White Chicken Chili with Hatch Chiles

During early August to late September you can buy fresh Hatch chilies all over New Mexico, and the surrounding regions, and fans of these peppers usually buy them buy the case, roast them, and stick a supply in the freezer for pulling out and using all year round.  Die hard Hatch chile lovers buy them by the case!

Hatch Chicken Chili

In season, they are also available via many online sites, including Melissa’s, which is one of the leading distributors of authentic Hatch Chilies (beware of imitations; look for the name Hatch chiles from New Mexico).

(Also check out: How to Cook with Hatch Chiles)

What Heat Hatch Chile Peppers to Use in Chili?

There are several varieties of Hatch chilies available: mild, medium, hot or extra hot.  The package should be labeled with the level of heat of the chilies.  You won’t be able to tell how hot the pepper is from appearance, so make sure to check, since the level of hotness can range dramatically.  

Hatch Chicken Chili

You can use any level of heat for this recipe, but note that the amounts called for vary, and you should taste as you add them to make sure you are getting to the level of heat you are looking for.  Even within a certain heat category peppers can range in their level of hotness, so start with less, taste, and add more as you wish.

Roasted and Frozen Hatch Chiles

Roasting or grilling, peeling and freezing Hatch chiles is the best way to have these singular peppers on hand all year round.  They will last for at least a year in the freezer.

How to Cook with Hatch Chiles

Top “roast” Hatch peppers, heat a grill to medium.  Once hot, place the chiles on the grill and cook them until they are blackened and blistered on the bottom.  Turn them so that they end up blistered all over, probably about 4 turns in all, about 10 minutes in all. 

You can also do the same thing over a gas burner on the stove, or do this under the broiler.  Then you need to peel them.

After roasting or grilling, let them sit on the counter or a cutting board for about 20 minutes to sweat.  Then, remove the stem, which should pull out most of the seeds with the stem.  

Much of the heat in hot peppers is in the seeds.  To reduce and modulate the heat, remove most or all of the seeds; if you like more heat, you can leave some of them in.  Then, peel the skin off and freeze them in a freezer-proof container.  Remove as much excess air as possible from the container or freezer-proof plastic bag before freezing.

Hatch Chicken Chili: Spicy and flavorful, this chunky white chili features in inimitable taste of Hatch chile peppers from New Mexico.

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Hatch Chile Pepper Chili

The earthy, oniony, smoky flavor of Hatch chiles is a perfect foundation for a rich chicken chili.  This is more of a white and green chili, though the liquid in the stew takes on a nice orangey-red from the chili powder and cumin.  

Hatch Chicken Chili

What to Serve with Hatch Chicken Chili

Any accompaniments you like with chili would work here.  

  • Sour cream (have a lot of this to balance the heat of the chili!)
  • Shredded cheese (such as cheddar or a Mexican blend)
  • Diced avocados
  • Minced scallions or onions
  • Chopped fresh tomatoes
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Cilantro Lime Rice
Hatch Chicken Chili

Other Chili Recipes:

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Hatch Chicken Chili

Spicy and flavorful, this chunky white chili features in inimitable taste of Hatch chile peppers from New Mexico.
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free


  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 yellow or green bell pepper , cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 medium zucchini , diced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cups diced and seeded mild roasted Hatch chiles or 1 cup diced and seeded hot roasted Hatch chiles
  • 4 cups chicken broth , preferably less-sodium
  • 3 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken is fine!)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans , rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Juice of 1 lime

To Serve (Pick and Choose):

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese (such as cheddar or a Mexican blend)
  • Diced avocados
  • Minced scallions or onions
  • Chopped fresh tomatoes
  • Lime wedges


  • Heat the oil a big deep pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and bell pepper, and sauté for 4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, zucchini, chili powder and cumin, and sauté for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the hatch chiles, chicken broth, shredded chicken, white beans, and salt and pepper. Stir and simmer over medium heat for about 20 to 30 minutes, until it tastes like chili, and adjust any seasonings. Stir in the cilantro or parsley and the lime juice.
  • Serve with any combination of the sour cream, cheese, diced avocados, scallions or onions, tomatoes, lime wedges, and cilantro leaves.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 489mg | Potassium: 944mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 446IU | Vitamin C: 87mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 5mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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