White Bean Chili

Total Time:
4 hr 5 min
20 min
2 hr
1 hr 45 min

10 to 15 servings

  • 1 pound dried navy beans
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green chiles (fresh or canned)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

Rinse beans well, cover with cool water, and soak for 2 hours. Drain. Put the beans in large pot with the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat.

In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and chiles and saute for 5 minutes. Add chile mixture to pot with beans. Add the chicken, cumin, oregano, pepper, white pepper, red pepper flakes, and cilantro. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Serve with cornbread, if desired.

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    247 Reviews
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    White beans from Paula Dean go figure
    I did the recipe as it stated from scratch, no cans. By the time the beans were completely cooked the chicken was mush throughout and the jalapenos were non-existant. I recommend cooking the beans first or using canned because it cooks too long with dry beans and ruins the rest of the dish. Also had to use 8 ccups of broth due to 1 pound of beans (too many)soaked up all 5 cups this recipe called for.
    Make this all the time during winter, excellent every time. Pot doesn't last more than 2 days with just me & spouse. Thanks again Paula for another "GREAT" recipe
    I made this recipe for my 2nd annual chili cook-off party and won FIRST PLACE. It really was absolutely delicious and so different from all the other submissions at my party. Thank you Paula Deen!
    I didn't have any green chilies or white pepper. And I used 1 can of garbonzo beans and 1 can of white Northern beans (all I had), and this was absolutely super! It's a WOW recipe for sure! This would even make 'broccoli' taste good... may try it, lol. Thanks Paula.
    I also 'smashed the beans' beforeputting in the pot because we don't like the 'whole bean' in foods, and it came out nice and thick... instead of soupy like others have cooked it.
    Great Chili!

    I used two cans of great northern white beans since I didn't have any dry beans. Poblano and jalapeno for the green chilis. Red and Vedallia onion.

    Keeper recipe!
    Very good as is, no variations - I recommend.
    Very very good! I omitted the green chile and added six cups of stock. I only used 1/4 stick of butter to sauté the onion and garlic (I used a little extra garlic. so delicious
    I make this recipe when I have leftover chicken. I also use canned beans. It is even better the second day.
    This soup is awesome! I used 3 cans of beans so I was able to cook it in less than an hour!
    I love this chili. I make a double batch and share it with friends and family, they love it too. I like to add extra cilantro!
    Ordinary as her Savannah restaurant. I had so much better chili.
    Yum o!!! I did just what the recipe said,except I'm not a big meat eater so I omitted the chicken. I did use the slow cooker for six hrs after socking the beans for 2 hrs .Soo good and easy!! will make again.
    I used dried beans and I let them soak about eight hours changed the water once well really it soaked up all the water the first time. I then put everything into my slow cooker and cooked it on low about 6hrs. I used 2 cans of green chiles and that wasn't spicy at all to me just goes to show others who complained of spice just have different tastes. I used almost a whole carton of low sodium chicken broth that I had leftover. I think next time I will use regular, because to me the beans needed some salt. I served it with hot sauce on the side cause I like heat and with cornbread. I liked the flavors although the beans tasted like they would be even better with a pork or smoked sausage instead of chicken. I think the dish tastes even better the next day!
    This recipe is one of my favorite's especially on a cold day!!!! The only thing that you have to modify in this recipe is the pepper. Adjust! Adjust! Other than that I give it 5 stars! DELICIOUS!!!!!
    I used this recipe as a base. I cut back on the green chiles, using a 7 oz can. I upped the chicken broth to 6+ cups, because it gets absorbed by the beans and becomes too thick to my liking. Then I throw in some corn, green and red peppers, and black beans to give it color and more vegetables. Sour cream goes in at the end. The basic recipe may claim 10-15 servings, but I am single and I go through a pot very quickly!
    Used 4-5 can canned white beans and rotisserie chicken breast. Used pablano fresh pepper. Top ped w/Montery Jack Cheese and Tortilla Strips LOVE! 
    A gal at church made this for a chili cook off and I was HOOKED! My daughter who "doesn't like chili" LOVED it and I'm making it right now. I modified it a bit by adding one 14.5 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes and one 28 oz. can of tomatillos and I used lintels instead of white beans (I didn't feel like pre-soaking anything, lol. The smell in the house is wooonnnnderfuuull! Ms. Dean would be proud to sit around this kitchen table. ;-
    Great tasting chili that is easy to make.
    WONDERFUL!!! I didnt think my kids would eat it but the whole pot was gone in one night my mother-in-law even loved it. Used canned beans instead of dried beans and cooked the chicken breasts in the broth with the onion and spices and reused it for the chili. Added some corn bread YUM!
    I have been trying to provide my family with healthier options but at the same time not feeling deprived. so they wanted chili. I picked this recipe and it was really good. I work with dried beans a lot and opted to soak them over night in water and to change the water once. I know the peppers were a lot so, I used 2 fresh poblano peppers and 2 serranos.. It was very flavorful. My husband and I love spinach, I took a handful of baby spinach and put it in the bottom of both of our bowls before serving and it wilted on its own while giving us a little bit more nutrients. :
    This is a fabulous recipe and easy to customize. I use a little less pepper and spice...only because my parents can't handle it! I throw in a bag of frozen corn. I used Bush's canned navy beans and pulled rotisserie chicken from the deli. Makes it quick and easy. It's great with cheese, sour cream, and hoecakes!
    This was delicious, made it in the crockpot, used olive oil not butter and just a teaspoon, no cilantro either. Easy and tasty!
    This was so good, but very hot. Less peppers next time
    Very Good went over great
    So good, so easy!!!
    Yum. Other reviewers pointed out two potential errors in this recipe - the quantity of peppers and white bean cook time. 
    Cook time: Even though most sources recommend soaking and cooking white beans a lot longer than this recipe, it worked fine for me as written.  
    Peppers: Some say Paula's cookbook calls for 1.5 peppers, not 1.5 cups. This seems plausible because I cooked it with 1.5 cups - 3 poblanos, 2 jalapenos - and it was HOT. Especially the night I made it - your forehead would sweat eating it! 
    I'd recommend 1.5 fresh peppers or a small can of diced green chiles for mild tastes, and double that or more for spice lovers. 
    4 stars because, as some others said, this is definitely good but I expected a more complex taste with all the different spices in this recipe. It's also very.. white. Not a ton of eye appeal.
    I made this recipe for a pot luck chili contest in our community and won FIRST PRIZE! The chili is very tasty! I followed the directions exactly!!
    Thanks for the awesome recipe!!
    This was a hugh hit with the family, they polished it off! Since we are not butter users (I used oil instead of butter to sauté the garlic and onion, I substituted oil. I never thought I would ever make a Paula Dean recipe since we stay away from white flour, butter, and sugar. This was an awesome recipe, I will definitely make it again.
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