This White Chicken Chili offers comfort and satisfaction, courtesy of its creamy texture and healthy ingredients. Plus, with the option to prepare on either the stovetop or in a crockpot, it’s a recipe you can fit into your schedule any night of the week.

Crockpot white chicken chili in a white bowl with avocado and jalapeno

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When someone at a dinner party asks me about the sorts of activities I enjoy, I assume that “feeling productive” probably won’t do much to further the conversation, so I usually opt for the more interactive “traveling” and “cooking.”

While traveling and cooking are certainly two of my greatest joys, between you and me, I love an old-fashioned ticking off of the to-do list too.

Thus, this easy white chicken chili is one of my most prized recipe assets (this Instant Pot French Onion Soup is another) because it lets me eat WELL and do MORE in my day.

The only decision I have to make on creamy white chicken chili day is which method to use: crockpot white chicken chili or stovetop white chicken chili?

Two bowls of the best white chicken chili recipe

5 Star Review

“Delicious… this chili was easy to make and full of flavor! Healthy too!”

— Maddy —

Stovetop vs. Crockpot

Each cooking method has its benefits. Choose the one that fits best with your schedule.

Crockpot White Chicken Chili

  • Is a beautiful dump-and-go crockpot chili recipe (like this Crock Pot Chicken and Rice).
  • Simply add the ingredients to your crockpot, set a timer, and come back after a long workday to an ultra-cozy bowl of delicious crockpot white chicken chili.

Stovetop White Chicken Chili

  • Comes together in roughly 45 minutes from start to finish.
  • Requires just a single pot for easy clean-up (like this Chicken Gnocchi Soup).

No matter the method you choose, this healthy white chicken chili recipe is easy, no-fuss, and accessible for any night of the week.

It’s also a refreshing change of pace from tomato-based chilis, like the Blue Ribbon Chili in my cookbook and this top-rated Healthy Turkey Chili.

Two bowls of healthy white chicken chili with toppings

How to Make White Chicken Chili

This is the BEST white chicken chili recipe for the crockpot or the stovetop.

Whether served for a quiet weeknight family dinner or for a crowd at your next game day party, it’s easy, healthy, and delicious!

Dietary Note

This is a dairy-free white chicken chili.

Unlike other recipes (think Pioneer Woman white chicken chili), this white chili is made of light ingredients and without cream cheese, heavy cream, milk, or sour cream (unless used as a topping).


The Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts. Lean, juicy, and tender, family-friendly chicken is the traditional choice for white chili recipes.
  • White Beans. Add additional protein and texture to this dish. Great Northern, cannellini, or white kidney beans all work well.

How to Thicken White Chicken Chili

My secret to rich and thick white chicken chili is to blend part of the beans with an immersion blender prior to serving

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can place a few ladlefuls in a food processor or blender (or if need be, a potato masher).

  • Chicken Stock. To better control the seasoning, I always opt for reduced-sodium chicken stock for soup and chili recipes (like this Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup).

Tip!

For hearty chili that isn’t soupy, I recommend waiting to add most of the chicken stock until the end.

Start with 2 cups and add more later to reach your desired thickness.

  • Garlic + Onion. For zip, zing, and a little bite. When time allows, I like to saute the onion to mellow it out before adding it to the crock pot, but you can dump-and-go if that’s your speed.
  • Green Chiles. Keep this white chicken chili family-friendly—providing the flavor of chili peppers without adding a ton of heat. It’s also the key ingredient in Chile Verde Pork.

Market Swap

Since the chili isn’t spicy, if you’d like it to have a bit of a kick, I recommend adding a bit of jalapeño to this recipe.

  • Cumin + Oregano. A classic spice duo for chili (as seen in this Whole30 Chili) that amps up the yum factor.
  • Cayenne. For a little extra kick (add more to taste).
  • Cilantro. For color and liveliness. If you’re one of those cilantro haters, feel free to omit.
  • Lime. For a blast of citrus and acidity to balance the rich texture of the chili and wake everything up.
Easy crockpot white chicken chili in a slow cooker

The Directions

  1. Place the chicken into a slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients (except for cilantro and lime).
  2. Cover and cook the white chicken chili on LOW for 4 to 6 hours or HIGH for 2 to 4 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken, shred, and set aside.
  4. Puree a portion of the chili to thicken it, leaving some of the beans whole. Return the chicken to the crockpot and stir in the cilantro.
  5. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and any other desired toppings. ENJOY!

Stovetop Directions

  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion over medium heat in a tablespoon of olive oil until softened.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients as directed and bring everything to a simmer.
  3. Let cook 15-20 or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
  4. Remove the chicken, shred, then finish the recipe as directed above.
Two bowls of homemade chili with toppings

White Chicken Chili Toppings

The flavor of this chili is mild, so be sure to gussy it up with plenty of toppings. The reigning favorites in our house are:

  • Sliced Avocado
  • Plain Greek Yogurt (or sour cream)
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Diced Jalapeno
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days
  • To Freeze. Place chili in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container and freeze for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To Reheat. Warm the chili in the microwave or on the stovetop until steaming.

Leftover Ideas

Change up how you enjoy white chicken chili leftovers. Try serving reheated chili over crispy Baked French Fries, over tortilla chips and cheese for white chili nachos, or over an Air Fryer Baked Potato or Crock Pot Baked Potato.

More Chili Recipes

  • Instant Pot Paleo Chili – This Instant Pot chili recipe is the fastest way to make a Paleo-friendly, rich, hearty, and healthy chili with ground beef and sweet potatoes.
  • Green Chili Recipe – If you want a already spicy chili then try this one.
  • Vegetarian Chili Recipe – This thick, hearty vegetarian chili is award winning quality! Packed with sweet potato, beans, and veggies, it’s healthy and extra filling.

What to Serve with White Chicken Chili

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

A Great Immersion Blender

This immersion blender has 12 speeds and an 800-watt motor with a turbo boost. Plus with snap-on attachments, it saves time and money in the kitchen!

Crockpot White Chicken Chili

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Dinner is done. That’s one more thing off the ol’ checklist!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are Canned Beans Rinsed and Drained in Chili Recipes?

I like to drain and rinse my canned beans when making chili to remove some of the extra sodium content. If sodium is not a concern, you may skip this step. If you do skip, you may want to reduce the amount of chicken stock used to prevent the chili from becoming too thin, however.

How Can I Adapt Into an Instant Pot White Chicken Chili Recipe?

I have not personally made this recipe in the Instant Pot, however many readers have reported success doing so in the comments. Try adapting using my Instant Pot Chili recipe as a loose guide or experiment on your own. If you attempt this recipe using your Instant Pot, I’d love to hear your results.

Can I Make White Chicken Chili with Chicken Thighs Instead of Breasts?

Yes! If you prefer chicken thighs over breasts, you may swap an equal amount for the chicken breasts. Note that chicken thighs may need slightly longer to fully cook so keep an eye on them and adjust the recipe accordingly.

What’s the Difference Between White Chili and Regular Chili?

The difference between white chili and regular chili is mainly the presence of tomatoes. White chili does not contain tomatoes, and regular chili does contain tomatoes. Also, white chili typically uses chicken instead of beef.

Crockpot White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

4.95 from 98 votes
The BEST white chicken chili recipe for the stovetop or crockpot with chicken breasts, green chiles, and white beans. Easy and healthy!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 5 hrs
Total: 5 hrs 15 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 to 3 breasts)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock (see notes if you prefer a thicker chili) (32 ounces)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium white beans such as white kidney beans, cannellini, or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (4.5-ounce) cans diced green chiles
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small yellow onion (or 1/2 large) finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • For serving diced jalapeno, diced avocado, nonfat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips

Instructions
 

  • Place chicken in the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.
  • Top with the chicken broth, white beans, green chiles, garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, salt, and cayenne. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or high for 2 to 4 hours, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate. Once cool enough to handle, shred and set aside.
  • With an immersion blender, puree a portion of the chili to thicken it, leaving some of the beans whole. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can instead transfer a few ladlefuls of the chili to a food processor or blender and pulse roughly, then return back into the chili.)
  • Stir in the shredded chicken and cilantro. Portion into bowls and top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Add any other desired toppings and enjoy.

Notes

  • STOVETOP DIRECTIONS: In a large pot, sauté the onion over medium heat in a tablespoon of olive oil until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients as directed and bring everything to a simmer. Let cook 15-20 or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender. Remove the chicken, shred, then finish the recipe as directed.
  • SLOW COOKER TIP: Know thy slow cooker! If yours cooks exceptionally quickly, be sure to watch the cooking time carefully and check it early, as chicken breasts more easily dry out in the crockpot. My chicken was ready on high after 2 1/2 hours.
  • FOR THICKER CHILI: Start with half the amount of broth (2 cups) and add more at the end to thin the chili to the desired consistency.
  • TO STORE: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • TO FREEZE: White chicken chili may be kept frozen for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • TO REHEAT: Reheat chili in the microwave or on the stovetop until steaming.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6) without toppingsCalories: 314kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 34gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 60mgPotassium: 1221mgFiber: 8gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 176IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 147mgIron: 6mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I was looking for a healthy version of this recipe and this one is SO flavorful! I used the stovetop method and we enjoyed every bite! You must try this!5 stars

  2. This was so delicious and so full of flavor! It was very simple to make. I used a little less chicken stock than what was called for which helped keep it a little less soupy for my preference. I will definitely keep this recipe saved for future use!5 stars

  3. This tastes delicious, but it’s much more like a soup than a chili. I used less stock but it still came out very runny. I’d advise using way way less stock.

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