Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

I'm pretty lucky in that cold doesn't bother me all that much. Blame it on living 3/4 of my life in Vermont and Minnesota, where winters are long and harsh and a fact of life. To me, falling temperatures mean getting out the scarves, gloves, boots and coats, putting snow tires on my car, and sharpening my ice skates. It's just something that happens, and to be honest, I kind of like it really cold. (The word is still out whether extreme cold causes brain damage.)

The winters in Utah are fairly mild, so a lot of people don't have the same, "here we go again" attitude about winter that I do. Instead, every time it gets cold it's almost like it's personally offensive. The conversations on the bus revolve around disgust that it's actually snowing and that the temperature dared to drop to 40. Doesn't the snow know that it should stay in the mountains and leave us alone?


Whenever I hear conversations like this, I think of some advice I was given when I first moved to Minnesota. A wise and seasoned graduate student was talking to my group of wide-eyed newbies and warned us about how long the winters are. "You have to have something you love about the winter here." he said, "Find something that you can do in the winter that you will really enjoy or you will go crazy wishing for warmer weather." It was really good advice, because if everything you like to do requires sun and green grass, you're only going to be happy a couple months of the year. Taking up skiing or skating or even going sledding every once in a while really helps make winter something enjoyable rather than dreadful.

Along those lines, there are certain foods that I only make when the weather turns cold. Reserving them as "winter only" meals makes cold, dark nights something to look forward to. Chili is definitely one of those foods for me, and this chicken chili is a new favorite dish this year. I've proclaimed my love for the slow cooker before so I don't need to tell you how amazing it is to come home to a delicious, hot meal on a cold night. Or how wonderfully tender and delicious the chicken in this recipe gets after slow cooking with the rest of the chili and spices. While it isn't a "throw everything in the pot and forget about it" recipe because it requires some cooking of the onions, spices and jalapenos before going into the slow cooker, it is still fast to put together and the taste is definitely worth the few minutes of extra time to brown the veggies. The finished chili is thick and full of chicken, beans and flavor, and perfect to warm you from the inside out, no matter what the weather is doing outside.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili


  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) white or yellow hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 4 jalapeno chilies, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed and trimmed (chicken leg quarters also work)
  • 1 Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced jarred pickled jalapeno chilies
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 avocados, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch pieces


  1. Puree 2 cups of broth and hominy in blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Heat oil in 12 inch skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add onions, jalapenos, garlic, cumin and coriander and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup broth, scraping up any browned bits; transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Stir beans into slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 4-6 hours on low.
  4. Transfer chicken to cutting board. Let cool slightly, then shred into bite-zied pieces, discarding bones. Let chili settle for five minutes, then remove fat from the surface with a large spoon.
  5. Stir in shredded chicken and pickled jalapenos and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with avocado pieces.
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 6 hours Ready in: 6 hours 30 min Yield: Serves 6-8

Recipe Source: Slow Cooker Revolution

26 Click For Comments:

I love cold weather so winter doesn't bother me at all. I'm the opposite of most people because I was miserable in Florida where it's so warm all the time. I need winter!

I save chili and other soups for when it gets cold, too. I agree it's nice to have recipes to look forward to. This one sounds great, I've never tried a white chili before! Slow cooker recipes seem to be all over the place lately so I think I'm going to have to take the plunge and finally get one.

Love white chicken chili and love the slowcooker.  Bingo!  I'm going to have to try this (...partly just as an excuse to eat the avocado pieces on top)!

I am working this into a Zumba night rotation, looks great!

I'm afraid I'm one of those people, but I do like your take on the issue. I'll have to find something positive to like about winter soon. Maybe it will be your delicious chili!

AMAZING, I love the avocado on top, this looks amazing and you know how much I love my slow cooker!

I love that advice to find something to love about winter.  I try to love snow, but by March I'm sort of over it :)  I just made a recipe from Slow Cooker Revolution last week, there are so many great dishes in there!

We only make chili in the winter too...and white chicken is my favorite! This looks delicious :)

Your stories crack me up. Do you know how much I hate winter? And winter where I live means the highs are in the upper 50s. And I'm wearing 4 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. For six months. Because I'm a pansy. Like you, I like reserving a few meals for winter months. I want to try this chill. A good chili recipe is always handy to have around because who doesn't love to sit around noshing on chili and corn bread when it gets nippy outside? :) 

I up-and-down hate the winter but perhaps that's because I have ridiculously weird body temp issues where I get cold as soon as it goes below 60.  really...I've been known to wear sweatshirts in the summer. It's insane.  It doesn't help that it takes FOREVER for my building to turn my heat on.

Perhaps if I had this good chili to come home, my opinion could be swayed.  Looks stick-to-your-ribs good!  I wonder if I could make it without this chicken...

This is one gorgeous looking chili! Mmmmm

This is my favorite kind of chili. Yours looks so delicious. We are so excited to be having our first give away on Tuesday. Come over we would love for you to be a winner.

I've never thought about putting avocado on white chili. But now I must. I absolutely must.

I have never seen chili look this good!

Nicole, this is such a lovely chili! I really like your recipe, too. I've been needing a new one for chicken chili and this will definitely fit the bill. Can't wait to try it during the upcoming cooler months! Thanks for sharing.

I have a white chicken chili recipe that I love but it isn't for the slow cooker---I can't wait to try this sometime soon, I am all about slow cooker meals!

I can't wait to make this.  It sounds like a perfect fall/winter meal!!!

I have been wanting to make a white chili...but haven't gotten around to it...now I have a recipe!!!  Living in NE Ohio, winters are LONG...like 7 months long...so I too, have foods I reserve as "winter" foods, and chili is definitely on that list.  After all, grilling season ends so soon for us...what else can we do?  lol

always looking for new things to do in the slow cooker, so thank you very much.  This sounds like a great dish for a cold winter day.

Simply amazing, making me hungry!

This soup looks amazing! I LOVE white chicken chili, but would you believe I have never made it at home? I totally need to give this recipe a try! Yum!! :)

This recipe looks awesome. I would like to personally thank you for including my dear friend the guacamole. 

I live in MN after growing up and older in NYC (read: mild winters). Did the skating, the skiing and all that jazz. But in the end - what I love about the cold weather is the comfort cooking - as evidenced here. I could wrap myself around the chili and never notice the cold.

This looks wonderful! I love those little avocado bites!

Protein in a bowl. This looks absolutely delicious!

Absolutely mouth-watering. This slow-cooker dish is my kind of comfort food I crave for! Happy New Year!!

I love slow cooker soups-- I have one going right now! I also love checking out your blog, so I nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award http://flowercityfoodie.com/2012/01/12/and-the-award-goes-to/


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