It's easy to cook a big pot of this award winning white chicken chili, and it's the absolute best! Tender chicken, chilies, white beans, spices and a few more goodies in this winning recipe.
Winning the office chili contest is an annual objective for my husband. Eddie has a really great, very meaty chili recipe that he's been perfecting over time. Last year Eddie's chili took first place and time before he came in second. In both cases the contest was decided by one vote and in both cases the other contender was his colleague Dean.
When Dean's white chicken chili took first place, Eddie came home with his empty pot a bit dispirited by his second place status but couldn't stop raving about the winning chili. I said "let's invite Dean over for chili -- his chili!"
THE BEST White Chicken Chili Ever!!!
Dean came over and cooked chili for us and it was INCREDIBLE - rich, creamy, flavorful, loaded with tender chicken and white beans, and just the right amount of heat. Easy to see why this chili is always a favorite at the office chili cook-off.
How to make Award Winning White Chicken Chili:
There are multiple layers of delicious flavor and spice in Dean's white chicken chili. The first layer is baked right into the chicken.
Cumin, chile powder, a bit of cayenne and salt are spread over boneless chicken breasts and they go into a 350ºF oven for 30 minutes.
While they bake you can get the rest of the chili cooking - onions, garlic, beans, broth, chili peppers, spices.
The cooked chicken is shredded and simmered for a bit with everything else.
Then, for the final (knock-your-socks-off) layer, shredded cheese and sour cream get stirred into the mix. And the result is truly spectacular! This white chicken chili is one of those savor-every-bite kind of dishes.
Now, I have to admit that I tweaked Dean's recipe the tiniest bit in this area of cheese and sour cream. I stayed with the quantity of cheese and sour cream that Dean prescribed but I only added half of each into the soup. I left the other half for adding as a garnish. My reasoning for doing this?
- Firstly, after I made this chili a few times and experimented a bit, I discovered that it's still totally amazing with only half the cheese and sour cream.
- Secondly, I love adding exciting garnishes to the top of my chili, so better to reserve lots of cheese and sour cream for that.
I can also appreciate that many of you may want to follow Dean's white chicken chili recipe to the T and so I've explained how you can do that, if you wish. Delirious food happiness will be yours no matter which version you choose.
Dean and Eddie have been work associates for many years, and over that time he and his wife Kathy have become our friends. But even as a friend, Dean was extremely generous to share his secret winning white chicken chili recipe with us and with the world (PTG's followers).
I am so appreciative! Also, how about a friend who you invite to dinner and he brings all the groceries and does all the cooking? Dean is the best! Thank you Dean!
Dean's white chicken chili is great for a crowd and just the thing for Sunday football.
It's also perfect if you're looking for a delicious festive dish that you can make ahead. It will keep for several days in the fridge. Just remember to reheat it slowly and gently.
Exciting news flash - Eddie's award-winning pork and beef chili recipe is now on the blog!
Also, check out Eddie's other great recipes on Panning The Globe: Eddie's olive bread, Eddie's linzertorte, Eddie's Swinging Sultan Cocktail, and Eddie's Perfect Manhattan, Eddie's Basil Vodka Gimlet
Here's the recipe for Dean's award winning white chicken chili. If you make it I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment and let us know how it turned out!Print
Award Winning White Chicken Chili
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Yield: 8-10 1x
Spicy and delicious white chicken chili!
Adapted from Dean's Award Winning Chili Recipe
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chile powder,*divided
- 3 tablespoons cumin, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more, to taste
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 3 cups chopped onion (2 medium)
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic or more if you love garlic (4-5 large cloves)
- 3 15-ounce cans white beans, drained
- 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles (hot or mild, depending on your preference)
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 4-6 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 6 cups shredded cheese, divided (half Monterey Jack, half cheddar)
- 2 cups sour cream, divided
- Chopped scallions
- Chopped cilantro leaves
- Your favorite hot sauce
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- • A note on chili powder: One of my secrets to great chili is to use two or three different chili powders for a great depth of flavor. For this chili I used New Mexican and Chipotle chile powders.
- Spice and Roast the Chicken: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spread chicken out in a roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin, ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch or two of cayenne. Roast for 30 minutes. Shred or cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
- Cook the Chili: In a large pot heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté onion and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes or so, until tender. Add beans, shredded chicken, chilies, oregano, 2 tablespoons chile powder, 2 tablespoons cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne (or more, to taste). Add 4 cups of chicken broth, reserving the rest for thinning the chili to your desired consistency. Stir to combine and simmer gently on low for 20 minutes. (to keep the chicken tender, do not let the pot boil)
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes or so before proceeding. With the pot still off the heat, stir 3 cups of cheese into the pot, 1 cup at a time. Then stir in 1 cup of sour cream. (Or for Dean's richer, creamier version, add all 6 cups of cheese to the pot and 2 cups of sour cream) Bring the pot back to a gentle simmer over low heat (to keep the dairy products from separating, don't boil). Simmer the chili for 15-20 minutes, adjusting with additional chicken broth, if you like. A method I like to use for great added texture is to use a potato-masher in the pot to mash half the chicken and beans. Then stir to combine with the rest.
- Serve chili in bowls with garnishes on top or on the side.
Nutritional information for this white chicken chili recipe is calculated assuming you're following the lighter version of the recipe.
Nutrition Information shown is an estimate calculated by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keywords: chicken chili, award winning chili, white bean and chicken chili
[Originally published January 2016. Updated September 2018. Same delicious recipe with added nutritional information]
Does this recipe make 1 gallon or more?
I have never actually measured the exact amount - I will do that next time - however I'm quite sure this makes about a gallon and maybe a bit more. I made it in my 6-quart Dutch oven and it fills up about 3/4 of the way with chili.
I’ve made this so many times, this is absolutely the best white chicken chili there is around. I made it at my company’s chili cook off and won! Thank you for sharing this award winning white chicken chili recipe!
Best White chicken chili recipe!!!
So delicious! My friends absolutely loved it, which made me so happy!! For family and friends this chili is an award winning keeper!!
Thank you for for sharing it!!!
Hey Leona - I know how good it feels to make people happy with delicious home cooked food. I'm so happy this recipe worked out so well for you! Thanks for reporting back. Makes me happy to hear such great feedback.
I made this for the first time and just won 2nd place in the chili cook off at work. Thanks for the recipe!
Congratulations on your win Maddy! I'm so glad to hear 🙂
Made. Exact recipe for Super Bowl and no one liked it..I thought it was okay. Followed recipe added less sour cream and cheese, but added everything else per recipe.
45-ounce cans of beans... is that a typo??
Hi Carla - it looks like you clicked the button that triples the recipe. Unfortunately the plugin didn't do a good job at the conversion. Instead of listing 9 15-ounce cans of beans it listed 3 45-ounce cans. I'll send a note to the tech team to see if they can fix this. Sorry for the confusion!
Making this for a church chili cook-off on Saturday. I used whatever dried oregano I had in the cupboard for the first test batch, and it was great!
Wondering what type of oregano you use? Fresh? Mexican? Turkish?
Hi Hope - I use dried oregano. I'm sure it would be good with fresh oregano too but I've never tried that because I've always been so happy with the result when I've used what I have in the cupboard. I'm glad the chili worked out so well for you!
Hi Linda - I'm so excited to try this recipe! I have a family member that is dairy intolerant. Any suggestions if I leave the cheese and sour cream out of the pot and just use as a topping for others?
I would love to make this recipe but concerned about the amount of cumin and chili powder- is the end result really spicy?
Hi Linda - I don't find it too spicy however the level of heat will depend a lot on which chili powder(s) you use. You can look for "mild" chili powder at the grocery store or online. Or use Ancho Chili Powder, which is one of the mildest. don't worry about too much heat from the cumin - I don't think that will cause the dish to be hot. I hope this helps. Let me know how you like the chili!
Thanks! I will give it a try and let you know how my group liked it
I made Dean’s award-winning chicken chili recipe and I have to tell you that I absolutely loved it. I won first place in the chili cook off at our Yacht Club. Being the reigning champion, I have to enter the cook off again this year. My question is, can I use rotisserie chicken rather than roasting my own?
Congratulations on your big win JoAnn! That's so exciting! I've never tried using rotisserie chicken in this recipe - it might be good! Perhaps you can shred it and toss it with all the spices that are meant to coat the roasted chicken, and then let it marinate for a bit with all those spices on it before adding it to the pot. If you do try this with rotisserie chicken I hope you'll circle back and let me know how it turns out and how you do this year at the cook off.
Thank you for your response, Lisa. I will try what you recommended and will let you know how it works out.
I like to use canneli beans.