Beans and Lentils/ Chicken/ Gluten Free/ Mexican and Latin Recipes/ Soups & Stews

White Chicken Chili…for two


 Like most Americans,  we eat a lot of chicken.  I buy in bulk, you know that large 12-pound bag of frozen breasts with the zip seal.  How many breasts I set out is determined by what I am making, how many I am feeding, or the quantity leftovers I want.  Somehow I ended up with one, rather large breast left in the bag. Usually I would just open a new bag, but I’ve been rather remiss in my grocery shopping and this was the last of the chicken, of this kind, in the house.
Then came my challenge.  One chicken breast.  Just my daughter and me for dinner. What to do?
Canned beans are plentiful in my pantry and white chicken chili sounded really good.  But my challenge lies in being able to cook small.  Something I really don’t know how to do.  Each meal I try to keep it to four to six portions, feeling that is a standard family size.  But how many people cook for two? Millions. It has always been difficult for me to cook for less than six, so cooking for just my girl and me was going to be fun.

I needed this to cook fast. My little girl was hungry.  I didn’t want to make a roux to thicken it.  Since it’s “white chili” using tomato paste as a thickening agent wasn’t an option.  I literally stood in the middle of my kitchen wondering what was the best way to go about thickening it up.  Then as I drained and rinsed the beans, I saw that there were just too many beans to chicken for a dish for just two people.  That’s when I realized I could make a paste out of mashed beans.  It worked wonderfully.
White Chicken Chili for two ~ The Complete Savorist

White Chicken Chili...for two

Author: Michelle


  • 1 chicken breast; cubed/bite-size
  • 1 can white northern beans; drained/rinsed & divided
  • 1 cup broth +
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 heaping tbsp diced green chilies
  • Pinch coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime +/-
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro
  • Olive oil
  • Monterey Jack cheese; optional


  1. Open the beans, drain and rinse them.
  2. Place half of the beans in a large bowl. Set the remaining half aside.
  3. In a large sauce pan, add a tiny bit of olive oil and heat.
  4. Add the chicken and begin to cook it, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, green chilies, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, and corn. Sauté together for about a minute.
  6. Add the broth and the beans that have been set aside.
  7. Bring to a high simmer or a low boil. Allow to cook and reduce for about 5 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, using a fork, spoon, or masher, start to smash the beans that have been reserved in the bowl.
  9. Remove some of the hot liquid from the pan to make the task easier.
  10. Once the beans have been fully macerated, add them to the pot. Mix well.
  11. Add the lime and the cilantro.
  12. Taste for seasonings and add any that might be needed for taste.
  13. Allow to cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  14. The smashed beans will work as a thickener. If the chili gets too thick, add a bit more chicken broth.
  15. Serve and top with more cilantro and Monterey Jack cheese.

White Chicken Chili for two ~ The Complete Savorist

Spoonful of White Chicken Chili for two ~ The Complete Savorist

Thank you for sharing!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    January 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    White chicken chili is one of our favs! I actually have it planned for tomorrow. I love making a paste out of the beans! I’m going to give it a try!!

    • Reply
      January 24, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks Becky. White chicken chili is a fav here too.

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    March 30, 2015 at 1:45 am

    For TWO? Michelle,this is for ONE. Cumin and cheese is SUCH an underestimated combination!

    • Reply
      March 30, 2015 at 3:09 am

      We have small appetites then in my house, a small kid and a reduce stomach adult, so maybe for 1. Oh and I couldn’t agree more about the cumin and cheese.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2015 at 6:34 am

    This looks great, thank you!

    • Reply
      March 30, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Thank you for stopping by Melissa.

  • Reply
    Christine from Cook the Story
    March 30, 2015 at 8:41 am

    I bet that little pinch of coriander adds a huge punch of flavor to this chili. It looks delicious.

    • Reply
      March 30, 2015 at 11:02 am

      I really think coriander is an under-used spice in our cabinets.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I cook for two quite often. Glad I’m pinning for later use, it looks delicious!

    • Reply
      March 30, 2015 at 11:04 am

      I really need to get better at the cooking for two, my food costs would go down, but then I do enjoy leftovers.

  • Reply
    Turkey Chipotle Chili #SundaySupper - The Complete Savorist
    October 25, 2015 at 1:44 am

    […] inventory on the blog, I have a beef, chicken, and pork chili. So, it was turkey’s turn, which turns out to be perfect timing with the […]

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.