The Washington Post

White Bean Chicken Chili

White Bean Chicken Chili 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nourish Oct 8, 2014

Variations of chili are endless, and Ellie Krieger is always experimenting with different takes on it, but this tomato-less version has become her family's favorite. It is all white and green, with plump chunks of chicken, hearty white beans and a generous helping of flavorful, but mostly mild, peppers simmered with aromatic spices. A finishing punch of lime juice, a dollop of Greek yogurt (a healthful substitute for the typical sour cream) and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro give just the right cool contrast.

Make Ahead: The chili can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes 8 cups

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of excess fat, then cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 medium poblano peppers, seeded, white ribs removed, and finely diced
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Two 15.5-ounce cans no-salt-added white beans (such as cannellini or Great Northern), drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Green pepper hot sauce, such as Tabasco Green
  • 1/4 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add half of the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned but not quite cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Add another 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pot and repeat with the remaining chicken, adding the cooked chicken to the plate.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot; reduce the heat to medium, then add the onion, celery and the poblano and jalapeño peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano and coriander; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the white beans, broth and salt; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot; cook until the chicken is just done throughout, 5 minutes.

Stir in the lime juice, then add hot sauce to taste, depending on the heat of the poblanos and jalapeños used, which can vary widely. Taste, and season with salt, if needed. Top each portion with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro.

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Recipe Source

From registered nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Helen Horton.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 420

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 11g 17%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 65mg 22%

Sodium: 510mg 21%

Total Carbohydrates: 40g 13%

Dietary Fiber: 11g 44%

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 40g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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