This Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili comes together in just a few minutes, but tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen. It's healthy, delicious, and filling.
This recipe. Yum. I could eat it every night. Beans, chicken breast, and lots of spice and tang from a yummy homemade green salsa. I like to pack mine with cilantro, onions, more jalapenos, avocado, and a touch of cream for serving and then always freeze up leftovers in individual containers for quick lunches. I also adore serving this slow cooker white bean chicken chili over rice, couscous, baked potatoes, and spaghetti squash.
What Is the Difference Between Chili and White Chili?
Many purists argue that any chili with beans isn’t a true chili. But even the International Chili Society, the founder and operator of the World Championship Chili Cook-Off, eventually expanded its competition in 2009 to include a “Homestyle Chili” category where the recipes must include beans. And, under its “homestyle” definition, both red and white chilis can claim the world championship title.
What usually makes chili white is the color of the beans -- you can experiment with different types of white beans in this recipe to find your favorite -- and the type of meat used. This easy white chicken chili recipe calls for chicken breasts, but you could substitute skinless turkey or ground chicken or turkey. Really, the spices and the slow cooker will help make any dish delicious.
What Makes White Bean Chicken Chili Healthy?
Garlic is packed with vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. It also contains smaller doses of many other nutrients. Studies have shown garlic can boost your immune system, increase bone density, and help protect heart health by lowering blood pressure and LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” levels. Researchers have found the compact cloves may even help ward off some cancers. And onions, garlic’s close cousins, provide many of the same benefits.
Similarly, studies have shown capsaicin, the compound that gives hot peppers their kick, can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure, among other health benefits, including its ability to boost your metabolism and curb your appetite.
Finally, cilantro and cumin can also help heart health. Studies show cumin can reduce LDL cholesterol and researchers have also found cilantro, which is packed with vitamins, can help lower blood pressure. So the spicy salsa that flavors this white bean chicken chili packs a punch in more ways than one.
What Are the Best Toppings for Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili?
One of the best things about this recipe is that you can finish it off with toppings that suit your tastes. As I said, I love adding fresh cilantro, jalapenos, onions, and avocado to pack my bowl with even more nutrients. Sliced green onions and an extra squeeze of lime could also add a bright note to the bowl. And, if you’d like a more-decadant dish, you could add cheese or a sprinkling of organic corn tortilla chips. Switching up your toppings is a great way to make leftovers feel fresh.
Can I Freeze Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili?
Absolutely! As I mentioned, this chicken and white bean chili freezes well, and I think the flavors get even better. According to the Serious Eats site, the key to freezing foods is to minimize the time it takes them to freeze and defrost. And the best way to do that is by freezing food flat in plastic zipper bags specifically designed for the freezer. They’re thicker than regular food storage bags and will help protect your luscious leftovers from freezer burn.
But before you fill your freezer bags, you should cool cooked chili in the fridge. Freezing it while it’s warm will raise the temperature in your freezer and could cause other foods to start thawing.
Ideas for Leftover White Chicken Chili
This chicken and white bean chili is awesome on its own or as a topping for many other foods, but if you want to repurpose the recipe, try some of these ideas:
- Quesadillas: Make a quick quesadilla using a low-carb tortilla, part skim mozzarella, and this chili filling. Just use a slotted spoon so you don’t add too much broth and get a soggy quesadilla.
- Stuffed sweet potatoes: White bean chicken chili is a tasty topper for regular potatoes and also makes a great filling for sweet potatoes, with the sweetness of the potato and the spiciness of the the chili pairing perfectly. Some cooks even like adding cubed sweet potatoes to the chili while it’s cooking.
- White bean and chicken soup: Try adding some extra chicken broth to thin the chili into a soup. If you find it needs more kick, add an extra dash of cumin and top your bowl with slices of fresh hot peppers.
- White chili scramble: Believe it or not, this is delicious with scrambled eggs for a spicy Southwestern-style breakfast.
No matter how you use it, this easy white chicken chili is sure to become a frequent go-to in your recipe repertoire.
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Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
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- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
- 20 oz. canned white beans, drained
- 1 U onion, minced
- 4 U garlic cloves, minced
- 1 U jalapeno, diced (seeded for less heat)
- 2 U poblano peppers, diced (seeded for less heat)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
- 1 U lime
- Option 1: Add everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred. Add back in and serve.
- Option 2: Add the onions, garlic, jalapeno, poblanos, cilantro, cumin, oregano, and 2 cups broth to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add this salsa, the chicken, beans, and remaining broth to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours and shred chicken when finished.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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