed on avocado toast or on top of the best turkey burger recipe!
  • Heat: If you can handle the heat, fresh sliced jalapeno with seeds is amazeballs. I tried and I am a wimp.
  • Shredded cheese or Cotija cheese is great too. We always have some on hand to make tostadas last minute.
Healthy White Chicken Chili closeup

Substitute for Green Chiles?

Canned diced green chiles are usually not spicy. However, there are mild and spicy versions. My stores in Canada carry very mild green chiles and that is what I am using.

I understand not everyone has access to green chiles in Europe or on hand at a given time. You can skip diced green chiles all together and use more cumin and maybe coriander would be nice too. Or add sauteed bell pepper.

Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken?

Yes. My easy and heart healthy chili calls for boneless and skinless chicken breasts. Only because it makes this recipe a 30 minute healthy dinner and it is hard to beat that.

You can use shredded rotisserie chicken, leftover Instant Pot chicken breast or even Instant Pot frozen chicken (somehow legs and wings always disappear first at the dinner table). Add it in the beginning just like when you would add raw chicken – more flavor.

Freezing and Reheating

Freezing: If you have any leftovers. To be honest, this white chicken chili recipe serves 6 people. It was enough for our family of 4 for dinner and then me and Alex finished it for lunch.

But if it’s only 1 or 2 of you, make entire batch of chili and freeze. Because there is not much dairy, chili will thaw just fine. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Reheating: Thaw on a counter and then reheat on low on the stove or in slow cooker. Or steam in Instant Pot. The nice thing about a pressure cooker is that you can thaw chili from frozen. I would Steam for 5 minutes.

More Healthy Comfort Food

Healthy White Chicken Chili in a pot
Healthy White Chicken Chili

Healthy White Chicken Chili {Stove, Crockpot, Instant Pot}

Healthy White Chicken Chili is a 30 minute dinner with chicken breast, white beans, corn, cumin and yogurt. Easy to make on the stove, crockpot or Instant Pot.
4.97 from 90 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 345kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs 3 medium boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp oil I use avocado oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth low sodium*
  • 2 x 15 oz cans great Northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups corn
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Small bunch of cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt fat 2%+
  • 1 lime juice of
  • Tortilla chips avocado, more yogurt, limes, for serving

Instructions

Stovetop Healthy White Chicken Chili

  • Preheat large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat.
  • Add garlic and onion, sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  • In a small bowl, add about 1 cup of beans and mash with a fork. It helps to thicken the chili.
  • Add broth, mashed and whole beans, corn, green chiles and chicken breasts. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks or meat claws.
  • Return chicken to the pot along with lime juice, cilantro and yogurt.
  • Stir and serve warm with your favorite toppings like tortilla chips, cheese, more cilantro and lime.

Slow Cooker Healthy White Chicken Chili

  • Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat.
  • Add garlic and onion, sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  • In a small bowl, add about 1 cup of beans and mash with a fork. It helps to thicken the chili.
  • Transfer to slow cooker along with 1 cup broth, mashed and whole beans, corn, green chiles and chicken breasts.
  • Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.
  • Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks or meat claws.
  • Return chicken to the crockpot along with lime juice, cilantro and yogurt.
  • Stir and serve warm with your favorite toppings like tortilla chips, cheese, more cilantro and lime.

Instant Pot Healthy White Chicken Chili

  • In a small bowl, add about 1 cup of beans and mash with a fork. It helps to thicken the chili.
  • To 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, add ingredients in the following order: garlic, onion, corn, whole and mashed beans, chicken breasts, green chiles, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and 1 cup broth. Do not stir.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 20 minutes.
  • Release pressure using Quick Release method by turning pressure valve to Venting position immediately after cooking.
  • Open the lid, remove chicken and shred with 2 forks or meat claws.
  • Return chicken to the Instant Pot along with lime juice, cilantro and yogurt. Stir immediately, so yogurt doesn't curdle.
  • Serve warm with your favorite toppings like tortilla chips, cheese, more cilantro and lime.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.

      Video

      Notes

      • *Instant Pot and slow cooker: Add only 1 cup broth instead of 3 cups like with stove top. It is because liquid doesn’t evaporate much in these appliances.
      • Diced green chiles substitute: Canned diced green chiles are usually not spicy. You can skip diced green chiles all together and use more cumin and maybe coriander would be nice too. Or add sauteed bell pepper.
      • Rotisserie chicken: Yes, you can use shredded rotisserie chicken. Add it in the beginning just like when you would add raw chicken – more flavor.
      • Cream cheese: Add 2-3 oz with yogurt/or in place of it, if you wish. I do add it to my Instant Pot white chicken chili.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 664mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 294IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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