Main Dish/ Soup

White Chicken Chili

November 2, 2020 (Last Updated: November 10, 2020)

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A delicious bowl of white chicken chili made with white beans, chicken and and roasted green chilies. This easy to make recipe is filled with zesty chilies, chunks of chicken and good for you white beans. It’s a delicious bowl of comfort food. 

A bowl of white chicken chili topped with fresh tomatoes and tortilla strips.

Creamy White Chicken Chili is just what I needed this weekend! We received our first snow two week ago and it caught everyone off guard. We still had most of our apples on the tree and because the temperatures dropped so low, we lost the rest of the crop. Cold weather just puts me in the mood for warm, cozy food.

We were actually out of town when the snow hit. We had travelled to watch one of our boys play in the state soccer tournament for high school. While they didn’t win, they played well and had lots of fun. We didn’t have snow there, but their final game was played outside in 20 degree weather! Yep, it was cold.

On the way home from the tournament, we got stuck in the snow storm. The whole team, and all the parents ended upstopping for the night about three hours from our town. The traffic had slowed way down and one of the passes we had to cross was closed due to semitrucks blocking the interstate.

It all ended well and everyone made it home safely the next day, and I have to think the soccer team had fun with one more night hanging out together.

A bowl filled with white beans in a creamy broth and topped with fresh tomatoes and cilantro.

Once the snow hits, all I want to do is curl up with a warm fire, a good book and delicious comforting food. This Creamy White Bean Chicken Chili will warm you all the way through and make you happy to watch the snow coming down while you are all warm and cozy sitting inside!

It’s yummy and filling. And it’s everything I want when it’s cold outside.

Crispy corn tortillas strips in a blue and white patterned bowl.

Make from scratch

This creamy white bean chicken chili can be made with everything from scratch starting with dried beans, roasted chilies and homemade chicken broth. On the weekends I usually have time to cook, but when time is tight you can use a few shortcuts. Either way, this chili is delicious.

Shortcuts for making white chicken chili

  • Use canned beans in place of the dried beans – rinse and drain 
  • Buy tortilla chips in place of the homemade baked tortilla strips
  • Use store bought chicken broth
  • Canned roasted and chopped chilies can be used in place of the fresh roasted chilies
White chicken chili in a large bowl topped with fresh tomatoes, cilantro and tortilla strips.

Steps to make chicken chili

A complete list of instructions is available below! Just scroll to the bottom!

  • Cook beans
  • Sautee onions until soft
  • Add garlic and roasted peppers
  • Stir in chicken broth and beans
  • Add cream cheese
  • Stir in corn and milk. Heat until warmed through
  • Serve with your favorite toppings

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I thicken this chili?

I set aside a cup of the cooked white beans and smash them. When they are added to the broth, it helps thicken the broth. If you like your chili a bit thicker, use 1/4 cup of flour mixed with 1/2 of hot broth. Stir until smooth and then add to the hot chili.

Can I make this in a crock pot?

Yes, this chili can be made in a crock pot. You will want to use the shortcut ingredients. Add everything and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

Do I need to add whole milk?

No, you do not need to add whole milk. I like whole milk because it is a bit richer. You can add 2% or skim milk if you prefer, but you broth will be a bit waterier.

Can I make ahead of time?

This chili is perfect for making ahead of time! The flavors continue to develop the longer this chili sits. After cooking, allow chili to cool for a bit in the pot. Transfer to another container and place in the refrigerator. Because this is a large amount of chili, make certain you give it a stir every 30-60 minutes so the center will cool down quickly. Once cool, cover and keep refrigerated. When ready to use, just place back in a pot and reheat and serve!

Variations on white chili

  • Use navy beans or great northern beans. Any white bean will work.
  • Chopped chicken or shredded chicken works in this chili
  • Use a can of cooked chicken – drain before adding
  • Substitute turkey for the chicken
  • Control the heat – add more jalapenos or leave out all together
  • Add any of your favorite toppings – shredded cheese, fresh cut tomatoes and onions, fresh cilantro, sour cream and crunchy corn chips.

Budget friendly

If you are looking for ways to save money on this meal, here are a few tips:

  • Use dried beans instead of canned. Dried beans are a fraction of the cost of canned
  • Cut back on the amount of chicken. A smaller diced chicken or shredded chicken can go a long way. You could reduce the amount of cooked chicken to just one cup!
  • Compare prices on hot peppers and substitute as needed. If the cost of peppers is high, consider purchasing a small can of roasted peppers.
  • Make and use homemade chicken broth- must cheaper than buying it from the store
A spoonful filled with white beans and chunks of chicken in a creamy broth.

Don’t forget to PIN for later!

A white bowl filled with white chicken chili topped with fresh tomatoes.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Check out all my delicious recipes. 

A bowl of white chicken chili topped with fresh tomatoes and tortilla strips.

White Chicken Chili

Kathy
White beans, chicken and roasted chilies make a delicious Creamy Chili.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Cooking Beans 2 hrs
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 10 people
Calories 361 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound dried navy beans
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 poblano peppers (roasted and peeled)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (roasted and peeled)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups cooked chicken (chopped)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 8 oz cream cheese (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 cup whole milk

Tortilla Strips

  • 10 corn tortillas

Toppings

  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Chopped avoacdo
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sour Cream

Instructions
 

Beans

  • Soak beans in hot water for at least 2 hours or soak in cool water overnight. Place in a stock pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook beans  until cooked through. Drain beans and set aside.
  • Set 1 cup of beans aside. When cool, mash the beans with a fork.

Crispy Tortilla Strips

  • Stack tortillas together on a cutting board. Cut through all tortillas creating thin strips.   
  • Spray a baking sheet with a cooking spray. Sprinkle tortillas strips on baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until crispy. Check on strips halfway through cooking time and give a stir. 

Chili

  • In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add chopped onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.  Add minced garlic and continue cooking. 
  • Stir in chopped roasted chili peppers. 
  • Add chicken broth, cumin, oregano, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Add cooked beans, mashed beans, chicken, corn and cream cheese. Simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add milk and bring soup back to a simmer.
  • Serve with chopped tomatoes, avocado, fresh cilantro and crispy tortilla strips.

Notes

Adjust salt as needed. 
Variations on white chili
  • Use navy beans or great northern beans. Any white bean will work.
  • Chopped chicken or shredded chicken works in this chili
  • Use a can of cooked chicken – drain before adding
  • Substitute turkey for the chicken
  • Control the heat – add more jalapenos or leave out all together
  • Add any of your favorite toppings – shredded cheese, fresh cut tomatoes and onions, fresh cilantro, sour cream and crunchy corn chips.
Shortcut for making white chicken chili
  • Use canned beans in place of the dried beans – rinse and drain 
  • Buy tortilla chips in place of the homemade baked tortilla strips
  • Use store bought chicken broth
  • Canned roasted and chopped chilies can be used in place of the fresh roasted chilies

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 15gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 848mgPotassium: 872mgFiber: 14gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 447IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 155mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Chicken Chili, Creamy White Chicken Chili, White Chicken Chili
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

This recipe was originally posted in November 2018.

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Suzi
    November 22, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    5 stars
    This was so good! We didn’t have green chilis, so I added a can of mild rotel. Such a hearty meal….and I couldn’t stop eating those home baked tortilla chips!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      November 23, 2020 at 5:23 am

      Thanks! It’s one of our favorites and I usually make double the amount of crispy tortilla strips because they keep disappearing with all the nibbling! 🙂

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