The BEST White Chicken Chili recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
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.

There are plenty of White Chicken Chili recipes out there, but this one takes the cake.

It’s rated 5 stars for a reason!

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.

Why you’ll love this white bean chicken chili recipe:

  • Top-rated white chicken chili recipe: This recipe is rated 5 starts with over 300 reviews, so you know it’s a keeper!
  • No pre-cooking required: we cook whole, uncooked chicken breasts right in the chili so they stay super moist and you don’t need to prep any cooked chicken.
  • Made in one pot: it’s made in one pot with minimal ingredients, so it’s big flavor with little fuss!
  • 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.
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white chicken chili five star review.

Chicken Chili Ingredients needed:

ingredients needed for white chicken chili.
  • Chicken breasts: boneless, skinless chicken thighs will also work well! If you’ve got Shredded Chicken or Crockpot Shredded Chicken stashed away, you can use that instead.
  • 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 this White Chicken Chili recipe:

  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 this White Chicken Chili recipe in the slow cooker:

You can easily make this White Bean 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.

How do you store White Chicken Chili?

Refrigerator:

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

Freezer:

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.

How to reheat White Bean Chicken Chili:

I like to reheat this chicken chili on the stovetop or in the microwave with an extra splash of cream or broth — it keeps it from drying out!

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 chicken breasts?

Yes!

What if I have leftover shredded chicken?

Awesome! Simply skip ahead to step 2.

White Chicken Chili Variations:

  • 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).
  • Swap the chicken breasts: Chicken thighs work great and won’t change the cook time at all. Just be sure they are boneless and skinless.
  • Add in more vegetables: chili recipes are great for using up whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. For firmer vegetables (like carrots, celery, onion, peppers, etc.) I recommend sauteeing them in a bit of oil before you add the broth and chicken.

More chili recipes you’ll love:

Tried this recipe? Leave a comment letting me know how you liked it!

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White Bean Chicken Chili recipe

4.99 from 386 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 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
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. Stewball says

    Doesn’t the chicken taste like boiled chicken?
    Our cream cheese is not like yours. It’s creamy so not cutable. It has to be scooped. Does it make a difference?

  2. McLaughlin family says

    Delicious. I doubled this recipe and it was devoured. Topped with jalapeños, cilantro, Mexican cheese, avocado and toasted corn strips. Recipe will go into the box! Thanks.

    • Ann says

      Can I make this in the crockpot on low for 6 – 7 hours. And waiting to put the cream cheese in the last hour?

      • The Recipe Rebel says

        Hi Ann, we have the slow cooker directions listed in the blog post. Hope this helps!

  3. JC says

    Made tonight for dinner in the slow cooker. Turned out great! I carmelized some vidalia onions to add at the end and switched out the cream cheese for cashew cream cheese due to a dairy allergy. I’ll definitely make again.

  4. Sean says

    Made this lastnight(01/24/24) for dinner, but doubled the amount of broth as I like my chili to have more of a soup like consistency, added a little bit of buffalo wing sauce once it was in the bowl and it was absolutely delicious! Definitely going to make it again.

  5. Sara says

    Wow! This has phenomenal flavor and is super easy to put together on a week night. I omitted the Tabasco because I have a spice averse kid & added a teaspoon of cumin. I’m definitely saving to make again.

      • Jerry Mickel says

        My husband and I love it! I used black beans and Great northerns once and pintos another time because I didn’t have anything else. It was still delicious!! Thanks for posting this recipe.

  6. Sonia says

    In the description you write that the chicken can be used from frozen but there are no instructions. You also mentioned that you would suggest substitutions for the cream cheese but I didn’t find that either.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Sonia, in Step 1 you would cook the chicken the same way whether they are fresh or frozen. If frozen you could just need to continue boil until cooked through and tender. Suggestions on what to use instead of cream cheese is under the section “Another way to thicken white chicken chili ” Hope this helps!

  7. Pamela P says

    This is an excellent recipe, fast and easy also! I omitted the tobacco sauce and added some cumin and liquid smoke, delicious! I also used a rotisserie chicken from grocery store, but didn’t add it until the end. I sometimes find if you add that chicken and cook it too long it kind of disintegrates. Thanks for the recipe!😋

  8. Vicki says

    My husband and I loved this soup! Thank you for sharing it! The only changes I made were to use jarred 505 Southwestern Medium Flame Roasted Hatch Valley Green Chile salsa instead of the canned green chilies, and I added about a handful of frozen baby spinach towards the end. We topped ours with tortilla chips and a grated Mexican cheese blend. Delicious!

    Vicki

  9. Sharina says

    We had fun eating this white chicken chili recipe! It indeed turned out to be super rich, thick and creamy. Thanks for making this easy Ashley!

  10. Kristyn says

    I have made this a few times in the last few weeks! It’s my favorite!! It’s packed with flavor, hearty, & so yummy!!

  11. Sarah says

    I love this recipe! Found it about a year ago and I make it at least once a month now. How do you suggest we freeze? In a Ziplock bag? In a bowl? I have some I would like to save.

  12. Goldie says

    Made exactly as the recipe stated and it was DELICIOUS. I had two bowls of it last night and can’t wait to have more today! Thank you – fast and easy!

  13. Mary says

    This was so tasty!! I mistakenly added a can of pinto beans with the great northern beans but it turned out sooo good..Thank you for sharing!!

  14. Linda says

    Making this weekend for a family chili supper get together. One of your photos shows what looks to be tortilla strips but they look like they were made not purchased. How do you make them? Would love to bring them for a topper!

  15. Amy says

    When you are making this in the crockpot and adding all the ingredients at once do you also add the cream cheese or wait till an hour or so before you serve?

4.99 from 386 votes (329 ratings without comment)

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