White Chicken Chili

Summer is almost here!

But with weeks of clouds and rain in Virginia, I’m still focused on warm, brothy foods.

This soup is just that. A full, hearty, and deeply nourishing meal.

The following is a minimalist version of white chicken chili.

Many recipes you’ll find contain heavy cream and/or cheese. While I’ll agree that cream and cheese have their place in some soups, I’m of the opinion that chicken chili isn’t one. Besides the lower calorie count, their absence allow the flavors of the a good chicken broth, hatch chilis and hot chili powder to shine through.

Broth-centric, vegetable filled, with a healthy kick of heat–this soup is also good to stave off any late-spring cold or flu.


White Chicken Chili


3 tbs olive oil

4 chicken breasts (or 2 chicken breasts and two thighs)

1 poblano pepper

1 can hatch green chilis

1 1/2 cups or 1 can cannelini beans

1 1/2 cup frozen corn

4 cups homemade or store-bought chicken broth

3 cloves garlic

1 small onion, chopped

1 tbs chili powder, plus 4 tsp for chicken rub

salt and pepper


Heat a dutch oven or heavy bottomed skillet and add one tbs olive oil

Pat chicken dry, and season with 4 tsp chili powder, salt and pepper

When the dutch oven is hot, sear the chicken on both sides, for about 30 seconds each side

Remove chicken and set aside

Keep the burner at medium heat

Add two additional tablespoons of olive oil, followed by the onion

Cook until onion is translucent and beginning to brown on the edges

Add the garlic, poblano pepper and chili powder, a little salt and black pepper, and cook about five minutes or until the pepper softens and the garlic is fragrant

Add the can of hatch green chilis, and stir

Then add the chicken back to the pot, and pour in the broth

Increase heat to bring to a boil

Once the soup is boiling, add the corn and beans (strained and rinsed)

Cover the pot, and reduce heat to a simmer

Simmer the soup for about 30-45 minutes

Then, remove the chicken, shred and return it to the pot

Serve, garnishing with scallions and lime.





More about Kaitlin

I’m a food lover, health researcher, amateur cook, recovering journalist, nutrition student and avid kitchen experimenter. I live in the woods with a boyfriend and a dog.


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