This Chicken Chili without Tomatoes has the same smoky, hearty chili flavor but is made without tomatoes or beef. Instead it's made creamy with white great northern beans and greek yogurt. Then, loaded with the best toppings. Prepare this comfort meal on the stovetop or in the slow cooker tonight!
📋 About the Recipe
- Healthy: This chicken chili is creamy from blended beans and greek yogurt. No added heavy cream or butter.
- Light: Chili without tomatoes is made with chicken breasts instead of the traditional ground beef or acidic tomatoes.
- Meal prep friendly: Some might say that chili without tomatoes is even better after refrigerating overnight when all the flavors have time to blend together!
- Customizable: Adjust the seasonings and spices to make this chicken chili taste like your own.
A few notes about the ingredients:
- chicken - This chicken chili uses 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds) cooked whole in the broth. I don't recommend using pre-cooked chicken as cooking the chicken in the broth increases the flavor of the chili.
- beans - White great northern beans are my favorite beans to use in white chicken chili. They're mild in flavor, creamy, and blend well into the chili to make it thicker. If necessary, you can also use cannellini beans or navy beans.
- greek yogurt - A lot of "white" chilis made without tomatoes use some sort of dairy like cream cheese or sour cream to make it rich and creamy. I like to use greek yogurt because it's lighter in fat but just as delicious and tangy!
- jalapeños - I typically use 2 charred jalapeños, but be sure to taste your jalapeños before using. As you may know, jalapeños can range in heat from as mild to a green pepper to extremely hot. Depending on how hot your jalapeños are and your personal spice tolerance, adjust the amount called for.
- cheese - Sharp white cheddar cheese is my favorite addition to this chili. I recommend buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself so the cheese melts perfectly into the chili. If it's pre-shredded it's made with an anti-caking agent that prevents it from melting fully.
- Char the jalapeños: Place the jalapeños over the open flame on your cooktop and roast until the skin is blistered and blackened on all sides. If you own a glass cooktop or don't feel comfortable charring over an open flame, opt for broiling the jalapeños. Place them on a broil-safe baking tray and broil them in the oven until charred.
- Remove the jalapeño skin: Place the hot, charred jalapeños in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap for 5 minutes. This is going to trap the heat inside the bowl and help the skin loosen from the jalapeños. After 5 minutes, peel off the skin and discard the seeds. It's okay if all of the skin doesn't come off but you want to remove a majority of it for optimal texture. Dice the jalapeños and set aside.
- Soften the vegetables: In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions and green bell pepper in the olive oil until soft, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the spices: Add the minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, coriander, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add the broth, green chilies, beans, and jalapeño. Stir to combine.
- Add the chicken: Add the boneless, skinless chicken breasts whole (no need to dice them). Cover and simmer at low heat for 25 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Shred the chicken: Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board and shred the breasts into fine strips using two forks.
- Blend 3 cups of the chili: Transfer 3 cups of the chicken chili mixture (broth, beans and jalapeños) to a blender and blend until smooth, then add it back into the pot of chili. This is going to thicken the chicken chili considerably and make it thick and creamy.
- Add yogurt, shredded chicken, corn, and shredded cheese: Stir in the remaining chicken chili ingredients and adjust the seasonings to taste.
- Serve: Serve chicken chili without tomatoes with desired garnishes, like cilantro, sour cream, tortilla strips, sliced jalapeños, and additional cheese.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- To make a more textured chili: Add an additional can of white great northern beans!
- For a milder chili: Omit the jalapeño or replace it with half of an additional green bell pepper.
- For a spicier chili: Use an additional jalapeño or an extra can of diced green chilies for an added kick.
- Use any cheese you like. I prefer white cheddar, but you can use any cheese you desire or have on hand.
- Out of white great northern beans? Try cannellini beans or even navy beans.
❄️ How to Store
To store: Store any remaining chicken chili in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Store any chili toppings separately.
To freeze: Allow the chicken chili to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer safe ziptop bag or a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating. Do not freeze the chili with toppings.
To reheat: Reheat leftover chicken chili without toppings in the microwave until warmed through or on the stovetop until hot, stirring frequently to prevent the chili from burning to the bottom of the pot.
If you want a thicker chili, I'd recommend blending an additional half cup of the broth, beans, and jalapeños.
However, I'd keep in mind that this chili continues to thicken while it cools. I'd recommend making it as is and waiting until it cools to see if you really need it thicker.
Technically no. While white great northern beans are a white bean, white beans can be in reference to a number of different types of beans.
Yes! This chicken chili without tomatoes is great in the slow cooker. See the recipe card below for full instructions on how to cook using the slow cooker.
💭 One More Tip
Enjoy as leftovers! This chicken chili develops its flavor even further over time and becomes even more flavorful. It's perfect as a freezer-friendly soup or a make-ahead meal prep option!
🍴 Related Recipes
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Chicken Chili Without Tomatoes
- 2 jalapeños
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ½ cups diced yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
- 1 cup diced green pepper (about 1 pepper)
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 garlic cloves)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cans low sodium chicken broth (14.5 ounces each or 4 cups total)
- 2 cans white great northern beans (15 ounces each) drained and rinsed
- 2 cans fire roasted diced green chiles (4 ounces each)
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (around 2 pounds)
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 cans yellow corn (15 ounces each)
- ½ cup freshly shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- For garnish: lime, cilantro, avocado, jalapeños, cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, greek yogurt/sour cream
- Roast jalapeños over the flame on your cooktop until charred on all sides. If you do not have a gas stove, you can broil them instead by placing the whole jalapeños on a broil-safe tray and broiling them in the oven until charred on all sides.
- Place charred jalapeños in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Remove jalapeños from the bowl. Peel off skin and discard seeds. Dice the jalapeños and set them aside.
- Set a large stockpot on the stove over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, and green pepper. Cook 5 to 8 minutes to soften.
- Add the minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, coriander, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Cook another minute.
- Pour in the chicken broth, beans, green chiles, and diced jalapeños. Mix to combine.
- Carefully add in the chicken breasts. Cover and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Remove the chicken to a bowl or cutting board. Shred into fine strips with 2 forks.
- Remove 3 cups of the broth, beans, and pepper mixture from the stockpot and add it to a blender. Carefully blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add blended mixture back into the pot, along with the yogurt. Whisk to combine.
- Stir in the shredded chicken, corn, and cheddar cheese. Adjust salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste. You can add another can of beans if you like more texture to your chili or add another can of broth for a “brothier” soup.
- Serve chili hot topped with your favorite garnishes.
- For the slow cooker: Follow steps 1 through 4. Add cooked onions, pepper, and garlic to the slow cooker. Pour the ingredients from step 5 on top. Add in the chicken breasts and slow cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours. When done, remove and shred the chicken, blend half the broth and beans, and add everything back into the slow cooker along with the greek yogurt, corn, and cheese.
- This chili thickens more as it cools. It's also great the next day, as the flavors have more time to blend together.
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