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.
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 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 question I have to answer on creamy White Chicken Chili Day is: crockpot or stovetop?
5 Star Review
“Delicious… this chili was easy to make and full of flavor! Healthy too!”— Maddy —
Stovetop vs. Crockpot
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 deliciousness.
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 white chicken chili recipe is easy, no-fuss, and accessible for any night of the week.
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!
- Chicken Breasts. Lean, juicy, and tender.
- White Beans. Add additional protein and texture to this dish. Great Northern beans are my usual go-to for white chicken chili but cannellini or white kidney beans also work great.
- 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).
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.
- 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.
- Place the chicken into a slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients (except for cilantro and lime).
- Cover and cook the white chicken chili on LOW for 4 to 6 hours or HIGH for 2 to 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken, shred, and set aside.
- 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.
- Serve in bowls with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and any other desired toppings. ENJOY!
- 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 above.
White Chicken Chili Toppings
The flavor of this white chicken 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
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days
- To Freeze. Place white 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.
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 even inside a toasted tortilla with cheese as a white chicken chili quesadilla.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Crockpot. Needed if you want to prepare this recipe as a crockpot white chicken chili.
- Stockpot. For making a white chicken chili on the stovetop.
- Immersion Blender. Not just for chili, but also for pureed soups like this Curried Carrot Soup.
Dinner is done. That’s one more thing off the ol’ checklist!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
White Chicken Chili
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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