This Dairy-free White Bean Chicken Chili has been in the works for several months now. I have tested many different flavors and variations before finally landing on this recipe.
Recreating a classic, dairy filled recipe can be kind of hard sometimes and you really have to make sure that the flavors of the dish are really really good. Well I am here to tell you that the flavor of this soup is pretty freaking awesome. Not trying to brag or anything….
Ingredients for Dairy-free White Bean Chicken Chili
My favorite white bean to use in chicken chili. They are incredibly flavorful and naturally creamy. This soup is packed with about 3 cans worth of beans which may seem like a lot but the amount really works.
Canned green chiles are a great way to boost flavor in so many dishes. You can use mild or hot green chiles in this white bean chili depending on your preference.
This is not a typical ingredient to add to white bean chicken chili but as I tested the recipes I found that it was just lacking some flavor and acidity to counteract the creaminess. The salsa verde really pulls together so many different flavors in this chili. You can buy any jar of your favorite salsa verde for this recipe. It is a pretty prominent flavor so be sure to pick out one that you really enjoy.
When I refer to coconut milk in this dairy-free chicken chili I am not referring to the kind you find in the refrigerator section in large cartons. You want to get the full-fat coconut milk found in cans. This kind of coconut milk is really the only kind that can compare to the heavy cream that is normally found in white bean chicken chili. I like to pick up a can and shake it some to make sure there is still a layer of coconut cream at the top. If it sloshes around too much I will put it back and find another can.
Is the thick layer of cream that settles at the top of the can. Another reason why it is important to shake the cans and see if there is a solid cream layer. I found that the recipe need more of a heavy cream flavor so my solutions was to just add more of the thick coconut cream vs. the coconut milk which would add a lot more liquid than cream.
How to Make Dairy-free White Bean Chicken Chili
Grab a large pot (I prefer a dutch oven) and start heating it up. Once the pot is hot then add the olive oil, onions and peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
Next you will add the fresh garlic, cumin and salt and cook until just fragrant. This really should only take 30-60 seconds. Don’t skip this step. Toasting the spices really does bring out a lot flavor.
Add the northern beans, canned green Chiles and salsa verde and stir to combine everything. Once that is combined add the coconut milk and coconut cream. It should start to look creamy and delicious at this point.
Once the coconut milk is incorporated then you will add the chicken broth. Put a lid on the pot and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the freshly chopped cilantro and cook for a few more minutes. Taste and adjust any seasonings. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings.
FAQ’S and Tips for Dairy-free White Bean Chicken Chili
Does it matter if I use chicken stock and chicken bone broth?
No, either one will work because they have similar properties. I usually prefer to use bone broth because it seems to have a richer flavor and all higher amounts of collagen.
Is there a substitute for the northern beans?
Yes, you could use another white bean such as, navy or cannellini beans.
Where do I buy canned coconut milk?
Most grocery stores carry canned coconut milk now. It is often times found in the international aisle.
Looking for some other soup recipes? Check out some of my favorites
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 green pepper, diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 2 jalapeno seeded and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 cans northern beans, strained and rinsed
- 2 cans green chiles (4 ounce cans)
- 1 cup salsa verde
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- ¾ cup coconut cream (thick part on top of one can of coconut milk)
- 4 cups chicken bone broth or stock
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- Heat oil in a large pot and add the onion and peppers and sauté for 5 minutes,
- Add the garlic, salt and cumin and cook until fragrant. About 1 minute.
- Add the northern beans, green chiles, and salsa and stir to combine.
- Add the coconut milk and cream and stir until combined and then pour in the broth.
- Put a lid on the pot and let simmer for about 20 minutes and then add the cooked shredded chicken and the fresh cilantro. Cook for 5 more minutes and then taste the soup and adjust the salt if necessary. Serve while hot.
- I often just grab a rotisserie chicken for this recipe but you can also just use any of your favorite shredded chicken recipes.
Keywords: white bean chicken chili, dairy-free white bean chicken chili, chicken chili, healthy chicken chili, dairy-free soup