The easiest, most delicious white chicken chili you’ll ever make! Slow cooked in a crock pot, this healthy chili recipe is packed with flavor while still healthful and light.
Welcome to the first annual white chicken chili cook off! Did you bring your cornbread? Just kidding, I wouldn’t spring something as important as a chili cook off upon you without proper notice, but I will announce: this is the first white chili I ever did make.
It’s also the best meal I’ve eaten since I made that Thanksgiving feast a month ago. You know when something is too good to be true and you’re waiting for something to rear its ugly head because it couldn’t possibly be that amazing? Srsly, I’ve been waiting for the ball to drop and for the chili demons to spring out of my bowl and declare savage law on all the chilis. No chili demon sightings yet. Will keep you posted.
My professional assessment of the classic red v. white chili? You’re wondering if I have a preference, aren’t you? I just can’t even go there, as I feel the two are neck and neck on every judgement spectrums. Comfort level, flavor barometer, fun factor…they’re all just so close. Yet they taste entirely different. Almost to the point where you can’t compare. Almost to the point where we’re talking about two different sports altogether, but, like two different sports that require the same ball, uniform and playing field, but just have different rules. Make sense?
Are we done with the red v. white discussion? Lettuce continue.
In my opinion, a good chili, whether it be classic or white, is basically a fine art piece. There are so many stimuli we can stimulate, and the end result is a culmination of creative prowess and imagination. Do we add subtle, nearly undetectable nuances like a splash of booze and a pinch of cinnamon or a tablespoon of cocoa powder? Do we make it bold using fatty meats or even sausage? Keep it basic with an all-the-beans approach? Do we go simple, but save the effort for the end and elaborately serve with a million toppers? Real life questions for real life masterpieces.
You know how I like to eat my chili? I like to mix in a little whole milk plain yogurt, and bake Jack cheese on top in the oven (at 400 degrees F) so that it becomes golden crispy. Then I give ‘er a dollop of plain yogurt on top, along with a sprinkle of green onion. You can go with any combination of your favorite toppings here, and of course, when in doubt, just add bacon.
This recipe is a super easy three-step process:
- Saute the onion until it begins turning brown
- Add every last ingredient to your crock pot and set on low for 6 to 8 hours (Note: I had my crock pot on low for a whopping 10 hours and the chicken became so tender and succulent, I barely could understand my own emotions once the chili hit my face trap).
- Shred the chicken
Step 1 – lettuce discuss. If you’re in a mega hurry, you really don’t need to saute the onion, but I can’t emphasize enough how much I love the flavor of nearly caramelized onion in chili. It makes the whole thing rich in flavor, and only requires about 10 to 15 minutes of extra time. If you have that time in your budget, do the saute, and if not, just skip Step 1 and add the raw onion to the crock along with everything else.
Let’s ponder step 3. After I shred the chicken, I put it back in the crock pot for as long as possible before serving so that it becomes ultra flavorful. If I have the patience, this means allowing the chili to slow cook all day, shredding the chicken in the afternoon/evening, then letting it sit all night. Ohmygeerd can you even imagine? This is actually the approach I took and lemme just tell you: no regrets.
Soup, stew, and chili is always better in the days following preparation, so for this reason, I tend to hold off on actually consuming it until day 2. Though, day 1 is fantastic, too.
You should make this.
Just be sure you don’t forget the cornbread!
Crock Pot White Chicken Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 5 cloves large garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped
- 1 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 4-ounce cans green chilis undrained
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 14-ounce cans white beans drained and rinsed*
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1-½ teaspoons sea salt to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium-high and add the onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
Transfer the onion-garlic-jalapeno mixture to your slow cooker (I used this 6-quart slow cooker), along with the rest of the ingredients for the chili. Stir well and cover. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Use a fork to fish out the chicken breasts and place them on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken, then place it back in the crock pot. If time allows, let the chicken soak in the chili for at least 1 hour (overnight is better) for maximum flavor.
Serve heaping bowls of chili with your favorite toppings.
*I used 1 can of cannelini beans, and 1 can of Great Northern Beans