White Chicken Chili

Recipe courtesy of Shauna Niequist author of Bread & Wine (excerpts from Bread & Wine)

This is one of those go-to dinners you can pretty much always throw together, perfect for last-minute guests. It’s easy and quick, and all the ingredients are things you’re likely to have on hand. 

This is a highly versatile recipe, like all my favorite recipes are. You can add a can of corn or even corn with peppers You can use tomatillo salsa if you’d like and a can of diced green chilis, and then it’s chicken chili verde, which is lovely for a change. You could add a can of black beans if you’d like, for a little color and for their mineral-y, almost chocolate-y flavor. To make it even one step easier, you can use a rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded. 

I wouldn’t add kidney beans, because that would make it too much like a plain old chili, and because, to be honest with you, I don’t like kidney beans.

Serve with cilantro, wedges of lime, sliced avocado, shredded cheese, chips, sour cream, and salsa. I will warn you, however, that sometimes what began as a thoroughly virtuous soup becomes a very large meal consisting mainly of cheese and chips, with a very occasional bite of soup. Or at least that’s what I’ve heard. 

1-1 1/2 lbs. chicken-breasts, tenders, or boneless skinless thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 16 oz. container of salsa, preferably fresh. Or green salsa, as discussed above. 
4 cans white beans
4 cups chicken broth


  1. In a dutch oven or stockpot, cook over medium heat until chicken is almost cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add salsa and beans, including bean liquid, and broth. 
  2. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, but, really, the longer the better. 

Serves 6