White Chicken Chili

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings

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This White Chicken Chili recipe is ultra thick and creamy, with shredded chicken, white beans and corn and just the right amount of spice! Make ahead and freezer friendly, perfect for pantry cooking.

overhead image of white chicken chili with metal ladle scooping.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients needed:
  2. How to Make Chicken Chili:
  3. How to make Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili:
  4. How to thicken white bean chicken chili:
  5. White Chicken Chili FAQs
  6. More chili recipes you’ll love:
  7. White Chicken Chili Recipe

Now that the days are chilly and the evenings are long, I’ve been craving a big comforting bowl of creamy White Chicken Chili.

The fact that this White Chicken Chili recipe is ready in 30 minutes or less with mostly pantry ingredients means that I can actually get it on the table while chasing 3 kids around the house, which is pretty much how things happen these days.

It is healthy, hearty, make ahead and freezer friendly!

That means you can make a double or triple batch, and use it as a base to create fresh, easy meals for the family through the week.

Make meal planning even easier by prepping a big batch of this Crockpot Shredded Chicken or this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken, and stashing some away in the freezer for quick dinners.

Ingredients needed:

ingredients needed for white chicken chili.
  • Chicken breasts: boneless, skinless chicken thighs will also work well!
  • Chicken broth: I always use low sodium chicken broth so I can add salt to my tastes. If you are using salty broth, you may want to reduce the amount added.
  • White beans: sticking with our white color theme here, white beans add texture, protein and fibre.
  • Corn: add sweetness and texuture
  • Green chiles: canned green chiles add a punch of flavor
  • Tabasco sauce, chili powder, onion powder, salt: are what we use to season our chili. You can adjust the seasonings to your tastes!
  • Cream cheese: thickens the chili and adds a deliciously creamy texture.
  • Corn starch + water: to thicken further if desired.

How to Make Chicken Chili:

  1. Simmer the chicken: cook the chicken in broth until tender. This adds great flavor to the chili and you can even use frozen chicken breasts!
  2. Remove the chicken and shred with two forks (or chop it with a knife).
  3. Add the chicken back in with the seasonings, beans, corn and chiles.
  4. Stir in cream cheese and simmer until cream cheese is melted and everything comes together.

How to make Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili:

You can easily make this Chicken Chili in the crockpot to make it even easier to fit in your day!

I do things a little differently when I make this chicken chili in the slow cooker, simply because if I’m using my slow cooker I don’t want to be babysitting it all day. I throw everything in the pot and let the chicken cook with everything else, then shred it later.

  1. Throw everything in the slow cooker
  2. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, until chicken is cooked through and falling apart.
  3. Remove chicken breasts and shred, then stir back into the chili.
  4. Serve!
close up image of metal ladle scooping white chicken chili from pot.

How to thicken white bean chicken chili:

We thicken this creamy chicken chili with two things: cream cheese and corn starch.

The cream cheese adds a wonderful richness without making this chili heavy. If you don’t have any, that’s fine! I’ll share some other things you can add in the next section.

The corn starch is optional, but we love our chili super thick and creamy, so we like to add it. If you skip the corn starch, it will still be perfectly creamy but not quite as thick.

Another way to thicken white chicken chili if you don’t have cream cheese or corn starch, is to keep some of the white beans aside, and puree them in a blender before adding into the chili. This is a great way to make this chili dairy free!

bowl of white chicken chili with spoon stuck in and tortilla strips on top.

White Chicken Chili FAQs

How do I store White Chicken Chili?

Chicken Chili can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Can I freeze Chicken Chili?

Chili is a great freezer meal! It can be frozen up to 3 months before using, so it’s a good idea to make a large batch and save some for another day.

Can I make it in the Crockpot?

Definitely! Throw all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and give it a good stir (yes, all!). Let it cook 3-4 hours on low (the exact cook time depends a little on your slow cooker and how full it is), then remove the chicken to shred.
Add the chicken back in and serve!

Can I make it in the Instant Pot?

Yes! Check out my Instant Pot White Chicken Chili recipe for more details.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?

Yes! Chicken thighs work great and won’t change the cook time at all. Just be sure they are boneless and skinless.

What if I don’t have Tabasco sauce?

  • No Tabasco sauce? There are lots of ways to add spice. Try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes or a bit of cayenne pepper (start small! A little goes a long way)
  • Can I use my leftover Shredded Chicken?

    Absolutely! Simply skip ahead to step 2.

    More chili recipes you’ll love:

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    White Chicken Chili

    4.98 from 207 votes
    This White Chicken Chili is ultra thick and creamy, with shredded chicken, white beans and corn and just the right amount of spice! Make ahead and freezer friendly, perfect for pantry cooking.
    Prep Time 5 mins
    Cook Time 25 mins
    Total Time 30 mins
    Cuisine American
    Course Main Course
    Servings 4 servings
    Calories 394cal

    Ingredients

    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lb)
    • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
    • 540 ml canned white kidney beans (19oz) drained and rinsed
    • 341 ml canned corn (12oz), drained
    • 127 ml canned green chiles (4.3oz)
    • 1 teaspoon Tabasco Green Sauce
    • 1 teaspoons chili powder
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 4 oz cream cheese room temperature (125 grams)
    • 1 tablespoon corn starch
    • 1 tablespoon water

    Instructions

    • Add chicken breasts and chicken broth to a 3-4 quart dutch oven or soup pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to medium low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked through and tender.
    • Remove chicken breasts from pot and shred with two forks on a large cutting board. Place shredded chicken back in the pot with the chicken broth.
    • Add beans, corn, green chiles, Tabasco sauce, chili powder, onion powder, salt and stir.
    • Cut cream cheese into cubes and stir into the pot. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
    • Stir to melt the cream cheese. If desired, stir together corn starch and water and add to chili to thicken further.
    • Serve with additional Tabasco sauce, chips, avocado, lime wedges, salsa, cheese, jalapenos — whatever your favorite toppings are!

    Notes

    Substitutions and variations:
    • Feel free to saute some vegetables (onion, peppers, etc.) in oil before adding the chicken and broth for extra flavor. We love this Chicken Chili as is, but feel free to experiment!
    • You can swap the chicken breasts for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You can also brown the chicken before adding the other ingredients if you desire. 
    • This chili is pretty thick and chunky — if you prefer a thinner chili, feel free to add more broth, milk or cream. 
    • If you don’t like a lot of spice, omit the Tabasco or add in just a few drops at a time.

    Nutrition Information

    Serving: 465grams | Calories: 394cal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 1236mg | Potassium: 1085mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 379IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 3mg
    Keywords white chicken chili

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    Meet Ashley

    My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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    Comments

    1. Sandy says

      This was fantastic! My husband and I loved it. I added a bit of shredded cheddar cheese and some Jalapeños on top. And idk why, but this tastes amazing with sourdough bread!

    2. Marcus Mayton says

      I prepared this recipe to the T, but I added ancho chiles and cumin. Also I smoked the chicken. Everyone loved it.

    3. Amanda Z says

      This has become one of my favorite weeknight meals. It is super easy and flavorful. The only thing I do different is add a little more broth, cream cheese, and spices.

    4. Susan says

      Big hit with the family. I topped it with crushed guacamole flavored chips, avacado and snipped chives. Delish! Quick and easy!

    5. Ev says

      Ya gotta try this chili recipe!! It’s sooo good. The only change I made was to add sautéed onion and garlic to the shredded chicken.

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