Football Food – White Chicken Chili

About 8 years ago, my boss at the time gave everyone in the department a local cookbook as part of our Christmas gift.  When we asked him what was his favorite recipe, he directed us to a recipe his wife submitted for white chicken chili.

I made it the following Sunday. At the time, we had NFL Sunday ticket, and Sundays revolved around football and comfort food.  🙂 Since then, the White Chicken Chili has become an opening weekend tradition.

Because it is light, and pretty easy to make, I tend to make it a lot throughout the year.  It is even good on a cooler summer day.  I have taken it to many potlucks over the years, and I can honestly say that it is the recipe I get the most requests for.  🙂

I have changed it up a bit over the years, adding some ingredients and taking others away.  This is my take on the original recipe:

White Chicken Chili

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 5-6 cups Great Northern Beans (I used canned beans, drained but not rinsed)
  • 2-4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 12-ounce Beer (I prefer a Lager)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 medium chopped Onion
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 (4 oz.) can chopped green Chiles
  • 1 Pablano Chili, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground Cumin (or more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • 4 cups of cooked Chicken, cubed or shredded (I like shredded rotisserie chicken)
  • Hot Sauce, salt, and pepper to taste


  1. Add the onion and olive oil to a large pot and sauté over medium high heat until soft and translucent.  And the garlic and Pablano pepper and cook until tender and the onion just starts to brown.
  2. Add the chicken, Chilies, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to the pot and stir.
  3. Add the beer and increase the heat slightly.  Boil until the beer is reduced down and almost all liquid is gone.
  4. Add the beans, hot sauce, and broth.  Bring to a boil, then drop the temperature and simmer for about an hour until thickened. (I usually need 3-4 cups of broth for this method.)
  5. Alternatively, once the beer cooks down, the mixture can be added to a crockpot before adding the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for two to four hours, although it will keep longer if necessary.  (I usually only need to add 2-3 cups of broth to the crock pot unless I am cooking it all day).
  6. Serve with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

As a fun alternative, a smaller serving of the chili is a great side to go with quesadillas.  A great alternative to grilled cheese and soup! 🙂

Do you have a go-to fall food? A great Chili recipe? What is your most requested recipe? Who is your favorite football team (college or NFL)? Please share! 🙂

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