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White Chicken Chili is hearty, creamy, and has become a new favorite!! Best of all, it’s ready in 30 minutes or less!
We love taking this soup to potlucks and chili cook offs! Traditional beef chili is always a safe bet, but sometimes it’s nice to switch it up with something unique like this white bean chili, chili spaghetti, or even a sweet potato chili!
All-time favorite version
Yes, you can enjoy soup all year long, but we especially crave it during the cooler months. Along with some of our favorites like Cheesy Potato Soup and Chicken Tortilla Soup, one we always have on repeat is White Chicken Chili.
We’ve tried so many versions over the years, but today’s recipe for White Bean Chicken Chili is our all-time favorite!
How to Make White Chicken Chili
I can’t even tell you how EASY this recipe is. To make it even quicker, use some shredded leftover Rotisserie chicken.
We always have Great Northern Beans on hand, especially in the fall. Fresh cilantro and sour cream aren’t necessary, but they are also great additions to this easy white chili recipe. 😉
SIMMER. Begin by throwing all the ingredients, except the sour cream and cheese, into a large pot. Simmer on low-medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until completely heated through.
SOUR CREAM. Right before serving, stir in the sour cream and cheese until it’s melted.
In the crockpot
Cooking this soup on the stovetop doesn’t take long at all, but if you aren’t in a hurry, you could even throw everything (minus the sour cream and cheese) into the crockpot or slow cooker and cook on low for an hour or two and be set!
Beans: Great Northern Beans are a medium sized white bean. They can be substitutes with a smaller navy bean or a larger white kidney bean (cannellini beans).
If you wish, you can make your own Northern Beans instead of buying them in a can:
- Rinse the beans and place them in a bowl then cover them with an inch of water.
- Soak them, at room temperature, for 4-8 hours. Drain and rinse once more.
- Place beans in a large pot and cover with fresh water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Cook for 45-60 minutes or until tender, but firm. Make sure that you keep the beans covered with water, add warm water when necessary.
- Drain and use in the recipe
One (14-16 oz) can will have about 2 cups of beans. This recipe calls for 4 cans yielding about 8 cups total. One cup dried beans will yield about 2 ½ cups of cooked beans. I would use 3 cup dry beans for this recipe.
Shredded Chicken: I like to cook up a large batch of chicken breasts or chicken thighs, shred it and keep it in the freezer. This makes any meal calling for chicken so much quicker to make. I like to use my crock pot to make Shredded Chicken, but you can also make Oven Baked Chicken then shred it.
recipe tips + variations
Variations & Toppings:
- Greek yogurt can be substitutes for sour cream.
- Add in a chopped medium onion.
- Serve with a side of tortilla chips or add tortilla strips right on top of the soup.
- Sprinkle in cayenne pepper, red chili flakes or a white chili powder for extra heat.
- Garnish with a wedge of lime that you can use to squeeze lime juice into the soup.
- Top with your favorite cheese such as Monterey Jack Cheese, cheddar cheese, or Mexican cheese Blend
- Top with sour cream, cilantro or sliced avocado.
How to thicken? Here are a couple ways to thicken chilis and soups.
- Flour: Don’t just add flour to the chili. The flour will become clumpy and you’ll spend quite a while trying to get the clumps out. Instead, put 1-2 tbsp (per cup of chili) in a separate bowl and a cup of hot liquid from the chili. Mix the two until smooth, pour it into the chili and stir.
- Cornstarch: Use 2 tablespoons per cup of chili. In a separate bowl mix 2 table spoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until it’s very smooth. Then, gradually stir the mixture into the hot liquid until it’s blended.
- Add softened cream cheese. This will not only add a layer of flavor but thicken up the soup.
- Use heavy whipping cream along with, or in place of, the sour cream to thicken the soup.
What sides go well with chili?
So many, but here are some of our favorites:
How to store? Chicken Chili shouldn’t be left out on the counter for more than 2 hours. You can store the chili in a airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave, stove top, or crock pot until the desired temperature.
How to freeze? If possible, we recommend freezing the chili before you add the sour cream and cheese. To do this, place it in a freezer-safe gallon bag in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in a pot and then add the additional ingredients at the end.
We know many may be looking for the standard beef chili recipe for you next chili cook off, but try this recipe, bring some corn bread, and I promise you… People will not be disappointed. 😉
For more chili recipes, check out:
- Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
- Chili Verde Soup
- Easy Chicken Chili
- Green Enchilada Pork Chili
- Chili Spaghetti
- Chicken Taco Chili
White Chicken Chili Recipe
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3-4 (15.5-ounce) cans Great Northern Beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1-2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- dash of pepper
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- In a large pot, combine broth, beans, chicken, green chiles, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and pepper over medium-low heat. Simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until soup is heated through.
- Right before serving, add cheese and sour cream and stir until cheese is melted and ingredients are mixed.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.