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White Chicken Chili

This past weekend had some wonderful moments. I attended my first food bloggers conference, Food Blog Forum, which was amazing. I got to meet some of my favorite food bloggers from around the country, hang out with the always-fantastic Nashville food blogger crew, + learn tons of great information. What else went well? I ate lots of delicious food, from local restaurants + food trucks, which always makes me happy. And? I made this divine white chicken chili, which blew my mind with its awesomeness!

As much as I love the white chicken chili I’ve had at restaurants and at friends’ houses, I had never made it myself until this past sunday. While i’m bummed that this hasn’t been on regular rotation in our kitchen for the last few years, I’m thrilled that it will be now. It is rich, creamy, + hearty, with a lovely tanginess from the monterey jack, sour cream, + chiles. It was perfect for our fall football-watching food on Sunday, + the leftovers will make a wonderful comfort food dinner on the upcoming chilly fall nights. Everyone who sampled it gave two enthusiastic thumbs up, as did I, so I’m definitely labeling this recipe a huge success!

Note: This chili is mild, with just a hint of spicyness. If you want it spicier, I’ve included an option below for adding cayenne pepper to spice it up. I’ve tried it both ways – mild + spicy – and both are great!

White Chicken Chili

serves 4-6, adapted from gourmet


2 cans cannellini beans
2 cans navy beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional: if you want to make the chili a bit spicy)
two 4-ounce cans whole mild green chiles, drained + chopped
4-5 chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
1 1/2 cups grated monterey jack (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup sour cream


In a large 6-8 quart pot, cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat until softened. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add remaining 6 tablespoons butter, and melt. Whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in the broth and half-and-half, whisking constantly. Bring mixture to a boil and summer, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in hot sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper + cayenne (if using). Stir well. Add in the beans, green chiles, shredded chicken, + monterey jack cheese, + cook mixture over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Stir sour cream into chili immediately before serving.