When you need a warm meal to thaw out your bones, this White Chicken Quinoa Chili is just what you need! It’s made with chicken breast, quinoa, white beans, and salsa verde…oh and cauliflower crunchies on top!
I have been back in Minneapolis for a whole 3 days. As you know, I’ve been traveling my buns off…so 3 days in a row is pretty good for me. Since I’ve been traveling so much, Lin and I have had to be very organized in order to stay on task while I am away. We end up testing and shooting recipes like crazy people when I am home in Minneapolis and being VERY strategic when I’m gone. This comes with planning our content calendar at least two or three months out.
We have gotten in a groove lately and one thing that’s been amazing is Asana, which is a project management tool. It has seriously changed our lives. My brand manager, Katie from The Healthy Glow Collective, introduced me and I’m OBSESSED. Lin and I can work virtually without a glitch and it’s been a dream. So if you are struggling with managing a team, working from home, or anything in-between..seriously check out Asana!
Now, to the chili.
I can’t tell you how many times I eat chili starting in the fall——> all the way through the long Minnesota winter. You guys, chili is one of the most versatile, satisfying, and customizable meals out there. Don’t you agree? No matter how you like your chili, you can really customize any chili recipe to suit all of your favorite ingredients. If you don’t like kidney beans, sub with black beans. If you don’t like tomato based chili, skip the tomatoes and just use broth. The options are endless. When Team Fit Foodie is testing a new chili recipe we make sure we include all the chili essentials….
- Assorted Toppings
This White Chicken Quinoa Chili uses white beans, chicken broth, quinoa & chicken for the protein, cumin & cilantro for the spices, and greek yogurt & cauliflower crunchies for the topping (more on those later). All of our bases are covered. I have to admit, I am usually a tomato-based chili person. Lin and I have been loving white beans lately, so we wanted to give white chili a chance. It didn’t disappoint. This recipe is so comforting and has such a delicious tartness when you added greek yogurt as a topping. Obviously, I opted to use chips instead of a spoon so it was like a delicious, warm, white salsa. HA.
You need to step up your toppings a notch and make these super simple cauliflower crunchies. We were testing a roasted cauliflower recipe the day before we made this chili and realized after you take the big chunks of cauliflower off of the pan, there are still delicious little crunchies of heaven left on the bottom (which are actually my favorite!). So what did we do? We went to the store, bought a bag of cauliflower rice and made a whole batch of ONLY crunchies as a topping for this chili. It was genius and my life will never be the same again.
No matter what you decide to top this chili with, it’s delicious and perfect for a holiday dinner, meal-prep for the week, and everything in between.
White Chicken Quinoa Chili
For the Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mince garlic
- 1/2 large white onion finely diced
- 2 medium chicken breasts ~8 oz.
- 16 oz. salsa verde
- 15 oz. can white northern beans drained
- 15 oz. can navy beans drained
- 15 oz. can white hominy or corn
- 1 cup white quinoa uncooked
- 32 oz. low sodium chicken broth 4 cups
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/8 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Add in minced garlic and white onion. Sautee for 1 minute and then add in chicken breast, quinoa, chicken broth, beans (drained), hominy, and salsa.
- Bring to a boil, uncovered. Let simmer and cover for 30 minutes on low until chicken is cooked.
- Shred chicken and then place back in. Add in cumin, salt, lime juice, and fresh cilantro. Mix again. If your chili is too thick (it tends to do that!) add more chicken broth or water.
For the Cauliflower Crunchies
- Roast at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Toss and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Tips & Notes
- Nutrition information is without cauliflower crunches.
- Option to make this recipe inside of a crockpot. Place all ingredients in your crockpot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Once the chicken is tender and the quinoa is fully cooked, shred the chicken and then place back in and mix. Enjoy!
- When you reheat the chili for leftovers, you may need to add a liquid such as water or broth because it will thicken even more in the fridge!
In case you are chili-obsessed like me…we pulled a few of our favorites from FFF for you to try out. Enjoy!
Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Chili // The World’s Easiest White Chicken Quinoa Chili (this recipe!!) // Healthy Bison Chili // Vegetarian Beer Chili // Black Bean Quinoa Chili // Chicken Tortilla Soup with Kale
Great recipe, one of our favorites. Relatively Easy, very tasty, healthy. Five stars for sure. Freezes really well too.
It’s hard to find a recipe that is healthy, delicious, affordable, and yields enough food for a week’s meal prep. But this one checks all the boxes! I was a little afraid at first when making it because it seemed to be so much liquid, but by the end of it it was a deliciously thick chili that I happily ate with some corn chips. Definitely will make it again, me and my S.O. think it may be our new favorite meal prep staple. Thank you bunches for sharing! 🙂
Truly, truly my favorite recipe ever. I’ve been making this for at least two years. It is so dang good. I’ve surprised people with it for lunch; it became a legendary memory . I’ve made it for neighbors with a newborn. I’ve shared the recipe with my former roommate, who is now hooked. It’s incredible. My favorite tricks:
1. Use tri-blend quinoa. It’s prettier and has a nice firmer, nuttier taste compared to white quinoa.
2. You can make this with as little as one (or no) chicken breasts, to up to three. Just bump up the bean, broth, and quinoa ratio a bit if you can. But it’s so flexible it doesn’t really matter.
3. Lime, cilantro, and sour cream (or greek yogurt) is key at the end. I think each serving is best with an additional 1/4 lime straight into the bowl. Dashes of extra cumin is also good.
4. The photo is with yellow frozen corn, which is the first time I’ve subbed the hominy. I think hominy gives a better texture, but in a pinch the corn worked great!
5. Really good if you serve it with multigrain tortilla chips. Their sort of fancy thickness and flavor is just perfect for it, and if the chili is thick enough, it becomes a delicious sort of warm dip you can just eat with the chips instead of a spoon. For lunch today I paired it with jalenpiño potato chips, which just seemed good and lunch-y.
6. Topping it with cotija is delicious, too. I’d just use unsalted broth so it’s not too salty.
7. It freezes really well. It makes a lot, so that’s nice.
I’ve never made the cauliflower crumbles but they look really good.
THANKS LEE!!! You’re changing lives!!!
Oh! And lastly, I’d recommend using a fire-roasted/smoky flavor salsa verde! If you just use normal salsa verde, toss some smoked paprika in there!
And for people who like it spicy, a bit of minced jalepiño works well when the salsa is mild!
Wow, thank you for the amazing review!
This has become one of our favorites. Really easy to make, and it tastes even better the second day.
Loved it!! The lime and cumin add a really delicious and unique flavor. Definitely will make again. Thanks!
So glad you love this recipe, Sarah!
I made this last night for me and my fiance and it was SO good. Super easy to make. I love how the only things you had a to chop are the onions and garlic and that you just dump everything in the pot. I’m going to keep making this! Thank you for such a great recipe.
This chili has become a staple at my house! The whole family loves it, so thank you very much! I just wanted to point out that adding the white hominy/corn isn’t included in your instructions. I assumed it went in with the rest of the beans but just FYI!
Oh thank you for letting me know!
Looks so delish! Do you think this could be made in the slow cooker? Can’t wait to try it!!
I don’t see why not! I’d throw everything right into the slow cooker and turn it on! You might need more liquid, so just keep an eye on it!
Thank you! Also, can you recommend a good brand for store-bought salsa verde?
I know Trader Joe’s and Goya both have some!
This was super easy to make and very delicious. I had tons of leftovers. I’m making it again and will freeze some this time!
This meal was a homerun with my family! My only question is if it can be frozen because there is just too much left and I don’t want to go to waste !!
Hiyah! You can totally freeze it. Recommend doing it in a tupperware or gallon-size, freezer-friendly bag.
2 quick questions – I’m making this tonight, so sorry for these being “last minute!” Are the cans of beans supposed to be drained? Also, I’m trying to figure out if I should double this or not for my family of five – just curious if you tend to have leftovers and how much. Thanks!
Beans are drained- yes! Updating that in the recipe now. This makes A TON OF FOOD. You will have leftovers…especially if you serve with toppings and chips!
Thanks so much for the quick response! I can’t wait to try this for dinner!
This was DELICIOUS and SO EASY!!! Definitely going in my rotation for the rest of winter. And you are right- it made a ton! We topped with cauliflower crunchies, cheese, some avocado and greek yogurt. SO YUMMY!
This recipe sounds awesome but only has 2 steps, for the chili? How long or how do the cook the quinoa and broth?
Hi there! That is listed in the recipe step. If you see step one you can see you add those ingredients after you sauté the onions and then bring everything to a boil! Then let simmer for 30 minutes to cook the quinoa! <3
I’m chili obsessed. Can’t wait to make this in a few weeks! WAIT. DID I JUST SAY A FEW WEEKS?! EEEEeeeekkk!
SERIOUSLY I CANT WAIT EITHER.
I’m a vegetarian…would you recommend just omitting the chicken, or do you think I should sub another can of beans to maintain the right thickenss?
There’s actually not that much chicken in this recipe. I say just omit and you’re good to go 🙂
Awesome, thanks! I’ll let you know how it turns out!
Sounds delicious! White chicken chili, I would think it’s all white breast meat or I assume it’s for the white beans. I’ve just never heard of dark chicken chili before 🙂
It just refers to the fact that it’s not a red chili! 😛