This delicious and easy White Chicken Chili is a great way to warm up on a cold night. In just 30 minutes you can make a hearty chicken chili recipe that has the perfect amount of spice and flavor.
We love making a pot of homemade soup for dinner when the weather turns cooler. There is just something so cozy and comforting about a hot bowl of soup when it's cold outside.
Our family loves making this broccoli cheddar soup, this creamy tomato soup, and this sweet and spicy Dr. Pepper chili. You can even have a healthy sausage kale soup if you are looking for a low carb soup.
But I think my all time favorite soup might be chicken chili. It is a little lighter and brothier than red chili and has a rich, warm flavor that I enjoy.
Why This Works
This hearty white chili is made with a creamy broth, shredded chicken, white beans, and a variety of spices. It's full of flavor and tastes amazing.
- It's a welcome change from traditional chili.
- Easy to make on the stove top or in a slow cooker.
- No need for flour or cream to thicken this soup. Blending beans with broth is a great way to thicken soup without adding extra carbs or dairy.
- This one pot meal can be ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Perfect dinner for cold weather!
The best part about this white chicken chili recipe is having it for lunch the next day. It's easy to reheat the leftovers in the microwave or stovetop.
A pot of easy white chicken chili can be made in no time at all using these simple ingredients.
- Chicken - I like to use a cooked rotisserie chicken from Sam's Club or Costco. Shred it as soon as you get home because it is easier to do when the chicken is warm. You can also use any cooked chicken that you have on hand.
- Minced Garlic and Onions - Add a flavor that is a staple to chili.
- White Beans - Use your favorite white beans such as cannellini beans, navy beans, or great northern beans. Just make sure to drain the cans because the extra liquid can thin the soup and just doesn't taste as good.
- Diced Green Chiles - Canned green chiles add a little spiciness and incredible flavor to the chili. Use mild or hot depending on your preference.
- Seasonings - A mix of cumin, oregano, chili pepper, and smoked paprika gives the soup a Southwest flavor.
- Poblano Pepper - Adds a slight smokey taste to the soup.
- Chicken Broth - Use a low sodium broth to limit the amount of salt in the soup.
- Lime Juice - Brighten the flavor of this white chili with fresh squeezed lime juice.
How to Make White Chicken Chili
See how easy it is to make a pot of flavorful white bean chili in under 30 minutes.
- Sauté the veggies. Place the onions, peppers, and oil in a large pot. Cook for a few minutes until the veggies are softened. Add the garlic and spices and stir well.
- Puree the beans. Place one can of drained beans with some broth in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Add beans and broth. Stir the broth, pureed mixture, and beans into the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
- Add chicken and simmer. Stir in the shredded chicken, lime juice, and chopped cilantro and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.
- Add toppings and enjoy. Garnish bowls of chili with your favorite toppings like avocado slices, sour cream, corn chips, crackers, cheese, or fresh cilantro.
Looking for a crockpot white chicken chili recipe? Stir together all the ingredients, except the beans in a 6 quart crockpot. Cook on low for 4 hours. Puree one can of beans with some hot broth. Stir the puree and other drained beans into the hot soup. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes before serving.
In the Refrigerator - Keep the cooled chicken chili in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This is a great soup to make ahead of time because the flavor gets better as it sits. The soup will thicken as it cools, so you may need to add additional water or broth when you reheat it.
In the Freezer - Cool the chili completely, then place in freezer safe containers. Freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
To Reheat - Place soup in a pot on the stovetop and heat to desired temperature. You can also reheat single servings in microwave safe bowl.
Tips and Tricks
- Puree 1 can of the beans to give the chili a thicker, creamier texture.
- Want an even creamier soup? Add a splash of heavy cream or ½ cup sour cream to the broth.
- Make this with a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for the fastest prep time. You can also use leftover turkey after Thanksgiving to make this soup as well.
- Keep extra bags of chicken in the freezer. It will make meal prep a breeze on busy nights.
- Garnish the chili with your favorite toppings such as avocado slices, sour cream, corn chips, crackers, or cheese.
- You can also jazz up the white chili with black beans, corn, celery, or zucchini for a different look and flavor.
- If you like a spicier soup, add hot green chiles and more cayenne pepper to this chicken chili recipe.
- Serve with a side of cornbread, homemade garlic bread, side salad, or a baked potato.
A white chili is made with white beans, chicken, creamy broth, and spicy green chiles. It is called white because it is light in color rather than red like traditional chili.
Yes, simply add all your ingredients and heat on low until the veggies are soft and the chili is hot.
This is a matter of preference. Rinsing the bean with water will reduce the amount of sodium that was on the beans from the can. I simple drain the beans really well.
Yes you can. Place it in a freezer container or a freezable ziplock storage bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place it in a refrigerator overnight or simply remove from the packaging and heat it up on the stove top or in a crockpot.
More Chicken Soup Recipes
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*The post for white chicken chili was first published January 2014. It was updated and republished January 2023.
Shawn @ IWYD
Yum! I love a good bowl of chili!
Yum! Chicken chili is a favorite around here.
Jess @ On Sugar Mountain
I pretend like I like the winter too but I think I only like the winter when it involves christmas. >_< It's about -5 degrees here today! I wish I had a bowl of this comfy cozy chili for sure. 🙂 It looks like it'd warm me up in a jiffy.
I know, I'm always so over winter right after Christmas! 😉
It's been so cold here lately too and a big bowl of this comforting chili sounds perfect to warm up with. This looks fantastic Jocelyn! Hope you stay warm and enjoy the rest of the week.
Thanks Kelly! 🙂
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction
This chili is perfect for warming you up on a freezing cold day! So good!
Stephanie @ PlainChicken
Looks great! I love soup o n cold nights. It is easy and really hits the spot on a super cold night - like tonight!
Thanks Stephanie! 🙂
I agree, there is nothing like hot soup when you are cold. Beans and chicken - two delicious sources of protein! This is like a deli in your own kitchen!
I haven't made chili in forever!! This looks fantastic!!!
We really are thinking alike! I just had white chili for lunch today!
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
I'm so excited to see more of your savory dishes. I love your sweets but a girl can't live off of sweets alone 😉 And this one is truly one of my fav chills!
Thanks girl! 🙂
Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry
This soup would take the chill off any cold day!
This looks delicious! I live in Ohio and I'm SO done with all of this cold and snow, too. It's terrible! I have a Chicken Chili recipe that I love and about a million other Mexican-ish soup recipes, but you can never have enough in my opinion. I will be pinning this to try soon!
Thanks Katie! 🙂
Beth @ bethcakes
I live in the South, so it doesn't really snow here, but it does get pretty cold at times. Like today. And now I would really like a bowl of this soup to warm me up. 🙂 It looks amazing! Love that you're posting some savory recipes. I've been wanting to do that on my blog too, but haven't yet, haha.
I wish I were in the south tonight!! 😉 Thanks girl!
Happy Valley Chow
This soup sounds sooo good right now especially after driving through the snow and cold! Great recipe 🙂
Zainab @ Blahnik Baker
Upstate NY is biting cold today and this chilli will be perfect alongside a blanket and my couch!! I'm looking forward to savory dishes...it's funny how we cook more savory than we bake but mostly share only the sweets! People must think we only eat sugar and butter :0
Haha, I know!! 🙂 I definitely eat more than sugar! 😉
I love the "mashing some of the beans" idea. I will try it next time I make chili.
It really makes it so much better! 🙂
Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent
I'm sick of winter too! Brrrr! Luckily the latest storm missed us and went south. This soup looks delicious, warm, and inviting 🙂
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)
This soup is so comforting and gorgeous looking. It is perfect for this terribly cold weather we are having in Chicago. Love! And pinning!
Thanks girl! 🙂