I remember reading somewhere that white chicken chili is basically the quiet Northern cousin of the tomato-rich red chili that most Americans are familiar with. Instead of the bright acidity of the tomato and the richness of the ground beef mixed with a large amount of spices, you get the light, comforting taste of chicken with more nuanced flavors. It doesn’t feel so much like Texas cowpoke fare as it does lunch at a bistro.
That said, this chili has a crave-worthy flavor all its own. The chicken makes this chili feel like a childhood comfort food, I love the heartiness you get from the beans, along with the sweetness from the onions. The Anaheim chile adds a nice little bite without being overpowering, though you can absolutely turn up the heat with a serrano pepper or two.
As a slow cooker recipe, this dish couldn’t be any easier! If you’re starting this recipe with raw chicken, you’ll want to start cooking it in the slow cooker overnight in the stock with the spices. When you wake up in the morning, it’ll be ready to shred!
When it comes to serving, I grew up always having chili with rice. (That might be a Hawaiian thing, but it’s great wherever you are!) Cornbread is a classic side for chili, and biscuits would be tasty with this, too. The toppings can be anything you want—cheese, sour cream, green onions, corn chips, avocados, or whatever you feel like having. Get creative here!
If you’re looking for a lighter spin on a classic dish, give this easy meal a shot!
Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 Anaheim chile, seeded and diced
Optional: 1-2 serrano chiles, diced (with or without the seeds)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs chicken thighs, cooked and shredded
6 cups chicken stock
1 TBSP oregano
1 TBSP cumin
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne, or more to taste
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 15-oz cans Great Northern beans
Put a sauté pan over medium heat, and cook the onions with a little bit of oil until translucent. Add in the peppers and the garlic, and stir and cook until the peppers are tender. Combine with all ingredients besides the beans in a slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Add the beans in the last hour of cooking, and stir to combine.
Serve with toppings of choice. Serves about 8.