White Chicken Chili {Keto, Paleo, Whole30, Nightshade-free}

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This comforting and hearty low carb White Chicken Chili cooks in under 30 minutes and in one pot. It’s perfect for a delicious fall or winter weeknight meal! It’s keto, paleo, whole30 and nightshade-free. With a few simple tweaks, AIP-compliant, too.

White Chicken Chili {Keto, Paleo, Whole30, Nightshade-free, Dairy-free}
White Chicken Chili {Keto, Paleo, Whole30, Nightshade-free, Dairy-free}

It’s about that time of year, soup, stew and chili season. My absolute favorite!!! I adore the comforts of these foods, I crave them. This is the food that makes my soul happy.

I also REALLY love meals that are ready in 30 minutes or less on the stove top, one pot, no special tools or equipment, just a straight-up, easy, hearty meal.

This particular White Chicken Chili recipe is low carb and keto-friendly, it’s paleo, Whole30 compliant and made without any nightshades. With a few minor changes you can also make this White Chicken Chili AIP compliant.

What are Nightshades?

Nightshades are a botanical family of plants, more technically called Solanaceae.  The most common nightshades are tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and eggplant. These plants all have certain characteristics in common (like the shape of the flower and how the seed is arranged within the fruit–Wikipedia has a good description).  There are more than two thousand plant species in the nightshade family, the vast majority of which are inedible and many of which are highly poisonous (like deadly nightshade and jimsomweed). Tobacco is a nightshade, and is known to cause heart, lung, and circulatory problems, as well as cancer and other health problems (although, clearly some of this has to do with the other toxins in tobacco products derived from the processing.) The reason why nightshades are problematic for many people is due to the glycoalkaloid content. Over-consumption of these edible species can actually be poisonous to anyone, and it is possible that the low-level toxic properties of nightshade vegetables contribute to a variety of health issues over time.1https://www.thepaleomom.com/what-are-nightshades/ Read more here about the potential concerns with nightshades for those with autoimmune disease.

White Chicken Chili {Keto, Paleo, Whole30, Nightshade-free, Dairy-free}

Why Nightshade-free?

While I am not 100% nightshade-free, 100% of the time, I have discovered in this last year that in abundance, nightshades can trigger my autoimmune symptoms and cause noticeable joint pain for me, it can cause migraines and allergy-like symptoms, so, I have been  careful about how much I consume them and the amount. If I am struggling with an autoimmune flare-up or digestive flare-ups, I will cut nightshades out completely until things calm down a bit. On the regular, when my autoimmune symptoms are managed, I still prefer to avoid them in whole food form, like tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and eggplants, but usually in pretty small amounts, as a garnish or in spice blends, etc – nightshade do not trigger a noticeable response for me, so I don’t overly concern myself with obsessing over it, in that sense. I know folks who have to be 100% nightshade-free and it can certainly be challenging, in a lot of ways I think even more than having to avoid gluten, since they can hide in spices, seasonings, sauces, etc.

Nightshade-free White Chicken Chili 

I really miss traditional chili so so much, it’s one of my favorites, but the past few times I have made it over the last year or two, each time I ate it, I was so, so sick after. I will wake up the next morning with a hangover-level migraine, itchy throat and eyes and joint pain that persists for days. It’s a major bummer. I was in denial for some time about this discovery, but I am at the point where it just isn’t worth it. I feel so great nearly ALL of the time, that it’s an easy shift to make to avoid those foods in large amounts.  I started thinking how easy a nightshade-free, low-carb white chicken chili would be to make. Seasoned with cumin, oregano and coriander, there are so many great aromatics and flavors. With enough white (or black) pepper you get a little heat and the lime juice is a really nice, bright finish. The creaminess from the coconut milk blend, it really nice, to thicken it. I do really well with the Green Valley’s Lactose-free Cream Cheese, so that’s what I use here. You can also use something like Kite Hill’s dairy-free cream cheese that is made from nuts or make your own cultured coconut cream cream cheese. If you prefer to skip this, just add additional coconut milk or coconut cream.

When I make this low carb white chicken chili, I usually offer canned green chiles for Mark, if he wants to add a little heat, but the last time I made it, he said “it really doesn’t need it”.

Keto White Chicken Chili

For those of you following a ketogenic or low carb approach, this recipe is a great options. That small amount of arrowroot starch is just enough to thicken the pot of chili but a negligible amount of carbs. Wanna leave it out, go for it, boo. It’ll just be a bit more like a soup but still crazy hearty. If you tolerate dairy, throw on some shredded raw milk sharp cheddar or a dollop of sour cream. YUM!

White Chicken Chili {Keto, Paleo, Whole30, Nightshade-free, Dairy-free}

White Chicken Chili (Keto, Paleo, Whole30, Nightshade-free, Dairy-free, AIP-option)

keto, low carb, paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, whole30, nightshade free, nut-free, egg-free, AIP-option
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, ghee or other cooking oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sea sat
  • 1 teaspoons black pepper, or white pepper if you have it
  • 3 cups chicken bone broth, or regular broth - I used Bonafide Provisions Bone Broth
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup dairy-free or lactose-free cream cheese, or additional coconut milk or coconut cream
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons arrowroot starch or tapioca starch

Options for serving:

  • scallions, thinly sliced
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • avocado slices
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream


  • In a large pot, heat the cooking oil. Add the onion and celery, cook 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander, sea salt and pepper. Give it all stir, cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add broth. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chicken. Stir and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked.
  • Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the chicken and shred with two forks or using the mixer method (read how to do that here).
  • Add the chicken back to the pot. Stir.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the coconut milk, cream cheese and the lime juice.
  • In another small bowl whisk together the arrowroot starch (or tapioca) with 1/4 cup or cold water.
  • Whisk the coconut milk mixture into the chili. Stir well to combine.
  • While whisking the soup, slowly stir in the arrowroot starch mixture. Bring the chili to a low boil and let it thicken and reduce slightly.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, to your taste.
  • Serve and garnish and desired.


If you are serving to individuals who like a little heat and can tolerate nightshades just fine, serve with canned green chiles or pickled jalapeños as a topping option, they can also add red pepper flakes.
You can skip the arrowroot starch slurry and this will be just a bit thinner, but still super hearty.
If you want it more like a soup, skip the arrowroot and add another cup of broth.
For AIP - leave out cumin and coriander, instead of cream cheese use all coconut milk
For AIP reintroduction phase - if you tolerate cumin and coriander keep those.

Whole30 White Chicken Chili 

Paleo White Chicken Chili

AIP White Chicken Chili

Keto White Chicken Chili

Low Carb White Chicken Chili

Gluten-free White Chicken Chili

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.thepaleomom.com/what-are-nightshades/

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