Low Histamine Chili

Low Histamine Chili Recipe (Low Lectin, Low to Medium Oxalate, Low Salicylate option)

Comfort food coming your way with this low histamine chili recipe! This white chicken chili makes a hearty addition to your low histamine meals. 

When I think of chili, I think of a dish that will both warm me up and fill me up. 

Now, you may be thinking of chili as beef, beans, tomatoes, and lots of heat. 

This chili is different. White chili gets its name from its light color. It uses chicken and coconut cream instead of beef and tomatoes. So, it isn’t deep red or brown.  

And this chili is on the milder side. 

Some recipes for white chili call for spices like paprika, chili powder, or jalapeno peppers to give the dish some kick.

But many of the spices and peppers used to give chili heat are either high histamine or high lectin. And in some cases, high oxalate. 

Histamine, lectins, and oxalates can contribute to your uncomfortable symptoms. 

In this recipe, you’ll avoid these food triggers. You’ll add flavor with fresh herbs, garlic, and onions.  

And you’ll get extra nutrients and texture from an ingredient you may not think of when it comes to chili. It gives this dish extra fiber to help you feel full and satisfied. Plus, it adds a nice “meaty” texture. 

Keep reading to learn more about this mystery ingredient. You’ll also read more about making ingredient swaps to help you adapt your own recipes, too! 

And there’s a special section toward the end letting you know how to make this recipe low salicylate. 

This recipe is:  

Low Histamine Chili Recipe 

It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone.  If you have any medical condition, it is critical you work under the care and guidance of a licensed medical provider.  

Making good dietary choices can go a long way toward helping your Histamine Intolerance or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) symptoms. 

Choosing nutrient rich, fresh foods helps to support your overall health.  

Focusing on low histamine foods will help keep your histamine levels low while you work on your Histamine Intolerance. 

Additionally, some people find that their mast cell symptoms are triggered by foods like oxalates and lectins. That’s why I try to keep all my recipes low histamine, low lectin, and low to medium oxalate for you. 

Related Article: Lectins, Low Lectin Foods, and the Mast Cell Connection 

Not everyone has trouble with oxalates and lectins, though. And even though I struggled with lectins for a long time, I was able to eat some lectins like rice. Beans were always problematic for me, though. 

That’s why it’s important to work with your provider. Don’t remove foods from your diet unnecessarily. 

So, let’s look at how I chose the ingredients for this low histamine chili recipe. You’ll get some ideas for how you can make substitutions for your own favorite recipes! 

White Chicken Chili Recipe Swaps 

Let’s look at some of the top ingredients commonly found in chili. And how to make tasty substitutions to fit your needs. 

Let’s start with protein. 

Low Histamine Chicken 

Here’s what to know about choosing animal-based protein sources. 

“Fresh” meat from the grocery store may not be your best choice!  

Fresh meat can be higher in histamine than frozen meat. 

Bacteria and histamine levels can build during the transit time of unfrozen meats. And these levels continue to build as the meat sits in the grocery store. 

That’s why meats that are frozen as soon after slaughter as possible will have lower histamine levels than their “fresh” counterparts. 

I’ve found some reliable low histamine meat sources.

Meats from Northstar Bison and White Oak Pastures are shipped directly to your house. They arrive frozen.  


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Learn more about what makes meats from these sources better for those of us with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) or Histamine Intolerance here: The Best Low Histamine Meat and Seafood Options. 

Here’s something else to know. Avoid pre-ground meats. 

Pre-ground meats, including ground beef or ground chicken, have more surface area. That means more areas for bacteria to grow. And that means an increase in histamine levels. 

I prefer to grind my own meat as needed. But in this recipe, I’m just shredding the cooked chicken with a knife. You could also use a food processor. You could even simply use 2 forks to pull the cooked chicken breasts apart. 

There’s one other ingredient in this recipe that adds texture and heartiness. It’s the mystery ingredient I mentioned earlier. 

Cauliflower. 

Using Cauliflower in White Chicken Chili 

To be more specific, you’ll be using cauliflower rice. 

Cauliflower rice is easy to make. Just put roughly chopped cauliflower in your food processor or high-power blender and pulse until it breaks down to resemble rice grains. 

Some chilis have bulk and fiber from foods like beans and rice. But both fall into the lectin category.  

Cauliflower adds fiber, texture, and body to this chili. 

Cauliflower is a great source of these nutrients, too. 

  • Fiber — shown to help with metabolism, heart health, and digestion
  • Vitamin C — can help with Histamine Intolerance by activating the histamine degrading enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO) your body produces.  
  • Calcium — calcium signals have been shown to play a vital role in keeping the immune system finely balanced 
  • Iron — important in brain health, including supporting the nervous system  
  • Vitamin B6 — supports DAO levels, aids in maintaining nerve function, involved in immune function 
  • Magnesium — supports nervous system, can help reduce inflammation  

If you like cauliflower, check out this tasty side dish: Low Histamine Roasted Cauliflower with Cherries and Pecans 

Low Histamine Herbs and Spices 

Chili = chili peppers and chili powder, right? Not necessarily! 

Creativity is key to enjoying your meals if you have food intolerances. 

You’ll want to avoid high histamine, high lectin, and high oxalate ingredients like: 

  • Chili powder (histamine) 
  • Paprika (histamine 
  • Hot peppers (lectin) 
  • Cumin (oxalate) 
  • Bell peppers (lectin) 
  • Black pepper (histamine, oxalate)
  • Turmeric (oxalate) 

Instead, get creative and add flavor and heat with fresh seasonings like: 

  • Garlic 
  • Red onions (spicier than yellow or sweet onions) 
  • Ginger 
  • Parsley 
  • Rosemary 
  • Oregano 
  • Cilantro 

In this recipe, garlic is your primary source of heat.  

I’ve also opted for red onions over yellow or sweet onions. Red onions tend to be hotter and bolder in flavor. You could use a combo of onions if you like, though. 

The unusual ingredient here is ginger. You can add more or less to your own taste preferences. But ginger gives this chili some zing. 

You can use any combo of herbs you like to add flavor and nutrients to your chili. I’ve chosen parsley, rosemary, oregano, and cilantro.  

Check out the low histamine diet food list to see which herbs and spices you might like to experiment with. 

If you do want a little more kick, you can add a little bit of pepper to your bowl when you serve it. 

Pink peppercorns are lower in histamine. But some people further along in their health journey can tolerate a sprinkle of black pepper, green, or white ground peppercorns, too. 

I haven’t included pepper in this recipe since it isn’t always well tolerated. Try it slowly if you aren’t sure. 

Low Histamine Chili Base 

Every soup, stew, or chili needs a good base. 

Some chili recipes use tomato paste or other tomato products to form the base of the chili. 

Tomatoes are high histamine, though. So, there are no tomatoes in this recipe.  

White chili doesn’t typically use tomatoes, anyway. 

Instead, white chili usually uses some form of broth and some form of cream. 

Meat Broth 

The broth you start with matters! 

Bone broth is so popular right now. And it can offer benefits to some people.  

However, if you have Histamine Intolerance, skip the bone broth. Instead, use a lower histamine meat broth. 

Check out my Meat Broth Recipe and learn more about why you’ll want to choose meat broth over bone broth. 

You can make batches of this broth and freeze it to have ready for meals like this low histamine chili recipe. 

Coconut Cream 

In addition to meat broth, you’ll add flavor and richness to this chili with coconut cream. 

When choosing a coconut cream, make sure you are getting one that has no additives, preservatives, sugar, or other ingredients that may trigger mast cells or increase histamine levels. 

My favorite is Let’s Do Organic Coconut Cream. This one has only organic coconut and filtered water. 

Dairy is low histamine, for the most part. But in Phase 1 of the low histamine diet, we usually steer away from it while we figure out what triggers are going on. Some people have lactose or casein intolerance and don’t realize it! 

If you have Salicylate Intolerance, you’ll want to skip the coconut cream, though.

Keep reading to learn more about making this recipe low salicylate. 

Low Histamine Chili Recipe, Low Salicylate and Lower Oxalate Options 

You’ll see these marked in the recipe card, too. But here’s a head’s up on what you need to do to make this recipe low salicylate.  

Remember, not everyone has Salicylate Intolerance. Salicylate Intolerance is when your body has trouble breaking down certain types of food molecules called polyphenols.  

Salicylates are found in plants. They are part of a plant’s natural defense system against disease, bacteria, fungi, and insects. 

One of the telltale symptoms of Salicylate Intolerance in humans is aspirin intolerance. 

Making this recipe low salicylate isn’t too difficult. It will change the flavor a little, though. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Instead of coconut cream — opt for a dairy-based cream, if tolerated. Choose a cream that comes from grass fed cows if possible. 
  • Instead of olive oil — use ghee or butter from grass fed cows, if tolerated. 
  • Omit these herbs: 
    • Oregano 
    • Rosemary 
    • Ginger
    • Try adding:
    • Chives 
    • Shallots 

This recipe is medium oxalate. If you are very sensitive, you can make this recipe lower oxalate by: 

  • Omitting the celery 
  • Not adding any ground pink peppercorns at the end

Easy to Prepare Recipe 

The great thing about this recipe is that there is very little prep time involved.

And even though it takes a while to cook, it’s inactive time for you. That means if you have low energy, this stovetop recipe can still be doable for you. 

I know a lot of people like to use the crock pot or slow cooker for ease. But when something cooks for a long time like that, histamine levels rise. 

Pressure cookers like the Instant Pot can be a good alternative. I haven’t tested this recipe with the Instant Pot, yet. I’d love to know how you do with it if you try it! 

But cooking this recipe on the stovetop is easy. 

What to Serve with Low Histamine Chili 

Low Histamine Chili

Low Histamine Chili Recipe

Warm up with this white low histamine chili recipe made with chicken breasts, fresh herbs and veggies, cauliflower rice for added heartiness, and unsweetened coconut cream for a rich, satisfying finish.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 665 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • If you don’t have meat broth on hand, start the meat broth first using the link above in the ingredients list. It takes about 5 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook. You can prepare the rest of this recipe while the meat broth simmers.
  • Wash and cut all produce and herbs. Set aside.
  • Rough chop the cauliflower into small pieces and add to a food processor or high-power blender. Pulse until cauliflower resembles rice. It should still have texture. You don’t want a puree. Set aside.
  • Place your large pot on the stove on medium high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Then and your chicken breasts.
  • Cook chicken until browned on all sides and internal temperature is 165 degrees F. You may need to do 2 at a time, depending on the size of your skillet.
  • When chicken is done, move it to your cutting board to cool for a few minutes so you can handle it to cut it.
  • While the chicken cools, Aadd the remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil, onion, celery, and garlic to the pot you just removed the chicken from. Sauté until onions turn translucent.
  • While the vegetable mixture cooks, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces with a knife.
  • Add the cut chicken, salt, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and ginger, meat broth, cauliflower rice, and cilantro to the pot with the onion, celery, and garlic mixture.
  • Adjust heat to low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered with a lid, for about 25 minutes.
  • Turn up the heat to medium-high, add coconut cream and bring chili to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and garnish individual portions with cilantro or green onions (optional).

Notes

You can use commercially prepared frozen cauliflower rice if you don’t have a food processor. Just make sure cauliflower is the only ingredient for the lowest histamine option. 
You can use chicken thighs instead of breasts if you prefer. Chicken breasts tend to be a little larger, so you may want to use 5 or 6 thighs to replace the 4 chicken breasts. 
To thaw your chicken, you have 2 options to keep histamine levels lower.  
  1. The first is to soak the chicken (still in the packaging) in cool water for about 30 minutes.  
  2. You can also use your microwave. Remove the chicken from its packaging if using the microwave. Some people are EMF sensitive, so the microwave may not be an option. I just leave the room while the microwave runs.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Low Histamine Chili Recipe
Serving Size
 
2 cups
Amount per Serving
Calories
665
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
49.6
g
76
%
Saturated Fat
 
26.1
g
163
%
Trans Fat
 
0.2
g
Cholesterol
 
126
mg
42
%
Sodium
 
1408
mg
61
%
Carbohydrates
 
12.13
g
4
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Protein
 
42.24
g
84
%
Vitamin C
 
3.4
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
80
mg
8
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword dairy free, grain free, low histamine, low lectin, low oxalate, low salicylate option, medium oxalate, sugar free

What’s your favorite time of year to enjoy a low histamine chili recipe? 

More Low Histamine Soups 

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References 

Beard, J. L. (2003). Iron deficiency alters brain development and functioning. Journal of Nutrition, 133(5), 1468S-1472S. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/133.5.1468s  

Calcium signals balance the body’s response to infection against potential for self-attack. (2016, May 31). NYU Langone News. https://nyulangone.org/news/calcium-signals-balance-bodys-response-infection-against-potential-self-attack 

FoodData Central. (n.d.). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169986/nutrients 

HappyForks. (n.d.). Recipe analyzer. https://happyforks.com/analyzer 

Ghalibaf, M. H. E., et al. (2023). The effects of vitamin C on respiratory, allergic and immunological diseases: an experimental and clinical-based review. Inflammopharmacology, 31(2), 653–672. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10787-023-01169-1 

Health benefits of dietary fibers vary. (2022, June 21). National Institutes of Health (NIH). https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/health-benefits-dietary-fibers-vary 

Jarisch, R., et al. (2014). Impact of oral vitamin C on histamine levels and seasickness. Journal of Vestibular Research, 24(4), 281–288. https://doi.org/10.3233/ves-140509 

Kirkland, A. E., Sarlo, G. L., & Holton, K. F. (2018). The role of magnesium in neurological disorders. Nutrients, 10(6), 730. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060730 

Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B6. (n.d.). https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/ 

Piñero, D. J., & Connor, J. R. (2000). Iron in the brain: an important contributor in normal and diseased states. The Neuroscientist, 6(6), 435–453. https://doi.org/10.1177/107385840000600607 

Veronese, N., et al. (2022). Effect of magnesium supplementation on inflammatory parameters: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrients, 14(3), 679. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030679 

Comments

  1. Laura

    Would it work to use the chicken breasts for this recipe to make the meat broth, poaching them in the process, and then shred the poached chicken to use in the chili? I hate to waste the chicken used to make the broth—it would be great if it could do double duty!

    1. Jamie, Mast Cell 360

      That would absolutely work! If you give it a try let us know how it goes!

  2. Liz

    Made this yesterday and it’s so good. Great recipe with all ingredients I can eat! (Who else is used to substituting or leaving out ingredients? Probably all of us.) And, after reading Laura’s comment, I poached the chicken for the broth. Worked like a charm and now I’ve got tasty lunches for this week in my freezer! So nice to get a fresh recipe now and again. Thanks Mast Cell 360.

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