by Olena

Healthy White Chicken Chili

by Olena

4.9 from 47 reviews

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!

Healthy White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Healthy white chicken chili is a welcome change to a traditional red chili. It might be not the chili you are used to but it’s delicious! It is not too spicy, so kids have polished off the bowls.

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

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.   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.

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 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. 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

Substitute for Green Chiles

I understands 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.

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.

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 dinner and it is hard to beat that.

You can use shredded rotisserie chicken. Add it in the beginning just like when you would add raw chicken – more flavor.

Healthy White Chicken Chili closeup

How to Make White Chicken Chili on the Stove

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.

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 stephow to make Healthy White Chicken Chili step by step

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.

After shred chicken. You can try to do it inside the pot with forks. I like to use meat claws, so I remove chicken on the cutting board.

how to make Healthy White Chicken Chili step by stephow to make Healthy White Chicken Chili step by step

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 stephow to make Healthy White Chicken Chili step by step

How to Make White Chicken Chili in Slow Cooker

The only 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.

  1. Saute onion, garlic and spices in the skillet.
  2. Transfer to a large slow cooker.
  3. Mash 1 cup of beans and add to slow cooker with other whole beans, broth, chicken and corn.
  4. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.
  5. 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 White Chicken Chili in Instant Pot

If you know me, you know I am obsessed with my Instant Pot. So much that I have dedicated my Youtube channel to Instant Pot. It just makes healthy dinner a reality and so much easier.

OK, the difference between stove and slow cooker versions of this white chicken chili is:

  1. You don’t have to saute the veggies or spices.
  2. Just throw everything in Instant Pot in the order listed in the recipe.
  3. Pressure Cook on High for 20 minutes.
  4. Quick Release the pressure.
  5. Shred chicken, maybe even right in the pot cause it’s stainless steel.
  6. 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, I am more cilantro girl. Never too much. And yogurt. And tortilla chips. I mean and avocado if you have a ripe one.

If you can handle the heat, fresh sliced jalapeno is amazeballs. I tried and I am a wimp.

Shredded cheese or Cotija cheese is great too.

Can I Freeze the Chili?

Yes. If you have any leftovers. To be honest, this healthy 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. 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 Chili Recipes

Healthy White Chicken Chili in a pot

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Healthy White Chicken Chili

healthy white chicken chili

4.9 from 47 reviews

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.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup and Stew
  • Method: Stove, Instant Pot, Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican
Scale

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 (3 cups) 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

Healthy White Chicken Chili on the Stove

  1. Preheat large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat.
  2. Add garlic and onion, sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  4. In a small bowl, add about 1 cup of beans and mash with a fork. It helps to thicken the chili.
  5. 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.
  6. Turn off the heat. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks or meat claws.
  7. Return chicken to the pot along with lime juice, cilantro and yogurt.
  8. Stir and serve warm with your favorite toppings like tortilla chips, cheese, more cilantro and lime.

Slow Cooker Healthy White Chicken Chili

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

Instant Pot Healthy White Chicken Chili

  1. In a small bowl, add about 1 cup of beans and mash with a fork. It helps to thicken the chili.
  2. 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 broth. Do not stir.
  3. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 20 minutes.
  4. Release pressure using Quick Release method by turning pressure valve to Venting position immediately after cooking.
  5. Open the lid, remove chicken and shred with 2 forks or meat claws.
  6. Return chicken to the Instant Pot along with lime juice, cilantro and yogurt.
  7. Stir and 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.

Notes

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.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

124 comments on “Healthy White Chicken Chili

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  1. Really great and light chili. I didn’t have green chiles so I diced up a large frozen jalapeño and added it in with the onion and garlic. I also added some diced green pepper. Instead of oregano (I was out) I chopped up some celery leaves. I put a little extra lime in because of love the citrus flavor on top of the spice. I’m totally making this again.

  2. Made this for the second time a couple of nights ago. My daughter got home from work, checked the pot on the stove and said, “YUM!!!”. My thoughts exactly! I don’t change a thing, which is unusual for me, with one exception – I use rotisserie chicken but intend on trying thighs next time (well-trimmed to keep it low fat). Thanks for an easy, delicious recipe.

      1. Thank you!

        This recipe says cook for 10min. And the other days cook for 20min. What time is best to cook this meal?

  3. Such a hit in my household of grown men! I had it on its own and they paired it with rice or pasta to fill themselves up – its been requested for the second week in a row

  4. Very good recipe. I made it with plain yogurt. Will definitely make again! The leftovers were even better cause the flavor was more pronounced. Mmmmm.

  5. I recommend this recipe to all my friends. Particularly if they start talking about eating healthier.

  6. I made this today in the Instant Pot. It received rave reviews from my family. This is absolutely going in our permanent rotation. We don’t like corn too much other than Mexican Street Corn, so I omitted it. My middle child said, “This is top-tier food!” and everyone else said it was delicious. Thank you Olena and staff for another easy, wonderful, healthy, delicious recipe. We’ve loved every single recipe we’ve tried from your site and intend to try many, many more. Perhaps all of them!

  7. Can you use frozen chicken breasts in the instant pot version? And if so, do you recommend setting it to more than 10 minutes?

    1. This was absolutely delicious!! It’s so wholesome and hearty. The only thing I omitted was the yogurt just because I personally dislike the taste of yogurt. I added a little bit of heavy cream to substitute. This will definitely be a recipe I will continue to use.

  8. I love ALL your recipes and look forward to trying any new ones you send. I never have to test/ try the recipe but know it will turn out perfect and delicious, which it always does.
    I just bought an 8 qt IP and will give my 3 yr old, used constantly One, to my son.
    I want more leftovers so should I make your recipe and 1.5 x everything in my 8 qt? I make no knead miracle bread in it. Can I double the recipe?

  9. This is absolutely delicious. I have a picky 6 year old, and we’ve struggled with his bland little palette but this was SO tasty. He even said he loves the cilantro and pepper! Sincerely, this is in my regular rotation now…. YUM.

      1. Made this tonight in the instant pot. Came out really soupy, but was still really, really good.

        Any suggestions on how to thicken it up some?

  10. This recipe is easy and delicious. I didn’t have yogurt so I used sour cream and it worked wonderful. My husband is very pickie and he absolutely loved it. Made my own chicken broth which was richer. Try this recipe you can not go wrong

  11. This is so simple, but soooooo delicious! I make it in my Instant Pot, and usually use light sour cream instead of yogurt. It is now a permanent part of our dinner rotation. Thank you so much!

  12. This was delicious! I added 2 diced jalapenos. Topped it with fresh avocado, and substituted the yogurt for cream cheese. It was a FAMILY HIT! Will make again!

    1. Hi Sarah! No, the yogurt is not a must. It’s just a nice touch at the end to add a bit of creaminess. You can add a little bit of heavy cream or omit altogether! Hope that helps.

  13. Yum! I have 3 small children and they even tried it. My pickiest eater loved it! I didn’t have the chilies so I substituted bell pepper and it turned out very well. I’ll definitely be making this again.

    1. Great substitution for bell pepper. That would taste great in the chili. So happy to hear your family enjoyed this recipe.

  14. This recipe is amazing! I made it exactly as is, except I didn’t have any cayenne, and my husband and I both absolutely loved it. Way better than the other two times I’ve had chicken chili, which contained sour cream and/or heavy cream. And this was relatively easy.

    Thank you for a healthy recipe to add to our dinner rotation!

  15. My family of 8 LOVED this. I made it in my instapot and followed directions exactly. Thank you!

    1. Jessica! You are so welcome. I am so pleased to hear how much your family loved this recipe. The instant pot is fantastic for cooking meals to feed a big family, isn’t it?!

  16. Super yummy and healthy!! I didn’t use the can beans I rather used white great northern beans cooked them in my instant pot once they were cooked I took half of the beans out and added the rest of the ingredients along with the chicken to Pressure cook for 10 minutes. At the end I added the rest of the beans, cilantro, lime and Greek yogurt. It was delicious! And super healthy!

  17. I made this lastnight and it came out a little more soupy that I had expected but it was so good I didn’t mind at all!! I’ll just try mashing up a little extra beans next time. We served it up with a little side salad and some unsalted tortilla chips and it was a great dinner. As always I love your recipes because they make plenty of leftovers to make the week so much easier. I’ll definitely be making this one again!

  18. This is the best! No oil, so easy, my kids loved it! Thank you so much!
    I accidentally put two cans of corn instead of two cups but it turned amazing still, so if you love corn add two cans lol I will probably just do the recommended amount next time.

      1. Hi there! I might have missed it, but where is the recipe card you are referencing? I was interested in the nutrition facts! I’m currently eating this soup and it’s delicious! Thank you! 🙂

        1. Hi Morgan! The nutritional info is located at the bottom of the recipe card. Sometimes it takes a minute to load, but it’s there! Hope that helps.

  19. This is SO easy, SO good, and kid friendly! This was the first recipe I tried of yours and it got me hooked. Thank you for providing such great tips and amazing kid-friendly recipes! You have turned our kitchen into a happy place!

  20. Absolutely fantastic!!! We made it in our Instapot tonight! We will make this again & again & again!! ??

  21. Wowzers!!! This is amazing! I wasn’t sure at first but wow so good!
    I didn’t have oregano so I used basil leaves instead. Also I didn’t have cayenne or canned peppers so I used 2 whole fresh Chile peppers, chopped. Amazing!! I also used 1.5 of all the called for spices and added a TSP of paprika. (I’m obsessed with paprika. And it didn’t disappoint.)
    I will definitely be making this again. Thank you so much 🙂

  22. Do you not add oil to the Instant Pot? It’s not listed on the instructions. Also, how do you do Instant Pot with frozen chicken. Thanks!

  23. Yum!!! I wanted to start cooking healthier this year and I LOVE this site. The chicken chili was delicious and very easy to make. I didn’t have any chili peppers, and since we like things hot, I substituted jalapenos.

  24. This meal is so yummy! It’s delicious as is, but just wondering, have you tried it with a can of tomatoes? I wanted to try, but didn’t want to mess it up. Thank you. I love your blog!

    1. Hi Christy! I have not. I don’t see 14 oz can of diced tomatoes hurting this white chicken chili recipe. Especially fire roasted or with green chiles. Yum!:) Thank you for your kind words!

  25. I wish I could give this chili recipe 100 stars ? I stuck to the exact “stove top” recipe and it’s truly delicious! I will definitely be making this again

  26. Loved this recipe, what a great alternative to regular Chili. It was quick and easy meal in an instant pot that was healthy. I put a bit more cayenne pepper for a spicier taste. Thanks for sharing.

  27. This is delicious. We tweaked it, of course. Sautéed diced chicken thighs instead of pulling chicken breasts. Also added chopped red bell pepper for color and vegetables. But we loved it and will try more of your recipes. We also loved the ground turkey and boccoli garlic recipe. Thank you for making healthful alternatives to old favorites.

    1. I wouldn’t. Especially don’t want you to have bad first experience with IP haha. I haven’t tested this recipe with dried beans. You probably will need longer cooking time and more liquid. I would cook beans first in your IP. Look up my IP black beans recipe here and use that one.:)

  28. Great tasting! didn’t use yogurt at the end… forgot to buy. Maybe next time I will remember, as there will definitely be a next time for this recipe.

  29. This chili ? is dyn-o-mite. I have made it twice and can’t wait to make it again. I even got my oldest son to eat it being he is super fussy with stews and chili’s and he absolutely loved it. Thanks so much again for sharing. 🙂 Can’t wait to try more recipes this week.

  30. The family loved this so much although I admit I did add some sweet chilli sauce to mine. It made HEAPS – although I didn’t bother with freezing it… It seemed to taste better the next day ?. Thanks again Olena for another delicious, healthy recipe.

  31. This is delicious! One of the first recipes I made in my Instant Pot, it was foolproof and made with ingredients I had on hand already. This is in my regular rotation of meals. Everyone loves it! Oh, I upped the Cayenne pepper to 1/2 Tsp and added a finely diced jalapeño pepper. We like spicey.

    1. Very tasty! I added sour cream and a few extra veggies on hand that needed to be used up. Turned out great.

  32. This was delicious. I made to put in the freezer so I didn’t add the lime juice yet but it’s already tasted great!

  33. Made this for dinner last night in the Instant Pot. Some modifications: I wanted more veggies so in keeping with the “white” theme, I sautéed a chopped zucchini and yellow bell pepper on the side, since 10 min in the IP would make them mushy. I accidentally bought just 1 can of beans, so my consistency ended up more like a soup than chili, but that was ok. I had one stale corn tortilla in the fridge, so I chopped that up and put it in the IP at the beginning, as a thickening agent. I also doubled the spices because my husband & I both like lots of flavor 🙂 . I’ll be making this again!

  34. Sounds and looks delicious, Olena! I am giving it 5 stars because I FEEL it will turn out great even before trying it . And I am also from Texas like Olivia, so it’s hot and I shall do it in when it cools off a bit too!!! :)… But can I ask you one thing – about the corn: is it canned or fresh? Also, can I make half of this recipe? Different timing in Instant pot then? Thanks!

    1. I always use frozen organic corn in all my recipes. You can half the recipe ingredients but same cooking time in Instant Pot always no matter the amount of food. Enjoy your heat and chili later! 🙂

  35. This looks delicious! I will definitely make it once it cools down a bit. In Texas it’s still in the upper 90s! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Take me to Texas!!! I still want summer. I am so sad it’s over. Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make this recipe. Have a great weekend!

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