Main Dish Recipes

White Chicken Chili in a Jar (A Perfect Holiday Gift!)

Instead of ANOTHER sweet at the holidays, this gift means the recipient can have dinner in the crockpot in about three minutes. It'll be the best neighbor gift they get all year.

I’m writing this while eating a chocolate chip granola bar, so clearly I love treats as much as the next person.

But I know that by the end of the holiday season, I am just a little bit tired of the never-ending stream of goodies.

Four years ago, when I did my very first $5 gift guide, one of the items on there was “Dinner in a Bag.”

All this time later, I thought it might finally be time to sit down and figure out how that might actually work out and how I could make it as a neighbor gift.

I mean, a plate of cookies is nice and all, but a jar that can sit on your shelf until a crazy day during the holidays and then you can just dump it in the crockpot and have dinner ready to go? That seems a lot more useful to me.

Instead of ANOTHER sweet at the holidays, this gift means the recipient can have dinner in the crockpot in about three minutes. It'll be the best neighbor gift they get all year.

I was in Big Lots with my two littler girls the other day checking out the holiday selection (how cute are these little chalkboard tags? and how not cute is my handwriting?), and I noticed that they have a huge array of spices and when I saw cases of mason jars, I thought, “This is my moment to make this project happen.”

After one of the helpful employees pulled down the mason jars from a high shelf (and was suitably impressed by my balancing of that case on the stroller), I pulled up my recipe on my phone, grabbed the ingredients, and had my jars all assembled at home before it was time to pick Ella up from school.

Instead of ANOTHER sweet at the holidays, this gift means the recipient can have dinner in the crockpot in about three minutes. It'll be the best neighbor gift they get all year.

Done and done.

I went with this White Chicken Chili recipe which as been one of the most popular recipes on my blog for the last four years and still is one of our family favorites.

You can put basically everything in the jar and all your recipient needs to add is some water, a couple of chicken breasts, and some sour cream at the end.

So easy, useful, and doesn’t break the bank. What more could you ask for?

(Someone to do the dishes after dinner, is what).

Instead of ANOTHER sweet at the holidays, this gift means the recipient can have dinner in the crockpot in about three minutes. It'll be the best neighbor gift they get all year.

Here’s how I made them. For each jar, you’ll need:

  • A wide-mouth quart mason jar with lid
  • 1 pound dry white beans (I’ve also used Great Northern beans  and navy beans and both work well)
  • 1/3 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cubes of chicken bullion
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
Instead of ANOTHER sweet at the holidays, this gift means the recipient can have dinner in the crockpot in about three minutes. It'll be the best neighbor gift they get all year.
Sort the beans to make sure there aren’t any rocks or dirt. Pour into the jar. Sprinkle on top of the beans the dried onion, the garlic powder, salt, and spices. Add the bullion cubes (I unwrapped mine so that you could just dump the contents of the jar in), and place the can of chilies on top.
Put the lid on, add a ribbon or two, and a cute tag. On the back of the tag, write “Open the can of chiles and put it and the other contents of the jar in a crockpot. Add 4 cups of water and 2-3 raw chicken breasts (frozen is fine!). Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shred the chicken, stir in 1 cup of sour cream, and salt to taste. Enjoy!”
 
Plus, you can make these now and wait until closer to Christmas to actually deliver them. Basically feel like a rockstar to be so ahead of the game.
Instead of ANOTHER sweet at the holidays, this gift means the recipient can have dinner in the crockpot in about three minutes. It'll be the best neighbor gift they get all year.

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10 Comments

  • Reply Samantha Seufert November 18, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    This is an amazing gift idea. I'm with you on the sweets (although I love sweets, sometimes you just want real food!)

    I want you to know your blog is my favorite. Always down to earth, real, and yet so, so fabulous. I especially appreciated your outfit post and your thoughts on the temptation to buy something new just for a blog post. I find most fashion bloggers clothing budgets are WAY more than my monthly clothing budget and it's refreshing to see some normalcy on in the internet.

  • Reply Lydia November 18, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I love this idea! Definitely making these for gifts asap. Honestly, I want to even keep a few on hand for myself for those mornings when I'm rushing out the door for work and have almost zero time to even prep the crock pot. This will be perfect!

  • Reply Jenn November 18, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Great idea. Did you rinse the beans? (Do you need to? I always do, but now I'm questioning the need!)"

    • Reply Janssen November 19, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      I know I should, but I basically never do.

  • Reply Shelly November 18, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    I love this idea, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Lisa November 30, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    What size are the jars? Quart?

    • Reply Janssen November 30, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Yep! I used wide-mouth ones so that canned chiles could fit inside.

  • Reply Linda December 16, 2015 at 4:50 am

    Do you know how many this would feed? Trying to decide if I need to do 2 jars for families with 6 kids/older kids.

  • Reply 6 Fantastic (and Easy!) Edible Neighbor Gifts - Everyday Reading February 3, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    […] White Chicken Chili in a Jar If you want to avoid sweets, this is a totally useful gift they can use any time. All they have to do is dump the contents of the jar in the crockpot, add a couple of chicken breasts, and no worries about dinner! Which is basically the nicest gift you could give someone during the holidays. […]

  • Reply Gifts in a Jar: 35+ Mason Jar Gifts for Everyone | An Oregon Cottage November 9, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    […] White Chicken Chili in a Jar @ Everyday Reading. I love giving food gifts that are healthy and helpful – like this chili ready to go with a can of green chilies included! […]

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