White Chicken Chili

This delicious, nutritious pulled chicken with coconut milk that can be done on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. It is a bean-free vegetable chili, has 28 g of protein per serving, calls for bone broth and is appropriate for a cleanse (Whole30, Clean) or paleo diet. This is based on The Real Food Dietitians’ recipe.

It’s super quick and I dish some out for my kid before I add the coconut milk in, since he likes it better without coconut milk or spice.


  •  1 ½ lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
  • 1 T ghee or olive oil (for stovetop only)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 medium bell pepper, any color, and/or 1-2 jalapeno or other fresh hot chili – omit if avoiding nightshades
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ½ t ground cumin
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ t black pepper – omit if avoiding nightshades
  • 1 or 2 cups organic bone broth, chicken or beef
  • 1 14-ounce can of tomato puree or diced tomatoes – omit if avoiding nightshades
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped fairly small
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh cilantro and lime wedges for garnish, optional
  • Avocado, diced, optional
  • Chili sauce or diced fresh chilies to taste – omit if avoiding nightshades

T = tablespoon
t = teaspoon

Slow Cooker Instructions

Dice or mince vegetables – onions, celery, carrots, peppers (if using), garlic and toss into slow cooker.

Mix cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper and sprinkle half of the spice mix on the veggies and stir to combine.

Arrange chicken on top of vegetables in a single layer at the bottom of a slow cooker and sprinkle the second half of the spice mix on top of the chicken.

Add just enough broth to barely cover the chicken and place lid on slow cooker.

Set heat to LOW and cook 6-7 hours or until chicken is done.

Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Add kale and tomatoes (if using), and return chicken to slow cooker. Cook for around 15-20 minutes.

Add coconut milk, stir and replace lid. Continue heating an additional 10 minutes or until soup is heated through.

Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Serve in bowls garnished with diced avocado, diced chilies and lime wedges, if desired.


Stovetop Instructions

Place a large Dutch oven (saucepan with lid) over medium heat. Add 1 T ghee or coconut oil and allow to melt. When ghee just starts to shimmer, add onions and sauté 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, add celery, carrots, and peppers (if using) until they start to soften.

Add garlic, cumin, oregano, (chili powder), salt, and (black pepper). Continue to cook an additional 30-60 seconds or until fragrant.

Lay chicken in the pan over the onion and pepper mixture. Add 1 cup of broth and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15- 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Shred the chicken in the pan using two forks or transfer it to a cutting board to shred before returning it to the pan.

Add the kale and the can of tomatoes (if using, otherwise add the second cup of broth) to the Dutch oven and return to a low simmer. Cover pan and allow chili to simmer for 20-30 minutes, or longer, up to an hour. Add the coconut milk in the last 5 minutes of the simmer. Do not boil.

Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Serve in bowls garnished with diced avocado, diced chilies and lime wedges, if desired.

You can read about bone broth on my blog, and/or check out these bone broth recipes:

The Real Food RD’s bone broth recipe

Dr. Cate’s video – how to make beef bone broth





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