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January 14 2013 / Emily

White Bean Chicken Chili

A few years ago, my tailgate had a big chili cookoff before a late fall football game.  Fairly last minute, I decided to submit a chili.  The problem was, I’d never made chili before.  I paged through my crockpot cookbook and chose a white chili, then made some changes, substitutions and additions based on some other recipes online and my own choices.  I submitted it under the name “Not Gonna Win White Bean Chili,” which shows how confident I was.  And well, I was right, I didn’t win, but I got second place out of about 20 chilis!  Some of the judges told me they actually liked mine best – it stood out by being the only white chili there – but they wanted a more “traditional” chili to win.  Racists!  Anyway, it turned out really well, and I want to share it here.

Emily’s ‘Not Gonna Win’ White Bean Chicken Chili

4 cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed (15.5 ounce cans)
1 large onion, diced
4 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 jar Salsa Verde (16 ounce jar)
1 can diced green chiles (4 ounce can)
1 can diced jalapeños (4 ounce can)
1 can Rotel tomatoes with chiles (10 ounce can)
1 can white corn, drained (15.25 ounce can)
1 can yellow corn (vacuum packed 11 ounce can)
4 cloves minced garlic
½ teaspoon ground red pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese

This is SO easy!  Mix all the ingredients, except the cheese, into a crock pot.  Heat in crock pot on low 7-9 hours, or on high 4 hours.

Before serving, stir in 2 cups colby jack cheese until melted.  Serve.  Makes about 10 servings.


It has a little kick to it, but isn’t too spicy.  If you want to tone down the spice, replace the jalapeños with a second can of diced green chiles.  You can also get the mild Rotel tomatoes (I actually use store brand instead of Rotel brand, but you get the idea).  If you’re a spice lover, you can double the jalapeños and make any number of other changes to heat it up a notch!

It seems like every time I make this chili, I end up using a different type of salsa verde.  My grocery store doesn’t have a huge selection and it seems to vary, so if you can’t find a 16 ounce jar, no big deal.  Also if you use canned corn that isn’t vacuum packed, just drain it.  Not an exact science in crock pot cooking.

And I’m totally lazy… I use precooked canned chicken.  Don’t hate.  It’s good, quick and easy.  You can obviously cook your own chicken for this recipe, but be sure the chicken is already cooked before going into the crock pot.

In the past, I’ve used the Harris Teeter store brand for the chicken broth, but I was checking out the sodium quantity, and even the reduced sodium variety was still 570mg/cup.  I paid a little extra for the Pacific Organic Free Range Low Sodium Chicken Broth which was only 70mg/cup.

I recently checked the prices on dried/bagged beans and it really didn’t seem like it would be too much cheaper to prepare those beans, so I will continue with the ease of canned beans.

Can you tell I am lazy here?  I even bought pre-chopped onion.  This recipe will fill your recycle bin!

chili 1

all the ingredients I used

if you’re lazy like me, these are the only tools you need!


pour all your ingredients into the crock pot


mix them up


after letting it cook through for hours, add your cheese


stir it all together

chili final

serve and enjoy – great with a nice cold beer!

I have been eating this chili for two weeks now.  It makes a lot.  Could be more than 10 servings if you’re a lighter eater than I am, or obviously could be fewer as well for big appetites.  I’ve been pretty well satisfied and full with the serving size that pans out to about 10 servings though.

This is also great with cornbread, sour cream and/or avocados sprinkled over the top, but I don’t have all that around the house.



Leave a Comment
  1. Darrel Wells / Jan 14 2013 9:10 PM

    Thanks for a most excellent-looking recipe, Emily. I’ve been wanting to figure out how to make white chili, AND I just got a slow cooker for Christmas! Did you really mix in the cheese at the end?


    • Emily / Jan 14 2013 9:27 PM

      Yes, I mixed the whole bag of cheese right into the crock pot. You could certainly wait and put your preferred amount (or none) on each bowl as you eat though! I hope you enjoy – let me know!

  2. Darrel Wells / Jan 25 2013 2:06 PM

    OK, It’s in the slow cooker… We’re serving this and “regular” chili tomorrow night to some friends!

    • Emily / Jan 27 2013 11:03 PM

      How did you and your guests like it? Hope it turned out well!


  1. Overdue Recap « run. eat. nap. drink.

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