Too late for the Super Bowl, but not too late for a cold winter night. White Chili has some similarities with a bowl of Texas Red, but it is more like a cousin to green chile chicken stew and chicken posole. They all use some of the same ingredients with the main difference being the use of beans, potatoes, or hominy. Susan and I first had a bowl of white chili many years ago in Santa Barbara, California, when we were attending a conference. We both thought it was delicious, but couldn’t figure out how to make it. Some time later, I found a recipe in a magazine. Over the years, I have made modifications to that magazine recipe, and this version comes from our family cookbook, Let’s Cook! Let’s Eat!


White Chili


  • 1 pound dry great northern beans
  • boneless chicken breast + 2 chicken thighs
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 7 ounce can diced green chiles (mild, medium, or hot according to your preference)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese + more for garnish
  • salt and pepper
  • sour cream (for garnish)
  • salsa (for garnish)
  • chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)


  1. Soak beans overnight.
  2. Boil the chicken in the chicken stock for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Drain and reserve the chicken stock. Cool the chicken and shred into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil, and then sauté the onions until translucent. Stir in the chiles, garlic, cumin, oregano, cloves, and cayenne. Sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add drained beans and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce to the simmer for 2 hours or until the beans are cooked through.
  5. When the beans are done, add the chicken and grated cheese, stirring until the cheese melts.
  6. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve in individual bowls with the additional cheese, sour cream, salsa, and cilantro as garnish.


Filed under Food, Photography, Recipes

7 responses to “WHITE CHILI

  1. Very nice, perfect for a cold winter day meal!

  2. skd

    This looks like a good heart warming dish. Ideal for the cold winter nights.

  3. This is just wht I need, mind you the weather seems to be taking a turn for the better

  4. It’s never too late for chili. Possibly my husband’s favorite meal- and your white chili looks healthy and robust!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s