Creamy White Chicken Chili

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
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This thick and creamy white chicken chili is so good, don’t count on having leftovers! Loaded with tangy green chilies, jalapeños, shredded chicken and hearty white beans, this white chili recipe is pure comfort in a bowl. Made easy with a rotisserie chicken, dinner is on the table in just 35 minutes!

Why You’ll Love This Creamy White Chicken Chili Recipe

Gather your loved ones, whip up a pot, and get ready to warm up with pure deliciousness! Here’s why you’re going to love this recipe:

  • Easy: Just a few pantry staples and bam! You’ve got a pot of creamy deliciousness simmering away!
  • Filling: Packed with protein rich chicken and hearty white beans, this bowl of chili won’t leave you hungry. Add a slice of buttery beer bread to complete the meal!
  • Cozy: Creamy milk and cornmeal adds the perfect touch of richness to the broth, making this white chili extra cozy and satisfying.
  • Customizable: You can make this chili as mild or as spicy as you’d like, and it always comes out tasting incredible. You can also use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken and have fun with the toppings!

If you love a warm bowl of chili as much as we do, check out this easy crockpot white chicken chili, hearty and chunky beef chili or this Cincinnati chili served over spaghetti noodles!

Ingredients for creamy white chicken chili recipe arranged in bowls on a marble countertop, from top to bottom: green chilies, onion, jalapeño, cheese, cornmeal, chili powder, garlic, chicken broth, cumin, cannellini beans, butter, milk, sour cream and cooked and shredded chicken.

What You’ll Need

Besides the chicken, the rest of the ingredients needed are kitchen staples you may already have on hand! Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts.

  • Chicken: You’ll need cooked and shredded chicken for this recipe, but I also included steps for you to use raw chicken if you prefer. (Read below for more info.)
  • Beans: I used cannellini beans, rinsed and drained. (For more bean options, check the variations section below.)
  • Chicken Broth: Low sodium is best, as you can better control the saltiness.
  • Aromatics: Diced onion, fresh garlic, canned green chilies, and jalapeños bring tons of flavor to this dish. I remove the seeds from the jalapeños to cut down on the heat. Leave the seeds in if you prefer spicy chili
  • Seasoning: Bold flavors of chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and salt.
  • Cornmeal: Cornmeal is combined with milk to use as a thickener.
  • Milk: Whole milk or evaporated milk work great, you can also use half and half.
  • Butter: Or olive oil.

What Kind of Chicken is Best?

A rotisserie chicken is ideal for this white chicken chili recipe if you are short on time. It comes perfectly cooked and seasoned, and is easy to shred right away. You truly can’t beat it in terms of convenience!

Otherwise, any available boneless, skinless chicken breasts and chicken thighs will do the trick. Follow the directions below to cook them directly in the soup.

A spoon stirring white chili with shredded chicken in the pot.

How to Make White Chicken Chili

In just 4 simple steps, you’ll have a beautiful bowl of warm and cozy creamy white chicken chili! Scroll down to the recipe card for full detailed instructions. 

  • Sauté: In a large heavy bottomed pot, like a dutch oven, sauté the onion, jalapeño, green chilies, garlic, and spices.
  • Combine: Add in the chicken, beans, and stock. Bring the chili to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer.
  • Thicken: Stir in a mixture of milk and cornmeal and keep the chili simmering, until thickened.
  • Serve: Ladle the chili into bowls, top with green onions, cheese and sour cream, and enjoy!
Creamy white chicken chili on a serving spoon being lifted out of a dutch oven.

Tips & Variations

This white chili recipe with chicken is easy and straight forward, but here are a few tips to ensure it turns out perfect:

  • Raw Chicken: If you would prefer to use raw chicken breasts or thighs, add them when you add the broth in step 4. Simmer the chili until the chicken is cooked and easily shredded, about 20 minutes. Then continue with the recipe as directed.
  • Different Proteins: You can easily make this recipe into a turkey chili or brown some ground turkey or chicken before adding in the vegetables. On the other hand, make this a vegetarian chili by substituting the meat with extra beans.
  • Beans: Cannellini beans add a creamy texture, while great northern beans provide a lighter feel. Feel free to experiment with other white bean varieties!
  • Extra Creamy: This chili is creamy already, but to really make it extra creamy, stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream before serving.
  • More Southwestern Flavors: Add a can or two of drained Rotel, canned tomatoes with chilies, to add even more flavor! Use mild, medium or hot depending on your heat preference.
  • Slow Cooker: If you prefer to use your crockpot, I have a separate slow cooker white chicken chili, since the prep directions are a bit different.

Topping Ideas for White Bean Chicken Chili

This white chili is so velvety and creamy, it’s just begging for your favorite toppings! Here are some chili toppings ideas:

  • Tortilla Chips: You can buy tortilla strips, or crush some tortilla chips and sprinkle over the top.
  • Jalapeños: Fresh or pickled.
  • Shredded Cheese: Any kind you like, such as Monterey Jack, mozzarella, Mexican blend, etc.
  • Sour Cream: Or even plain greek yogurt will work.
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions
Close up of a bowl of creamy white chicken chili topped with cilantro, jalapeño slices and sliced green onion.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

This easy white chicken chili gets even better with time, so feel free to make a big batch and enjoy it all week long! Here’s how to store it:

  • Fridge: Transfer the cooled chili to an airtight container and store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat: Warm up leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop until hot and steaming.
  • Freeze: Place cooled chili in a freezer safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Up close image of a bowl of creamy white chicken chili topped with sour cream, cilantro, green onions and sliced jalapeños.
5 from 4 votes
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Yield: 4 Servings

Creamy White Chicken Chili

With its simple ingredients, customizable heat, and creamy comfort factor, this Creamy White Chicken Chili recipe is sure to become a new family favorite. So gather your loved ones, whip up a pot, and don't forget to load it up with your favorite toppings!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Additional Time5 minutes
Total Time40 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup whole milk, evaporated milk, or half and half
  • 2 tablespoons butter, or olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 oz) can green chilies, do not drain
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups cooked & shredded chicken, about 4 breasts (see notes below to use raw chicken)
  • 2 (14 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Optional Toppings

  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro, or green onions
  • Jalapeños, fresh or pickled.

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal and milk. Set aside.
  • In a dutch oven (or a heavy bottomed pot), melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeño, cooking until soft – about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and green chilies and cook for 30 more seconds. Add spices (chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, kosher salt) and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add chicken stock, shredded chicken and cannellini beans. Bring to a low boil. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the cornmeal and milk mixture. Continue simmering for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes to thicken even more before serving, if desired.
  • Divide among 4 bowls and top with optional garnishes. Serve immediately!

Notes

Store: Transfer the cooled chili to an airtight container and store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Reheat: Warm up leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop until hot and steaming.
Freeze: Place cooled chili in a freezer safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Raw Chicken: If you would prefer to use raw chicken breasts or thighs, add them when you add the broth in step 4. Simmer the chili until the chicken is cooked and easily shredded, about 20 minutes. Then continue with the recipe as directed.
Beans: Cannellini beans add a creamy texture, while great northern beans provide a lighter feel. Feel free to experiment with other white bean varieties!
Extra Creamy: This chili is creamy already, but to really make it extra creamy, stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream before serving.
More Southwestern Flavors: Add a can or two of drained Rotel, canned tomatoes with chilies, to add even more flavor! Use mild, medium or hot depending on your heat preference.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 544kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 52g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 113mg, Sodium: 1524mg, Potassium: 701mg, Fiber: 14g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 771IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 192mg, Iron: 7mg

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.