White Chicken Chili with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde

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It’s starting getting cold in Michigan. Like, bring the mums inside at night and scrape the frost off your windshield in the morning kind of cold. All the reason I needed to make a big batch of chili this weekend.


And not just any chili, white chicken chili with homemade tomatillo salsa. A warm, comforting meal perfect for cooler days.


I love a simple white chicken chili but adding the roasted tomatillo salsa really kicks it up. If making a big batch of salsa verde doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you can certainly use store bought but it’s so easy to make and so tasty I would encourage anyone to try it.


The tomatillos get roasted either under the broiler or on the grill with poblanos, jalapeños, and garlic. Everything gets blended with some lime juice, salt, and cumin. Once everything’s combined, you have a delicious salsa verde full of smokey flavor.


Making your own salsa verde might seem a little ambitious, but the rest of the chili is so easy and comes together so quickly, it’s so worth the extra effort. The chicken gets poached while the beans simmer in chicken stock. Once the chicken is cooked, it gets shredded and mixed with the beans. A half cup of the salsa gets added and everything simmers for 15-20 minutes.


One quick note – I used 2 cups of dried beans that I soaked overnight and was left with about 5 cups of soaked beans. If you’re using canned beans, you will just need 2 cans and you won’t need to let the beans simmer for an hour. They can get started heating up while the chicken is poaching.


This recipe can be easily doubled for a bigger batches, too.


White Chicken Chili with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde

For the Chili

  • 2 Cans White Beans or 2 Cups Dry White Beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 Quart Chicken Stock
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Water

For the Salsa Verde

  • 6 Tomatillos
  • 2 Poblano Peppers
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 1 Garlic Head
  • 1 Tsp Olive Oil
  • Juice from 1/2 Lime
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Cumin

If using dry beans soaked overnight, drain beans and add to a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken stock to the pot and allow to simmer for an hour until beans are soft.

If using beans from a can, wait until you’re ready to cook the rest of the ingredients before adding to the large pot with the chicken stock. These will not need to cook and will just need to be brought to a simmer.

Fill a medium pot halfway with water and place over medium heat until water simmers. Add one teaspoon salt to the water. Slowly lower the chicken into the simmering water and allow the chicken to cook for 10-14 minutes, being sure to not let the water come to a hard boil. Once the chicken is opaque all the way through and the internal temperature is 165, the chicken is ready to be removed and set aside.

Get started on the salsa verde by turning the grill or broiler on high. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and slice the poblano and jalapeño peppers in half, removing the seeds and ribs. Slice the top of the head of the garlic off and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and place on the grill or under the broiler first. After 5 minutes, place the vegetables on the grill or on a baking sheet under the broiler. Allow the vegetables to develop some char marks, about 5 minutes and flip. Cook the vegetables and addition 3-4 minutes and remove. Remove the garlic and unwrap from foil. Garlic should be just soft enough to squeeze each clove from the sleeve. Remove 3-4 cloves and place in a blender along with the tomatillos, poblanos, and jalapeño. Add the juice from the lime, salt, and cumin and blend until smooth.

Shred the chicken and add to the simmering beans. Add 1/2 cup of the salsa verde and water and stir to combine. If using dry beans, you may need to season with additional salt. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes before serving. Top with reserved salsa verde and enjoy!