Easy White Chili

I like White Chili because it’s lighter than regular chili, with chicken instead of beef and white cannellini beans, instead of red kidney beans. I got this recipe from a cookbook called Quick & Easy Recipes, Entrees Food Writers’ Favorites, where Food Writers selected their favorite entrees to make. This one lives up the quick and easy name, using cooked chicken (rotisserie works great for this), canned beans and green chilies.

Beans are very nutritious, promote heart health and may prevent diabetes so it’s a good thing to eat them. They do have the unfortunate consequence of causing flatulence, due to the fiber and a compound called raffinose, which is hard to digest. If you don’t want to be a Stinkerbella, there are ways to head this act off at the pass. Use beans that have been rinsed and soaked (drain off water), drink lots of water and take the Dietary Supplement Beano.

This chili is the perfect thing to serve on those chilly Miami nights. I like to add a plop of sour cream to the top and serve it with either cornbread, flour tortillas or cheese quesadillas. The recipe calls for Monterey Jack cheese, but you can substitute with a cheese you have on hand; for me it was cheddar. This would be a great recipe to use up that leftover turkey from Thanksgiving in a couple weeks!

Easy White Chili

Recipe by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann




Cooking time






  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 jalapeno pepper (fresh or canned, seeded)

  • 1 can (4 ounces) mild green chilies, drained

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1 can (19 ounces) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese


  • Heat oil in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; saute 5 minutes, or until onion is tender.
  • Add jalapeno, green chilies, cumin, oregano, cayenne and salt. Cook 1 minute.
  • Stir in broth, beans and cooked chicken or turkey. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  • Stir in cilantro.
  • To serve, ladle chili into bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon of sour cream and 2 tablespoons cheese.


  • If you don’t have a jalapeno, you can substitute serrano chilies, but if you choose to not remove the seeds, this chili will be very spicy.

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Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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