Gluten-Free Chicken Chili with White Beans, Sweet Potato and Lime

Gluten free chicken chili with white beans
Gluten-Free Goddess chicken chili with white beans.

New Year's Day looms. Ah, the annual parades. The glut of bowl games. The feast of football. Pigskin is king. Tight ends are tightening. Quarterbacks are quarterbacking. And kickers are praying to the football gods they won't be called in for a chip-shot, with 6 seconds to spare in the final quarter. Do I sound like I know what I am talking about? I don't. I just overheard some manly sporty banter over gluten-free tuna melts. To which I smiled politely.

And reached for a pickle.

Even after watching every episode of Friday Night Lights, I still don't understand a down. Football is a mystery. Back fields in motion. Penalties! Off sides. Snap. Blitz. Gotta love the lingo.

It's a language alluringly foreign to me.

Like math.

Or for some, perhaps it's akin to say... abstract expressionism.

Visual chaos executed in angles and arcs and bursts of focus, drive and energy.

Thing is, I get the practiced dance of propulsion. Designing motion from multiple points of view. I get it. In my bones. This is my territory. You're talkin' my language. Value verses tone. Light bumping up against dark. Sharp contrast dissolving into blur. I appreciate the power of practice and intention. Negative space divided by a perfect spiral.

Think of the interplay of icing thick paint and oceanic viscosity.  The quickening beauty of a layered surface, vibrating with complementary colors. Transparency and opacity. Cool against warm. Unprimed and primed. Lost and found edges. The seduction of action's evidence. The painter's hand. Rugged tooth and clean, smooth paper.

Though it's not all yin yang, a wrestle of opposites.

As in football- and life- painting is a focus of expression, sometimes true and authentic, and sometimes disappointingly off the mark.

Like a short field goal.

We try. We sometimes miss. But what matters is- we make the effort. And that is all we can do. We kick the ball. We brush wet paint. We string words into a lyric. We stitch a quilt. We photograph a child's curiosity. We make chili.

And sometimes?

We get a winner.

And if not?

Tomorrow is another day.

Red onion and fresh limes
Red onion and fresh limes add kick-ass flavor.

How to make fabulous chili?

A gorgeous red onion. 

Juicy limes. 

Real garlic. 

Fresh parsley and cilantro. 

Sweet potato. 

And oven-roasted chicken.

This bright and beautiful chili is fresh and light- and perfect for a New Year's Day celebration (beans invite good luck for the New Year, so they say).

Serve with my Gluten-Free Skillet Cornbread with Green Chiles or Pueblo Bread.

A bowl of gluten free goddess chicken chili with white beans
Sweet potatoes soften the heat in this white bean chicken chili.

Gluten-Free Chicken Chili Recipe with White Beans, Sweet Potato and Lime

Originally posted January 2012 by Karina Allrich. 

This easy, fabulous chicken chili gets its heat from hot red pepper flakes and ginger. It keeps its cool with sweet potato, fresh squeezed lime juice, and citrusy cilantro. Roasting the chicken (bone in) and adding it in at the end of cooking time, gives this white bean chicken chili a superior texture and flavor.


4 bone-in free-range organic chicken breasts
Drizzle of olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled, diced
2-4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 large or 2 smaller sweet potatoes, peeled, diced
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon GF chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Hot red pepper flakes, season to taste
3/4 cup chopped roasted green chiles or tomatillo salsa verde
2 15-oz cans organic cannellini or Great Northern white beans, rinsed, drained
2 cups light organic chicken broth
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

For serving:

Fresh chopped parsley
Fresh chopped cilantro
Fresh lime slices


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry. Remove the skin, if you like (we do). Place meaty side up in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle with dried herbs, if you like (we used thyme and oregano).

Turn the chicken over, bone side up, drizzle again, and season.

Roast the chicken bone side up for roughly 30 to 35 minutes until done and no longer pink inside (check with a meat thermometer for an internal temp of 165º to 170º).

Tip: Roasting bone-in, with the rib side up, will give you moist, tender, juicy chicken.

In the meantime, start your pot of chili.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the red onion and stir for a minute. Add the garlic and sweet potatoes. Add ginger, cumin, oregano and hot pepper flakes. Stir to coat. Add in the roasted green chiles, white beans and chicken broth. Cover and bring to a light simmer.

When the chicken is done, let it cool off slightly, until it is cool enough to handle. Cut the meat off the rib bones, or tear off pieces by hand. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and stir gently to warm through.

Squeeze in some fresh lime juice to brighten flavors. Stir gently. Taste test for seasoning adjustments. Does it need more heat? More salt? If it has thickened too much, add a touch of broth to thin.

Serve with lime wedges and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and cilantro.

Serves 6.

Recipe Source:

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More gluten-free chili + soup recipes from fellow food bloggers:

Kalyn's Kitchen serves up a South Beach Diet friendly chili: Amy's Amazing White Chicken Chili
Andrea Meyers cooks up Roasted Tomatillo Soup with Chicken
The Perfect Pantry's offers: Turkey Green Chile Chili
Food Blogga shares her Healthy Chipotle Chicken Chili (omit the wheat tortillas to keep it gluten-free)
Jeanette's Healthy Living simmers up Cuban Black Bean Soup
Sass & Veracity gets her game on with Spicy Game Day Chili Beans

xox Karina


  1. This looks absolutely delicious! I love making chili, it's so easy and hearty. I have only been making veggie chili as of late, and last weekend I thought of adding sweet potato but decided against it. Now I have to try your recipe!

  2. Thanks for including my turkey chili. I love chili that's light, but spicy. Definitely going to try your recipe.

  3. I don't get football either. And truthfully, I don't want to get it.

    I get this chili though, and it does sound amazing!

  4. Yum, sounds delish! I really don't get or care for football either. Looking forward to making this! :)

  5. Sounds great, I love white beans. Yumm...

  6. LOL... you made me laugh with the comment about football. It has taken me almost 10 years to learn what a down is and that is because my boyfriend finally sat with me and explained it... i still quite don't get it completely though... :) This chili sounds delicious, and will definitely give it a try.

  7. This looks so yummy! I am going to make it tomorrow night. What do you suggest to have on the side with it?

  8. Well the chili is amazing with all those fresh,bright flavors, but the words and images have gotten my attention. It's the gauzy dreaminess of the cool colors beyond that onion that wouldn't be quite the same without that onion's rich tone, and then, there is that quiet insistence of getting something just right. Really wonderful, Karina. Perfect for my quiet Saturday morning.

  9. What a fantastic photo, of fantastic looking chili! I usually use ground turkey, but I love the idea of oven roasted chicken..I can't wait to try this :)

  10. This chili was so awesome! Day 1 of gluten free for my husband, he feels so much better already! Thank you for the recipe!

  11. We're big football fans in this house. My son is the head coach for a local high school team. You would think after all these years I would understand the game, yet I'm a bit more like you. Chili is one of my favorite healthy eating meals. I love its staying power. Nice twist with lime and sweet potato!

  12. Yum! I find that some folks will have nothing to do with white chili or chili with chicken (like my hubby), but I love it and yours actually might have enough beautiful color to get him to try again. I know he'll be on board onces he tries it! Thanks for the recipe, dear!


  13. this sounds and looks like the perfect weeknight [or super bowl] option!

  14. I miss Coach and Mrs. Coach. That was such a great show. Perhaps a bowl of your chile will lift my spirits.

  15. Your chili is so colorful and beautiful. And I have something to confess. After 6 years of marching in high school and college bands for football games, I still don't "get" all the football hysteria. I'm just there to watch the marching band. :-)

  16. I'm not rooting for either team this year (Chargers fan), and likely won't be watching the game since my husband will be out of town, but this chili looks fabulous enough to eat for any occasion!

  17. I was all set to make your African Sweet Potato Soup this week when I saw this recipe. I made this Tuesday night and it was every bit as good as I imagined it would be. I had it for lunch again yesterday (and am counting down the minutes until I get to have it again today!) Outstanding!

  18. How nice to be here. I think myself lucky stumbling upon the Gluten Free Goddess a week after I started dabbling and being inquisitive about this lifestyle. Already a subscriber to your blog, I look forward to all the learning that's ahead of me. Thank you for sharing the info, the remarkably fresh recipes, and memorable images.

  19. I'm eating a bowl of this right now. It is so good, I can hardly think straight. I also have a pan of your pueblo bread in the oven at the moment - one of my favorite recipes of yours. So, so delicious.

  20. I'm eating a bowl of this right now. It is so good, I can hardly think straight. I also have a pan of your pueblo bread in the oven at the moment - one of my favorite recipes of yours. So, so delicious.

  21. I cooked this for tea tonight, it was really good!! 1st day of trying gluten free, to try and help IBS symptoms. I do have to say though ... mine looked nothing like this ha! But it tasted good so that is all that matters!!

  22. Oh me. This chili looks divine. Much more exciting than the Super Bowl (which I did not even watch. Don't even have a television on which to have watched it!)

  23. Wow delicious! It really hit the spot-love a cumin laced tomato free chili!

    I added some more stock and some spinach I had around the house-perfect.:)

  24. I made this tonight except with a roasted whole chicken from whole foods and a white onion instead of red...I also made rice and then scooped the soup on top of it in our bowls to make it last two nights for our family of 4... YUM!! Definitely an easy and delicious recipe I'll make over and over again!! Thanks!!

  25. looks sour and spicy, yumm and delicious...
    i'll have this for lunch someday..

  26. Anonymous17:35

    how would you make this recipe for just one person, rather than 6.....?

  27. This looks wonderful! I especially like the inclusion of lime.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. I'm so excited to make this chili! I I have 2 young kids so I love to do freezer meals. If I made a big batch of this do you think it would freeze well? Thanks!


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Karina - Gluten-Free Goddess xox