It’s chili season! As the temperature drops, there’s nothing better than a bowl of warm, spicy chili. And while a classic beef chili is always delightful, sometimes you just want something lighter or a little different ... but not too different. You want white chili! It’s still chili, it’s just creamier and more garlicky than beef (or red) chili.
What exactly makes white chili its own thing? It really depends on the recipe, but most white chili recipes have these things in common.
White Chili Is Chicken Broth-Based
Instead of beef broth or tomato sauce, white chili recipes use chicken broth or chicken stock. This allows the flavors of the chicken, beans and other ingredients to really come through. For big flavor in every spoonful, try a recipe that calls for a few hours of simmering, like this white bean chili slow cooker recipe.
White Chili Is Creamy
Most white chili recipes have a creamy element, such as actual cream, cream cheese or cream of something soup. That last ingredient in particular is a great shortcut when you’re craving creamy white chili but don’t have tons of time to make it. This easy white chicken chili recipe only has to cook for 25 minutes but still tastes like it took hours. To turn it into buffalo-style chili in an instant, just add buffalo sauce and top with some crumbled blue cheese!
White Chili Uses White Beans and Meat
White chili gets its signature color from white beans, like Great Northern and Cannellini beans. The meat, usually chicken, also adds to white chili’s light color. It doesn’t have to be chicken-based though – turkey is another option! Ground turkey soaks up a ton of flavor from chilies, green salsa, herbs and spices in this white turkey chili recipe. Feel free to substitute turkey for chicken in any white chili recipe. You can even shred holiday leftovers and throw them in the pot.
White Chili Isn’t Just for Bowls
Almost every white chili recipe you find uses green chilies, because they give white chili its fresh, light flavor and mild bite. They also make the best salsa, including white chili salsa, which is ready in less than 10 minutes and perfect for snacking on game day or any day.
Chili doesn’t have to be beefy or tomato-based. White chicken and white bean chili recipes are so easy, delicious and comforting – just what you need to keep you warm and cozy all fall and winter long.