Chicken and White Bean Chili – (Gluten-free + Dairy-free)

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Chicken and White Bean Chili - (Gluten-free + Dairy-free)

Some people may think it’s weird to make your own birthday dinner. For me, I enjoy it, it’s the best way to make sure you get what you want to eat, exactly how you want it on your special day. Plus I just love cooking, it makes me happy! This Wednesday I celebrated my birthday! Rather than going out to a restaurant, we decided after having house-guests the past two weekends and eating many meals out, we were both sick of it and we were looking forward to a meal at home.

Mark offered to take me out, but I insisted that I wanted to cook something myself, a dish that has been on my mind for a while now. We had a 4-lb pasture-raised chicken in the freezer from a local farmer and rather than our usual grilled or roasted whole chicken, I wanted to do something a little bit different. I thought a delicious white chili was the perfect way to enjoy the chicken and get the most out of it.

Chicken and White Bean Chili - (Gluten-free + Dairy-free)

When I told Mark I was making a chicken chili, he was really excited about it, but when he saw this “white chili” as I was serving it, he got confused and I think he was a tad worried it wasn’t going to be good since, it looked so much different then the chili I usually make. Just a few bites in, he asked if I could make a badge for my site to put on certain recipes that reads “This is Mark Approved”. Not a bad idea. He loved this one and immediately decided it’s better than the traditional “red” chili of mine, that he loves so much.

Chicken and White Bean Chili - (Gluten-free + Dairy-free)

I first started by making my own stock using the whole chicken, cut up into pieces. If you don’t want to do this, use store-bought broth and cook up a couple of chicken breasts or maybe a breast and a thigh. I just find the flavor from homemade stock completely takes things to a different level.

The masa harina (or corn flour) is definitely optional in this recipe, I just started adding it to my regular chili last year sometime and I love how it not only thickens it, but it also brings a nice complimentary flavor to the chili. You can also just puree a cup or so of the beans, right at the end, to create a thick creamy paste. This will also thicken it up the chili. However, additional thickening isn’t totally necessary either, it gets quite thick on it’s own. Additionally, the yogurt at the end is also option, I just like the little bit of tart creaminess it adds to this chili, you can skip it and just dollop it on top instead or if you are dairy-free, just go without. I ate some both ways, with and without any dairy and although the creaminess is really nice, it is just as good without, too!

I know there are a lot of approximations in this recipe, optional ingredients and room for you to make your own selections. I personally love recipes like that, there is tons of opportunities for you to tweak this recipe and make it your own. If you prefer one type of pepper over another, go for it. If you want less heat, leave peppers and some of the spices out. If you don’t like cumin, just add more of the either dried spices. If you are dairy-free, leave off the yogurt or sour cream. Recipes like this are really easy to play with and change as you go. It is pretty hard to screw this up.

If you were making your own birthday dinner, what would you make for yourself?

Chicken and White Bean Chili - (Gluten-free + Dairy-free)



{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sam619 October 19, 2013 at 7:51 am

Omg! This looks delicious! Happy Belated Birthday! I made homemade chili once and I had no idea what i put in them. I need to try this recipe! Thx you!


2 Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking October 19, 2013 at 10:25 am

I was just looking for a white chili recipe. I love how you added masa. I never would have ever thought of that. It makes it so think and lovely. I would have made this for my own birthday too! Hope you had a great bday and are feeling better!


3 Nicole @the modern hunt October 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Beth, this looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it. I make a super easy avocado crema that would be a delicious creamy non-dairy topper for this. It’s just an avocado, a clove of garlic, juice of a lemon (or two limes) and some olive oil, whirled in the food processor until thick and creamy.


4 Kate October 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Hey we’re birthday buddies! I hope yours was wonderful. Thanks for another delicious recipe! I always love your creations:)


5 Fran October 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Isn’t sour cream and yogurt dairy? I was looking for recipe that doesnt use milk products and this says dairy free….


6 tastyyummies October 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Fran, yes it is dairy, but if you read the full post and the recipe (including where the ingredients are listed) it clearly states that those items are optional. I also talk about how I have made this without dairy and I like it. Please take a look at the full post 😉 So without sour cream or yogurt it is dairy-free, which is why it is listed as such. Thank you.


7 Jessie November 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Just made this yesterday and it was amazing!
I had to improvise a little (my grocer didn’t have red jalapeños!) but I don’t think there is too much of a difference with the recipe.


8 Lori January 25, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Great recipe. I make something similar and needed some ideas for improvement. My daughter is gluten and dairy free and I eat gluten light so this is very helpful. We love yoga too!


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