Easy Leftover White Chicken Chili

easy leftover white chicken chili

So, slight confession. I actually initially developed this recipe using leftover turkey, not chicken. It’s ok though, it’s been tested and retested…and retested…using chicken. It’s delicious either way!

It’s ridiculously easy, healthy and freezable – which is key for me lately! With baby girl coming in a few months, I’ve been trying my best to think of ways to make life easier in those first few crazy weeks, and one of those ideas is freezer meals. LOTS of freezer meals. I’m planning on firing up our deep freeze and beginning to fill it with different meals, snacks and other things. On the list? Jerky, breakfast cookies, and obviously, a few sweet treats for those long solo nights when it’s just me, the baby, and the couch (nursing is hard work)!

You may not be thinking freezer meals any time soon, but at some point in time you will be faced with the dilemma of what to do with that leftover rotisserie chicken. White chicken chili!!

If you don’t have leftover chicken but you still want to make this, you’ll need two large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded. Here’s an easy way to do it in the slow cooker the night before.

The nice part about this recipe is that you likely have many of the ingredients in your pantry already. You can also totally customize the spice – I am notorious around here for making food that is WAY too spicy for my boys. There have been more than a few nights of red faces and panicked shrieks. Woops.

If you’re cooking for kids, or you’re not that keen on spice, you could leave out the jalapeno pepper altogether and just include the diced chilies. If you’re on the opposite side of the fence, put the whole jalapeno in, and swap the diced chilies for diced jalapenos ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Easy Leftover White Chicken Chili

Easy Leftover White Chicken Chili

The chili comes together in about 30 minutes – I’m all about those 30 minute meals!! If you’re prepping the night before, you can cut the time down even more by pre-dicing all of your veggies and measuring out the spices.

You can top your chili with whatever you like – our faves are sour cream, avocado and CHEESE! Lots of cheese. Use jalapeno monetery jack cheese for a little extra heat!

If you love this recipe, make a double batch next time and store half in the freezer – it’ll be perfect for a gloomy day when you just don’t feel like cooking.

Easy Leftover White Chicken Chili

Easy Leftover White Chicken Chili

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6-8 servings

A delicious way to use up that leftover rotisserie or cooked chicken - try this hearty and comforting chicken chili with white beans and jalapeno, all dressed up with sour cream, cheese and avocado. ย 

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15oz each) white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced and de-seeded*
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can (4oz) diced green chilies*
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3-4 cups (2 large chicken breasts) cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantroย 
  • Shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender, blend 1 can of the drained beans with 1 cup of the chicken broth until pureed. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the diced onion and sautรฉ for about 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the jalapeno, bell pepper, and can of diced chilies and cook for another 5-6 minutes, or until the pepper begins to soften. Add the cumin, chili flakes, cayenne pepper and black pepper, and cook for about 2 more minutes to allow the spices to release their aromas. Add the remaining chicken broth, bean puree, second can of beans and shredded chicken and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and add the lime juice and cilantro, stirring thoroughly. Serve immediately, and top with cheese, avocado and sour cream.

Once cooled, leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the fridge; you may need to add extra chicken broth while reheating if it has thickened up too much.

Notes

  1. For a milder chili, you can either leave out the jalapeno altogether, or add only half (de-seeded). For a spicier dish, add the seeds of the jalapeno as well.
  2. For extra spice, swap the diced chilies for a similar-sized can of diced jalapenos.
A delicious way to use up that leftover rotisserie or cooked chicken - try this hearty and comforting chicken chili with white beans and jalapeno, all dressed up with sour cream, cheese and avocado.
 

28 Comments

  1. Yay for white chicken chili! Looks delicious, Katherine! So awesome to have freezer ready meals for busy nights. I often do that with regular chili…I make a batch, it’s waaaaay to much for hubby and I and we freeze in portions. Those busy nights, there’s nothing like it….dinner is made! I love my stuff spicy too – bring it on!

  2. I definitely like it spicy, so I’m all over this recipe Katherine! And 30-minute meals are so perfect for busy work weeks! It’s so nice to come home at the end of the day and have supper ready to go in minimal time!

  3. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    30-minute meals are so necessary! Especially the freezer-friendly kind. And especially, especially the cozy kind because it’s freezing here! (Although not as freezing as where you are I’m guessing.). Love this!

  4. You are so smart to be filling your freezer for when Baby Girl comes. I wish I lived closer so I could help you fill it!!

    This chili of yours has my mouth watering! Looks like you’ve perfected it.

  5. I just tested positive for the flu, got home, I sit down and this is the first thing I see on my phone! It looks perfect and now Iโ€™m madd Iโ€™m to sick to cook

  6. this sounds like such a delicious freezer meal! i’ve been craving soupy things something fierce this week (i thought i was allergic to something, but i’m pretty sure it’s just a cold), and i’m wishing i had a bowl of this right now!

  7. The more chili recipes the better, this time of year! Looks SO amazing- definitely need to try!

  8. I love such spicy cozy meals this time of the year!! And I love that I can have it on the table in half an hour! I would serve it with some piping hot rice!

  9. This looks so yum Katherine,so quick and easy to make and I LOVE spicy foods so I definitely won’t be cutting out on the chilli.๐Ÿ˜‹ So perfect for a cold evening.
    Hope you are having a great week ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Perfect recipe for those leftovers Katherine! Love how easy it is too!

  11. marcie@flavorthemoments

    I would love this chili with turkey or chicken — they’re interchangeable! My family isn’t into chili so normally I’ll serve it for dinner and I get the rest…which I’m pretty happy about! I like freezing half a batch for just myself for lunches too. You’re so smart to stock your freezer before the baby comes and you’re so right…nursing IS hard work!

  12. Ben|Havocinthekitchen

    What? You put jalapeno, chilies, chili flakes, and cayenne in one recipe? No wonder you boys often turn red! I would become a dragon after such a combo haha;) Anyway, despite all the heat (which can easily be adjusted as you suggest), this is a very comfort and delicious meal, Katherine!

  13. This chili sounds amazing. I love spice, so I would definitely be all about this recipe! XOXO ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. You are really planning ahead, but the next few months will months will probably fly by! It looks like your family will be eating well with all the prep you are doing. I always have left over chicken. I need to use some to make this delicious chili!

    • Mostly just planning right now, haha when it comes to actually making all of these plans we’ll see how far I get! But it’s so true – the next few months will definitely fly by!! I hope you get a chance to try the chili!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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