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Cozy White Chicken Chili

It's chili season, y'all! Last year I posted my "No-Fuss Porch Chili" which is, to me, as classic of a chili you can get. It's one of my most popular recipes and it's definitely popular in the Slo house once the temps drop and everyone is feeling cozy.

Having said that, there's always room to change things up and take a different route from the classic recipes. My Cozy White Chicken Chili is SO different from the porch chili, but it's just as easy and packed with flavor. Shredded chicken sits in a thick broth spiked with the flavors of the southwest including cumin, chili powder, and green chiles. It's bolstered with the heartiness of beans and you can top it off with cool sour cream, a sprinkle of cilantro, and an extra kick of heat with hot sauce. I love serving it with a heaping pile of tortilla chips too! It gives it almost a chicken tortillas soup feel, but it's a bit heartier and filling. Enough to warm you up on cool fall and winter nights.

This comes together so quickly so it's great for a weeknight meal. It's also excellent for easy lunches or dinner all week because, like all chili, it gets better as it sits. I made a batch of this to re-test before posting the recipe and it fed me all week. I was one happy gal.

If you're looking for a fresh take on the one pot wonder that is chili, give this Cozy White Chicken Chili a whirl. I think you're gonna love it!

Cozy White Chicken Chili
Makes ~ 6 servings
Cook time: 40-50 minutes | Prep time: 10 minutes

Click the file below to download and print the recipe

Cozy White Chicken Chili
Download PDF • 129KB

I recommend reading the recipe all the way through, including the recipe notes at the bottom, before you start cooking.


  • 1-1.5lbs. chicken breast

  • 4 C. chicken broth, divided

  • 2 TB butter

  • 1/2 tsp. (1 clove) minced garlic

  • 1/2 of an onion, diced

  • 2 cans of beans of choice, drained and rinsed (I like black beans and black eyed peas)

  • 1 TB chili powder

  • 1 TB cumin

  • 1/2 tsp. paprika

  • 1/4 C. + 1 TB flour (separated)

  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle or cayenne powder (or to taste)

  • 1 can green chiles

  • 1/2 C. half and half (or milk of choice)

  • 4-5 dashes of hot sauce (or to taste)

Accoutrements for serving (optional):

  • Sour cream

  • Chopped cilantro

  • Hot sauce

  • Avocado slices

  • Shredded cheddar cheese

  • Tortillas chips


  1. To cook the chicken, lightly oil the bottom of a medium to large dutch oven or other larger sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 4 minutes on one side, flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken broth, bring to a simmer then cook covered on low for about 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Alternatively, cook the chicken in an Instant Pot. See "Recipe Notes" below for instructions.

  2. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it to a plate and carefully pour or ladle the broth from the pan to a bowl or measuring cup to reserve for later.

  3. Add the butter to a large, high-sided pot (may be the same one from the chicken) and melt over medium to medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes.

  4. While the onions cook, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces with two forks.

  5. Once the onions are soft, add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and chipotle/cayenne pepper. Stir everything together to lightly toast the spiced for 1 minute then add 1/4 cup of flour. Stir continuously over medium-low heating for 1-2 minutes until the raw flour flavor is cooked out but the flour is not browning.

  6. Slowly add the reserved broth from step 2 back into the pan + the remaining 2 cups of broth. Stir or whisk continuously to work out any lumps of flour.

  7. Add the shredded chicken, green chiles, beans, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

  8. In a measuring cup, whisk together 1/2 cup of half and half and the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour until smooth. Add the mixture to the hot chili slowly, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Continue to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until the liquid thickens. It should be thicker than soup, but maybe not as thick as traditional chili.

  9. Add the hot sauce and check for seasoning. Add as needed.

  10. Ladle into a bowl and enjoy with a variety of toppings.

*Recipe notes + Variations*

To cook the chicken in an Instant Pot, add the chicken and 2 cups of broth to the machine and pressure cook on the chicken setting for 10-12 minutes. Once the chicken is done cooking, continue on to step 2 of the recipe above, remembering to reserve the cooking liquid. Each device is different so make sure to check you have the recommended amount of liquid for your specific device. Cooking time may vary as well based on the thickness of your chicken breast.

You can definitely split this up into two cooking sessions. Cook the chicken first then refrigerate the cooked chicken and reserved broth until you're ready to make the rest of the chili. I do this often.

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