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White Chili Soup

Updated on September 24, 2012

White Chili with Beans


Cooking steps

Beans were soaked over night before cooking.
Beans were soaked over night before cooking. | Source

Assembly and Simmering

Be sure to simmer for at least an hour!
Be sure to simmer for at least an hour! | Source

White Chili

5 stars from 3 ratings of I will try this!

White Chili Soup

The first time I had white chili it was at the recommendation of my new (to me) brother-in-law in Lafayette IN. I was concerned that he might not have a clue! He seemed like a nice guy but did he understand what chili was?

Midwest USA chili is a rich thick tomato based soup full of meats, seasonings and yes beans. It is served on chilly days with cheese, corn bread and a relish tray. How could Midwestern Chili be white? The chili recipe I developed over the years is well loved by my family and it has a tomato base. Do take a look at my Little Bowl of Heaven Chili; it is out of this world tasty.

The White Chili was delicious. Although, the chili we had that day was extremely heavy on the meat. I wanted to achieve the taste of the White Chili while using a nice cholesterol busting navy bean with the chicken as the base rather than all ground up chicken. The beans would make a thicker chili with less meat. The dish would be healthier and less expensive.

So, I set out to modify and meld my chili recipes and navy bean recipes to create a toothsome family pleaser. This recipe is easy, inexpensive, and very heart healthy. Beans while being chock full of healthy vitamins and minerals and roughage are also very inexpensive.

The success of soups is the layering of flavors as well as a quality base whether it is a vegetable, meat or water base. Soup, just like coffee will taste bad made with poor tasting water. That is why I advise using filtered water.

This recipe is one of our favorites. Do note that I use chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts but ground chicken would work well too. I also make my own turkey broth when I bake turkey but store purchased low sodium chicken broth is just fine. Here is a bit about roasting a turkey and making turkey broth from the bones.

This recipe is great the first day and only improves after storing in the refrigerator over night. So, make it a day ahead!

Invite a crowd over to watch the game as this is a great football day meal. Take the White Chili from the fridge and warm in your slow cooker. Then all you have to do the day of the party is to toss a salad, bake some corn bread and lay-out a relish tray to have a lovely meal.

If you are taking this to a potluck, cook it down a bit so it will be more of a White Chili Stew. Put it in a slow cooker and wait for the raves! You will take home a scrapped clean slow cooker!

The flavor layers are very important. Be sure to layer the chicken, onions, chicken broth, green chili all on the beans and cook all until the flavors meld.

I also use my green chili gravy or sauce when I have it available. It pops the flavor layers to the max! Here is the web site on how to make green chile gravy/sauce.

Cook Time

Prep time: 12 hours 20 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 14 hours 20 min
Yields: 4-6 servings


  • 8 ounces small navy beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, cut up
  • 4-8 ounces green chiles, frozen./thawed or canned
  • OR 1 C. chile gravy, see recipe
  • 1 T. garlic powder, powder NOT garlic salt
  • 1 T. onion powder, powder not salt


  1. Soak 8 ounces of dried small navy beans over night in filtered water. Rinse the next day and pick out any stones
  2. Place the rinsed beans in a pot and cover with the 2 quarts of chicken broth (or turkey broth if you have it)
  3. Bring to a boil and once boiling, reduce to a simmer
  4. In a separate pan saute the chopped onion.
  5. Once onion is sauteed add the cut up chicken pieces and cook until done
  6. Add onion and chicken to beans
  7. Add the chilis or the chili gravy/sauce
  8. Bring back to a boil and let this boil about 5 minutes
  9. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1-2 hours or until the beans are very soft.
  10. Serve OR cool and refrigerate for serving the next day

The flavor layers are very important. These flavor layers include; navy beans, chicken, onions, chicken broth, green chili or green chili gravy/broth. Both the cooking and the resting in the refrigerator increase the melding of these complimentary flavors.

I also use my green chili gravy or sauce when I have it available. It pops the flavor layers to the max! Here is the web site on how to make green chile gravy/sauce.

Why beans?

The humble and inexpensive little navy bean, like most other beans and legumes, is high in protein and fiber. It is chock full of vitamins and minerals. A serving of navy beans will give you nearly 25% of your daily needs of vitamin B1. There are other trace minerals that are essential for you body also found in navy beans.

Navy beans are very much an American favored bean. Navy beans are known by other names like Yankee beans. The navy bean is a smaller type of white bean. The Navy of many nations did cook lots of navy beans because the beans keep very well in a dried state and offer nutritional benefits.

Dr. Andrew Weil also likes the navy bean and here is his web site extolling the virtues of this humble little legume.

If you are not use to eating beans then begin off with a smaller portion until your system adjusts to the humble, tasty, and nutritious little navy bean.

Once you have tried this little bean you will never look back! The navy bean will become a staple in your pantry. Here are some other bean recipes that will also tickle your palate and provide health benefits.


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    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Hi Hyphenbird~ I made lots of bean dishes for our daughter who is a vegan too. One of her favorites as a teenage was Pizza Beans. As you can easily guess it is beans with pasta sauce and Italian herbs. Since she had her boy she has been eating a bit of cheese. Dad is NOT a vegan so the boy gets all kinds of things.....

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I will make white chili. I am vegan so I will need to adapt your recipe but can do that easily enough. Thank you for the idea. We love beans of any kind and I have a package of navy beans. It seems meant for today as the weather has turned off cold. And Mhatter, thanks for the chuckle.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. After 15 years I gave in to the sad fact: God did not intend Martin to make chili.

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      not cold here yet either! thanks!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      sounds good and I am with you..More beans. It looks really tasty and great for the cold that will be here soon.