Creamy White Chicken Chili is so easy it can be made on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or the instant pot.  I love to use leftover chicken, making this a super fast weeknight meal!

Want more soup recipes? Try this Beef Noodle Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, or Chicken Noodle Soup!

A bowl of creamy White Chicken Chili with toppings, ready to enjoy.

Why I LOVE this recipe:

  • Healthy: A lot of white bean chili recipes call for half & half, cream, and cream cheese. Not this one. This recipe has a flavorful broth base and sour cream makes it creamy, but can easily be substituted with Greek yogurt.
  • Easy: Depending on your situation, you can make this soup on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or in the instant pot (see variations below). It’s pretty fool-proof!
  • Leftover Chicken: I love that I can speed up the process by stirring in leftover cooked or rotisserie chicken (or leftover turkey), but you can use raw chicken as well and cook it with the broth.

How to Make White Chicken Chili:

Cook Onions:  Heat olive oil in a 5 or 6 quart pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened then dump in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Diced onion being sautéed in olive oil in a large pot.

Add Flavor: Add chicken broth, green chilies, cumin, paprika, cayenne, oregano, lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Broth with diced onions and spices to make homemade White Chicken Chili.

Thicken Chili: Drain and rinse beans in a strainer then measure out a big ladleful of the beans and add to a food processor with a splash of the broth from the soup. Purée until smooth then add thick puréed beans mixture, whole beans, and corn to the soup pot. This will add thickness and creaminess to the soup. Bring the chili to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and chicken.

Sour cream and cooked chicken being added to a pot of easy White Chicken Chili

Serve: Serve white chicken chili topped with cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado slices, and tortilla chips, if desired.

A close-up picture of a bowl of the best White Chicken Chili with cheese, avocados, tortilla chips, and cilantro on top.

Storing Instructions:

Store white chicken chili in the refrigerator for 3-4 days after making.  Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Freezing Instructions:

Cook chili up to step 5. Allow to cool and then freeze for up to 3 months (freeze the cooked chicken separately). To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and simmer on the stove-top until warm (or warm from frozen). Then stir in cooked chicken and sour cream. (I freeze the soup before adding the sour cream because the sour cream doesn’t freeze well and may separate upon reheating.)

Recipe Variations:

  • Green Chiles/Spice level: I use mild green chiles, but if you’re worried about the soup being too spicy you can use 1 can of green chiles instead of 2. You could also leave out the cayenne pepper. You could substitute ½ cup of salsa verde (my favorite brand is Herdez).
  • Chicken – If you want to use raw chicken, instead of cooked rotisserie chicken, add 1.5 lbs in step 2, with the chicken broth. 
  • Beans: Any small white beans will work. I’ll sometimes even use pinto beans.
  • Vegetarian: Leave the chicken out and substitute vegetable broth. You could also add additional vegetables to the soup, like bell peppers and zucchini.
  • Slow Cooker: Add 2 raw chicken breasts (or use rotisserie chicken and stir it in at the end), broth, green chilies, spices (cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne, salt & pepper),lime juice, corn and beans (drained) to slow cooker. Sauté onions for a few minutes then add garlic. Slow Cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3 hours. Remove chicken to a plate after cooking and shred. (Optional, to make the soup thicker: Spoon a ladleful of the soup and beans into a blender and puree. Add back to the pot). Return shredded chicken to the pot then stir in sour cream. Serve with desired toppings.
  • Instant Pot (I think the stove-top version is faster!)Turn Instant Pot to sauté setting. Add oil and onion and cook for a few minutes. Add garlic then turn instant pot off. Add 1- 2 raw chicken breasts (or use rotisserie chicken and stir it in at the end), chicken broth, green chilies, spices (cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne, salt & pepper), lime juice, corn and beans (drained). Cook on Manual/High Pressure for 8 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes then remove chicken to a plate and shred. (Optional, to make the soup thicker: Spoon a ladleful of the soup and beans into a blender and puree then add back to the pot). Return shredded chicken to the pot and stir in sour cream. Serve with desired toppings.
  • Classic Homemade Chili

Serve White Chicken Chili with:

Follow me for more great recipes

Recipe

A bowl of creamy White Chicken Chili with toppings, ready to enjoy.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 45 mins
Save Recipe

Ingredients
 
 

Topping Suggestions:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • shredded cheese
  • tortilla chips
  • green onion
  • avocado

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a large (5-6 quart) pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add chicken broth, green chilies, cumin, cayenne, paprika, oregano, lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drain and rinse beans in a strainer.
  • Measure out a big ladleful of the beans and add to a food processor with a splash of broth from the soup. Puree until smooth (this step is optional but helps to yield the creamy and thick texture we want from this chili!) .
  • Add pureed beans, whole beans and corn to the soup pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and cooked chicken.
  • Serve garnished with cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado slices and tortilla chips if desired.

Notes

Spice level: I use mild green chiles, but if you’re worried about the soup being too spicy you can use 1 can of green chiles instead of 2. You could also leave out the cayenne pepper.
Green Chilies: You could substitute ½ cup of salsa verde (my favorite brand is Herdez).
Chicken – If you want to use raw chicken, instead of cooked rotisserie chicken, add 1.5 lbs in step 2, with the chicken broth. 
Beans: Any small white beans will work. I’ve even used a can of pinto beans when I was in a crunch.
Vegetarian: Leave the chicken out and substitute vegetable broth. You could also add additional vegetables to the soup, like bell peppers and zucchini.
Slow Cooker: Add 2 raw chicken breasts (or use rotisserie chicken and stir it in at the end), broth, green chilies, spices (cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne, salt & pepper),lime juice, corn and beans (drained) to slow cooker. Sauté onions for a few minutes, then add garlic.  Add to pot.
Slow Cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3 hours. Remove chicken to a plate after cooking and shred. (Optional, to make the soup thicker: Spoon a ladleful of the soup and beans into a blender and puree. Add back to the pot). Return shredded chicken to the pot and stir in sour cream. Serve with desired toppings.
Instant Pot (I think the stove-top version is faster!): Turn Instant Pot to sauté setting. Add oil and onion and cook for a few minutes. Add garlic. Turn instant pot off. Add 1- 2 raw chicken breasts (or use rotisserie chicken and stir it in at the end), chicken broth, green chilies, spices (cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne, salt & pepper), lime juice, corn and beans (drained). Cook on Manual/High Pressure for 8 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes. 
Remove chicken to a plate and shred. (Optional, to make the soup thicker: Spoon a ladleful of the soup and beans into a blender and puree. Add back to the pot). Return shredded chicken to the pot and stir in sour cream. Serve with desired toppings.
Storing Instructions:
Store white chicken chili in the refrigerator for 3-4 days after making.  Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Freezing Instructions: 
Cook chili up to step 5. Allow to cool and then freeze for up to 3 months (freeze the cooked chicken separately). To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and simmer on the stove-top until warm (or warm from frozen). Then stir in cooked chicken and sour cream. (I freeze the soup before adding the sour cream because the sour cream doesn’t freeze well and may separate upon reheating.)

Nutrition

Calories: 392kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 34gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 168mgPotassium: 979mgFiber: 10gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 195IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 164mgIron: 4mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @TastesBetterFromScratch on Instagram with #TastesBetterFromScratch!

Follow Me

Get recipe ideas weekly!

I originally shared this recipe December 2019. Updated January 2022.

Related Posts

Share Recipe

Categories

About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe! We love it just the way it is. Adding jalapenos and celery while also slightly increasing the amount of chicken and beans were the only tweaks to personalize this deliciousness. Thanks again

  2. I made this “Chili”. It was excellent!!! I somehow ran out of paprika and I don’t use oregano (acid indigestion) or cayenne (to hot and to little flavor for me).
    I used cumin and just a 1/4 t chipotle chili powder. Everything else was as written. For my family this was perfect. LOVE this recipe for versatility!!!
    Suggest a crusty bread to go along side it. Yummmmmmy!

  3. The instruction in line 2 does not indicate how long to cook at that step. Is that cooking time included in the 15-30 minutes of step 5?

    1. Yes! At step two you are just adding the ingredients, they will cook a bit as you add them but you do not need to wait. Just add and then continue on to step 3. Hope you love it!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve tried many different white chicken chili recipes and this one is by far my favorite. It is super easy, we love how creamy it is and makes enough left over’s for our family of 3 for a few days. We love to use Greek Yogurt in place of sour cream. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  5. 5 stars
    LOVE this recipe and I used nonfat Greek yogurt. Question…is it really only 104 calories per serving? and how much is one serving?

    1. So glad you loved the chili!! 104 seemed low so I doubled checked it and fixed the calories. Thanks for bringing that to our attention!

  6. 5 stars
    I’m going off to college soon, so I’ve been trying to learn new recipes, and I was so excited to try this!!! I tweaked it a bit by using a mix of cannellini and great northern beans and throwing in the cilantro as well. It turned out so good, my mom loves it!!!! I will definitely be trying out more of your recipes in the future ^^

  7. 5 stars
    Excellent! My boyfriend requested a chicken chili so I made this and he said it was restaurant worthy. I made a few adjustments after reading the other comments. I added 2 stalks of celery (chopped) in addition to the onions. I used 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth, and before adding the chicken and sour cream, I let it simmer for about 40-50 mins to really let the spices and veggies meld together.

  8. I followed the recipe but the beans were not cooked, the chicken was though. I think I need alot more broth, will definitely try it again.

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe. I’d love to help you figure out whey the beans were not done. Did you use dry beans? The recipe calls for canned beans.

  9. 10/8/22 Made this for Wife & I, Came out Excellent! I used 1/2 of a Costco Rotisserie chicken cut in bite sized pieces (about 4 cups), diced orange bell pepper, 3 diced celery ribs (1 cup), 2 large carrots diced (1 cup), 1 onion diced (1 cup), 2 can green chilis, 1 tablespoon chili seasoning mix from brown bag/box, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1.5 teaspoons cumin.
    Sautéed all the vegetables with the garlic until onion and celery were softened. Had to increase the chicken broth to 5 cups (plus 2 teaspoons Better than bullion chicken) because of the extra vegetables added. Dumped the diced chicken, 1 can great northern beans, 1 can white cannoli beans (drained & rinsed) in and simmered for about 40 minutes. Added the cup of sour cream right before serving. So good. Did not purée any of the beans. Cannoli beans have a bit more body than Northern beans so if you like soft beans use 2 cans northern beans.

    This is now a family favorite recipe. Easy, delicious, and quick!

  10. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe twice and our family likes it, with only a few changes – for a bit more flavor, I added celery salt and cilantro to the cooking pot second time around. However, I am making it for a large group and the sour cream has “curdled”/separated both times I made it – I would rather avoid that for a large group. I used natural sour cream once and “regular” sour cream the second time and the second time around I added it after it was off the stove and had cooled some, but it still curdled. Any suggestions?

    1. Maybe try not putting the sour cream into the soup or while it is so hot. Instead, put a dollop on top of the individual bowls of chili when serving. I hope this helps.

  11. This chicken chili is our favorite I’ve made it several times I know it shows 404 calories per serving but how much is a serving? Thank you very much for sharing !!!

  12. 5 stars
    After cleaning my pantry out, I realized had not replaced oregano and cumin. Made the recipe without it. Did not add chilies, a personal preference. After omitting these items I Followed the recipe. Result was still the most fabulous white chicken chili we have ever had! Served with cornbread. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    Delicious. I just mashed some of the beans with the bottom of a glass rather than haul out my blender. I was prepared to add some cream cheese if necessary but it tasted great with just the plain yogurt.

  14. 5 stars
    This was a very delicious soup and perfect for chilly fall days! I subbed dissolved bouillon for the chicken broth and canned chicken for the rotisserie chicken. Followed the rest of the recipe to a ‘T’. Excellent!

  15. Loved it! Super easy and delicious. Added a jalapeño and 1/2 a red pepper bc I had them on hand. Doubled it so we’d have done leftovers. Perfect for a cool day!

  16. 5 stars
    This is the best chicken chili i have ever made. Very easy to follow and the end product is fantasic. The only thing that I have done is to use Chili Cheese Fritos as desired while eating. Keep up the good work, I look forward to more great recipes

  17. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe!! My husband dislikes beans so I left them out, leaving this chili a little soup like. Next time, I will double the corn to make up for it. Put avocado, cheese, scallion and cilantro on mine and served with homemade cornbread. This recipe is a keeper! Oh and I made it in my instant pot, super easy and one pot can’t be beat.

  18. We prepared this White Chicken Chili for dinner tonight. It is so delicious and my husband enjoyed it so much, that he told me it was the best white chili he’s ever had❣️. So thank you for sharing this recipe with us. We have already added it to our “Family Favorite Recipes” file💕💕💕. It was fun and easy to prepare as well.

    We highly recommend for everyone to give this wonderful “White Chicken Chili” a try, we think you will make it a Favorite, as well.

  19. This white chili came out really well. I cut the kernels off two ears of fresh corn, then included the cobs in the mix on the stove for some added corniness. I took them out and tossed them when I added the rotisserie chicken and sour cream.

  20. 5 stars
    super easy and quick to make. i served it with green onions, monterey jack cheese and cilantro. everyone loved it!

  21. 5 stars
    Easy and great soup! I love cumin and will be adding more next time. This chili will feed 4 polite people or two hungry men/women! If you have teenage boys you need to double or triple this recipe. Thx!!

  22. 5 stars
    No more of those chili seasoning packets for me! Loved this chili! Next time I may purée a whole can of beans to add with the 2 cans of whole beans. Also, I’m a spice wimp so I only used one can of the green chilies. So good!

  23. This is seriously so delicious and easy. Another winner in my book! Great for using a leftover rotisserie chicken. All of your recipes so far are really amazing!

  24. I have never made white chicken chili before, this was awesome!!!! I will definitely make it again 😍

    1. Hi Rose, there’s not a great dairy-free option, unless you want to make your own dairy-free sour cream, or you could use coconut milk but it would alter the flavor.

    2. You can actually use a plant based yogurt, like Good Karma. These are pea based, and the original flavors aren’t very sweet. I haven’t tried it in this recipe but have used it on others. There is also a vegan dairy free cream cheese made by So Delicious, and I imagine it would work to make this creamy too.

  25. 5 stars
    Delicious!! I love that it’s creamy (but not heavy) without the guilt. It tastes even better for leftovers! Thanks for the recipe!