Zero WW Point White Bean Chicken Chili

This is a white bean chicken chili, you may want to try something different. White beans, chicken, onions, garlic, and more go so well in here.  You can also keep this recipe warm in a crockpot.

a bowl of white bean chicken chili with cheese on top

If you were to guess, you might think that white chili is southern comfort food. After all, it’s a fact that chili made with white beans has been simmering on Southern stovetops forever, with chicken or turkey being favorite additions. However, it’s more accurate to say that white chili originated in the southwest.

Chili Originated in Texas

Many people think that chili originated in Mexico, but chili was originally made with beef and sold in San Antonio, Texas in the late 1800s.

The name chili comes from the Spanish chile con carne, which translates as “pepper with meat.” The first white chili popped up out west in the late 1980s, where it was viewed as a variation on southwestern cooking.

White bean chili was new – a sophisticated way to impress your dinner guests. It has been fully embraced by Southern cooks because who doesn’t love chili? And, who doesn’t like the idea of adding chicken?

White bean chicken chili in a bowl

What type of White Beans should you use in chicken chili?

There are four varieties of white beans. They can be used interchangeably in recipes. So, for example, if a recipe calls for navy beans, and you only have great northerns on hand, your dish will still come out just fine and taste delicious.

  • Navy (Pea) Beans – Small, oval-shaped, and cook quickly. They get creamy when cooked, making them perfect for thickening soups and stews, or pureeing in dips.
  • Great Northern Beans – Medium-sized beans with a mild, nutty taste and firm flesh that means they hold their shape better than navy beans.
  • Cannellini Beans – Larger and meatier. Because of their shape, they are sometimes referred to as white kidney beans. They are often used in Italian dishes like Minestrone.
  • Baby Lima Beans – Also called butterbeans. Small, smooth, and creamy with a rich, buttery texture and starchier. In the south, they’re often prepared with bacon or ham and served over rice.

What are the best toppings for White Bean Chicken Chili

What you put on top of your white bean chili is really your choice. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped avocado or guacamole
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack
  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • Add a crunch with sliced radishes.
  • Make it colorful with avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro, and cheese.
  • Add a little magic with a small garnish of salad – arugula, cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, a squeeze of lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil.

a bowl of white bean chicken chili and various toppings around it

Can’t get enough of chili? Here’s a whole bunch of hearty chili recipes.

Make some White Bean Chicken Chili today

This is the perfect dish to make if you are busy. You can leave it happily simmering away while you clean the house. Lift the lid and your kitchen will be filled with the zesty aromas of the Southwest. It’s also good to make ahead of time and will keep for a long time in your freezer. You will love this white bean chicken chili.

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a bowl of white bean chicken chili with cheese on top

White Bean Chicken Chili

You will love this white bean chicken chili. 
4.67 from 3 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: White Bean Chicken Chili
Servings: 8
Calories: 335kcal


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 small can diced green chilies (about 1/4 cup)
  • 14 ounces corn
  • 28 ounces white northern beans 2 cans


  • Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions to pot and saute for 8 minutes. Transfer garlic and onion to a crock-pot and add remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 3-4 hours on low. Remove chicken breast, shred, and replace. Cook for another 1-2 hours on low. Garnish with your choice of the following: green onions, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado or sour cream.


Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 855mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 9.9mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 3.5mg
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About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Emily Tiberi

    5 stars
    Thank you. TY, TY! My Momma could taste a dish an in time, create it. Often, impoving it. She didn’t let me in the kitchen much. I seemed to be clumsy, often cut myself or slop (her words) all over

  2. Kevin Carson

    Hominy is also a great alternative to beans in white chili. I like to slow cook several pounds chicken with onions and garlic till they fall off the bones, then stir in a gallon can of hominy with cumin, salt and pepper and a big jar of green salsa or restaurant-style lime and garlic salsa, heat it back up.

  3. Megan Greenwood

    4 stars
    I have searched everywhere for WBCC from Olga’s restaurant. I made this WBCC & it’s good & filling. It’s also 0 points on Weight Watchers, so I’ll make it again, of course. Give Olga’s WBCC a try, pretty please.

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