This hearty White Chicken Chili is made with simple ingredients like canned white beans, juicy chicken, and sweet corn in a rich and creamy broth. Both satisfying and delicious, it’s easy to make any night of the week.
White Bean Chicken Chili
If I’m not making my classic beef chili recipe, then I’m definitely making this super easy white chicken chili. Made with creamy white beans, juicy chicken, green chiles, frozen corn, and simple spices, it’s no surprise that this is one of my family’s favorite recipes. Hearty and comforting, without being heavy, it takes just a little over an hour or so to make.
What are white beans?
There are four popular types of white beans: Lima Beans (also called Butter Beans), Navy Beans, Cannellini Beans (also called White Kidney Beans), and Great Northern Beans.
How to Make White Chicken Chili
- Soften the onions and jalapeño peppers in a large pot or Dutch oven. Once softened, add the minced garlic until fragrant.
- Add the green chiles, cumin, chili powder (not cayenne pepper), oregano, salt, and black pepper. Stir well then add the chicken stock and chicken breasts to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook just until the chicken is cooked through.
- Meanwhile, puree one can of white beans in a small food processor and drain and rinse the other can using a fine-mesh strainer.
- Remove the chicken and shred. Set aside.
- Add the frozen corn, white beans, and cream cheese to the pot. Simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes before returning the shredded chicken back to the pot.
- Add the fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro, and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
Crockpot White Chicken Chili
A delicious dump-and-go recipe that requires little hands-on effort other than prepping the ingredients. For best results, add shredded rotisserie chicken to the chili rather than cooking the chicken directly in the slow cooker.
- Transfer all of the ingredients to the slow cooker (except for the cream cheese, fresh cilantro, and lime juice).
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-6 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, shred (or use rotisserie chicken), and set aside.
- For a creamier chili, remove 1-2 cups of the chili from the pot and puree in a small food processor (optional).
- Stir in the cream cheese. Once the cream cheese has dissolved, return the chicken back to the slow cooker along with the fresh lime juice and fresh cilantro.
- Storage: Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezing: Allow chili to cool before transferring to an airtight, freezer-safe storage container or freezer-safe bag. Best if used within 2-3 months.
- Reheating: Allow chili to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating in the microwave or on the stovetop until simmering and heated through.
What to Serve with White Chicken Chili?
I love to serve this white bean chicken chili with sweet cornbread (sweet jalapeño cornbread is even better) and a side green salad. As with other chili recipes, however, this chili recipe is all about the toppings. I always include at least one of the following: salty tortilla chips, sliced avocado, sour cream, chopped cilantro, and hot sauce.
Have you tried making this Creamy White Chicken Chili Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
White Chicken Chili Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions - diced
- 2 jalapeños - seeded and diced (optional)
- 5 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt - plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth - plus more if needed
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 (15 ounce) cans white cannellini beans
- 1½ cups frozen corn
- 8 ounce cream cheese - cut into cubes and brought to room temperature
- 1 lime - juiced
- For serving - chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, fresh lime juice, hot sauce, crushed tortilla chips
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and jalapeños and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the diced green chilies, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to combine.
- Add the chicken broth and chicken breasts to the pot. Increase to high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Allow the soup to simmer and the chicken to cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
- As the chicken cooks, transfer one can of beans to a small food processor. Process until smooth, but somewhat chunky. Set aside. Open the other can of beans and drain and rinse in a fine-mesh strainer. Set aside.
- Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and allow it to cool before shredding (see notes).
- Add frozen corn and white beans (the blended beans and rinsed beans) to the soup and return to a simmer. Add the cream cheese and stir well. Simmer for 5-10 minutes more, or until the cream cheese has dissolved within the soup.
- Finally, return the chicken back to the pot along with the juice from one lime. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
- If you are sensitive to spicy foods, you may want to omit the jalapeño or just add one. Jalapeños can be somewhat unpredictable when it comes to how spicy vs how mild they are.
- You may add pre-cooked rotisserie chicken rather than cooking chicken directly in the pot. Add about 2-3 cups about 5 minutes before serving to prevent it from drying out.
- If you don’t own a food processor, you can smash the beans with a fork or potato masher. Or, if you prefer a chunkier chili, skip mashing the beans altogether.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)