Chicken and White Bean Chili

Bowl of White Bean Chili

This is a delicious and hearty soup that will warm your soul!  You are breaking all the cardinal rules if you don’t make the cheddar biscuits that accompany this soup, I’m serious!  Now this soup makes about 10-12 servings.  Don’t be shy, make the whole recipe.  It freezes amazingly well!  Before freezing, make sure you do not add the sour cream….sour cream does not freeze well at all.  Just add it after you thaw it and are warming it up on the stovetop!  This can be made one day ahead, making it the perfect dish when entertaining for a casual dinner.

Ingredients for White Bean Chili

I always shred my own cheese, it melts so much better.  You guessed it on the chicken, it is a roasted market chicken!  This soup comes together very quickly!!

Sauté the chopped onions in the butter….my mouth is watering right now!

After about four or five minutes of sautéing your onions, add the flour, chili powder, cumin, salt and white pepper.  Let it cook for about 4 minutes or so.  This will also help release all the oils from the seasonings for a deeper flavor.  Please stir often!

Add the chicken broth (while whisking…I just didn’t have enough hands here)….

And then the half and half and whole milk.  Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a low simmer for about fifteen minutes.  This is where the soup will start to thicken.  Stir often.

Now add the drained beans, green chilies, chicken and shredded cheese.  Stir.  If you love spice, then add a tablespoon or so of hot sauce, purely optional!   When the cheese has melted then add in the sour cream, but before adding the sour cream, be sure to….

temper your sour cream.  What does this mean?  It just means you are warming up the sour cream before putting it into the pot of hot soup so it doesn’t curdle.  We don’t want it to curdle.  So put a little of the hot soup in, mix it around, and the sour cream will be ready to go into your soup!  Now get a big bowl and enjoy! (don’t forget to make the cheddar biscuits…..)

Chicken and White Bean Chili
(adapted from a recipe on

3 14-ounce cans of white beans, drained
1 small can of diced green chilies
¼ cup butter
1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 ½ cups chicken broth or stock
1 cup half and half
1 cup whole milk
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder (optional, I just like the smoky flavor)
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (optional, if you don’t want all the spice don’t add it)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ to 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese for a less spicy version, or use Monterey Pepper Jack for more spice (this is what I use)
1 cup sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

Drain the beans and set aside.  Melt the butter in a heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until tender, about 15 minutes.  Add flour, chili powder, cumin, salt and white pepper and cook for about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring often.  Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, half and half and milk.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add white beans, chilies, chicken and cheese.  Once the cheese has melted add the sour cream.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes and ladle soup into bowl, garnish with cilantro if you are feeling sassy.



  1. Great job, Melissa. The asparagus appetizer & blueberry dessert will be on my list to prepare soon. They look fabulous.

  2. The white bean chili is one of my favorites! And it’s tasty without the chicken too. I love it with the cheddar cheese biscuits.

  3. Kellie Lynch says:

    Just had this for dinner tonight and it was really good! I think I tried to make it once off of but I flubbed it. I like it with the pepper jack cheese. And sorry Mel, I didn’t do the cheddar biscuits (hey, I made the chili:) but I will – they look fairly easy. Next up, the marinated flank steak tomorrow night. I’ll let you know how it goes:) Keep up the awesome job.


  4. Yay! I’m glad it turned out for you!! Let me know how you like the flank!

  5. dixie albright says:

    Hi Melissa ~ Am planning on making your chicken and white bean chili . . .and also the cheddar biscuits ~ but can’t find the recipe for the biscuits . . .dang. .. I know it’s on your blog somewhere.

    And thanks for your help! Just love your recipes. ~ Dixie (Jeff’s Mom)

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