White Chicken Chili


This creamy, spicy, and boldly-flavored White Chicken Chili cooks in one pot in under an hour. It gets its luscious texture from creamy navy beans and chopped corn tortillas, which thicken the broth and give it a long-cooked flavor. A lightly piquant combination of fresh jalapeños, diced green chiles, ground cayenne, and chili powder lend heat without overpowering the chili, while fresh and cooling cilantro, stirred in at the last minute, balances each bowl.

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
4 to 6


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion (from 1 medium [8 ounce] onion)

  • ¼ cup seeded and chopped jalapeño chile (from 1 [2-ounce] chile)

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped (1 1/2 tablespoons)

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 (7-ounce) cans diced green chiles, undrained

  • 8 ounces fresh tomatillos, husks removed, chopped (2 cups)

  • 4 cup lower-sodium chicken stock

  • 2 (16-ounce) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed

  • 4 (5-inch) white corn tortillas, chopped (1 cup)

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

  • 1 (6-ounce) avocado, cut into cubes (about 1 cup)

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • Sliced radishes

  • Crushed tortilla chips


  1. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add chicken, cayenne, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion, jalapeño, garlic, and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder; cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Stir in green chiles, tomatillos, and stock, scraping bottom of Dutch oven to release any browned bits. Add beans, tortillas, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; cover and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until tortillas dissolve into broth, about 15 minutes.

  2. Stir cilantro into chili. Spoon evenly into 6 bowls; top evenly with avocado and sour cream. Garnish with additional cilantro. If desired, top with radishes and crushed tortilla chips.

    bowls of white chicken chili
    Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
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