white bean chili.

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since the first day of autumn is tomorrow, we decided to welcome it the best way we know how. we pulled our beloved crock pot off the shelf after a long summer of neglect and got reacquainted with one another once again by making one of our favorite chili dishes.

nothing (and i honestly mean nothing) beats coming home after a 3 hour church block on a sunday afternoon to the smell of dinner already awaiting you thanks to your sous chef, the crock pot. that thing is like magic to a gal who doesn’t cook often enough and needs a bit of hand holding in the kitchen.

we made our favorite white bean chili with chicken yesterday. several years ago, i was going through a really hard time when were living in washington DC.  a sweet girlfriend of mine here in new york had her cousin who also lived in the DC area show up on my doorstep with dinner one night. to this day, i still can’t get over what a kind gesture that was and how much it meant to me then, and even now, to have someone i’d never met and who had no idea what i was going through, show up with dinner. she made us this white bean chili, and i’m not sure if it’s because of the back story attached to this dish, or if it’s just because it is freaking delicious, but it’s hands down, one of my favorite dishes.

the recipe is below if you’d like to try it!

white bean chili with chicken

4 15-oz cans great northern beans, rinsed
2 lbs chicken breasts
2 4 ounce cans green chilies (we use mild diced chilies)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves minced garlic
1 14 1/2 ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup water

cut the chicken into small cubes and brown over the stove
drain the beans, and place all the ingredients into the crock pot, mix well
cook covered on low 10-12 hours or high 5-6 hours
we eat it over rice with a bit of cheese on top.  makes 6-8 servings


^^^here’s eleanor measuring and adding all the appropriate spices with a bit of help from papa! she likes to be involved with anything happening in the kitchen. notice how they are both in their pajamas! they put everything in first thing after waking up so that it would be ready for us right when we got home from church.^^^


^^^before we mixed up all the ingredients, those spices were just calling for their picture to be taken. just look at those rich fall colors! ^^^

chilifinished ^^^she’s all done! thank you, crock pot!^^^

you’ll have to let me know if you try it.  and if you have a favorite crock pot recipe you wanna share, i’d love that.  especially if it’s a chili one!

  1. bridget

    YES. i make almost EXACTLY this (but mine has red peppers in it.). it is UNBELIEVABLE. i think it’s the cumin i’m so in love with.

  2. we make a VERY VERY similar soup, but use green salsa and ground turkey instead of green chilis and chicken, and also add TONS of yellow onions! when they get cooked down in the chili they taste SO so good. we don’t use garlic or chili powder though, so i’ll have to try adding it next time! with this “high of 60-something” weather in NYC lately I believe soups like this will be filling our menus soon ;)


  3. Erin

    Looks delicious!
    I’m a vegetarian, but this looks easily adaptable.
    Thanks for the share! :)

  4. Dana

    I also have a crockpot of stew ready for me when I get home from work today. I’ll have to try this.

    I couldn’t find anywhere to email you directly, but was wondering about your process having your kitchen renovated. I am in a similar position (but on the other side of the park!) and not quite sure how to raise the issue with my landlord. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

  5. Sarah

    This recipe looks delicious! You know, I am going through a strange transition in my life right now and I tend keep things private and to myself. And although I am a good listener, I don’t like to be bogged down by other’s problems as we all have our own to deal with. I am one that accepts that bloggers put the best out of their life for the world to see. I never assume their lives are perfect and understand the need and want for privacy. This goes for you. I would never think your life is perfect and I completely appreciate your blog for celebrating the little things in life, but man, sometimes I wonder what on earth you are talking about when you say that you were having a hard time? It makes me want to know because I can’t help but wonder what’s keeping you down. Maybe the uncertainties of the future? Or like me, wondering what the heck you are doing with your degree? What are you doing with your life while so many people from your past are living it up with a career in a field that you dreamt of as a child and they didn’t know it existed until college? (maybe that’s just me) Oy, I don’t expect you to answer. I guess I’m writing this to say that it’s hard to believe that someone who sees the beauty of this world so clearly could ever have a day that didn’t shine as bright as them. I hope all is well now. PS- LOVING the kitchen redo. It looks so clean and bright!

  6. I’m so excited to get my slow cooker out not that it’s Autumn! There’s really nothing better than throwing a few ingredients into a pot and having it be done for you. This looks so delicious!

  7. I am looking forward to breaking out our crockpot too, this looks delicious!

  8. Your recipes are always so good! I can’t wait to try this one out!

  9. yum! i am a vegetarian … but i bet it would be just as delicious without the chicken! my favorite chili recipe is a sweet potato vegetarian chili i make. it is so filling and you feel so good after you eat it. you can make it in the crock pot, or on the stove. http://www.lovelolablog.com/2014/01/sunday-soup_27.html

    thanks for sharing :)

  10. Bek W

    This looks amazing! But I’m from Australia and I don’t actually know what great northern beans are – or what canned chilli is?? Can I just literally chop up some green chillies??
    ALSO I’ve looked up some of the other commenters chilli recipes (they look delicious!) and I’m not sure what a can of tomato sauce is? Surely this can’t be a whole can of ketchup?! Is it tomato paste or perhaps pureed tomatoes?
    Eeeee help someone! Cos I’m in desperate need of some more slow-cooker/crock-pot recipes and these look YUM! Haha thanks :)

  11. Alexa

    I have a trusty red bean chili recipe I love from my stepmom but I will definitely have to branch out and try this! Thank you!

  12. Leanne

    Looks so delicious!
    My fiancee and I were just daydreaming yesterday about when we’re married and owning a crockpot together. Especially for snowed-in winter days.
    I too need some hand holding in the kitchen!


  13. Christi

    My husband impressed me when we were engaged by making sour cream chicken enchiladas using this chicken recipe. We also love to use this chicken in tacos and on tostadas. It yields quite a bit, so we always freeze portions in baggies for quesadillas for quick weeknight dinners. Enjoy!

    Pulled Chicken

    -1 onion, diced
    -1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
    -1 jar of salsa
    -either one packet of taco seasoning, or make the spice blend using a recipe off the internet (what I do ;)
    -2 lbs. chicken breasts
    -chicken broth (I usually use a carton, though my husband, more of a minimalist, just uses one can)
    -two pounds of chicken

    *Stir ingredients and coat chicken
    *Cook on low for 6-8 hours
    *Shred with a fork

  14. Nicola

    Hi! Sounds sooooo yummy! I love how it doesn’t have a million ingredients in it either! Am I crazy for not feeling comfortable leaving the crockpot on while I’m not home? Someone convince me it’s okay :)

  15. Tammy

    Happy Fall!! :D

    Oooh this looks mighty delicious. I cannot wait to get cooking in my crockpot! :D …I especially love making apple cider with it :3

    Have a lovely day.


  16. Kaylee

    This looks SOOOO DELICIOUS!! I would love to make this but I don’t have a crock pot. Any suggestions on stovetop cooking this recipe?

  17. Annie

    Awesome idea! I should get my crock pot out of the garage and try this recipe out! Don’t you just love coming home to dinner all ready to be served?! Amazing :)

    Thank you for sharing!

    The Mama Gazette

  18. Kate

    I have been looking for a good chili recipe for the slow cooker for months, and this sounds perfect! Our slow cooker has been neglected all summer as well, I can’t wait to bring it out and try this! Do you always make it with chicken, or have you ever made it with pork or beef?


  19. Randi

    This is the same recipe I’ve been using. I snagged it off of Pinterest a few years ago. It really is quite delicious.

  20. Tara

    I love this chili! I made some a couple weeks ago and it is just so good. Especially now! Thanks for the recipe!
    Love, Bess

  21. Rachel

    I’ve been looking for a white bean chili recipe. I am so glad I checked your blog this morning and found this one! This will be on the list to make this week. This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing!


  22. Kate

    Hi Naomi,

    I’ve been a long-time reader, but never commented.

    Have you heard of this?


    I thought of you & Sydney from the Daybook. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blogs over the past few years–I’m not mormon (non-denom Christian at this point), but am the same age and also navigating early marriage & motherhood. You’ve both given me a new view of the women in your faith. These are interesting times for all of us.


  23. ^^^I agree with Erin. I am a vegetarian also and this looks yummy! I think I would take out the chicken and add the vegetable broth! Great recipe idea!

  24. vicky

    i LOVE crockpot meals. they make coming home after a long day soo much easier. we’ve been doing pulled pork sandwiches and chicken tacos with ours lately. i’m so ready for fall soups and comfort meals ;)

    i just made this Cheese Tortellini Soup from Pinterest:

    but i changed out certain things like the sausage for something else i had in the freezer and a different kind of tortellini. i had to add it to my list of cooler weather meals because it was so good and very easy.

    can’t wait to try your white bean chili with chicken! looks and sounds amazing.

  25. arielle

    this looks delicious! I’ve already pinned it for future reference. and it’s amazing how taste and smell can bring back the sweetest of memories.

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  26. Saw this on your IG feed, Can’t wait to try it! Will be making this week for sure!!! thanks for sharing:)

  27. Rachel Mothersole

    Can’t wait to try in this in my crock pot!

    Our favourite is mac & cheese in the crock pot, we cook pasta for 5-10 mins pour it in the crock pot with, 1 cup cream, milk 2 cups, 2 cups mozzarella (grated) half a pack of cream cheese, sprinkle or parmesan, 1 tsp of mustard powder and salt and pepper then leave to cook for 1 to and hour and a half just keep and eye on it!

    We have it with roasted brussel sprouts! (SO good together)

    • TAZA

      i’ve never done mac and cheese in the crockpot! sounds amazing! we’ll try it!

  28. Bea

    mmmmmm….su yummy!!!!
    Naomi…I have a question, that is not about this post….wich season is the best for visiting NYC?
    I have to plan my first travel in your city, so I would love to have your suggestion about the period!
    Thank you a looot in advance!

    • TAZA

      i love autumn in new york city! probably my favorite, but honestly any season is great so long you don’t come during a heat wave or another epic polar vortex. :)

  29. Taylor

    My step-mom has always made such wonderful white bean chili and it’s my favorite! It’s so comforting. I’m a much bigger fan of white chili than red chili. This recipe is really similar and I bet it tastes just a great!


  30. Chelsea

    Yum! I love white chili, but have never tried it in a crockpot. To be honest I gave mine away, everyone always says how easy it is, but I somehow managed to burn everything!


  31. haley

    One of my favorites is something my mom makes when we’re all craving something insanely comforting (read: fatty).

    this isn’t chili but it’s soooo easy:

    4 chicken breasts
    1 brick cream cheese
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 packet italian seasonings (or you can put in your own favorite italian seasonings, like oregano/rosemary/garlic, etc)

    Crock pot for 4-6 hours on high…then eat over rice or quinoa. (The cream cheese and soup can be mixed together before going in the crock pot, if that’s easier, or you can just stir as it melts together.) Recipe makes a super creamy gravy that is perfect for cold days.

    You can also shred the chicken really easily, and eat without rice (if it’ll be too filling) with some asparagus or steamed spinach on the side.

  32. i’ll have to keep this in mind. I love crock pot season!

  33. Sinead

    This looks so delicious and I love the back story! Your friend and her cousin are such nice people to do that :-)

  34. marie

    Yummy looks good!!! Will definitely try this for my family, hopefully my hubby and son will like it. ;)


  35. Rebecca Orr

    Yum. Sounds delicious and perfect for breezy fall afternoon meals.

  36. Love this chili, it is one of my favourites. From being hearty, comforting on a cold day and spicy, how could anyone not?

    thanks for posting!


  37. mara

    i make a very similar recipe to this too! i’ve already made it a couple of times this month and it is SO yummy. i add some white corn in mine too, no water, and a cube of chicken buillon. otherwise, it’s essentially the same. oh, but i just simmer mine on the stove top for 30-40 minutes. so quick and easy – i need a hand to hold in the kitchen as well ;)

  38. Katrina

    Aww I hope I can be more like the girl that served you without even knowing you. The sweetest. Thank you for sharing that :)

  39. Tamara

    This sounds so good! I love finding new crockpot recipes and I can’t wait to give this one a try :).


  40. Brittni

    This recipe is GREAT! It’s saved me during several busy times whose savior is the crock pot. I love that there’s a backstory attached to this recipe, it makes it that much more delicious. I would definitely recommend trying mac n’ cheese crock pot style…so good!

  41. Chelsea

    We tried it tonight (altered it slightly. More garlic and half an onion.)

    So delicious.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  42. Oh my gosh, the photo of your family cooking together is so touching :)

  43. Marci


  44. Pam

    I can’t wait to make this! Thank you for posting the recipe. I have a question, are you supposed to cook the chicken on the stove all the way through or does it cook in the crockpot? I love your blog and your posts on NY and all the yummy food places you mention. Have a lovely week.

  45. Pam

    Forgot to ask, if you don’t own a crockpot, can you cook in a Dutch oven? I should just buy a crockpot! Happy Fall.

  46. Chelsey

    this looks so delish! I love a good chili so I can’t wait to try this out. I also love how you shared the little back story, that was just so sweet and made me so happy to hear someone being such a great friend. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that mean the most:)


  47. Adrienne

    This looks delicious, I’m inspired to make some Autumn food :)

  48. Teresa

    this looks outstanding! and it’s perfect for those busy days where you still want to come home to something warm and cozy! thanks for the recipe

  49. siheme sebaa

    hello Naomi,

    I would love to try this but could you please tell me what does 1 14 1/2 ounce can mean? I am French and I didn’t find the measurement- equivalent anywhere…Please help :-)

  50. Ooh! This look delicious! I will definitely be trying this out when it warms up here in Nashville!

  51. Ash

    OK, so I have a pot roast simmering in the crock pot as we speak (well, you know what I mean). It’s officially the first day of fall (and it’s umm…88 degrees and sunny where I live in CA)…but not even the sunny California weather can hold me back from welcoming Fall!

    I haven’t actually tried this recipe out yet, but here’s what I’ve got going on right now in the kitchen:

    *1 pre-marinated Cabernet Pot Roast from Trader Joe’s
    *Red potatoes (quartered)
    *1/2 cup of water

    *Sear the pot roast on the stove before throwing everything in the crockpot. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 5-6. IS THERE ANYTHING EASIER THAN THIS?

    Can’t say I’ve tasted it yet, but it smells heavenly in here. Hope you don’t mind the cheat from Trader Joe’s. I’m a mama of two as well, so I take all the help I can get these days! ;)

  52. Viviane

    Wow! That looks so yummy! Will definitely try out this recipe.

  53. Christy boots

    My kids love this chili! As others have mentioned, it is especially good when you add chopped yellow onions. Also, we serve with tortilla chips and top with shredded jack cheese, chopped avocado, sour cream and fresh cilantro. Yum!

  54. Miriam Eloise

    Hey girl!

    Now, I know this is an unrelated post, but I figured it stood more of a chance being seen on your blog, as opposed to your instagram.
    Anyway, I just stumbled across the most wondrous YouTube clip ever, and I’m sharing it with all my mama/mama-to-be friends.
    I imagine you would be equally as moved by it also, so I would like to direct you to Silvio Falcinelli’s ‘Miracle of Life’ animation. It is so beautiful, and as an expecting mama, it is a stunning confirmation of the miracle your body, your child, and Heavenly Father each are.

    Sorry to ramble, but I just thought I would share!

    Blessings to your family xx

  55. Sydney

    I make one similar, but I am going to have to try this one out! Love crockpot recipes for Fall! The best and the absolute easiest! Thanks for sharing! PS Loving Eleanor in all of these pictures, such a cute little helper :)

  56. Johanna

    I was planning on making white bean chicken chili anyway, so I used your recipe! This is ahh-mazing. One of my favorite, nutritious, delicious, and super easy crock-pot recipes is this coconut lentil curry. It’s full of wonderful nutrients, and is oh-so-yummy. It’s great both over rice or on its own :)

  57. Louise

    Great post! Could you tell me the model that your Crock Pot is or the number of litres it holds? Interested in purchasing one so thought I’d ask seen as how you seem to have had lots of success with yours! Thanks

  58. hanna

    That looks so good! –Hanna Lei

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  60. Carmen Sherry

    Thanks so much for this! I just finished putting all the things into the crock pot and tomorrow morning I will just have to pull this out of the fridge, turn the crock pot on and let it go. It will be bubbling and ready for us after church! Cant wait to try it :-)

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  63. Kate

    Just wanted to follow up to my original comment and let you know that we made this last night! It turned out so delicious, thank you again for sharing the recipe!


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  65. Felicity

    Made this tonight and thought I would tell you. Am in the UK so used cannellini beans and added some onions. I don’t have a crockpot either, so out it a low oven. Just fantastic, will be making again. Never even heard of white chili before this post – thank you!

  66. Amanda

    Ugggh I have no idea where to ask this. (=’ :’) but the eagles! Your blog led me to buy an ebilskiver pan… But I have no idea how to make them! I’ve searched your older posts for the recipe and noticed many have asked for it. So what’s one more request, right? ;) this is worth a try but I totally, completely understand if you don’t reply! Between your role of mommy, taza, naomi, blogger, etc- you’re quite in demand!!