Easy One Pot White Chicken Chili

Fall is prime chili season, but we love this chicken, white bean & tomatillo chili so much we make it year round!

Chopping tomatillos and onions | Our White Chicken Chili! Full of tomatillos and chunky chicken, we top it with sliced avocado and heaps of cilantro. via Yellow Brick Home
chopping block | our favorite knife

Mmmmmm… Chili!

Chili is pretty much the best food. It makes the whole home smell wonderful and it’s hearty and filling. Plus, it scales well so it’s easy to make as much or as little as you like! A while ago, Kim got burned out on my red chili recipe, so we went on the hunt for a great white chili recipe. I found a so-so base recipe, and over the years, I’ve tweaked it, tweaked it some more and tweaked again. Today, my chili recipe is a torn, stained print out with so many scribbles, notes and asterisks – the sign of a well-loved home cooked meal.

Inevitably, this recipe is a crowd pleaser. Every time we make this chili for our friends, they ask for the recipe, and since my chicken scratch has become almost illegible, I figured it was time to make it digitized!

Two dogs patiently waiting for food scraps at the kitchen island | Our White Chicken Chili! Full of tomatillos and chunky chicken, we top it with sliced avocado and heaps of cilantro. via Yellow Brick Home
learning tower | S + P grinders | counter stools

Top It Off

This dish is delicious on its own, but with chili it’s all about the toppings! Some of our favorites include sliced avocado, shredded cheddar (or chihuahua) cheese, a big heap of chopped cilantro (leave the stems in for an extra crunch), sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh ground salt and pepper. For bonus points, add a squeeze of fresh lime and use tortilla chips as a spoon!

A bowl of warm chili with avocado and navy linen napkins | Our White Chicken Chili! Full of tomatillos and chunky chicken, we top it with sliced avocado and heaps of cilantro. via Yellow Brick Home

chopping board | linen napkin

Easy One Pot Chicken Tomatillo Chili

Chicken, tomatillos, green chiles and cannellini beans form the base of this easy, delicious, hearty recipe!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 10 people


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lbs boneless chicken breast cubed
  • ground sea salt to taste
  • gound black pepper to taste
  • 1.5 lbs fresh tomatillos husked, cored and cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 medium/large jalapenos seeded and diced
  • 16 oz diced green chiles 4 x 4 oz cans, La Preferida brand if you can find it!
  • 1 jumbo yellow onion (or two medium) diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced (or sub 1 heaping tbsp jarred minced garlic)
  • 1 tbsp (heaping!) ground cumin
  • 32 oz chicken broth 1 x 32 oz carton
  • 48 oz cannellini beans, drained and lightly smashed with fork 3 x 16 oz cans
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional) for garnish
  • cheddar cheese shredded, as topping
  • sour cream as topping
  • avocado sliced, as topping
  • yellow corn tortilla chips to serve


  • Add olive oil to 8 qt pot (smaller pot may require batching). Over medium heat, sautee chicken and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir frequently and cook until no longer pink, around 10 minutes.
  • Add more oil, salt and pepper if desired, then toss in the onion and garlic, and sauté until tender, stirring frequently for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add cumin and stir again.
  • Stir in chopped tomatillos, green chilies, jalapeño, chicken broth and beans. Add another dash of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer on low heat for at least 1 – 1.5 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until desired thickness is acheived.
  • Top with chopped cilantro, cheddar, avocado and sour cream as desired. Serve with tortilla chips instead of a spoon, if you'd like!

Save Some for Later!

This version of the recipe creates what is essentially a double batch – roughly 8-10 servings. This is intentional! We usually eat it for dinner, set aside enough for lunch the next day and freeze the rest. It reheats beautifully; just throw the frozen counterpart in the fridge the morning of, and simmer on low 20-30 minutes before you’re ready to eat.


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  • Megan10.29.19 - 5:51 AM

    Sounds delicious! When do you add the tomatillos?ReplyCancel

  • Frankie10.29.19 - 7:19 AM

    This looks amazing!! At which step do you add the tomatillos?ReplyCancel

  • Jen10.29.19 - 7:24 AM

    Sounds great! Assuming the tomatillos get tossed in with the chilies and jalapeños?ReplyCancel

  • Jessica10.29.19 - 7:53 AM

    When do you add the tomatillos? I assume with beans and broth or do you add with the onions and garlic? ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.29.19 - 5:04 PM

      Yes, sorry I forgot to add that earlier! Just too excited to share. ????ReplyCancel

  • Lisa10.29.19 - 8:21 AM

    This looks really tasty! Do the tomatillos get added with the chilies, broth, and beans? I think they may have been dropped from the instructions. ReplyCancel

  • Betsy10.29.19 - 3:38 PM

    Haven’t read the recipe yet.  Couldn’t get past the adorable picture of your pups begging from the other side of the island.  Ahhh…ReplyCancel

  • Sally10.29.19 - 6:47 PM

    Tomatillos are utterly unavailable here in the UK – would anything else be a good substitute? ReplyCancel

    • Scott10.29.19 - 9:45 PM

      Oh, no! What a bummer that you can’t find them. We’ve used canned tomatillos when we couldn’t find decent fresh ones. If you can’t find canned, the internet says you can buy underripe tomatoes and add a squeeze of lime juice in their place. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!ReplyCancel

  • Monica11.4.19 - 7:47 AM

    Made this this past weekend – so good!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah11.5.19 - 3:35 PM

    Hi — Recipe doesn’t specify doing so, but am wondering if you recommend covering the pot while the chili is cooking?  Thanks! ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.5.19 - 7:08 PM

      Hi Sarah! This is a bit of a judgement/preference call. If you prefer your chili thicker, I’d leave it uncovered for the whole process to allow some of the liquid to cook off. If you’d prefer to retain as much liquid as possible, pop a cover on once you’ve added the final ingredients. There’s definitely lots of flexibility in this recipe. Hope this helps!ReplyCancel

  • Julie11.12.19 - 6:43 PM

    Hi Scott, I made this chili tonight. It was great- even the kids liked it! I was nervous about 2 jalapeños but it wasn’t spicy at all. The tomatillos break down a bit down which makes the chili tastes like lime juice has been added – so yummy!   Thank you for sharing :)ReplyCancel

    • Scott11.13.19 - 9:12 AM

      Glad everyone liked it! We made a friend’s chili recipe last night and may just have to share that one next!ReplyCancel


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