White chicken chili is pure comfort food. The base is perfectly spiced, creamy, and filled with tender shredded chicken, white beans, green chilies, and corn. We do not use dairy to make this chili and don’t think it needs it as it just muddies the flavor. We also find that leaving out the dairy makes this white chicken chili a bit healthier. It is best left for serving. You can always add a handful of shredded cheese and sour cream to your bowl, as we did in our photos.
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, minced, about 2 tablespoons
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ¼ teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or chipotle powder, optional for heat
2 cups low sodium chicken stock, see our chicken stock recipe
3 (4-ounce) cans mild chopped green chilies
1 ¼ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast
2 (15-ounce) cans white beans like great northern beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 tablespoon masa harina or 1 to 2 small corn tortillas torn into small pieces, optional
1/2 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced, plus more to taste
Scallions, sour cream, avocado, shredded cheese for serving
Heat the butter or oil in a large pot (like a Dutch oven). Stir in the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, ground cumin, onion powder, oregano, salt, and cayenne pepper. After one minute, pour in the chicken stock and diced green chilies with their juices.
Bring the broth to a simmer, then submerge the chicken into it. Adjust the heat so that the broth is gently simmering around the chicken. Partially cover the pot with its lid and cook until the chicken is cooked through and tender; 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a clean work surface and allow it to cool enough so that you can shred it. Use two forks to shred the chicken into smaller pieces.
Adjust the broth to a low simmer and stir in the beans. Use a measuring cup or jug to steal about one cup of beans and broth from the pot, and then pour it into a blender. Blend into a smooth puree.
Pour the blended beans back into the pot. Add the shredded chicken and corn, then stir everything together and allow it to reheat.
Mix the tablespoon of masa with three tablespoons of water into a smooth paste, and then stir into the chili. If you are using corn tortillas instead of masa paste, tear the tortillas into small pieces and then stir into the chili. After a minute or so, the tortillas will disintegrate into the chili.
Taste the chili and then adjust with salt, pepper, or cayenne pepper.
Take the chili off the heat, and then serve with fresh lime, cilantro, and any other chili toppings you love.