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White Chicken Chili {Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free & Paleo}

White Chicken Chili {Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free & Paleo}

Somedays you just wake up hungry. And not just ‘hungry’ but hungry for something super creative and delicious. It was about 10 am when I sat down with a bowl of my White Chicken Chili {Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free & Paleo}, it just felt right!

The funny part is that I didn’t intend on making this paleo/dairy-free it just happened, thanks to my hubby. I went to the fridge to grab the raw milk, but he drank it all — so I looked for the raw heavy cream but realized that since we were clearly out of raw milk the cream didn’t stand a chance, of course he drank that too.

But luckily, I always keep coconut milk on hand for just such occasions. I love THESE 8 ounce boxes of coconut milk, they are just enough and don’t contain any questionable ingredients; just coconut & water. IMHO they are the best you can buy!

If you’ve never had White Chicken Chili, don’t be afraid. It’s so delicious, I can only explain it as similar to cheesy-chicken-fajitas, the broth is creamy and lightly seasoned just like a cross between tacos & chili.

And of course you can use milk or cream, but trust me the coconut milk is so creamy and complimentary you won’t feel like your going without dairy at all. And even though we didn’t have beans or corn in our today, if you enjoy them in your diet feel free to add some in – I’m sure they’d be a delicious addition!

White Chicken Chili {Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free & Paleo}

White Chicken Chili {Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free & Paleo}

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Servings: 4 servings



  • Liberally season chicken breasts with seasoning.
  • In a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, heat butter over medium heat. Place chicken breasts, skin side down in pot and lightly brown (2-3 minutes)
  • Turn chicken breasts over (bone side down), add onions, celery and peppers. Saute until soft, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add water bring to a simmer. Cover and turn heat to low and cook for 1 hour.
  • Remove chicken breasts from liquid, allow to cool enough to handle.
  • Remove skin and bones (discard or freeze use in bone broth next time you make it) Roughly chop or shred chicken meat and add back into soup.
  • In a small bowl or cup, whisk together potato starch and about 1/4 cup of the liquid from the soup until smooth. Add into the soup and stir well to combine.
  • Allow thickener to cook in soup for 2-3 minutes then turn off heat and stir in coconut milk.
  • Serve in bowls topped with chunks of avocado. It is also delicious served overtop of rice.


You can add 1 cup of frozen corn and/or a can of white beans, if desired.


Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 923mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1000IU | Vitamin C: 59.4mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @hayley_inthekitchen or tag #hayley_inthekitchen!

White Chicken Chili {Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free & Paleo}

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  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. I was liberal with substitutions- we are in quarantine after all 🙂 but the end result was a restaurant quality soup that my whole family loved. My son is on a limited gluten free, dairy free, sugar free diet due to Lyme disease so I struggle to find good recipes. This is a keeper.

  2. 4 stars
    Thank you. This is awesome! We make it all of the time. I often add 50% more seasoning to strengthen the flavor and it is not too spicy. Friends love it, too.

    My only question is how many pieces of chicken do I use if buying split breasts. Based on the calorie content, I assume that this requires one breast, split, which equals 2 pieces.

  3. I just made this tonight and it was really good. I didn’t have any potato starch, but I did have coconut flour. I used a couple tablespoons but it didn’t really thicken. Is this something you’re familiar with and how much and how would you add it? I had some leftover sweet potatoes and put them in the bottom of my bowl and then added the chili and it was so good! I think I’ll add sweet potatoes next time. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Coconut flour does not thicken like potato starch – you can use arrowroot starch, tapioca starch, potato starch or corn starch interchangeably in gluten-free cooking OR even just puree up cooked potatoes in water.

  4. LOVED this. I read all the comments and adjusted accordingly. I used 2 chicken breasts with 4 cups of chicken stock instead of water. I used yellow pepper for the red and I added a fresh ear of corn. I didn’t have potato starch so I used roughly 4 tbsp of corn starch and the entire can of coconut milk (minus the liquid). Served with the avocado and poured chili over gluten free noodles. It does have Cumin flavor, so my hubby not a fan, but my 6.5 yr old son on the paleo diet had 2 bowls!! Winner!!!

    1. she is jsut straight forward and cares about health. it is sad that people have to sugar coat how we say and what we do jsut to not offend someone. offense is a choice and no one is perfect. She is just being honest in a straight forward way. Go you Haley!

  5. Oh my goodness….thats all I can say…in the BEST way possible.

    I used tapioca starch instead of potato starch, only because I made it on a whim and thats what I had. I added a yellow pepper, corn, and beans and a lot more cumin (I love the smokey flavor) It was sooo delicious and so healthy!

  6. Looking forward to making this, but have a question: In the ingredient’s list, you specifically call out some items as organic and others not. Is there a reason for this? For example, you included organic garlic powder, but not organic onion powder. While I try to buy organic when possible. I am very curious as to the reasoning behind the need for organic for specific ingredients. Thanks!

    1. Michele – I’m in the process of updating my links – they are not all transitioned over. Every single food we eat should always be organic.

  7. So I’m really bummed. I didn’t see anywhere in the ingredient list where it said how much water to add so when I got to that step in the instructions I had no idea how much to add. Then I realized I never added the coconut milk. When do you do that? So now it’s 7:30 at night and I’m trying to figure out how to salvage this soup…really disappointed that it wasn’t more clearly communicated on how to make this.

    1. Andrea – all you have to do to answer your questions is to read the recipe. I’m sorry that you are having problems but it’s not because the recipe isn’t clear.

  8. This is AMAZING!
    I never comment on blogs…but had to for this one. I made this last week, and made it again tonight–this time I doubled the recipe! My husband doesnt have a very adventurous pallet, but this was a huge hit! Haha, He even let me put avocado on top of his.
    Successfully tricked my family into eating healthy! Thank you!!!

  9. 923 mg so much sodium yikes! I’m trying to stay under 1200 mg a so I’ll just leave out the salt, do you know how total many oz (or cups) you used for your serving size?

    1. Lyrana – You are more than welcome to adjust the recipe and the seasoning to fit your individual tastes. However, I want to stress that All “sodium” is not created equal — Real, Natural, Sea Salt is EXTREMELY beneficial for human health and not to be confused with toxic-table salt. There is no reason to panic when sodium comes from natural mineral rich sources.

      Check out this article regarding Salt –> http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/20/salt-myth.aspx

      The ‘general’ nutritional information provided in this post is based on the recipe being divided into 4 equal servings

    1. Hayley – yes you can, however the way I have the recipe written, using bone-in chicken breasts and cooking them in water makes bone broth 🙂

  10. hi! Thanks for the recipe – it also turned out super watery for me too 🙁 I just made it now and I used potato starch and everything. I’ve just added the coconut milk – could I add more potato starch now to make it thicker? It is more like a watery soup right now but it smells awesome.

  11. Thank you so much for including the nutritional analysis! I have been trying to follow a paleo diet, however, as a diabetic I need to be very mindful of the number of carbs I consume at each meal. VERY few recipes include this important information. So appreciated.

    1. Txcupcake – Paleo Starch is widely accepted as a paleo ingredient – you can start by researching Potato Starch and Resistant Starch to understand more. When starting paleo, it’s most important to understand that paleo is a template for eating there is not one strict set of rules you need to listen to what foods work best for your body and tailor your eating template to match. Many people use the guidelines of influential members of the paleo community such as Melissa & Dallas of the Whole 30 or Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites or Chirs Kresser 🙂 Welcome to a better way of eating and I’m always here to support you!

    1. By omitting the bone-in, skin on breasts you will loose flavor so you’ll need to use chicken broth in place of the water.
      I would just put all the veggies, raw cubed chicken, broth, coconut milk etc. in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours then right before serving thicken it as needed.

  12. Hi there – this looks great and I’m trying it tonight! I thought I’d just mention that though butter wasn’t on the ingredients list, it’s mentioned in the instructions. So, I’d add it to the list, but of course butter isn’t dairy free, so you’d need to change that or make sure people know to substitute something like Earth Balance if they’re planning on serving it to anyone who can’t do dairy. Just a thought since I’m one of those who can’t do dairy : )

    1. Thanks Haley!!! I added the butter/ghee/coconut oil ingredient to the list.. I just want to suggest that you NEVER ever eat earth balance it’s really unhealthy — can you do ghee since it’s lactose & caesin free? coconut oil is a good sub as well.

      1. I’ve never tried ghee – the whole non-dairy thing is only a year old for me (and SUCH a bummer!), so I’m still figuring out the alternatives. I do use coconut oil quite a bit though. I’m interested in why you say Earth Balance is unhealthy – I just spoke to someone at length about it at Whole Foods, but would love to hear what you have to say as well – if you have time! You can email me directly if you’d rather not have all of these posted on your site : )

        1. Oh! I forgot to mention that the chili was really good – I used less water and let it simmer uncovered for a few minutes and it wasn’t too thin like the other reviews stated. I’ll definitely make it again – thanks!

          1. I use the soy free version of Earth Balance and my acupuncturist/nutritionist recommends it.

          2. It’s a processed food, please research canola oil it’s disgusting for your body.

  13. I made this yesterday and although the taste was good (the sweetness of the coconut milk was complimented by the heat of the spices), mine also turned out very watery. I followed the recipe exactly, but instead of using potato starch (which I could not find in the grocery store) I used arrowroot powder. This should have been a 1:1 match. Again, very watery. I would not call this a chili as much as I might call it a soup, or at best, a stew.

    1. Ali – I’m sorry that yours didn’t thicken up as expected. You could have just added additional arrowroot starch. I do find that potato starch does thicken better than arrowroot and I prefer it for gravies and other thickened soups.

  14. This looks very good! I love the use of coconut milk in making a stew or soup. I’m making this today as part of my first Whole30! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I found that mine was not very thick at all, a lot more like soup. It still tasted great. Would letting it simmer uncovered for some of the time help some of the liquid to evaporate and then add the starch? I had to use corn starch but found myself having to add much more than a tablespoon and a whole other can of coconut milk to get it even slightly creamy.

    1. Jaclyn – if you prefer a thicker soup you can add additional starch. Since you used cornstarch you would have more of a clear soup which explains why you would need to add additional coconut milk… I don’t feel corn starch is a healthy food so I suggest trying potato or arrowroot starch next time.

4.50 from 2 votes

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