There are so many recipes I want to share with you right now, but I’m sitting here on my couch in flannel pajamas and two blankets, and I still feel freezing.  (Thankfully our power has not gone out at all.)  This week has been one of the coldest in our area in a really, really long time.  Schools are closed, workplaces are just getting back up and running.  I’m telling you, all I want right now is warmth.

This white bean chicken chili is from the very early days of the blog, and has been a favorite in our house ever since the first time I made it.  A big pot of this was exactly what we needed after a few days of being cooped up inside with two stir crazy kids.  It is warm, satisfying, and just a bit spicy.  Bonus: it is simple and easy to make, so if your brain is fried from finding ways to entertain kids inside for hours and days, you’ll still be able to make it without too much trouble.  I figured it was time to dig this favorite out of the archives for newer readers, especially those experiencing this crazy winter weather.  Here’s to staying warm…and here’s hoping for an early spring.


2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1-1½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 (15.5 oz) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken stock
2 (4 oz.) cans diced green chiles
1 cup reduced fat sour cream (or greek yogurt)
½ cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Fresh cilantro and paprika, for garnish


  • 01

    In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the chicken to the pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until it is no longer pink.  Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.  Add the remaining tablespoon of oil (if necessary) to the pan along with the onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, black pepper and cayenne and sauté 30-60 seconds more, just until fragrant.

  • 02

    Return the chicken to the pan along with the beans, chicken stock and green chiles.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Let simmer for 30 minutes.

  • 03

    When the chili is finished simmering, remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream and heavy cream or half-and-half.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  Serve warm, garnished with fresh cilantro and paprika as desired.

  • Sarah Toasty

    the chili looks like it would warm anyone up, hope the power stays on!

  • Amelia

    I love white chicken chili. It’s definitely a nice change from regular meat/ bean red chili. I like to make corn cakes on the griddle to go with ours. Warm & comforting!
    Hope you are finding a lot of baking projects to do with the kids. :) Stay warm up there!

  • White Chicken Chili is probably one of my favorite soups, but I can never find a recipe I love! I’ll have to try this!

  • Angela

    Thanks for sharing. I will definitely be making this this week. I live in the suburbs of Chicago and have two kids so I know what you are talking about. I usually only dine out on weekends but we actually went out to dinner last night just to get out. Cabin fever was setting in! Spring cannot come quick enough for me! :-)

  • annieseats

    Hope you are staying as warm as you can and that it warms up more soon!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    Luckily the temperatures are warming up here a bit. It’s supposed to be in the high 30s this weekend – that’s practically a heat wave! I love chili and this one looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  • Looks great, Annie! I’ll have to try your version soon. The temperature has finally creeped up into the double digits here in the Philly area!! Unbelievable how cold it’s been. We will all be jumping for joy when spring hits.

  • Mel

    I hear you, Annie. This cold is killing me! I should be used to it since we live in the Northern tundra of Minnesota but the Polar Vortex mumbo jumbo has brought the cold to soaring new heights (or should I say plummeting negative temps). This chili is still a family favorite of ours even after all these yours – glad you are loving it still, too!

  • Nikki Brenner Hunt

    I love this recipe and made it last night because my husband requested it. I was having to do a crazy google search trying to find this recipe from the early days on your blog. This may be my husband’s favorite recipe! Thanks so much.

  • Gcroft

    Sending you virtual warmth, London feels like summer in comparison!

  • Erin S

    I’m glad your power hasn’t gone out! Scary stuff. This looks perfect to warm you up, though! I am thinking this needs to be made in my kitchen ASAP. Even though I’m in Seattle where it’s 40 degrees I’m freezing all the time and always looking for things to warm me up. Pinning!

  • I’ve been making soup just so I have something to warm my hands over!! Chili is next this weekend.

  • Tracy

    This looks like a fantastic dinner!

  • stephanie

    Just made this for dinner. It’s a keeper! Very delicious and not too spicy. Thank you for sharing.

  • White chicken chili is the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter day! Stay warm!

  • Amber

    Thanks for sharing your WCC recipe. Our family loves this kind of chili and I’m always looking for new ways to make it to diversify a bit! I actually just made it on Tuesday when it was really cold! So thankful it’s warming up here too– the heater wasn’t quite keeping up and the little ones are getting a bit too much cabin fever! How were yours entertained?

  • Ciara

    This looks great! Perfect for our recent weather. We are about an hour north of you in Kokomo and I feel your pain with the cold. My blanket and I have been great friends this week. :)

  • Margaret

    Made this tonight – delicious! Added corn for more veggies :)

  • annieseats

    We did a lot of things – printed out worksheets and coloring pages, did lots of kid yoga videos on YouTube, and their favorite activity I think was snow painting. Basically I brought in big bowls of snow, packed it down and let them paint it with water colors as well as squeeze bottles filled with colored water. I think they would have done that all day if we had let them!

  • Mrs. Smith

    Thank you for this recipe, Annie. I just made it tonight and we all loved it, even my 1-year-old and my husband who is not overly fond of soup, unfortunately. But he gave it 4 to 5 stars out of 5!
    I wish you could send that weather here. TN doesn’t even have a winter and that makes this WI girl’s heart ache.

  • Darlene

    Just made this and can’t wait to serve it. Added some zucchini Annie and it turned a little green :D Hugs from Toronto

  • Leann C

    I have to admit right off the bat, I never write a review on anything – ever. With that being said, I had everything on hand to make this so I decided to give it a try. First of all, it went together in the blink of an eye – so simple! So much so that as I stirred in the sour cream, I stood there thinking, “This is just too easy to be good.” I am one of those old school cooks that has the delusion that you need to simmer soemthing for hours to achievereal flavor. Well, I got the shock of my life when I tasted this chili. Huge flavor. Great texture. Healthy. Easy to make with ingredients I generally have in the pantry any way. What more could you want? I have sent this recipe to everyone I know, with the message, “Make this!” I absolutely loved this chicken chili. I will make it again without hesitation and I encourage anyone looking for quick, healthy, easy, affordable AND delicious to do the same! You will be so glad you did.

  • Becky M

    Made this – loved it! Thanks for another great recipe, Annie! :)

  • Dawn Smith

    This was soooooo good!! Before I tasted it I said it wasn’t the most visually appealing meal I’ve ever seen but then I was eating my words with my second bowl. I’m telling my friends about this one for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  • I have made this a couple times now and LOVE it! It is so flavorful, quick and filling! Perfect on a cool night!

  • Anna

    I’m making this for our lunches this week! Its simmering on the stove now and smells delish! Thanks for the great recipe! Can’t wait to taste it!

  • I love this recipe – found it on your blog a few years back and it has become a tradition at our co-ed Christmas cookie swap every year. Planning to make it this week just for the family as we haven’t had it since last winter and I’m craving it. Yum!

  • addie

    I have this recipe in heavy rotation in my kitchen in the fall and winter months. I rarely write comments, but this soup/chili is so fantastic I had to comment here. My husband loves it as well!!

  • annieseats

    So glad to hear it!

  • Lindsay

    This chili was phenomenal! It might be my favorite soup – maybe even my favorite dinner at this point. So flavorful, warm, and slightly spicy. We added cornbread as a side, which was perfect! I cannot wait to make this again. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • defygrav12

    This is the best. I make it with three or four fresh Serrano chiles instead of the canned chiles, and half a red pepper, and it’s OUTSTANDING. quite the kick! I add some flour too to thicken the chili

  • Melissa Brooker

    This is phenomenal! I’ve been eyeing this recipe for years, but some reason never made it until i was perusing your chicken recipes trying to figure out what to do with some chicken breasts I had to use up and now I’m in love with it!

  • Alison Scootee

    Gurrrrrrrrl, I’m positive you don’t eat this amount of dairy product in one sitting anymore (not including Jenis of course) BUT this remains one of our favorite recipes of all time. Totally making it tonight because the snow is coming back and omg I’m never going to leave the house againnnnnnnnn