Creamy White Chicken Chili with Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

Sunday October 11, 2015

One of the highlights of the slow cooker revolution is the gigantic repertoire of meat and bean chilis. Chili is now a weekly rotated family meal or even served to guests. And each week you can make a totally different tasting chili in some delectable earthy color. I mean these chilis are good lookin’ as well as good tastin’.

Really this was dubbed the “The Best White Chili Ever” by my sister Meg, who loves anything and everything creamy. I like the LOTS of cilantro. This is a mild chili (read good for kids and seniors with a sensitive palate) and utilizes plenty of leftover cooked chicken or a whole store-bought rotisserie chicken (then toss the frame into another slow cooker to make a roasted chicken broth for soup) with white beans such as Great Northern or Navy. Its almost a no brainer, out of the cupboard meal. I happen to be a big fan of baby white beans, so I make them fresh from scratch the day before if possible instead of using canned. Use the Mexican dried oregano for your Mexican dishes. It will make that subtle difference. Mexican cooks swear by it and would never use the more pungent Greek cousin.

Great with cornbread or pumpkin corn muffins (recipe follows).


Recommended Size:  Medium or Large Round or Oval

Machine Setting and Cook Time: Low Heat: 4 to 5 hours

Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans of diced roasted green chiles
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed (Eden brand with the good and safe can linings)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons crumbled dried Mexican oregano (McCormick carries this now-its less pungent than Greek oregano)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Couple of drops of Tabasco sauce or your favorite hot sauce, or to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped
  • 1 Store-bought rotisserie-roasted whole chicken, meat pulled off
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • Shredded Monterey jack cheese, for serving
  • Regular or light sour cream, for serving


1. In a skillet sauté the onions in butter under tender, about 5 minutes. Add onions to crock. Add the chilis, broth, beans, garlic, oregano, cumin, pepper, Tabasco, and red pepper flakes.

2. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.

3. Add the cilantro and chicken meat to the crock and continue to cook on LOW until chicken is warm, about 1 hour more. Just before serving, stir in the sour cream and half and half until blended, and cook until heated through, about 20 minutes

Serve topped with shredded cheese and sour cream 6++with warm Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins on the side with butter.

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Family Favorites, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2009, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

Makes 12 muffins


1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (such as Libby’s)
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup maple syrup or light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup light olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400º.  Spray a 12-cup standard muffin tin generously with nonstick cooking spray or grease with butter. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl, beat the pumpkin puree, buttermilk, sour cream, maple syrup or sugar, eggs, and olive oil with a whisk or an electric mixer to combine.  Make a well and pour into the flour mixture and stir with a large spatula just until moistened, using no more than 15 to 20 strokes. Do not overmix. The batter will be lumpy.

Spoon the batter into each muffin cup until just level with the tops of the pan.  Bake in the center of the preheated oven until browned, the tops feel dry and springy, and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Let the muffins rest in the pan 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool. Freeze in heavy plastic freezer bags up to 2 months.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2015

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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