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!

We love easy soup recipes here at TBFS,  especially recipes like white chicken chili where you can throw in leftover chicken and call it a day! If you like soup then don’t miss my Autumn Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup or my Broccoli Cheese Soup!

A bowl of white chicken chili topped with avocado, tortilla strips and cilantro.

This really is one of my favorite chili recipes of all time! It’s similar to the Chile Verde Soup I’ve already shared with you all, but this one has more beans and is thicker and creamier like a good chili!

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 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 tips 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.

Stovetop White Chicken Chili in 6 steps:

1. Cook onions.  Heat olive oil in a 5 or 6 quart pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until softened. Add
garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

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

Chopped onion sauteeing in a pan and then broth, spices and green chilies added.

3. Add beans. 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 the broth from the soup. Puree until smooth. Add thick pureed beans mixture, whole beans and corn
to the soup pot. This will add thickness and creaminess to the soup.

Beans in a food processor next to a pot with the ingredients for white chicken chili.

4. Cook. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 to 30 minutes.

5. Finish off.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and chicken.

Sour cream and shredded cooked chicken added to a pot of white chicken chili.

6. Serve topped with cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado slices and tortilla chips if desired.

Slow Cooker Method:

  • Dump in slow cooker.  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).
  • Sauté onions for a few minutes, then add garlic.  Add to crockpot.
  • 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 Method:

  • 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.)

A ladle spooning white chicken chili soup from a soup pot.

Serve White Chicken Chili with:

Don’t miss my other favorite soup recipes, including classics like:

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Recipe

A ladle spooning white chicken chili soup from a soup pot.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 45 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
 
 

  • tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion  , chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic  , finely minced (or 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 4 oz cans diced green chilies
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 small lime , juice from
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper  , to taste
  • 2 15 oz cans Great Northern beans
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 heaping cups cooked chicken , shredded (rotisserie or left-over chicken*)
  • Toppings: cilantro, tortilla chips, , shredded cheese, green onion, avocado, or other desired toppings

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a large (5-6 quart) pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened. 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.
Chicken - If you want to use raw chicken, instead of cooked rotisserie chicken, add 1.5 lbs in step 2, with the chicken broth. 
Green Chilies: You could substitute ½ cup of salsa verde (my favorite brand is Herdez).
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: 404kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 39gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 97mgPotassium: 1065mgFiber: 13gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 233IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 189mgIron: 5mg

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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.

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Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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

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