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White Chicken Chili with Some Kick

It was seven years ago when I discovered the terrific recipe, "Kickin' Chicken White Chili," from the cookbook, 30 Day Gourmet’s BIG Book of Freezer Cooking, by Nancy Slagle and Carol Santee. Their recipe was instantly a hit in our house!

Fiery cayenne pepper, cumin, and chilies add some heat to the chicken, heart-healthy Great Northern beans, celery, and onion in this dish. And it's super EASY to make, in addition to being freezer-friendly! After a long day isn't it just the best to come home and know that you have a tasty homemade meal waiting for you in the freezer?! I also pulled this out of the freezer once to reheat for a family visit when we were pressed for time (The USDA recommends freezing soups and stews for up to 2-3 months for the best possible flavor and texture). So delicious and convenient!

I've made some minor adjustments to the original creation. Since I like to emphasize the beans in chili, I have added more Great Northern beans to this dish and have reduced the quantity of chicken that the original recipe calls for. I also prefer to use low-sodium chicken broth - and have included an extra 2 cups of broth to this soup - in addition to doubling the quantity of garlic, onion, and cayenne pepper. If you prefer to reduce the level of spice in this dish, you'll probably want to stick with just 1/4 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper - or omit it completely - because the chilies are already going to add some heat.

I'd love to know in the comment section what some of YOUR favorite fall and winter soups are! Happy cooking - and eating!

Yield: 4 servings


  • Canola oil (Or olive oil)

  • 2 cups white onion, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup sliced celery

  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced (About 6 cloves)

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

  • 1 4-ounce can of green chopped chilies, drained (Or 1 jalapeño pepper without the seeds, minced)

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Adjust to taste)

  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (Adjust to taste)

  • Dash of freshly ground black pepper

  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 3 15-ounce cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (Or 5 1/4 cups of cooked beans) (Cannellini or navy beans may also be substituted)

  • 1 tablespoon dried coriander


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick dutch oven or stock pot, using the medium heat setting. When the oil is hot, place the onions, celery, garlic, and chicken in the pot, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.

2. Next, add the green chilies, chili powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and ground pepper to the mixture - stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes (You want to coat these vegetables with this delicious seasoning). Then pour in the chicken broth, Great Northern beans, and dried coriander. Stir a few times, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring 1-2 times during the cooking process.

3. Adjust seasonings to taste. Remove from heat and serve. Enjoy!

This recipe has been adapted from the cookbook, 30 Day Gourmet's BIG Book of Freezer Cooking.

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