by Olena

Healthy White Chicken Chili

by Olena

4.8 from 18 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 10 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

4.8 from 18 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 10 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 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.

 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.

40 comments on “Healthy White Chicken Chili

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.:)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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! 🙂

  10. 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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