This is the BEST White Chicken Chili recipe, and it’s easy to make it on the Stove Top or in the Crock Pot! The creamy broth adds the perfect contrast to the green chilies, corn, shredded chicken, and simple seasonings.
White Chicken Chili
This recipe is like…chili meets soup. You really get the best of both worlds here. The broth is so creamy, which is a perfect way to offset a little heat from the green chilies. The corn adds a hint of sweetness, the chicken is juicy and tender, and the seasoning blend is simple and perfect.
Trust me when I say… it’s hard not to lick the bowl clean!
How to Make It
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Soften onions, jalapeno peppers, and garlic in butter. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and half and half in small splashes, stirring continuously.
Optional: Puree 1 cup of cannellini beans with some chicken broth and add it to the broth with the remaining whole beans. (Otherwise, all beans can be added whole.)
Add the seasonings, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and green chilies. Bring to a boil. Let it boil for 15 minutes, uncovered, then reduce to a simmer. Add the chicken and corn and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.
Shred the chicken and add it back to the chili along with the softened cream cheese. Stir until well-combined, then serve with cornbread!
Do You Rinse Kidney Beans for Chili
- You’ll want to drain the white kidney beans, but rinsing them is optional. Doing so will reduce the amount of sodium that gets carried into the dish.
- I choose to let mine sit in the strainer for awhile, but I don’t rinse them.
- Beans: Black beans and Pinto beans can also be used for this recipe.
- Vegetables: Mushrooms, zucchini, celery, carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes are all good vegetable additions.
- Meat: Leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, and leftover turkey are great options for this soup. Uncooked Bone-in chicken breast or thighs will add the most flavor to the broth.
- Garnishes: Sour cream, shredded cheese, lime wedges, diced avocado, Fritos, and tortilla chips.
- The Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, and hot sauce act as flavor enhancers and can’t be tasted outright. I use Frank’s hot sauce for this recipe.
- Spice Lovers: If you like heat, I would use a little extra hot sauce and use a little more cayenne as well. Consider adding additional spice gradually and tasting until desired level is obtained.
- Make Ahead Meal: This is a great recipe to make up to 2 days ahead of time and reheat on the stove top when ready to eat!
- Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Leftover chili makes a great freezer food.
Tools For This Recipe
(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.
- Le Creuset 4.5 quart Dutch Oven– This is the one I use for this recipe, it’s the perfect size and it conducts heat really well.
- Measuring Spoons– I have these magnetic ones which stay nice and organized in my utensil drawer.
- Pinch Bowls– for measuring out seasonings ahead of time.
- Chefs Knife– I have this one. It’s affordable but high quality.
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White Chicken Chili
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon each: ground cumin, dried oregano, salt, mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup half and half, (half milk, half cream)
- 2 (15.5 oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained
- 1 teaspoon Hot Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 (4 oz.) cans mild green chilies
- 1 ½ lbs. bone-in skinless chicken breast, see notes
- 1 (15.25 oz.) can whole kernel sweet corn, drained. Can sub frozen corn.
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- Lime wedges, Diced Avocado, Sour cream, Tortilla Strips, Fritos, Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese.
- 4.5 Quart Dutch Oven
- Combine the seasonings and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a 4 1/2-quart pot. Add the diced onions and jalapeno pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the flour and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, until raw flour smell is gone.
- Add the chicken broth in small splashes, stirring continuously. Add the half and half in the same manner.
- Optional: Reserve 1 heaping cup of drained beans and combine it with ½ cup broth. Blend in a food processor, blender, or immersion blender. Add it to the soup along with the remaining whole beans. (This helps to thicken the broth. Otherwise, all beans can be added whole.)
- Add the seasonings, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and green chilies. Bring to a boil. Let it boil for 15 minutes, uncovered, then reduce to a simmer.
- Season each side of the chicken with salt/pepper. Add the chicken and the corn to the pot and let it simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, uncovered. (Cooking too rapidly will make the chicken tough.) Stir throughout cooking to lift any beans that may have settled to the bottom.
- Remove the chicken and shred it once cooked through. Return it to the pot.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the softened cream cheese. Stir continuously until the cheese is fully melted into the chili.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve with cornbread!
- Chicken: Bone-in chicken breast or chicken thighs will add the most flavor to the broth. You can also use 2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts or 2 ½ cups cooked/leftover chicken.
- Rinsing the beans is optional and is a measure that can be taken to remove additional sodium.
Green Chilies: I recommend getting mild green chilies unless you like a lot of heat.
Cream Cheese: The cream cheese needs to be fully softened to melt well into the soup. Neufchatel cheese/light cream cheese can also be used.
Crock Pot Method
- Note: The liquid in this chili is able to reduce and concentrate with the stove top method as liquid evaporates during cooking. If using the Crock Pot, feel free to use ½ cup less broth and add ½ bouillon cube to the soup if desired.
- Sauté the diced onions and jalapeno pepper in melted butter over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Set aside.
- Optional: Reserve 1 heaping cup of drained beans and combine it with ½ cup broth. Blend in a food processor, blender, or immersion blender.
- Add the chicken to the crock pot along with the chicken broth, softened onions/peppers/garlic, chicken broth, pureed and whole beans, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, green chilies, corn, and seasonings.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4.
- Remove chicken and use 2 forks to shred it, then return it to the crock pot.
- Stir in the softened cream cheese and half and half.
- Cover and cook on high for 10 minutes. Stir again, and serve!
- Nutritional information is per cup, this recipe makes approximately 12 cups.