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The Best Healthy White Chicken Chili | THM-E

This healthy White Chicken Chili recipe is a great make-ahead meal, perfect for fast family dinners or a cozy winter dinner party.

Do you remember the 1990s?

Our hair was a lot less big than in the 80s thanks to our friends Rachel and Monica.

We sure did love our flannels.

And Tex-Mex cuisine was exploding!

At least, it was in Maryland and Virginia where I lived during that time.

Maybe in other parts of the country, it was already a big thing?

But in my neck of the woods, it seemed like everywhere I turned there was a new restaurant with Texican food.

I still remember the first time I tasted chili that was made from chicken.

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Crock of low fat white chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro, cheese, green onions on a plate with blue tortilla chips.

Without tomatoes!

My mind was blown.

I knew I needed to figure out how to make that recipe at home.

The recipe I created still lives in my personal recipe binder, one of my favorite wedding gifts.

Personal recipe book with a handwritten recipe for White Chicken Chili

If you don’t have your own personal cookbook, I highly recommend getting one like this!

There are plastic sleeves where you can slip in recipe cards, and also pages you can write on to copy recipes you find online.

You can even punch holes in recipes you print from a blog! (wink wink)

That recipe up there is delicious, but when I stopped eating refined wheat flour and started eating way more veggies, I needed to make some changes.

Crock of THM FP white chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro, cheese, green onions on a plate with blue tortilla chips.

How to Make White Chicken Chili Healthier

If you scroll back up and take a look at my original recipe, you’ll notice I thickened it with flour.

Also, the only vegetable was one lonely onion.

If you’ve tried my All Meat Chili recipe, then you know I love adding bell peppers to my chili.

So this is exactly where I began making my recipe tweaks.

Bowls of white beans, chopped chicken, diced canned green chiles on a counter with bell peppers, onion, lime, garlic, and broth

I’ve added one red bell pepper and one green bell pepper which add some great flavor and a little pop of color.

Bell peppers are super healthy with lots of vitamin C and antioxidants.

But then I get sneaky.

The sisters who wrote Trim Healthy Mama are famous for sneaking all kinds of veggies into their recipes!

I borrowed a page from their playbook…

Hand holding a blender cup filled with frozen cauliflower

Why yes, that is frozen cauliflower in that blender cup.

Just add some warm water and blend it on high for about a minute.

Blender cup filled with pureed frozen cauliflower and water.

And now you’ve got some hidden veggies for your healthy white chicken chili.

Talk about boosting the vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber!

I promise you that no one will ever know unless you tell them.

Some fresh jalapeno pepper is another super healthy addition to my updated white chicken chili.

Sure, the jalapeno adds a little bit of kick.

But did you know jalapenos have earned superfood status because they can boost your metabolism and even help reduce inflammation?

If you don’t like your food spicy, just use the outer parts of the jalapeno. Trim off the white membranes and watch out for those seeds…

Have I ever told you about the first time I made guacamole on my own?

Coincidentally, it was in the 1990s, and I’d never used a jalapeno before.

I was new to making anything other than tacos!

Well.

I chopped up the whole. jalapeno. pepper. and added every last one of those seeds to my fresh guacamole…

Oh man, it was spicy!

I couldn’t eat more than a tiny bit of it.

Fortunately, my hubby and brother-in-law love spicy food!

So just be careful about how many jalapeno seeds you add to your chili.

A little goes a long way.

Tips for Preparing This Healthy Chili Recipe

The only prep work for this simple chili recipe is a little bit of chopping.

Crockpot with diced red and green bell peppers and diced sweet onions

I like to chop my onions and peppers small for soup and chili recipes.

These peppers are about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch cubes.

Then the jalapenos get minced up even smaller.

Canellinni beans, green chiles, chopped chicken breast, and seasonings in a crockpot for white chili.

Be sure to rinse and drain the beans.

That liquid is really salty and starchy.

But don’t drain off the liquid from the diced green chiles.

It’s delicious!

One of my favorite hacks for deliciously cooked chicken can be found at Costco.

Did you know you can buy a 3-pound vacuum-sealed bag of rotisserie chicken breasts?

Amazing!

It makes soup season an absolute breeze.

Wooden spoon stirring together the uncooked ingredients for white chicken chili in a crockpot

After adding all the seasonings and broth, go ahead and pour in the cauliflower puree.

Give it all a good stir, set the crockpot to high, and let it cook for 4 hours.

If you want, you can do all the prep work the night, put the crock in your refrigerator without cooking.

Then, just set the slow cooker on low in the morning and let it cook for 8 hours instead.

Dinner will be ready when you are!

Thicken The Chili After Slow Cooking

I’ve ditched using refined wheat products so needed a different way to thicken this healthy chicken chili recipe.

Not only will this trick thicken up the chili, but it also adds some wonderful flavor too!

Melted cream cheese mixture pouring from a pan into a crockpot of cooked white chicken chili

When the chili is done cooking, place some Neufchatel cheese and unsweetened almond milk in a saucepan.

Set the heat to medium-low and let the cheese melt, stirring occasionally.

Whisk it smooth, then stir the cheese sauce into the chili.

How to Serve White Chicken Chili

This recipe is easy, delicious, and healthy!

Basically my favorite kind of recipe.

You can enjoy this chili straight from the crockpot.

If you want, set out some garnishes like fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, sliced green onions, diced avocado, purple onion, and tortilla strips.

I made this chili for a winter dinner party and created a whole “Top Your Own Chili” bar!

Spoon scooping up a mouthful of white chicken chili with melted cheese from a bowl sitting on a patterned plate

If you follow Trim Healthy Mama, it’s an E-meal recipe.

That means it has healthy carbohydrates thanks to beans and non-starchy vegetables, and it only has 5 grams of fat per serving.

Skip fatty toppings like shredded cheese and avocado to avoid turning this into a crossover (XO).

I love topping my bowl with chopped fresh cilantro and green onions with just a tiny sprinkle of shredded cheese (maybe a Tablespoon).

Be sure to leave a star rating and review after you make the recipe!

This helps other people to find and enjoy it too.

Plus it means the world to us!

Crock of low fat white chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro, cheese, green onions on a plate with blue tortilla chips.

The Best Healthy White Chicken Chili | THM-E

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

This healthy White Chicken Chili recipe is a great make-ahead meal, perfect for fast family dinners or a cozy winter dinner party.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large jalapeno, minced (remove seeds and membrane before mincing)
  • 13.5 oz diced canned green chiles (do not drain)
  • 3 - 15.5 oz cans white beans (great northern, canellinni, navy), drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 6 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped*
  • 4 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth or bone broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 32 oz. frozen cauliflower
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 6 oz. Neufchatel cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Lightly spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray.
  2. Add onions, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, canned green chiles, beans, chicken, vegetable base, oregano, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  3. In a blender, 2 cups of warm water and 32 oz. frozen cauliflower and blend on high speed until pureed. You may need to do this in two batches if your blender is small. Stir the puree into the chili ingredients.
  4. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  5. Just before serving, place the Neufchatel cheese and almond milk in a small saucepan and melt over medium low heat. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Stir cream mixture into the chili, test the seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste (I like to start with 1/2 tsp of each because you can always add more but you can't take it away!).
  7. Garnish as desired with chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, diced avocado, diced tomato, etc.**
  8. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

* I like to use the packages of rotisserie chicken breast from Costco to make this recipe super simple!

** This recipe is a THM E and contains 5 grams of fat. Adding garnishes such as cheese and avocado will make this a crossover (XO) meal. Still healthy and on plan!

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Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 259Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1.3gCholesterol 10mgSodium 497mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 8gSugar 4.5gProtein 24g

Please note that we are not medical or nutritional professionals. We include nutrition information for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. However, due to wide variations in brands, nutrition data is subject to change for every user. Nutrition data is calculated using My Fitness Pal Pro and we subtract all sugar alcohols from erythritol and xylitol from the final carb count because that is how THM calculates carbs. Please refer to our complete Nutritional Disclosure for more details.

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Friday 4th of February 2022

[…] Simply2moms have the main course: The Best Healthy White Chicken Chili […]

Pamela

Sunday 30th of January 2022

I made this for dinner last night using the handwritten recipe in your binder but used GF flour since I’m off wheat. It was the coldest night we’ve had in Florida, in the 30s, so a perfect meal with cornbread. I didn’t have The green chilis but had some green chili enchilada sauce that I put in. It was so delicious. I’m off tomatoes for a while (migraines) so it was so great to have this chili on a cold day.

AnnMarie

Monday 31st of January 2022

Hi Pamela - I'm so glad you loved Anne's recipe! You'll have to check out some of her others...she's got some great ones. Hope it warms up for you soon in Florida. It's been cold here in North Carolina too. I'm ready for spring! Have a great week.

Jessica Starr

Saturday 29th of January 2022

Ohh this looks amazing! I will definitely be trying this one!

AnnMarie

Monday 31st of January 2022

Thanks Jessica! It's a family favorite...hope your family loves it too!

Jen

Saturday 29th of January 2022

Yum! Chili is one of my faves! And I love having a healthy option like this. It looks DELISH! Pinned.

Anne

Saturday 29th of January 2022

Thanks for pinning, Jen! I love sneaking veggies in where my family won't notice them... LOL This was another fun month of our dinner club!

stacy

Saturday 29th of January 2022

This recipe looks SO GOOD. Like get in my belly good. I can't wait to make it!

Anne

Saturday 29th of January 2022

I know you're gonna love it, Stacy!

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