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 call for mild cheddar or white cheddar?
This chili is absolutely delicious. I was a little dubious about the whole white chicken thing, being a bit of a purist, but I am completely sold on it after having tried it out. Easy to make and the flavor is sensational. Thanks Dean!
Made this recipe for our company’s chili cook off without testing beforehand… we won first prize!! (A round trip airline ticket for each of our four member team). People are begging us for the recipe!!! This chili is to die for!!!
I made this for my office chili cookoff. I added some liquid smoke and a bit of worsteshire sauce to make the flavors a bit more complex.
I didn't win, but I did come in a close second, and that says a lot since I'm in Texas and Texans are very particular about their chili!
Even my husband - a born and bred Texan - liked it. He *did* object to the beans when I was making it since "real chili doesn't have beans," but decided it was ok in this instance because it was chicken. LOL
I didn't mash the chicken because I felt like it could use a little more chicken and the idea of "mashed meat" kind of grosses me out, but I did smash a lot of the beans against the sides of the pot to try & thicken it up a bit. The liquid was thin, so I'd probably use less than 4 cups of broth next time or add some cornstarch, but all in all, it was delicious.
A rousing success, so thank you!
I made this the other day, and it won the chili contest at work! I’ve never made white chili before and was looking for a knock-their-socks-off recipe. Well, this delivered! Thank you and thank your friend for sharing!
Congratulation on your win Cindy! That's very exciting!! I'm so glad you came back to rate the recipe and share your big news - thanks!
Not a fan of using the potato masher to blenderize everything.. tried it but I prefer chunks of chicken and whole beans. I have made several recipes and this one was just so so. Have made the Korean stew and Yasa chicken and both were great. Keep up the good work
Hi Jeff, I'm sorry the chicken chili wasn't your favorite. By the way - I'm not sure if you noticed in the instructions that I suggested mashing half the ingredients in the pot, not the whole pot. That creates a thicker, creamier broth but still leaves plenty of whole beans and chunks of chicken. Just wanted to make sure you know that in case you want to try making it again. On another note, I'm trilled that you liked the Korean chicken stew and the chicken yassa!
White Chicken Chili looks great.
Best white chili recipe ever!!! I've tried 4 different recipes n this is, by far, the best! We tweek it a bit to make it have a lil more spice and have more chili flavor, it makes it have a lil more of an orange color, but its delicious!! I use 3 different kinds of chili powder and more cayenne. That's the only difference. Its absolutely amazing! Just don't be afraid to tweek to taste while it's slow cooking.🙂
I made this chili today for my family and it makes a whole lot boy I think I only have like one bowl left thanks for sharing I appreciate it will make again for a family gathering I love it if I could give 10 Stars I would
How many fluid oz does 1 batch make? Thank you
Hi, I have not measured the precise ounces. It depends on whether you add all the dairy to the pot and on how much broth you add to get to your desired consistency. My estimation, looking at the ingredients, is between 4 and 5 quarts, which is 128 - 160 fluid ounces. I hope that helps!
This is a winner at home. I do chiken breast and thigh because have three kids and one does not like white meat. I also cut it in chunks and not shredded. I agree I do half the cheese and sour cream so I can use as garnish along with diced onions, cilantro and avocados. Serve with chips or warm tortillas it is great.
Made this white chicken chili yesterday for my husband...delicious! This recipe is a keeper and looking so forward to trying the award winning beef chili! Thanks so much for sharing !
I make this and my whole family loves it. I have a son who is watching all his calories and protein
I’m just wondering on the serving size for nutrients What is a serving size in ounces.
Hello! Do you use white or yellow onion or does it not matter? Thank you!
Hi Crystal, I generally use yellow onions but white are fine too!
Great thank you! I am making this tomorrow and very excited to try it! What type of white beans do you recommend using?
I hope I'm not too late responding. I generally use cannellini beans but other types will work well - navy beans, great northern beans or white kidney beans. I hope you enjoy the chili!
Best ever chicken chili recipe. I’ve made this recipe several times and liked it so much I entered this chili into my neighborhood chili fest. Won1st place out of 15 entries.
Congratulations on your first place win Leslee! That's so exciting! I'm thrilled to hear this, and to know that you love the chili. Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment.
Can you use plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, would be be same flavor in this soup?
Hi Cassie, I haven't tried yogurt in this dish but I often use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. It's thick and creamy and has a similar flavor. I think it will work well. If you use full fat Greek yogurt or 2% vs low fat, it will be less likely to separate. I hope you enjoy!!
This is the best white chicken chilli out there i just made it.I noticed that roasting the chicken is a must for flavor.I have made this before but with some other recipe but it was just bland to me.This recipe is the one im sticking with.
So great to hear Allison! Thanks so much for your rating and comment.
I just made this tonight and it is delicious ! I’ve got this recipe saved for next time! I added a few things. Instead of green chilis , I put about 1 cup of mild fresh sweet onion salsa that I found at a local grocery store. The tomatoes were smashed really well so it blended in really fabulously. I also added about 1 cup of Andouille sausage. I thought the salsa might make the consistency really thin, but it held the thickness nicely.
So, you made ordinary everyday red chili instead of the posted white chicken Chili, then rate the white chili recipe that was so graciously offered. Yeah, that makes sense.
How do I go about this in a crockpot. Am planning on making a triple batch for Super Bowl. I have two large crockpots to use.
Wow Deana, that's a lot of chili! Sounds like it's going to be a fun time! Regarding the crockpot, I'm not sure this recipe is a good candidate for the slow cooker because it only cooks for 20 minutes. You could cook it in conventional pots and then keep it warm in your crockpots. But if you want to try cooking it in your crockpots, I suggest you follow the instructions for roasting the chicken and sautéing the onions and garlic. Then divide the chicken and onions between the two crockpots and add the rest of the ingredients, and then cook the chili on low for 1 1/2 hours. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Add the cheese and sour cream and cook on low for 1/2 hour more. Then follow the instructions and mash half the chicken and beans. I hope you enjoy!!
One of the best white chili recipes I've ever made. There is a nice depth of flavor here that many white chilis lack. My husband was crazy about this chili, too, so this recipe is going into my favorites board on Pinterest.
This sounds delicious, what kind of beans are white beans, please... the same that you find in baked beans which we call haricot beans in the UK (navy beans in US, I think?
This really is DELICIOUS. The chili powder colors it orange, but I still enjoy that real “chili” flavor.. The cheese always works and sour cream lightens the color. I shared the recipe with along the east coast and one friend plans to use it for the Super Bowl. I made the first batch for my sister and then a pescatarian version for me using “chicken” seasoning. So YUM, I wanted to lick the bowl. Salsa Verde is cheaper because you will have leftover salsa to make another batch of chili! I roasted drumsticks, and that was cheaper and came out fine. I will try a rotisserie chicken next time just to try something different. HIGHLY RECOMMEND recipe!!!