White Chicken Chili is a great comforting bean soup packed with flavor, chicken, beans, and veggies. With a thick and delicious chili with just the right amount of kick and your favorite toppings, you know you’re in for a soul-satisfying good meal!

A bowl of white chicken chili with sour cream and avocado.

Table of Contents
  1. Why you'll love this Easy White Chicken Chili
  2. What is White Chili?
  3. Ingredients for White Chicken Chili
  4. How to make Easy White Chicken Chili
  5. Best White Chili Recipe Tips and Variations
  6. What to serve with White Chicken Chili
  7. How to store this recipe for White Chicken Chili
  8. More Soup Recipes
  9. Best White Chili Recipe Recipe

When it is cold and blustery outside, there are few recipes that are as cozy and satisfying as a bowl of homemade white chicken chili. And the only thing better than having it for dinner, is having leftovers for lunch the next day!

I love how hearty and comforting a bowl of warm chili can be. Topping this easy white chicken chili recipe with some sour cream, cilantro, avocado, or corn chips can be a fun way of dressing it up, but even as-is, this chili is fantastic and one you will find yourself coming back to again and again!

Why you'll love this Easy White Chicken Chili

  • Quick - You can have a pot of white chicken chili simmering on the stove in under 45 minutes.
  • Easy - This is a simple dinner recipe to throw together and you can use a shredded rotisserie chicken to make life that much easier.
  • Flavorful - The seasonings are perfectly balanced and everybody gets to top their bowl with their favorite toppings like cilantro, cheese, jalapenos, etc. so every bite is loaded with flavor!

What is White Chili?

I'm not entirely sure who started calling this dish a "chili" since it's not like what I typically think of as a traditional chili. White chicken chili is a type of chili that is made with chicken instead of beef. It has no tomatoes and instead uses white beans and green chiles to get its color and flavor. 

I think the key to this being considered chili is getting the ratio of broth to beans and meat just right so that it is a bit heartier than a regular soup. Part of the secret is to blend some of the beans and broth together to thicken the chili and give a really wonderful, creamy feel without the heaviness of thickening with flour or cream.

Bowls of white chicken chili.

Chili comes from the Spanish “Chile Con Carne” and has been around for hundreds of years, but the more traditional version includes tomatoes and ground beef like my Classic Chili Recipe or my Meaty Mushroom Chili.

White bean chili didn’t come along until much, much later. Early reports show that it started to surface in the late 1980s. Another fun fact is that it was invented in the West, not the south, as one would expect. Despite the backstory, this chili has still been seen as a popular Southwestern dish all over the country, probably because of it's heavy reliance on beans & chilies, which are typical Southwest ingredients.

Is this Recipe for White Chicken Chili Gluten Free?

Yes, this chili recipe is naturally gluten free because none of the ingredients requested should contain gluten and it's not thickened with flour. Double check the ingredients and allergy warning labels just in case.

White bowls of creamy white chicken chili soup.

Ingredients for White Chicken Chili

  • Cooked shredded chicken: I love using leftover rotisserie chicken to make this really EASY white chicken chili. But you can cook a couple of chicken breasts or thighs and shred them instead if you don't have a rotisserie chicken available. See the recipe card for further details on how to do this.
  • Chicken broth: This is the liquid base of the soup and makes it very flavorful. Stock, vegetable broth, or water and chicken bullion could be used instead.
  • White beans: Any white bean will work, although cans of Great Northern or Cannelini bean (drained and rinsed) are my preference.
  • Salted butter: This adds a little richness to the base of the soup.
  • Olive oil: A healthy oil to help cook the vegetables.
  • Onion: When chopping your own, try to make sure your pieces are diced pretty much the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Jalapeno: Finely chop after removing the seeds, membranes, and stems. If you like your chili with extra kick, you can always leave in the seeds which will make the chili very spicy!
  • Garlic: Minced garlic is an aromatic and helps to add a ton of delicious flavor.
  • Green Chiles: Using canned diced green chilies helps to give you less prep work. I prefer the mild ones because I want flavor and not a ton of spice. This is an ingredient I ALWAYS have in my pantry.
  • Corn kernels: Fresh or frozen corn kernels are great. They add color, a burst of sweetness, and a small crunch in every bite.
  • Lime: The lime juice is a great way to add a citric tanginess and round out the flavors.
  • Spices: We need ground cumin, ancho chili powder, dried oregano, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper to really emphasize the great flavors of the Southwest in white chicken chili. 
  • Sour Cream: You can use sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (personal preference). This will be stirred into the chili at the end to help make it a bit creamier and thicker. Plus, it helps dampen the heat if you get things a little too spicy.
Homemade chicken chili garnished with lime wedges, avocado, jalapenos, and sour cream.

How to make Easy White Chicken Chili

  1. Blend beans and broth: Take 1 cup of the beans and place it in the blender with ½ cup of chicken broth. Blend until smooth and then set aside. This is going to go into the chili later to make it thicker and creamier.
  2. Saute the veggies: In a large dutch oven or in a heavy pot over medium heat, melt the butter and the oil. Add in the onion and jalapeno, sauteing for 3-5 minutes until softened and onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Add most of the remaining ingredients: Add in the pureed beans and broth mixture, the remaining beans, the remaining chicken broth, diced green chilies, corn kernels, lime juice, cumin, ancho chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. If you are using raw chicken instead of a precooked rotisserie chicken, this is where you add it and let it simmer until cooked through.
  4. Simmer, then stir in the rest of the ingredients: Cook for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, shredded cheese, and cooked chicken (or remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with two forks before returning it to the pot).
  5. Serve with all your favorite toppings: I like to prep bowls of individual toppings to serve with the pot of soup on the table family style so everyone can top their bowls of chili the way they like it best. Personally, I think it's perfect with a few slices of avocado, a little sour cream, and a lime wedge. But my family loves it with corn chips and extra cheese!
A bowl of soup.

How to make the Best White Chicken Chili Recipe in a Crock Pot

To make this white chicken chili recipe in the slow cooker, add everything but the sour cream to the bowl of the crock pot (including raw chicken breasts). You can saute the onions, jalapenos, and garlic before adding, if desired.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3 hours. Remove the chicken and shred. Use a ladle to scoop out some of the beans and broth and place in a blender. Blend until smooth and stir back into the soup with the shredded chicken and the sour cream, then it's ready to serve!

Best White Chili Recipe Tips and Variations

How to thicken White Chicken Chili

This chili is naturally thickened through the cooking and preparation process. The biggest contributor is the blended beans in step 1. If you'd like your chili even thicker, remove some of the simmered beans and broth and blend until smooth and add back into the pot.

If you want it even thicker, you could make a simple cornstarch slurry by combining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water, then drizzling this into the chili while stirring to thicken.

What to serve with White Chicken Chili

Sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, chopped green onion, thinly sliced jalapeno, and/or corn chips all work great as toppings!

For some sides, I like to keep things simple and serve it with some fresh fruit or a fruit salad and a thick piece of cornbread.

How to store this recipe for White Chicken Chili

To store white chicken chili, let it to cool to room temperature, then transfer the chili to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4-5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

How to reheat leftover White Chili

When ready to reheat, use a saucepan or microwave, adding a bit of liquid like more chicken broth, if necessary. Stir occasionally during reheating to ensure that is gets hot all the way through before serving.

White bowls of Southwest White Chicken Chili.

More Soup Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Best White Chili Recipe

4.84 from 124 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 -8 servings
White chicken chili is a great comforting bean soup packed with flavor, chicken, beans, and veggies. With a thick and delicious chili with just the right amount of kick and your favorite toppings, you know you’re in for a soul-satisfying good meal!



  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (about 1 ½ pounds chicken)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 30 ounces Great Northern or Cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, stem, seeds, and membranes removed, then finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces mild diced green chilies
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt


  • Additional sour cream
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped green onion
  • Thinly sliced jalapeno
  • Corn chips


  • Place 1 cup of the beans in a blender with ½ cup of the chicken broth and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter along with the oil in a large dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and jalapeno, then saute until softened and the onions turn translucent, around 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
  • Add the pureed beans and broth, remaining chicken broth, remaining beans, diced green chilies, corn kernels, lime juice, cumin, ancho chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Cook for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and the shredded, cooked chicken.
  • Serve topped with additional sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, chopped green onion, thinly sliced jalapeno, and/or corn chips.



  • Leftover rotisserie chicken works great for this recipe. If you don't have cooked chicken already, you can add whole chicken breasts in step 4 above. Let the soup simmer until the chicken is done, then remove the chicken and shred, before adding it back to the soup with the sour cream.
  • Slow cooker version: Use raw chicken breasts and add everything but sour cream to the bowl of a slow cooker. I still like to saute the onions, jalapeno, and garlic first in a pan with the butter and olive oil before I add those. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours. Remove the chicken and shred. Use a ladle to scoop some of the beans and broth into a blender and blend before stirring back into the soup with the shredded chicken and sour cream.
  • This soup will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Or if you plan to make ahead and freeze, don't add the sour cream until after the soup is thawed and heated on the stovetop.


Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 1065mg | Potassium: 1112mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 459IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 7mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

Share This With the World


Related Recipes

About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reader questions and reviews

  1. Kathleen Pope says:

    I am not a huge fan of white chicken chili soups, not sure why, but this was delicious, love the creaminess from blending the beans and the broth a bit!

  2. Cynthia Bennett says:

    This is my first time making a “white” chili. It is absolutely delicious and turned out better than I expected. I live in Ireland but am from Texas so I really long for Southwestern and Mexican food.  This did not disappoint! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe ❤️.

    1. Amy says:

      You're welcome! I'm so glad you were able to have a taste of home while so far away!

  3. Jessica says:

    The flavor was amazing in this recipe. It didn't thicken up like I would have liked but that's not anything a corn starch slurry can't fix. Very tastey.

  4. Summer says:

    I must admit, I didn't 100% follow this recipe, but I made this recipe about 50% more than the recipe called for,Give or take. This recipe was a hit! And we will be adding it to our list of "favorites" for the months.

    1. Amy says:

      I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for commenting!

    2. Belle says:

      5 stars
      White chicken chili is one of my all time favorite meals, but this recipe is the best by far!! Definitely will be using this recipe a lot this fall/winter season!

  5. Jennifer says:

    That was so good that I won the annual Halloween chili cook off with this recipe! Yummy!!!

    1. Amy says:

      I'm so happy to hear that! Congratulations!

  6. Lori says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe. I do add 5 cans of beans instead of the recommendation. I basically add a bit more of everything based on my taste, but the basic recipe is great! You

  7. Gayla says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I used 1 jalapeño to keep down the heat which was perfect, and using the plain Greek yogurt kept the flavor light. Added a little corn starch to make the broth thicker, but that’s just personal preference. Can’t wait to make this one again.

  8. Stephanie says:

    5 stars
    Do you think half and half would work with some corn starch to thicken?

    1. Amy says:

      Yes, if you wanted to thicken this even more, you could even just whisk some cornstarch into cold water to create a slurry and stir this in when the chili is almost done to thicken to your liking.

  9. Ann Simonson says:

    5 stars
    Awesome chili! And I've never ever left a comment before on any cooking blog but this recipe requires a positive note & words of appreciation. Thank you so much for an excellent chili recipe. It's def worth the time to comment.

    Didn't have a couple of items - lime and jalapeños - but the recipe was still superb and stood on it's own. Will def have a lime on hand next time - for more flavor. Actually glad I didn't have a jalapeño - would have been too much heat for us. Always easier to add heat than water it down. Can't wait to try out more of your recipes. Thanks for all your hard work! All the best from MN. 🙂

    1. Amy says:

      I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe so much, Ann! Thank you for commenting!

  10. Angela Chaney says:

    I made this recipe and my family absolutely went wild over it!!! I it’s so creamy and lite. One of the best recipes I have ever tasted. The steps to fix it are fairly easy and quick. Last time we used the leftovers with Frito scoops and made a white chicken chili Frito pie. It was amazing!!!! Thanks for sharing this comfort recipe!!!

  11. Martha says:

    This is beyond delicious! We are vegetarian so I swapped the chicken with vegan chikn and used Better Than Bouillon No Chicken base. Also added one more cup of broth and another can of beans so us three adults have enough for tomorrow night

  12. Kerry J says:

    5 stars
    This was awesome!! I would not change a thing! This is going into the regular rotation

  13. Donna Pierron says:

    5 stars
    I have made lots of white chili, but I really love this one! It's a keeper for sure

  14. Argie Hunter says:

    5 stars
    This white chili is OUTSTANDING! I substituted neufchatel cheese for sour cream & did NOT blend the beans. (used great northern beans). The spices are just perfect, yielding a "punch" but not overwhelming. Served soup with homemade bread. YUMMIE!

  15. Michele Wells says:

    5 stars
    This is delicious! My daughter is allergic to tomatoes and this is a great way her to have chili!!

    1. Amy says:

      Oh I am glad you guys liked it! Thank you!

  16. Marsha Williams says:

    I made the White Chicken Chili…it is amazing! The absolute best ever. I was hoping for left overs for the next day…didn’t happen. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

    1. Amy says:

      Oh thank you! So sorry you didn't get to have leftovers! Soup leftovers are the best!

  17. shopgirlblonde says:

    5 stars
    Delicious. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Amy says:

      Thank you!

  18. Cory says:

    This was delicious! Even picky eaters asked for 2nds. Thanks!

  19. Bridget M says:

    2 stars
    I really wanted to like this but mine turned out as soup. I blended the beans with the stock as well but still way too thin for chili. Flavor was ok, we used leftover shredded turkey and it worked. Followed everything exact so curious if it's supposed to be thin?

    1. Amy says:

      Yes, it's thinner than regular beef chili. If you want it more thick you can reduce the liquid by 1 cup or let it simmer longer.

  20. Jo says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!!!!!

  21. Karen says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is awesome! We love the flavors and textures. Perfect for a cold winter night.

    1. Amy says:

      Thank you! This really is so good for a winter night! A perfect comfort food on those chilly nights.

  22. Jo says:

    This is my favorite ever White Chili!

  23. John says:

    5 stars
    This is the best use of rotisserie chicken ever!

    1. Amy says:

      Thank you! Rotisserie chicken makes this soup so easy and delicious!

  24. Sara says:

    It tasted good, but it came out too thin for chili. I'd suggest adding more beans as well.

    1. Amy says:

      Hi! Yes! I am a big fan of beans so the more beans the merrier!

  25. Kristen S says:

    1 star
    There is FAR too much liquid in this recipe. Cut the broth by 1.5 cups at least. Which is almost half what the recipe calls for!
    The taste is ok. Nothing to write home about. Try another recipe and skip this one.

  26. Victoria says:

    5 stars
    I have made this chili so many times and it ALWAYS tastes GREAT!!! And made it the way the recipe is. NOT too much liquid as another commented on…and the flavor is AWESOME and not just ok as again someone else had commented on. This recipe has been given to my daughter so she can make it. She LOVED the chili! Thanks for a GREAT recipe!!!

    1. Amy says:

      You're gonna make me cry! Thanks so much, Victoria! I'm so glad you love it every bit as much as we do! Honestly one of my favorite recipes on the blog!

  27. Kristi says:

    Does anyone know how many quarts a single recipe makes? I want to make this for a chili cook off and I’m not sure how many times the recipe I need. I haven’t made it before, but it sounds like a winner!!