White Chicken Chili

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!

White Chicken Chili Recipe topped with cheese in a bowl.

All-time favorite version

Fall and Winter mean soup season for us!

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!

Shredded chicken used in white chicken chili recipe.

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!

White Bean Chicken Chili cooking in pot.

Ingredient Tips

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:

  1. Rinse the beans and place them in a bowl then cover them with an inch of water. 
  2. Soak them, at room temperature, for 4-8 hours.  Drain and rinse once more. 
  3. Place beans in a large pot and cover with fresh water. 
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. 

White Chili cooking in a pot on the stove.

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.

Recipe FAQ

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. 😉

White Chicken Chili in bowl topped with shredded cheese, tortilla strips, and cilantro.

For more chili recipes, check out:

White Chicken Chili Recipe

4.99 from 88 votes
White Chicken Chili is hearty, creamy, and has become a new favorite!! Best of all, it's ready in 30 minutes or less!
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 214 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Slow Cooker Directions: Combine all ingredients except cheese and sour cream in the slow cooker and cook on low for 1–2 hours. Add cheese and sour cream and cook for an additional 30–60 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Stir together and serve warm.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    One of my favorite soups – always at the top of my list when soup season comes! I’ve started adding some corn – makes it even more yummy! It’s on our menu this week. I also love the leftovers for lunch!

  2. Omgosh ‼️ I’m rating this recipe 5 ⭐️ It’s amazing just the two of us here it last us all week. So good. I even add a couple favorite too.

    1. 5 stars
      I haven’t even tried this yet, but I know it will be delish!!!! My sister sent me this recipe and I am making it tonight. My husband has heart failure and ckd3, but this will be super simple to fix without the salt. I can’t wait to get it done 😁😁

  3. 5 stars
    This is the same recipe my sister gave me years ago and I LOVE it. It’s a delicious twist on traditional chili. It’s always gone when I take it to autumn potlucks.

  4. 5 stars
    The sour cream and cheese make this chili so creamy. It’s one of our family’s favorite soups. Especially in the fall!

  5. 5 stars
    White Chicken Chili is my favorite kind of chili! I love this recipe and pair it with your cornbread muffins too. Such a good combo!

  6. 5 stars
    This is our favorite white chicken chili recipe!! We have it on repeat all fall and winter long. And we always serve it with your cornbread recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    One of my families favorite recipes. A quick and easy dinner for any night. I added corn to ot and it always comes out so good.

  8. 5 stars
    I love this so much! I made it for the first time a couple of weeks ago using a rotisserie chicken… served it over rice with a HUGE helping of shredded pepperjack cheese…. OH MY GOSH a bowl of heaven! So delish.

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