White Chicken Chilli Con Carne - a lighter but just as tasty version of regular chilli - made with chicken and spices in a lightly creamy sauce. Finish it off with all of those regular chilli toppings!
Use rotisserie chicken and you can have this comforting dinner on the table in 45 minutes!
Regular chilli con carne appears on our menu at least once a week. Chris is the Chilli Con Carne master, and frankly I was getting a bit jealous.
So I decided to make my own white chicken chilli version!
Quite a lot faster to make then a regular chilli, it requires minimal simmering time and uses cooked chicken.
It's a fantastic comforting winter dinner, and I'd go so far as to say it holds its own against Chris's hugely popular chilli.
📋 What do we need?
- Chicken - you'll need the meat from a whole cooked chicken, or from 4 cooked breasts or 4-5 cooked thighs. I usually use rotisserie chicken.
- Chillies - jalapeños are the more traditional choice for this type of dish, but you can use whatever chillies you prefer. I used green Fresno chillies as I couldn't get hold of jalepenos.
- Beans - I use cooked cannelini beans in a tin or carton that have been drained and rinsed. You can use dried cannelini beans that you've cooked yourself if you prefer.
🔪 How to make this White Chilli Chicken
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Fry onion in a little oil, then add in garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, chopped jalapeños and a chopped yellow bell pepper and fry again for a few minutes.
- Add stock and simmer for 10 minutes, then add cooked cannelini beans and heat through.
- Add milk and cooked shredded chicken plus a squeeze of lime juice. Heat for a few more minutes until everything is piping hot.
👩🍳PRO TIP If you want to thicken your chilli, stir in a cornstarch slurry of 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 4 tbsp of cold water.
I love to serve my chilli with lots of toppings - such as tortilla crisps, finely chopped red onion, lime, sour cream, grated cheddar and avocado!
🍽️ What to serve it with
- Boiled rice
- Tortilla Crisps or Nachos - try these lighter homemade nachos
- Jacket Potato
- or even with a side of Crispy Baked Oven Chips
This is worlds apart from the minced beef and tomato version of chilli, but still works really well with all of the regular chilli trimmings like sour cream, coriander and grated cheese.
If you like it really spicy, add in some dried chilli flakes too. If you're the other end of the scale, you can always leave out the chillies entirely (although I'm not sure you can call it chilli then :-)).
If I'm cooking for the kids, I'd make this one with half a chopped and de-seeded jalapeno, then serve it with finely chopped chillies for the grown ups.
🍲 More fantastic Spicy Chicken recipes
Stay updated with new recipes!
Subscribe to the newsletter to hear when I post a new recipe. I’m also on YouTube (new videos every week) and Instagram (behind-the-scenes stories & beautiful food photos).
White Chilli Chicken Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 regular onion - peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 ½ tbsp cumin
- ½ tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 jalapenos - chopped finely (just use one jalapeno and remove the seeds if you don't like it too hot)
- 1 yellow bell pepper - de-seeded and chopped in chunks
- 720 ml (3 cups) chicken stock
- 600 g (21oz) tinned (cooked) cannellini beans - , drained and rinsed
- 120 ml (½ cup) milk - full fat or semi-skimmed
- Meat from one whole cooked chicken - ,shredded (remove the skin) - this is about 500g (1.1lbs)
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 4 tbsp cold water to make a slurry - (optional)
- Boiled rice
- Tortilla crisps
- Fresh coriander - cilantro roughly chopped
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Sliced jalapenos
- Heat the 1 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan, add in the chopped onion and fry for 5-6 minutes on a medium heat, until the onion softens.
- Add in the 2 cloves of minced garlic, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, 1 ½ tbsp cumin, ½ tbsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground ginger, 2 chopped jalapeños, and the yellow pepper chunks.
- Stir and cook for 3 minutes, until the spices start to release their fragrance.
- Add in the 720ml (3 cups) stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the 600g (21oz) cannellini beans and cook for a further 5 minutes, until heated through.
- Stir in the 120ml (½ cup) milk, then add in the shredded cooked chicken. Bring to the boil again and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice.
- If you'd like the sauce to be thicker, stir in half of the cornflour slurry. Add the rest if needed.
- Turn off the heat and serve over boiled rice with some tortilla crisps. If you like toppings, try some of these suggestions: fresh coriander, grated cheddar, sour cream, avocado, red onion, jalapeno slices.
- Use cooked shredded pork or chicken thighs (instead of the shredded meat from a whole chicken).
- Swap out the yellow bell pepper for red or green peppers
- Swap out the cannelini beans for butter beans or haricot beans. You could even use red kidney beans if you like.
- Add extra veg - such as courgette or canned or frozen sweetcorn. Add them in with the yellow peppers.
If you're doubling the recipe, it will take 5-10 minutes longer to cook altogether (slightly longer time to soften the onions and heat through the chilli). Nutritional Information is per serving (serves 4) - without the serving suggestions of rice, cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, coriander or jalapenos.
This Post was first published in Sept 2016, updated in Feb 2021 with new photos, extra hints and tips, improvements to the recipe and a recipe video.
Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.
What do you think about adding cut up butternut squash?
Hello! I accidentally came across your website when googling for a roast veggie soup recipe. I’ve now saved 10 recipes to my phone from you! They all look amazing. Anyway, I have just made this white chili chicken dish - it’s SOOO good !! We are obsessed with Mexican in our house so this is going to be on high rotation for sure !! Thanks and can’t wait to make the other 9 things I’ve saved 🤣😉 Tania
Sophie Bevan says
Delicious and enjoyed as leftovers two days later!!
gwen randles says
Really like this idea of using chicken for a change, one for the girls? Enjoy all you recipes Nicky, food for living in the real world!
Lovely and simple to make. Making this again today.
I made this and my family just loved it ❤️
Can this be frozen I wonder........?
hi, just wondering if this recipe is freezable? thanks
Nicky Corbishley says
Yes, the recipe freezes well, but I wouldn't freeze it if you're using leftover chicken from another dish to make the recipe (it's not a good idea to cook the chicken, cool it, reheat for this recipe, then cool, freeze and reheat a second time).
Chilli con carne is one of my favorite meals to batch cook. Tried this one for a change and it's a keeper. Thank you.
I made this for my wife and son last weekend. It was a hit. They want me to make it again this weekend. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Nicky Corbishley says
Fab!! I haven't made it in ages, I think I'll make it this weekend too!
What is half a cup of milk? I,m surprised on an English blog to find American measurements!
Nicky Corbishley says
Hi Julie, even though I'm English, more than half of my readers are from the US, so I try to include both English and US measurements. Just putting the the US measurement for the milk was an oversight that I've corrected now, thanks for the heads-up 🙂