White Chicken Chili


See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.


This White Chicken Chili is thick, hearty and so flavorful! A bowl of warming white bean chicken chili is just the meal you’ll want to cozy up with on a chilly day.

white chicken chili in a pot and bowl

Weeknight dinners need not be boring, when you can whip up a delicious pot of savory white chicken chili in well under an hour. You’ll love the ease of this recipe, and the inviting aromas as it simmers away on the stove.

Sitting down to a bowl of steaming chicken chili and a butter-slathered piece of cornbread is a wonderful way to to end a long day.

White chili is made with white beans, chicken (or turkey) and green chiles. Since it’s made without tomatoes, the chili appears white rather than red.

This white chicken chili is spiced with cumin, oregano and a touch of cayenne pepper. Diced green chiles, garlic and onion bring lots of delicious flavor to this comforting chicken chili.

While this chili is completely satisfying as is, it’s even better when you load it up with toppings. Crumbled tortilla chips, avocado, sour cream, sliced jalapeño, shredded Monterey jack cheese and fresh cilantro are just a few of my favorites for topping a bowl of white chicken chili.

Bowl of chicken chili with toppings

The Best White Chicken Chili Recipe

  • Simmered in one pot on the stove, this chicken chili is quick and easy to make.
  • Every satisfying bite is loaded with flavor.
  • This white chicken chili is made without cream. A simple trick gives the chili its thick and creamy texture, making this a delicious and healthy dairy-free meal.

I love this stove top white chicken chili recipe for a quick, flavorful and hearty meal. But if you’re addicted to Instant Pot meals (I certainly am!) my Instant Pot White Chicken Chili may be just the recipe you’re looking for. If you prefer to cook your chili all day, try my Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili recipe.

How to Make White Chicken Chili

The steps to making delicious white chicken chili on the stove top are simple. This chili is best made in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts at the end of this post.

recipe ingredients

  1. Sauté onion and then garlic in olive oil.
  2. In the same pot, brown boneless skinless chicken breasts. This step adds flavor.
  3. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot: chicken broth, cumin, oregano, salt, cayenne pepper, white beans, diced green chiles and corn. ingredients in pot
  4. Simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through. Then remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate.
  5. Use the back of a large spoon to mash some, but not all, of the beans. This trick will thicken the chili and give it some creaminess without adding cream. mash some of the beans to thicken
  6. Shred the chicken and stir it back into the chili. stir in shredded chicken
  7. Taste the chili and season it with more salt if needed. Then serve it with your favorite toppings.

the finished dish in a pot with ladle

What to Serve with White Chicken Chili

If you ask me, the most important accompaniments for white chicken chili are the toppings! I’ve given some suggestions in the recipe below, or choose your favorites.

On the side, we love to serve cornbread with butter and honey. This is our favorite cornbread recipe. Tortilla chips also pair well with chili – they’re great for scooping!

A green salad is an easy way to add some healthy veggies to your meal. Or keep it simple and serve some fresh cut vegetables, such as bell peppers and carrot sticks.

Cooking Tips

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs may be substituted for the chicken breasts in this recipe. Bone-in chicken can also be used, but may require a few extra minutes to cook through. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the bones and shred it.
  • Unless you want very spicy chili, be sure to use a can of mild (not hot) diced green chiles in this recipe.
  • If you prefer a creamy white chicken chili, you can stir 1/4 cup of heavy cream or half and half into the chili after it has finished cooking.
  • The recipe calls for 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Using 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper will make this chili slightly spicy. If you are sensitive to spice, you can leave out the cayenne pepper or use less. If you want spicy chili you can add a little more, but be careful because cayenne pepper can be very spicy.

White Chicken Chili Recipe

white chicken chili in a pot and bowl
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote
This White Chicken Chili is a delicious, cozy meal, perfect for a cold day. It's easy to make in one pot on the stove.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southwestern
Keyword white bean chicken chili, white chicken chili
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings 5 servings
Calories 235kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or chicken thighs*)
  • 3 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • ⅛-¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste, optional*)
  • 2 (15 ounces each) cans white beans (such as cannellini beans or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained)
  • 4 ounce can mild diced green chiles
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn
  • For serving, as desired: crumbled tortilla chips or crispy tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, sour cream, sliced jalapeno, avocado, shredded cheese, etc.

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat on the stove. Add the onion to the pot and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  • Push the onion and garlic to the edges of the pot and place the chicken breasts in the center. Brown the chicken on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot: chicken broth, cumin, oregano, salt, cayenne pepper, white beans, diced green chiles and corn. Stir.
  • Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. (The chicken should register at least 165° F on an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part.)
  • Remove the chicken to a clean plate or cutting board and let it cool slightly. Meanwhile, use the back of a large spoon to mash a few, but not all, of the beans in the pot. This will thicken the broth slightly.
  • Shred the chicken and return it to the pot. Taste the chili and add more salt if needed. Serve with toppings, as desired.

Notes

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs may be substituted for the chicken breasts in this recipe. Bone-in chicken can also be used, but may require a few extra minutes to cook through. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the bones and shred it.
  • Using 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper will make this chili slightly spicy. If you are sensitive to spice, you can leave out the cayenne pepper or use less. If you want spicy chili you can add a little more, but be careful as cayenne pepper can be very spicy.
  • To make the chili creamier, stir 1/4 cup of heavy cream or half and half into the finished chili.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 483mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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