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 😉 Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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
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.
- 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 cilantro
- Shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream for topping (optional)
- In a food processor or blender, blend 1 can of the drained beans with 1 cup of the chicken broth until pureed. Set aside.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the diced onion and sauté 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- For extra spice, swap the diced chilies for a similar-sized can of diced jalapenos.