White Chili with Cornbread

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Yield: about 8 to 12 servings

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This tasty white chili, made with chicken or turkey, is topped with green chile cornbread. Dig in!

White Chili with Cornbread

star rating (16) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: about 8 to 12 servings
Published: 11/29/2010



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped, about 3 1/4 cups chopped onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1/2" to 3/4" pieces; about 1 1/2 cups chopped pepper
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, diced; remove and discard seeds for milder chili
  • 1 to 4 cloves garlic (to taste), peeled and minced
  • 1 pound bag frozen corn, thawed; or 3 cups fresh or frozen/thawed corn kernels
  • 2 cans (4 1/2 ounces each) chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 5 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey meat, white and/or dark
  • 1 can (15 to 19 ounces) white beans or cannellini beans, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, optional, for topping

Cornbread topping

  • 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2-ounce can chopped mild green chiles, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg

Tips from our bakers

  • Feel free to use canned or fresh corn instead of frozen; or Southwest-style frozen corn, with diced red peppers.
  • Our thanks to grouprecipes.com, for the inspiration to smooth the chili's texture with puréed beans, and add richness with cream cheese.


see this recipe's blog »

1) To make the chili: Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, peppers, and garlic, frying until the vegetables are soft and the onions are barely beginning to turn golden, about 10 to 15 minutes.

2) Add the corn, chiles, and chicken or turkey, stirring to combine.

4) Place the beans with their liquid in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Add to the pan with the meat and vegetables, stirring to combine.

4) Stir in the cumin and salt.

5) Simmer the chili slowly for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. While the chili simmers, make the cornbread topping, and start preheating the oven to 375°F.

6) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chiles, and fresh cilantro.

7) In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and egg.

8) Pour the liquid all at once into the flour mixture, stirring quickly and gently until just combined. Set the batter aside while you finish the chili.

9) Add the cream cheese to the chili, stirring until it melts. Adjust the salt, if necessary.

10) Spoon the chili into a lightly greased 9" x 13" x 2"-deep pan. You'll need about 1" clearance between the chili and the top of the pan, to ensure the cornbread topping doesn't overflow. If your pan is shallower than 2", fill with chili until it comes no closer than 1" to the top. You may also divide the chili among individual serving dishes. The entire recipe makes about 8 cups of chili; if you use 2-cup capacity ramekins or bakers, spoon 1 cup chili into each.

11) Top the chili with grated cheddar cheese, if desired; then with the cornbread batter. For 8 individual ramekins or bakers, use 1/2 cup batter for each.

12) Bake the chili and cornbread for about 25 minutes, until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the cornbread comes out clean. The individual servings will bake for about 20 minutes.

13) Remove from the oven, and serve hot or warm.

Yield: about 8 to 12 servings.


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  • star rating 04/14/2015
  • April6363 from KAF Community
  • Simple and tasty, yes please! I didn't have any white beans on hand but I did have a can of a popular brand organic chili so I just pureed that instead. So easy and I will make it again once the weather turns a bit colder.
  • star rating 10/20/2014
  • CT from Hershey, PA
  • I added 1 cup of chicken broth to the pureed beans like others recommended. This turned out amazing!! Makes a lot so it'll feed a pretty big crowd. Will definitely add to my comfort food arsenal.
  • star rating 06/22/2014
  • Janplum4@gmail.com from KAF Community
  • I made this dish for a large family gathering. It is a little different twist on the traditional chicken chili dish ( that I have made and taken a thousand times). Everyone raved over this and there wasn't a crumb left. My only change would have been to ad about a cup of chicken broth to the filling. I always do this for casserole dishes to keep them from drying out. This is going to be my new take and share recipe for pot lucks and other large gatherings.
  • star rating 08/01/2013
  • Marta from Saint Charles, MO
  • Really enjoyed this dish! The chicken chili was just the right balance of flavor and texture (I used 3 garlic and one large jalapeno) and had a tiny little kick to it - but not enough to scare off my picky eaters! The cornbread was a great topping, too. I added about a cup of chicken broth before simmering the chili to amend previous reviewer complaint of dryness, and I did not add cilantro to the cornbread, since I'm the only one here who likes it, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I love it when recipes have great flavor balance - not relying on salt or sugar or fats to make it taste good, and this one WINS. It also seems to be the kind of meal that tastes better the next day - can't wait to have more tomorrow!
  • star rating 04/19/2011
  • cklos from KAF Community
  • Winner, winner, skillet dinner! This is a fabulous recipe with lots of flavor. I only made half a recipe and it fit nicely into a 12" cast iron skillet. It's a keeper and my new go-to recipe. Thanks!!
  • star rating 03/13/2011
  • echavlik from KAF Community
  • This wonderful dish was the centerpiece of our Super Bowl party this year. Not only was the dish a winner, but so was our team - The Pack is Back! This chili, with more liquid and without the cornbread topping, won the unique chili category in my husband's office chili competition. White chili in Houston? It had to win! Both times I have made it, we used Hatch chili from New Mexico, probably double the amount suggested, and double the garlic. Thank you for a great recipe.
    Congratulations on your win! ~Amy
  • star rating 01/31/2011
  • Ginger from NC
  • I made this for supper tonight and everyone loved it. I left out the cilantro (we don't like it) on purpose and the cheese by accident. We didn't miss the cheese and decided it wasn't necessary. Next time I'll leave it out on purpose (saves a few calories). I used lowfat cream cheese. I will be making this again.
  • star rating 01/19/2011
  • slcmac from KAF Community
  • I must be in the minority. I was sorely disappointed in this recipe. I followed the recipe exactly, except for adding the cilantro to the cornbread mixture, since I am not fond of the herb. I found the "chili" to be almost dry. There was just not enough sauce to provide moisture to the bread, let alone to coat the meat and veggies. I will not make this again, nor recommed it. It was particularly bad, since this makes a very large quantity, and I will be the one to have to choke down the leftovers. I make a similar dish, with "regular" beef and tomato chili, heavily laced with corn and peppers, and we love it... I should have gone with my instinct to add broth to the chicken mixture, to give is a bit more liquid...
  • star rating 01/17/2011
  • Dennis Battin from Polk City, Fl
  • My wife made this dish for dinner last night and it is super good. In fact we had leftver for lunch today and againt super great. We enjoyed dish very much.
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