Cook/ Weekend Feasting

White Bean Chili with Shredded Chicken

July 15, 2020

Last Updated on July 15, 2020 by Slow The Cook Down

This easy white bean chili with shredded chicken is the perfect comfort food. Slow cooked on the stovetop in a crockpot dutch oven, this stew is sure to warm your soul. It’s the best recipe for make ahead meals and comes together easily. Meal prep for the week with this vegetable loaded and flavorsome chili. 

White bean chili in a dutch oven and served in a white bowl

In the week, I am all about the batch cooking, I make a big pot of something yummy that can be kept and reheat throughout the week for no fuss easy dinners. My Roasted Ground Beef Chili is in regular rotation along with my Green Lentil Daal but I’m always trying out new recipes to add in. This white bean chili was a hit! It’s packed full of veggies and I can’t begin to tell you how loaded with flavor it is!

How to make White Bean Shredded Chicken Chili

This chili requires a longer cook, but this helps it to be so flavorsome and the actual prep is easy and straight forward. I’ll also give you some tips to speed up the process if you need your chicken chili in a hurry!

  • First up, mash one of the cans of white beans in a bowl (photo 1) and prep your veggies.
  • Add the oil and spices to a pot on a medium heat, then add in the onions, garlic and jalapenos. Cook until softened then add the bell pepper and mushrooms and stir well to ensure everything is well coated in the spices (photo 2).
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, mix well and bring to the boil (photo 3)
  • Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Four shots to show how to make the recipe

How do you shred chicken?

Cooked shredded chicken breast is the protein in this dish. You can either buy pre shredded chicken in packages, buy a rotisserie chicken, use leftovers or make your own. 

To make your own, you can cook the breasts in the oven at 350ºf / 180ºc for 20-25 minutes and then shred them with two forks. If you have an Instant Pot, you can also cook the chicken breasts in that for 8-10 minutes before shredding them.

What are the white beans in chili?

I used white kidney beans, also known as cannellini beans in this shredded chicken chili. Great Northern beans will also work well, they are slightly smaller, but they are firm and will hold up well. Avoid Navy beans in this recipe though, as they are pretty small and cook quickly.

I used canned beans for convenience, you can use dried, just be sure to soak them first.

How long does chicken chili keep?

This white bean chili is so perfect for batch cooking and it can be kept in the fridge or frozen. Once you have made the chili, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer it to an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and in the freezer for 4 to 6 months.

Thaw frozen chicken chili in the fridge before reheating it on the stovetop. Take care to only reheat the chicken chili once, or you can run the risk of getting ill. I like to store the chili in portions so you don’t have any wastage.

Two bowl of chili with toppings in front of a red dutch oven

Can you make this slow cooked chili any quicker?!

This chicken chili is slow cooked for maximum flavor with least effort, and if you can I emplore you to take it nice and slow. However, if you need dinner in a hurry, mix two tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and pour it into the chili when you are simmering it. This will help to thicken up the sauce quickly so it’s ready for serving.

Is white bean chili a healthy meal?

This chili is jam packed with protein and fiber as well as a host of vitamins and minerals from the veggies. One serving is under 500 calories so it’s a great well balanced weeknight meal. If you want to make this chicken healthier you can:

  • Use a low sodium chicken stock.
  • Omit the cream and use an extra cup of chicken stock or use a low fat or skimmed milk.
  • Add in some extra veggies, corn and red bell pepper both work well.

What toppings do you put on a white bean chili?

Let’s be honest, chilis are all about the toppings! For sure you want to be adding a dollop of sour cream to each bowl and shredded cheddar is never a bad idea. I like to use a sharp cheddar to really cut through those flavors. I also added some sliced avo, fresh jalapenos and, cilantro and a lime wedge. Feel free to add some tortilla strips, shredded lettuce or sliced tomatoes.

White bean chili topped with avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream and jalapenos

Tips to make this white bean chili with shredded chicken

  • Check that your spices aren’t stale before you use them. Rub a little between your fingers and it should release and aroma, if they don’t grab some new spices.
  • Use good quality free run / organic chicken and fresh ingredients for the best flavor. If you can’t get fresh jalapenos you can use the jarred variety.
  • Make the chili in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. I used my Crock Pot dutch oven which distributes heat really well so you don’t end up with hot spots that can burn the ingredients on the bottom of the pot.
  • If your chili is too thick for your liking, add in a little extra stock, and thicken it up with a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water.
  • This is a mildly spicy chili, if you like things hotter you can add in a teaspoon of cayenne.

For more chicken recipes:

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Two bowls of the chicken chili on a marble work surface

White Bean Chili with Shredded Chicken

This easy white bean chili with shredded chicken is the perfect comfort food. Slow cooked on the stovetop in a crockpot dutch oven, this stew is sure to warm your soul.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 495kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 jalapenos
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced (230g)
  • 38 ounces white kidney beans drained (2 cans / 1080ml)
  • 21 ounces shredded chicken or 3 chicken breasts (600g)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (590ml)
  • 1 cup table cream (18%) (237ml)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • juice of one lime

Instructions

  • Take one can of white beans and drain them, then mash them with a fork or masher in a bowl and set to one side. Prep your other ingredients so that they are ready to go.
  • Put a large heavy bottomed stock pot or dutch oven onto the stove top and heat the oil in it on a medium heat.
  • Once warm add the chili powder, pepper, cumin, oregano, salt and bay leaves and warm them for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the chopped jalapenos, onions and garlic, stir them into the spices and cook for 5 minutes until they soften. Stir in the yellow pepper and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, ensuring that all the veggies are well covered in the spices.
  • Add the beans to the pot, along with the beans, stock, cream, chicken, lime juice and sugar. Gently stir everything together and bring the pot to a boil.
  • Reduce the pot to a simmer, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the chili has thickened to your desired consistency.

Notes

  • Check that your spices aren't stale before you use them. Rub a little between your fingers and it should release and aroma, if they don't grab some new spices.
  • Use good quality free run / organic chicken and fresh ingredients for the best flavor. If you can’t get fresh jalapenos you can use the jarred variety.
  • Make the chili in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. I used my Crock Pot dutch oven which distributes heat really well so you don't end up with hot spots that can burn the ingredients on the bottom of the pot.
  • If your chili is too thick for your liking, add in a little extra stock, and thicken it up with a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water.
  • This is a mildly spicy chili, if you like things hotter you can add in a teaspoon of cayenne.
  • Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings and are an estimate.

Nutrition

Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 519mg | Potassium: 1074mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1484IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 6mg
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Aena Rizvi
    March 20, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    5 stars
    This is quite literally one of the most hearty, delicious comfort foods we’ve ever cooked at our place. A total hit with everyone! Love how easy it is to make as well!

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