Black and White Bean Chicken Chili: Perfect Combination of Spicy and Savory

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Delicious and wholesome food is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. And nothing beats a hot, steaming bowl of chili on a cold winter day. This black-and-white bean chicken chili recipe is sure to tick all the boxes for your taste buds while also being packed with healthy nutrients. Use leftover chicken and canned beans, and the chili comes together quickly. Enjoy it as is or go all out with garnishes, such as fresh or pickled jalapeños, cilantro leaves, avocado slices, pico de gallo, and crunchy corn chips. No leftover chicken? Find two methods for poaching the poultry below. If using beans cooked at home, use a total of 3 cups of beans.

Table of Contents

Total time: 40 mins


Tested size: 4 servings; makes about 5 1/2 cups

Storage NotesRefrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion (12 ounces), chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 cups of no-salt-added chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • One (15-ounce) can of no-salt-added white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cooked and shredded (see NOTES)
  • One (15-ounce) can of no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Avocado slices, pico de gallo or salsa, fresh or pickled jalapeño slices, fresh cilantro, and/or tortilla chips, for serving (optional)


  1. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are translucent and starting to brown about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeños and cook, stirring, until softened, another 2 minutes, then add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
  2. Add the paprika, cumin, chili powder, and salt, stir to combine, and cook for 1 more minute. Don’t be concerned if the vegetables start to stick a bit, but adjust the heat if they begin to burn.
  3. Add the broth and stir, scraping up any brown bits. Add half of the white beans, stir, and bring to a simmer, so that there are bubbles around the edge of the pot. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
  4. Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the mixture until smooth. (You also can puree the mixture in a heatproof blender: To prevent splatters, be careful to not fill it more than halfway, remove the center ring from the lid, and hold a kitchen towel over the opening as you blend.)
  5. Return the pot to medium heat, add the chicken and the remaining white beans, and the black beans, and stir to combine. Simmer for about 3 minutes; then taste, adding more salt to taste and more broth to thin if desired.
  6. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve hot with your choice of toppings, such as avocado slices, pico de gallo or salsa, fresh or pickled jalapeño slices, fresh cilantro leaves, and/or tortilla chips.

NOTES: To poach the chicken in a multicooker, add 1/2 cup of lightly salted chicken broth or water, a couple of bay leaves, if you like, and the chicken. Lock the lid in place, set the pressure release knob to sealing, select PRESSURE at the high setting, and set the cooking time to 15 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is finished, press CANCEL and release the pressure manually by moving the pressure-release handle to the vent, covering your hand with a towel or oven mitt. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. The temperature of the meat should read at least 165 degrees when checked with a thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken.

To poach the chicken on the stovetop, cut the chicken parts in half or thirds crosswise, depending on how large the pieces are. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the chicken, 1 cup of lightly salted water, and a couple of bay leaves, if desired. Stir once or twice and slowly bring to barely a simmer — do not let the water come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and gently cook for about 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.

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About the Author: Vicky Lau

Chef Owner at Tate Dining Room, Butler Luxury Caterer, Poem Patisseri

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