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Creatures of chili habit, I urge you to try a new blue-ribbon winner: White Bean Chicken Chili. With juicy chicken, hearty white beans, and a creamy green chile broth, it doesn’t mean you are saying goodbye to your traditional chili, but rather making room for a new friend in your life!

white bean chicken chili in bowl with toppings

Why You’ll Love This White Chicken Chili Recipe

  • Something Different. We know and love the tried-and-true Healthy Turkey Chili, nutrient-packed Instant Pot Chili, and top-rated Vegetarian Chili. Traditional chili is made with a tomato base, whereas white chili has a creamy broth base without tomatoes. Regular chili is also typically made with beef, and white chili, chicken.
  • Healthy. Unlike typical white bean chicken chili recipes (such as Pioneer Woman’s white chicken chili, yes I SAID IT) this easy white bean chicken chili recipe is made without heavy cream or cream cheese for a balanced meal.
  • Adapted from a Reader Favorite. Readers may already know my Crockpot White Chicken Chili. This white chicken chili recipe is an adapted stovetop version. It still tastes like it simmered all day but it’s ready in a jiffy.
  • Flavorful. Green chiles are a dynamo ingredient in some of my favorite Tex-Mex recipes, like Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas (also featured in my cookbook) and Green Chili. They add a spiced-but-not-spicy, deep flavor.
  • Perfect texture. Part of the beans are puréed with an immersion blender (my secret to thickening chili!) to deliver a creamy texture.
  • Toppings! White bean chicken chili can be loaded with toppings galore, leaving you blissfully wondering whether the toppings or the chili is the main meal.
stovetop white bean chicken chili in a Dutch oven

5 Star Review

“We made this last night and the flavor is absolutely AMAZING!!! It was really easy to make too – highly recommend!”

— Tracy —

How to Make White Bean Chicken Chili

The Ingredients

  • Onion. A yellow onion or white onion is an important ingredient for building the base flavor.
  • Spices. The spices that typically star in taco night—cumin, oregano, garlic, and cayenne (optional)—are turned up to give this chili loads of flavor.

Heat Level

Want to turn up the heat? This white bean chicken chili is mildly spiced. If you prefer a hotter chili, add a diced jalapeño (or a few) along with sautéed onion as well as the cayenne pepper.

  • Chicken. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, delivering lots of healthy protein for a filling meal.

Market Swap

This soup is made for chicken breasts, but you can try chicken thighs, turkey, or short cut with rotisserie or pre-shredded chicken.

  • Chicken Thighs. You can use the same amount of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of breasts if you prefer. You may need to adjust the called-for cooking time; check chicken for doneness (internal temperature should register 155 degrees F after simmering; the temperature will rise as it rests).
  • Turkey. You can try swapping for turkey instead of chicken, if you are looking for more Leftover Turkey Recipes.
  • Rotisserie Chicken. You can use shredded chicken from a store-bought rotisserie chicken in a pinch, make your own rotisserie with Air Fryer Whole Chicken, or use the leftovers from following this post for How to Cook Shredded Chicken.
  • Beans. Cannellini beans (or Great Northern beans) are mild and creamy, and add a double-punch of protein along with the chicken.
  • Cilantro. For a fresh finish. Feel free to omit if you are averse to cilantro.
  • Lime Juice. Balances the rich chili flavor and adds a brightness.

The Directions

onions for white bean chicken chili
  1. Sauté. Cook the onion, then add seasonings.
white beans for stovetop white bean chicken chili
  1. Add the Protein and Chiles. Stir in the chicken, beans, and green chiles.
beans and chicken cooking for chili
  1. Add Broth and Chicken. Bring to a simmer. Remove the chicken once it’s cooked through.
immersion blender in a pot of white bean chicken chili
  1. Make It Creamy. Purée a portion of the chili with an immersion blender.
shredded chicken on top chili
  1. Add the Chicken. Stir it back into the pot.
cilantro topped white bean chicken chili
  1. Finish. Add cilantro and lime juice and then simmer. Serve, topping with lime juice and any other desired toppings. ENJOY!

White Bean Chicken Chili Topping Ideas

While enjoyable on its own, white bean chicken chili is even better with toppings, such as the following:

  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Guacamole (see Best Guacamole Recipe)
  • Plain Greek yogurt or nonfat sour cream
  • Avocado slices
  • Jalapeño slices
  • Shredded cheese, such as cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
  • Pickled Onions
avocado and tortilla chip toppings on a bowl of chicken chili

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftover chili 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 stove top until steaming.

Meal Prep Tip

White bean chicken chili is freezer-friendly. You could individually portion the chili in freezer-safe ziptop bags and lay flat to freeze for future bowls of chili on a cold day. It also reheats like a dream. Prep it in advance and transfer to crockpot to keep warm until serving later that day, or rewarm on the stove from the refrigerator.

What to Serve with White Bean Chicken Chili

white bean chicken chili in bowl with toppings

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Use an Instant-Read Thermometer. It’s the best way to know when the chicken is done cooking! While you don’t have to worry about the chicken drying out since it’s cooking in liquid, it will get tough and rubbery if over-cooked.
  • Blend Carefully. An immersion blender makes it easy to puree a portion of the soup, but if you don’t have one, you can use a regular blender—but do so carefully. Let the chili cool a bit, then ladle a portion into the blender jar. Vent the lid slightly to keep steam from building up, but place a kitchen towel over the top to catch any potential splatters. Stir the blended chili back into the pot.
  • Adjust the Heat. There’s only a small amount of cayenne pepper in this recipe, but if you prefer to take a walk on the mild side, omit it altogether. You can add a little zip with black pepper instead or leave that out too.

White Bean Chicken Chili

4.98 from 43 votes
The BEST white bean chicken chili. This healthy and creamy stovetop chili is made with chicken breasts, green chiles, and white beans.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion or 1/2 large, 1/4-inch diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts trimmed of excess fat (2 to 3 breasts)
  • 2 15-ounce cans reduced sodium cannellini beans, or Great Northern beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 4.5-ounce cans diced green chiles
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice about 2 limes

For Serving:

  • Diced jalapeño, diced avocado, nonfat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips


  • In a Dutch oven or a similar large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it is beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the cumin, oregano, salt, and garlic. Let cook for 30 seconds, until the garlic is very fragrant.
  • Add the chicken, beans, green chiles, and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat so that the liquid maintains a gentle, steady simmer.
  • Continue simmering until the chicken registers 155 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, about 12 to 14 minutes; if the size of your pot is such that the chicken is not fully submerged, flip it over once halfway through. Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest 10 minutes. Dice or shred it into bite-sized pieces.
  • 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 it back into the chili.) Continue simmering 5 minutes more to further thicken it.
  • Stir the chicken, cilantro, and lime juice. Simmer 5 minutes more to allow the flavors to marry. To serve, portion into bowls and top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Add any other desired toppings and enjoy.



  • 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 stove top until steaming.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 170kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 25gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 73mgPotassium: 523mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 134IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg

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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 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!

Learn more about Erin

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  1. I have to say this chili is fantastic. It was even better the next day. I used Hatch chilies. One hot and one mild. I always check your recipes first before I make a new recipe. . Of course I usually use yours. Thank you Erin.5 stars

    1. Hi Annie! Unfortunately I didn’t measure the servings out in cups. The serving size is 1/6 of the recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

  2. I made this last week and my husband and I loved it! I did 1/2 the chicken stock since we like our chili on the thicker side, but other than that followed the recipie. A new favorite!5 stars

  3. Delicious! So simple to throw together. Dont be scared of the diced chiles. A very very mild heat, but when you add a dollop of sour cream, it brings it all together. And dont forget the tortilla chips! This is a great meal to make a day ahead because it gives the chicken a chance to really soak in the goodness.5 stars

  4. Took 2nd in a chili cookoff in my neighborhood in 2020. First place was a dark red beef chili. This recipe was requested by several people.5 stars

  5. We made this last night and the flavor is absolutely AMAZING!!! It was really easy to make too – highly recommend! We just recently got an immersion blender and this was our first time using it so we accidentally blended all of the beans but it was still delicious. I’m sure we will get the hang of the immersion blender or next time we can save some of the beans to put in after we blend! Anyway, highly suggest trying this recipe if you are looking for an easy weeknight dinner where you can have some leftovers for the week too!5 stars

  6. This recipe came to my in- box on the same day I was wondering what I was going to do with my leftover chicken and seemed like the perfect solution. I adapted it by not cooking the chicken as directed , but by just simmering the other ingredients for 10-12 minutes and just adding my cubed left-over chicken at the appropriate time. It was quick and easy…I made a half recipe, which was perfect for two of us. I added sour cream and avocado pieces as garnishes and served with corn chips…one of my favorite new recipes!5 stars

    1. Hi Judy! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review and feedback on using cooked chicken!

  7. Perfect combo of flavors!! I even did it with frozen chicken breasts and added a little cooking time in the slow cooker:)5 stars

  8. I made this last night and forgot to blend part of it. It was still good and I will make it again and be sure to blend it because creamy can only make it better!5 stars

  9. I made Erin’s White Chicken Chili with Beans and it was absolutely delicious❤️We loved every bite..a real keeper and I will definitely make it again and again and again❤️❤️5 stars

  10. This is excellent! The flavours are amazing and it’s such a simple, forgiving recipe!

    I do have a question, however – the below Crockpot version has a much larger calorie count per portion, but the ingredients are the same. Why would this be? Just wondering if I’m missing something! Wouldn’t be the first time. :)

    Thank you either way for posting such amazing recipes! <35 stars

    1. Glad you enjoyed it JB! The accuracy is limited by the information available in the My Fitness Pal and Wordpress Recipe Maker databases who services the nutritional information. Unfortunately there are things built in that I am not able to control on my end.

  11. Love this chili! It’s such a nice change from our usual chili. Perfectly filling and tasty on a cold autumn day.5 stars

  12. Absolutely delicious and so easy! The flavors are bright and balanced. Blending it creates the perfect hearty texture. You’ll love this.5 stars

    1. Hi Carolyn, yes, chicken thighs cook faster. I’d start checking the internal temperature at around 8 minutes. Enjoy!

  13. Great flavors. I used boneless thighs and went light on the chicken stock. I also stirred in about 1/4 cup of plain green yogart at the end. Thick and super creamy.5 stars

  14. Love your recipes! Was thinking of subbing out the white beans for either black eyed peas or pinto beans because that’s what I have in my freezer (I make my own beans). Do you think that’s ok? Thanks for your input.

    1. Hi Beth, I’m sure you could use either one but the taste will be different than the one intended here. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

    1. Hi Kelly, I’m sorry but I haven’t tested this particular recipe for the instant pot so I wouldn’t be able to advise on any specific instructions but I can tell you if you follow the direcrtions in this post you’ll be getting the chicken cooked and the flavors will marry well together in this amount of time: If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!