Black and White Chicken Chili

Though chili is an American classic, there really isn’t a single classic recipe. It can be made with ground beef or stew meat, venison, pork, or poultry, beans or no beans. Some chilis are tomato-y, thick, and spicy. Others are brothy and light. Says Jennifer of her brothy chicken-based chili with black and white beans, corn, and green chiles: “I came up with this chicken chili recipe after eating something similar at a local restaurant. I wanted a healthy chili that was quick to make and good for us. This is now one of my family’s favorite meals and a recipe I go back to all the time. It’s great on a cold winter day or for a festive Cinco de Mayo party. I recently won a chili cook-off at my office with this recipe!”–The Editors at America’s Test Kitchen

Black and White Chicken Chili Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 10 M
  • Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
  • One 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • One 8-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • 1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • 2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, oregano, and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, scraping up any browned bits.
  • 3. Return the chicken, along with any accumulated juices, to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until the thickest part of the breasts registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • 4. Transfer the chicken to a plate. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and return it to the chili; add the beans, corn, and chiles. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • 5. Off the heat, stir the cilantro into the chicken chili and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
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