Nightshade Free White Chicken Chili

Creamy while ditching the usual dairy, this nightshade free white chicken chili has all the comfort food vibes of the original, without the heaviness!

5 from 2 reviews

Creamy while ditching the usual dairy, this nightshade free white chicken chili has all the comfort food vibes of the original, without the heaviness!


  • 1 cup / 140 g raw, unsalted cashews, I like these
  • 1 tbsp / 15 ml avocado oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, about 8 or so
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp / 3 g dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp / 3 g ground cumin, I like this one
  • 1 1/2 tsp / 8 g coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp / 1 g granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp / 2 g ground coriander, I like this one
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper, see notes, I like this one
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups / 960 ml chicken broth, divided
  • 3/41 lb / 340 – 454 g cooked & shredded chicken
  • 1 cup / 120 g frozen corn, optional, omit for Paleo
  • 3 tbsp / 45 ml fresh lime juice

To garnish:

  • handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • chopped avocado
  • pumpkin seeds
  • lime wedges


SOAK: Measure the cashews into the bottom of a blender pitcher and cover with just-boiled or very hot water. Leave to soak, with the lid on, while you start the white chicken chili base.

SOFTEN: Heat a dutch oven over low medium and add the avocado oil. When the oil is hot, add the diced yellow onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften but not brown, about 5 – 10 minutes or so. Finely slice the green onions & add the white & light green parts & crushed garlic to the dutch oven. Reserve the sliced green tops for serving later.

SIMMER: Cook for a minute or two, until the garlic is fragrant but not browning, then add the oregano, cumin, sea salt, granulated garlic (yes, I like to use both), coriander & both white and black pepper. Cook a minute or so, then add 3 cups / 720 milliliters of the chicken broth. Stir occasionally and gently bring the broth to a simmer while you make the cashew cream.

BLEND: Strain off and discard the water from the cashews, then return the drained cashews to the blender pitcher. Add 1/2 cup / 120 milliliters of very hot or just-boiled water and blend on high until thick, creamy & smooth. Add the remaining chicken broth 1/2 cup / 120 milliliters at a time, blending until smooth and creamy. The cashew mixture should look and pour like traditional dairy milk at this point, see notes.

HEAT: Stir the cashew cream through the broth-y white chicken chili base in the dutch oven a little at a time until it is smooth and glossy. Add the shredded chicken and bring the white chicken chili to a gentle simmer, then add the corn (if using) and lime juice. Cook until heated through and thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust lime juice & salt if needed.

SERVE: Ladle the white chicken chili into bowls and top with the reserved green onion tops, cilantro, avocado, pepitas and lime wedges to serve.


  • AIP reintroductions in this recipe: cashews, cumin, coriander, pepper. Optional corn.
  • Since there are no nightshades in this recipe, the two types of pepper give a little tingling heat with each bite. If you don’t have white pepper, don’t just replace it with black pepper, because that will likely be spectacularly overpowering! Start with 1/4 tsp of black pepper and add a little more at a time, tasting as you go until the spice level is right for you.
  • If you have a very high powered blender like a Vitamix, you will not need to be quite so labored when making the cashew cream. You should be able to blend the drained cashews with all of the water & chicken broth at once, just process until creamy and smooth. My instructions here are aimed at people whose blenders aren’t as powerful, in which case using hot water and adding the broth a little at a time help ensure a smooth rather than gritty result.
  • I usually boost the nutrition of this meal by adding in fresh or frozen greens straight to the pot, towards the end of the final simmering time. Be careful when adding things that will absorb lots of liquid, like cauliflower rice, as that can suck up all the liquid that makes this dish so silky in the first place. I find it best to serve the chili over anything starchy or liquid-hungry to keep it nice and luscious!