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White Chicken Chili

  • Author: Adapted from my dad, who adapted it from Melissa d'Arabian
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x



For the roasted garlic:

  • 12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon water

For the chili:

  • 3 Anaheim chile peppers
  • 8 shallots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 (15 oz) can navy beans, undrained
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Sour cream, chopped fresh parsley and/or shredded cheese, for garnish (optional)


  1. Toss garlic, oil and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving a small vent, and microwave 1 1/2 minutes until soft. Cover completely and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, place an oven rack near the top of the oven, then heat the broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil. Place chile peppers on foil and roast 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred.
  3. Transfer peppers to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let sit until cool.
  4. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add chopped shallots and cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until caramelized.
  5. Add minced garlic and cook 2 minutes; add flour and stir 3 minutes until toasted. Increase the heat to high and add 1 cup broth. Simmer 2 minutes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add another 6 cups broth, the cooked chicken, chili powder, cayenne pepper, navy beans and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Peel, seed and chop roasted peppers; add to saucepan.
  7. Remove pulp from roasted garlic cloves and place in a food processor. Add remaining 1 cup broth and process until smooth. Add to saucepan.
  8. Simmer chili, uncovered, 25 minutes until thickened. Add spinach; cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in smoked paprika, heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve with sour cream, chopped fresh parsley and/or shredded cheese on top, if desired.