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

5 from 113 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


  • 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.



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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Recipe Rating


      1. 5 stars
        I have been making this recipe for years! I love it just as much today as the first time I made it… have it printed out and in my recipe binder even ❤

  1. Looks delish! Picked up the ingredients at the store this am and popped it all in the crockpot. Can’t wait for dinner tonight!

      1. I emailed you back, but figured I would post it here too b/c I heart your soup so much ; ) It was amazing, my hubby & I agree it is probably one of the most delicious meals I have made in awhile! And I am totally using this as my entry this year in our friends superbowl chili cook-off…is it weird that I am this excited about a soup? LOL! Thanks for the awesome recipe, this is for sure going into our cold weather weekly menu rotation.

        1. Success!! I love hearing that others enjoy a recipe just as much as we do!! And I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that you win the chili cook off!! 😀

  2. I made something similar to this just last week, coincidentally, and I have to say that it was delicious. I had never tried white bean-chicken-chili (soup) before, I generally just make red and call it a day, and I had never tried cooking with chillies — I was too scared! — but I tried it and it was really good. I like your version with sour cream and lots of cheese better than that one so I am bookmarking this baby!!! Thanks for all you do. I’m a big fan.

  3. Yummy!! I’m definitely going to make this soon. I’m in Arkansas right now where the highs have been in the 50’s and the leaves are changing….so beautiful. I’ll be making the trek back to warm Houston tomorrow. I wish I could bring this cool weather with me…sigh. Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. It’s not cold here but it’s definitely so much cooler in Houston. Have a safe trip back and let me know how the recipe goes. 🙂

  4. I’m assuming you could substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream, right?

    Looks so easy and yummy, I’m going to try it out this weekend here in Austin!

    1. I sure hope so because that’s what I have in the frig! I picked up the rest of the ingredients today, so I can’t wait to report back to how my fiancee and I liked it! 🙂

  5. Made this last night and the whole fam loved it including son and hubby who are extremely picky! Now if only Houston would stay this cool for awhile!!

  6. I made this tonight for me and the kids and they loved it! i even added fresh tomatoes for a little zing! Thank you so much for this!!!

  7. Ok, I made just made this soup this morning! Who makes soup at 10am? I do! LOL! I did use 1c. of greek yogurt for the 1c. of sour cream and it worked out great (I did add an extra 2 cups of Mexican Blend cheese to thicken it up a bit to my liking). Overall, great soup recipe to have on hand for the Fall/Winter.

  8. Yes soup season is here and we need recipes like this to keep us going throughout the winter so thanks for sharing

    1. For anyone that has had this soup before… How do you think mixing corn and tomatoes in would be? And topping with avocado? I normally just use the easy McCormick seasoning packet but want to venture out… This sounds de-lish!

      1. Hi Alexa. To be honest, I’m not sure about the tomatoes, but I think corn would be a great addition as well as the avocados. If you do end up trying the tomatoes, let me know how it goes!! Super curious. 🙂

  9. Getting ready to make this AGAIN for our pre trick or treating soup buffet tonight. Would love to try this in the crockpot…should I cook the chicken first or put it in uncooked (since it would cook about 7 hours…)?

    Thanks so much!

  10. How did I not realize that you are in Houston? So am I! I love finding other bloggers in the area.

    Great recipe…we tried a similar recipe last week for the first time and my family loved it.

    I just pinned your chicken tortilla soup and baked potato soup and can’t wait to try those!

  11. Kristyn,
    I am making this again tonight–second time around! SO good! Thanks for all of the yummy recipes and crafty ideas you post! You’re the best 🙂


  12. So I made this tonight for dinner and everything smelled and tasted so good right up until I added the cheese and sour cream. I added the sour cream and cheese right after removing the pot from heat. Pretty sure my sour cream broke and turned the soup into a grainy texture. Any suggestions on how to get that smooth creamy texture?

    1. 5 stars
      After removing from heat, take 1-2 tablespoons of the soup from the pot, add TO the sour cream and mix. Then add the sour cream (now mixed with the small amount of soup) to the pot of soup

  13. This was amazing. We ate the whole pot in 2 days and then my husband asked me could I make more. Very easy and I substituted lowfat sour cream.

    1. It makes about 6 generous servings but it’s great to freeze. I add chopped onion to mine. Family says it’s their favorite meal! Making it tonight!

  14. This was so good. I left out the chilis and only had parmesan and cheddar cheese on hand but it came out perfect. Now for the real test…..my 4 year old.

      1. Im actually out of town right now so I haven’t seen her. Just testing out different recipes now for when I do see her.

  15. Just wanted to pop in and say THANK YOU for this recipe – made it with some leftover rotisserie chicken and it is truly awesome! Soooo easy to make, and yummy. It rivals the Soup Man across the street from my office, who makes excellent white chicken chili, so thank you for helping me save $4 a cup! 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    I converted this to a Crockpot recipe. Instead of canned beans I used about 1 cup dried beans (from Winco bulk), soaked overnight. I would probably add about 1/2 cup more beans next time actually. I used 2 large chicken breasts instead of the shredded chicken and shredded it right before serving. I added about half a large onion, some chili powder, and a bay leaf (remove before serving) for more flavor. All the other ingredients were the same. Cooked it on low for about 8 hours. To add the sour cream, I stirred in a bit of the broth from the chili until it was liquidy so it would blend better, and added the cheese normally. Delicious!

  17. I’ve been looking for a chicken chili recipe for a long time I’m truly excited to try this one.. I hope I found it! I will be making this for dinner tomorrow…

  18. Adding the corn sounds like chicken corn chowder…a fave of the Campbells Chunky Soup for me. I am definitely going to make this…but not in the crockpot.

  19. 5 stars
    Delicious! One thing I changed though was adding and additional 1/2tsp cumin and I used 2 tsp oregano as I thought it needed more of those flavors, and it was great! Husband loved it too, and it was very filling! The leftovers went quickly, will be making this again!

  20. 5 stars
    This was really fabulous. I only had about 1/3 cup of sour cream on hand (hate when that happens) so I took a tip from other posters and also added 1/2 package of cream cheese. I also did not use the whole 2-cup bag of cheese that the recipe calls for, although I’m sure it would have been even better if I had. This was a real keeper, my husband raved about it!

    1. I’m so glad to hear it!! And I’m glad you were able to substitute some of the ingredients. My hubby loooooves cheese, so he makes sure I put the whole 2 cups in, even if it’s not as healthy. 😉

  21. Such a delicious and easy soup! I did add a little onion and only had two cans of beans on hand, but it was hearty and perfect for a cool, fall night. Thanks for the recipe.

  22. This chicken chili soup is amazing! I found your recipe 2 years ago on Pinterest and it is now a Winter family favorite!

    1. I LOVE to hear that, Alexis!! Reminds me that I should make it this week. It’s one of our favorites too. 🙂 I hope you can find more recipes you enjoy here!!

  23. Hello! I am wanting to make this for the in laws who arrive tomorrow night! One poster commented that their sour cream didn’t melt in nicely, have you ever found that or is there a trick in adding it in? Just don’t have to time to test batch this and want to avoid any failures;) Thank you in advance!!

  24. This looks delicious, can’t wait to make it. Just wondering how many servings makes? Family of 3, just seems like would be alot for us. Could I just half the recipe if needed?

  25. 5 stars
    I made this for supper tonight and my husband and I absolutely LOVED it! Hubby just ran a bowl over to his Mom. He loved it so much, he wanted her to try it.
    Thank you for this easy and delicious recipe. Will definitely cook it again!

  26. Made this tonight and everything was good except the beans were so hard! I can’t figure out why? I let them cook in the crockpot for hours thinking they’d soften up but they never did.

    1. I’m sorry they were hard! Not sure why either. They wouldn’t be super soft, but shouldn’t be too hard. Hope you’ll give it another try!

    1. Yes, since it’s shredded…you’ll want to cook up some chicken and shred it or you can always buy a rotisserie chicken. Whatever is easiest for you! Hope that helps!! Hope you like it!

  27. 5 stars
    This is my favorite soup. My picky sons too. I buy an all white meat rotisserie chicken and pull its meat off then store it in baggies for things like this that need chicken. Not only does it make it faster but the chicken already has a nice flavor. Instead of oregano i add italian seasoning. I didn’t have any oregano the first time so i had to improvise. We liked it that way so i haven’t changed it. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    1. It’s a good one for sure! Thank you for making it and for letting me know. Thanks also for sharing your tips 🙂

  28. I am hoping to make this in a crockpot tomorrow. Would this work do you know?
    If so, how long do you think I should let it cook?

    1. I haven’t tried, but it should be ok 🙂 I would just maybe keep it on low for like 3 hours. Let me know how you like it 🙂

  29. 5 stars
    I made this for our church chili cook off. It came in first place and was the only pot that was empty! People kept asking for more. This is delicious.

  30. Made this today and we all thought it was delicious! Only had 2 cans of beans but it would have been better with 4! Even my 18 month old gobbled it up! I did my chicken in then isntant pot and then used the broth from that as 1 cup of broth for the soup. Thanks for a great receipe!

  31. 5 stars
    I love white Chicken Chili! Just before serving I also put a large spoonful of Pico de Gallo that I buy from Qdoba in each bowl!!

  32. My friend made this and had me over for lunch. It was delicious. Thank you for this recipe. I plan on making this for my family.

  33. Great recipe, big hit with hubbie and 4 kids. Crockpot cooking saves my life!
    I did add minced onion, minced as I don’t like onion texture but like its flavor…

  34. I absolutely love this recipe and recently got an instant pot. Do you know what the cook time difference would be and should i cook the chicken whole in the instant pot and shred it at the end or shred before adding into pot?!?

  35. 5 stars
    Made it last night for Super Bowl We LOVED it! Created recipe as written. Next time I would leave out mozzarella and maybe sprinkle on top for serving (not mix in) GREAT flavor!!! Can’t wait for leftovers for lunch! Thank you !

    1. I am sorry, I don’t have that information. But, there are sites that will convert recipes 🙂

  36. I was wondering if I could cook the chicken in this recipe in the slower cooker on low for 6hrs and then shred the chicken?

  37. 4 stars
    Still missing the whipping cream but it’s a great recipe. I just have a deep love for the older version haha. So do my thighs!

  38. 5 stars
    This is the same recipe that my sister uses. It is one of my favorites and I always bring this recipe to the annual chili dinner my family attends. The only downside is I never have any left to bring home.

    1. I have quite a few chicken chili recipes on my site. You could search white chicken chili & see if the one you are thinking of is there. I like to try all different versions 😉

    2. I was thinking the same thing! This is the most requested recipe in my house. I have made the recipe so many times that I think I remembered the differences. I’m making it now so we will see how it turns out.

    1. I have a few different versions of this soup 🙂 If you search it on the site, you will find them all 🙂

  39. A fan favorite soup. Its just the right amount of heat that I Like in a recipe. With all the creaminess and favorite ingredients that we Love.

  40. 5 stars
    I love this white sauce version!! It is so tasty & my family loved it! I love adding the tortilla strips on top, to give it a nice crunch!

  41. 5 stars
    I made this 2 days ago and it was so good and so easy. I will definitely make this again. Next time I’ll try it in the crockpot. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe. Trying the easy chicken Divan tonight. ?

    1. Did you try it in the Crockpot? Im wondering if i use all the same ingredients, but raw chicken, will it turn out or will everything be mushy? How long should i keep it in thE crockpot?

  42. 5 stars
    My aunt Use to make a white chili that i loved so When i saw your Recipe i had to try it. Your recipe tastes just Like hers. Im so hapPy to have it!

  43. 5 stars
    This is such a great soup esp at this time of year when it’s a little CHILLY(chili haha)) outside. one of my kids loves chili and this recipe passed the test. he thought it was awesome! It’s a keeper at our house! Thanks for sharing

  44. 5 stars
    Thank you for posting such a yummy recipe and including nutrition information.

    Can you plEase tell me the serving size?

  45. 5 stars
    This is our favorite!!! I have been making it for years and Even won a church chili cook off with it. Making again tonight and the house sMells amazing!!! I have forwarded many To your page. Thank you!!

    1. I appreciate that!! Thank you so much for sharing my page to others & letting me know what you think of this chili!

  46. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make and was so yummy! My husband said it was the best white chili he’s ever had and my Father in-law said it was good too.

  47. 5 stars
    I know it says tHere are 8 servings in the whole poT. Do you know the measurement of each serving?

    This is a family favorite recipe!

  48. 5 stars
    This has been my go-to for years now and is on my “all-stars” board on Pinterest. At my daughter’s request, we switched to ground turkey instead of shredded chicken (just prefer the texture) and leave out the cheese and sour cream for any non-dairy folks. But the cheese and sour cream are always diy garnishes along with cilantro, avocado, and tortilla strips. It’s a staple at our superbowl parties and cold outdoor events. Thanks for the recipe!

  49. 5 stars
    I’m not even a good cook and I can make this! And everyone in my family loves it, even the one who hates beans.

  50. 5 stars
    This is a GREAT chili!! Loved the creamy broth and the green chilies!! SO good! It went great with the Jalapeno Cornbread!! 😉

  51. 5 stars
    Made this last week and my daughter said it was her favorite ever. We don’t even make red chili anymore.

  52. 5 stars
    The best recipe I’ve ever tried for white chicken chili & what makes it better that it’s super simple & quick to make!

  53. 5 stars
    Love this soup! I’ve it as written, but have also added some frozen corn towards the end of the cooking time – I love the taste and I can sneak in a veggie – always a good thing.

  54. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time and it will become my new go-to for chili cook offs! So delicious and easy to make!

  55. 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!

  56. 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 😁😁

  57. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. 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!

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 5 stars
    I made this over the weekend and it is absolutely delicious! It is so comforting and filling. It is now a family favorite!! Thanks for sharing such delicious recipes!