White Winter Chili

5 stars
(4 ratings)
White Winter Chili

When I was buying our Christmas tree (at Costco) earlier this month, I must have had a look of preemptive exhaustion on my face. If I am being honest, I was feeling a bit bah-humbug: somehow already dreading the pine needles and the chore of January undecorating even before I’d left the very un-Hallmark movie Costco parking (tree) lot. Apologizing for my inner Grinch, I turned to the guy helping me and remarked, “December is really tough on moms.” 

To which he replied, “I think all months are tough on moms.”

The angels rejoiced! I had been seen! Sometimes validation comes from a 20-something Costco employee (who then went out of his way to help me select the tallest and fullest tree on the truck.). 

But did I have to feel this way? 

With the tree firmly tied to my roof, I drove away and made a promise to myself to spend the rest of December without the overwhelm that comes when an entire season is masked as a giant magic-making, money-spending to-do list. 13 years into this parenting thing, and I feel like I’m finally enjoying the season with a little more calm. 

Something that remains on my to-do list is making this White Winter Chili. It’s one of the most cozy, satisfying, flavorful weeknight recipes I know. It is the opposite of holiday overwhelm, as it’s perfect for a simple gathering (guests can bring a salad and dessert) or as a make-ahead dish ready to reheat after the long winter concert at school.

Warm up a wintry night with a chicken chili full of Tex-Mex flavors. A toppings bar ensures everyone can make it their own!

  • Active Kitchen Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 2 lb chicken breast
  • 3 (15 oz) cans Great Northern or cannellini beans
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • tortilla chips (optional)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • green onions (optional)

Supper Smarts:

  • Speed it Up: Shred the chicken using stand mixer with paddle attachment (or use a rotisserie chicken and skip cooking the chicken!)

  • Leftover Love: Freeze leftovers in small containers for easy, pre-portioned meals ready to enjoy anytime.

  • Kitchen Helper: Use garlic paste or frozen garlic cubes to cut chopping time.

  • Make Ahead: Make this whenever and eat within a few days — the flavors will deepen while it sits.


Cut 1 large onion in half, slice ends away, and peel. Dice onion into small pieces.
Smash and peel 4 cloves garlic. Chop into small pieces.
Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and ½ tsp kosher salt. Cook 3 minutes.
Add 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, and ½ tsp ground black pepper. Cook for one minute, stirring often.
Add 3 cups chicken broth, 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, and 2 lb chicken breasts.
Cover the pot and poach the chicken for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain 3 (15 oz) cans Great Northern or cannellini beans in a large colander.
Measure 2 cups of beans into a large mixing bowl (save the rest for later). Mash beans until smooth.
Remove chicken from the pot. Set on cutting board and let cool slightly.
Shred chicken into thin strings, using two forks to pull the meat apart.
Add shredded chicken, whole beans, and mashed beans to the pot. Stir well.
Let chili simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with toppings such as shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, and tortilla chips. TASTE & SHARE!

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Shaena January 29, 2024 @ 07:13 AM
This was so delicious and moderately challenging for my 10 year old. We will definitely keep this recipe! The tortilla chips were such a great add.
Thogkvdh February 21, 2024 @ 10:02 AM
Kathryn January 2, 2024 @ 08:25 PM
A hit. Even the pickiest eater in our house was sold when he learned he could put chips on top.
STEPHANIE December 17, 2023 @ 11:34 AM
I loved what you wrote. These recipes have really helped give me calm! We are also a raddish family. My mom gave a subscription to our daughter and I’m so grateful. My daughter is 6 and has her own area for her cooking tools and loves helping in the kitchen. A gift like that is one of the best you can give or receive!