Having homemade convenience meals on the pantry shelf means an easy, healthy and delicious dinner ready in about five minutes. This homemade white bean chicken chili is the perfect solution for those busy weeknights, and making a large batch then pressure canning it means easy dinner in a hurry. Learn how to safely and easily can your own meals.
This white bean chicken chili recipe is no exception!
Why I Love This Recipe
Not only is homemade white bean chicken chili a healthy meal, but when it’s been canned and is waiting on the pantry shelf it can be heated up and ready to eat in about five minutes.
This means my family is eating well, even on busy weeknights when I don’t typically have time to cook up a well-rounded healthy meal. I can rest easy, knowing if life happens, we’ll all still be fed well!
Not only that, but when you batch cook or cook in bulk like this, you also end up saving money because you can buy larger quantities of your ingredients at a time and use them up before they go bad!
Watch Me Make and Can This Recipe
Pressure canning at home makes a lot of people nervous, but I teach a simple ten step process that will give you the confidence you need to can healthy homemade food for your family.
If you don’t feel ready to pressure can check out my free canning course where I teach you how to can an easy convenience meal in the pressure canner!
Supplies Needed to Can Chili
Whenever we’re canning a low acid food, we need to use a pressure canner. I’ve shared before my love for my All American Pressure Canner that holds 14 quart-sized jars (that’s a LOT of chicken chili to be canned at once!). But there are a few other supplies that make canning so much easier.
- Stainless steel canning funnel
- My favorite jar lifter (or this cheaper, but still good jar lifter)
- Bubble remover/headspace ruler
- Canning racks (be sure to check the size of your canner first!)
- And if you need help finding canning jars, here are our tips on where to find canning supplies.
Preparing Supplies for Canning
First, you’ll want to take your pressure canner out and check all the seals, gaskets, lid, and dial gauges to make sure everything is clean and in good working order.
Place the canner onto the stove and add two inches of water to the pot and place a canning rack on the bottom.
My best tips to prepare your jars and lids for pressure canning is to wash them with warm soapy water and rinse well.
Place the lids and rings on a clean dry towel and set them aside for later.
Fill the clean jars about halfway with warm water and set them onto the rack inside the pressure canner. Place the lid on top and leave all this to sit until the chili is nearly done cooking.
- Beans – we’re using white beans in this recipe, so our bean of choice is a great northern bean. If you don’t have these, you can use navy beans or cannellini beans (also known as white kidney beans). You’ll want to soak and cook your beans prior to making your chili. See below for those instructions.
- Oil – You’ll need just a small amount of oil to cook the chicken in so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot. I like to use a good quality olive oil, but avocado oil or even coconut oil will work here.
- Chicken – I love using a combination of light and dark meat, but be sure it’s boneless, skinless and cubed up. I find they both add great flavor, but the white meat stays nice and plump, while the dark meat stays tender and juicy. If you only have one or the other, this will work just fine.
- Onion – every soup has to have onion… and garlic! White, yellow or even red onions will work well with this recipe. Just use what you have! We’re using up our onions we harvested and stored from our garden last year.
- Garlic – another great recipe to use up all of our home-grown garlic! (If you want to grow your own, you can learn how to plant garlic here.)
- Spices – chili is a very personal thing, and I’ve found many people like more or less of certain spices. I’ve listed the exact recipe we used below, but feel free to mix and match or reduce the quantities.
- Broth – a good quality homemade bone broth is best. Be sure you’ve de-fatted it before using it for this recipe. This will help get a proper seal on the jars. (You can learn how to can broth here and learn our best 13 broth-making tips here.
- Chilies – my favorite chilies are the Ortega mild chilies. If you like a little more “kick” then go for the medium or hot variety.
How to Make White Bean Chicken Chili
1. The night before you’re ready to cook your chili, you’ll want to get your beans soaking in water. This helps remove phytic acid and allows them to swell up to their full potential.
2. The next day, be sure they’re still covered in water and bring them up to a simmer on the stove for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prep all your other ingredients.
4. Place a large stockpot on the stove and turn to medium-high heat.
5. Add oil to the pot then add chicken and stir around to get coated in oil.
6. Cook chicken, stirring frequently, for approximately 10 minutes.
7. Add onions, garlic, herbs, and spices and stir to distribute evenly. Cook about 5 more minutes.
8. Drain the beans and add them to the stockpot.
9. Add broth and chilies and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium-low and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Directions for Canning White Bean Chicken Chili
Before continuing, be sure you’ve prepared your supplies as noted above…
1. While the chili is still simmering, turn the heat on low for your pressure canner. We’re not trying to bring it up to a boil, we just want it to be at a low simmer.
2. Carefully remove jars from the canner and dump the water out into the sink.
3. Using a ladle and canning funnel, divide white bean chicken chili evenly between your jars (this recipe makes about 6-quart jars or 12-pint jars).
TIP: Be sure to divide the solids between each jar first, then top each jar with broth, leaving one-inch headspace (which means there is one inch of space in the jar with nothing filling it).
4. Take your canning tool or a wooden skewer and run it down along the insides of the jar to make sure there are no bubbles. Top with more broth (or hot water) if necessary to keep it at a one-inch headspace.
5. Run your finger gently around the rim of each jar to check again for any nicks, then wipe down the rims with a clean cloth that has been dipped into white vinegar. This will help cut through any chicken fat that may be on the rims of the jars from the broth.
6. Place the brand new lids on top of each jar and add bands. Tighten each band to fingertip tight (don’t crank them on, just tighten as tight as your fingertips can get them).
7. At this point, your pressure canner should be up to temperature and starting to steam. Carefully lift your jars, one at a time, and place them into the canner.
8. Put your canning lid on and secure it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
9. With the heat on at medium-high, bring the canner to full steady steam and let the canner vent steam for 10 minutes.
10. Be sure you know the proper pressure needed for your elevation. If you live at sea level to 1,000′ elevation you’ll can at 10 psi. Check your user’s manual for your specific canner. Place the pressure regulator (or “jiggler”) onto the vent and allow pressure to slowly climb to full pressure.
11. Stabilize the pressure by making small adjustments to the heat until the pressure remains steady at the correct psi (pounds of pressure per square inch).
12. Set your timer for full processing time as soon as the canner has stabilized at full pressure.
13. Process quarts for 90 minutes, and pints for 75 minutes.
14. Once the time is up, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to return down to zero pressure naturally.
15. Remove the regulator or jiggler and set a timer for ten minutes to allow all the steam to escape.
16. Remove the lid carefully (it’s still HOT!) and, using a jar lifter, move the jars to a kitchen towel on a counter where they can cool undisturbed for 12-18 hours.
17. Check seals, remove bands, and clean jars before putting them into storage.
How to Serve Chicken Chili
Typically, we just pop the lid off the jars, dump the contents into a large pot, heat it up and serve it with our favorite toppings like sour cream, avocado and cilantro.
But this is chili, and there are countless combinations! We’ve been known to stretch a jar of chili by cooking up a pot of rice, then serving chili and grated cheese on top.
Get creative and have fun with it!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the recipe card below to let us know how much you loved it! Also, we’d love to see your beautifully canned jars of chicken chili! Snap a photo and tag us on social media @homesteadingfamily.
White Bean Chicken Chili (Plus Canning Instructions)
- Pressure Canner
- Canning Jars & Lids
- Jar lifter
- Headspace Measuring Tool
- 2.5 cups great northern beans soaked overnight
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 cups chicken boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup ground cumin
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 10 cups chicken broth defatted
- 1 cup diced green chilies
White Bean Chicken Chili
- Place soaked beans (still covered in water) and bring them to a simmer over medium high heat on the stove for 30 minutes.
- Measure and prep all ingredients while beans simmer.
- Place a large stockpot on the stove and turn to medium heat. Add olive oil.
- Add chicken and stir to coat in oil. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
- Add onions, garlic, herbs and spices, stir to distribute evenly and cook five more minutes.
- Drain water from beans and add beans to the stockpot.
- Add broth and chilies and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium-low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
Pressure Canning Instructions
- Follow instructions above for prepping jars and pressure canner.
- Turn the heat on low while chicken chili is simmering for the final ten minutes.
- Carefully remove jars from canner, dump out water and, using a ladle, divide chili evenly between six quart-size jars or twelve pint-size jars leaving one-inch headspace. (See notes below)
- Take bubble remover and run it along the four sides of each jar. Top jars off with more broth or water to maintain one-inch headspace.
- Run finger along the rims of each jar, checking for knicks or chips.
- Dip a clean towel into some white vinegar and wipe the rims of each jar.
- Center lids onto each jar, then add bands and tighten to fingertip tight.
- Place jars onto a rack inside the pressure canner.
- Put lid on pressure canner according to manufaturer's instructions.
- Bring canner to a full stead steam over medium-high heat. Let steam vent for 10 minutes.
- Place pressure regulator (or "jiggler") onto the vent and allow pressure to slowly climb until it's reached full pressure (see notes section for proper pressure based on elevation).
- Stabilize the pressure by making small adjustments to the heat until the pressure remains steady at the correct psi (pounds of pressure per square inch).
- Set your timer for 90 minutes for quart-size jars or 75 minutes for pint-size jars.
- Once time is up, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to return down to zero naturally.
- Remove the regulator or "jiggler" and set a timer for ten minutes to allow all the steam to escape.
- Remove the lid carefully and, using a jar lifter, transfer the jars to a towel-lined countertop out of the way. Allow jars to sit, undisturbed for 12-18 hours.
- Check seals, remove bands, and clean jars before moving them to long-term storage.
- Be sure to soak your beans overnight before starting this recipe!
- When adding chili to your canning jars, fill each jar about halfway with the chili solids, then top each jar with broth to ensure you evenly distribute the chili to each jar.
- If you don’t have enough liquid to get to a one-inch headspace in your jars, you can top them off with water.
- Wiping rims with white vinegar will help cut through any fat on the rims, which may inhibit a proper seal when canning.
- Fingertip tight means tightening the bands just as tight as your fingers will allow. Don’t grab the band with your whole hand and crank it tight.
- Any jars that don’t seal properly must be moved to the refrigerator within 16 hours and eaten within a few days.
- You can easily scale this recipe up or down depending on the number of jars you would like to can.