White Chicken Chili  Recipe (2024)

By Lidey Heuck

Updated Oct. 12, 2023

White Chicken Chili Recipe (1)

Total Time
50 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
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This easy chili comes together quickly, thanks to rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken and an ingredient list that leans heavily on pantry staples. Made with canned chiles and seeded jalapeños, this chili has a mild heat that can be intensified with the addition of ground cayenne, or by leaving the seeds in the jalapeños. While some white chili recipes call for cream cheese or sour cream to thicken the broth, this one achieves a similar texture by mashing some of the white beans. If you prefer a creamy chili, feel free to stir in a large spoonful of sour cream just before serving. Or, include sour cream with a host of toppings — including crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, diced avocado and pickled jalapeños — to make this chili a customizable family favorite.

Learn: How to Make Chili

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Yield:4 to 6 servings

  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1large jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
  • 2tablespoons minced garlic (about 5 cloves)
  • 1teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½teaspoon sweet paprika or chili powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste (such as Diamond Crystal)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2(15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2(4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
  • 2½ to 3cups cooked shredded chicken (from 1 roast chicken or rotisserie chicken)
  • 1cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • Half a lime, plus lime wedges for serving
  • Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, pickled jalapeño slices, diced avocado, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro and crushed tortilla chips, for serving (optional)

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

439 calories; 18 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 45 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 28 grams protein; 1071 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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White Chicken Chili Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

  2. Add the chicken broth, cannellini beans and diced green chiles with their liquid; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth has reduced by about half, 18 to 20 minutes. Off the heat, use a wooden spoon to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue mashing the beans until the broth is noticeably thicker.

  3. Step


    Return the pot to medium, stir in the chicken and corn, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Juice the lime half over the pot, then taste for seasonings and add more salt, black pepper, and cayenne, if desired.

  4. Step


    Serve the chili in bowls topped as you like with a lime wedge, shredded cheese, pickled jalapeños, diced avocado, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, and/or crushed tortilla chips.



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Cooking Notes

Maggie B

I used chicken breasts with the bone and skin on to make to soup base. Just cook until tender, remove from heat and cool. Remove the bones and skin and shred the chicken to proceed with the recipe. Sometimes I also add a can of pinto beans or black beans along with the cannellini beans, which adds a bit of color to the white chili. It is delicious served with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, and /or lime and cilantro.

Chris Cooks

I have been making a vegetarian version of this for years and it is a family favorite at gatherings! I always use 2 different kinds of white beans and hominy. It is so versatile—in the winter I cook it in my instapot and soak and cook dried beans and hominy. In fall I add freshly roasted hatch green chillies, roasted tomatillos and zucchini. Camping or river rafting in summer time I use all canned ingredients and add salsa verde and make it the last night out. Fresh squeezed lime is essential!


Brown the ground chicken in the Dutch oven (or whatever pot you are using) after Step 1. Then proceed with the recipe.


Delicious. Poached boneless skinless chicken breast in chicken stock. Once cooked, strained the broth to use in the chili. Used fresh corn and roasted in a dry skillet until charred. Added 1 diced red pepper and sautéed with the diced onion. Added 1 can of drained and rinsed beans but added a second can of beans without draining. Adjusted spice level to our liking.


This chili is perfection. Lovely combination of flavors and textures. Huge hit in our house. Bonus: easy recipe! This goes into the regular rotation.

Rosanna M

A very versatile, tasty dish that really could be made in under an hour. Winning side accompaniments for us included chopped onion, shredded cheese, extra lime wedges and crumbled cheddar crackers. One successful substitution I made was to swap out the canned chiles in favor of a cup and a half of spicy green salsa. A great way to use up the salsas I make plenty of this time of year.


So good!! One of those rare recipes with an amazing effort-to-taste ratio. Comes together quickly since it's mostly pantry staples. Highly recommend adding avocado for more creaminess, crushed tortilla chips for salt and crunch, and a generous squeeze of lime to round it all out.


Always use a can of white beans to thicken soups and stews so don’t have to use cream. Use immersion blender with a little broth. Then make soup per recipe. I use instapot for broth. Put in rotisserie chip carcass, fill to max line with water. Hit soup button, instant stock. I freeze in ziplock bags in 2 cup or 1 cup portions and stack in freezer.


Sub 12 oz bottle of Mexican lager for some of the chicken broth. Serve with lime wedges.


This turned out kind of soupy (but delicious). Next time I’ll use less broth, or more bans.


Slow cooker suggestion: if using fresh or even frozen chicken breasts, no need to precook. Simply place them whole at bottom of crock, pour other ingredients over and cook 4 to 5 hours on High. They’ll poach with all those good spices. At the end, remove chicken into a bowl and shred with two forks, then add back in. Also, couple of medium-sized potatoes diced in 1-inch chunks makes a great addition to this chili.

Shelley M. Gordon

I used kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn to the recipe. I added corn last minute so it stayed crunchy. Great texture contrast to the rest of the ingredients and delicious!

Jeff A.

Don't think this would feed 6, maybe 3-4 with a salad and bread.Cooked a chicken breast right in the pot during the simmer and then pulled out and shredded to add back, so easy that way.Didn't add any of the chilies due to family taste buds, but added a bag of spinach like someone suggested.Definitely starts a bit soupy but keep smashing the beans against the side and will thicken up nicely.

Joseph Korona

Great flavor with sweet paprika. I poached a breast and used the liquid from that with a little "better than bullion".


Delicious and really easy to improvise and not screw up! I had some bacon, kale, and black eyed peas that I wanted to get rid of, so I threw those in and it was amazing!


I was trying to clean out my pantry and used this recipe. The chili was fantastic! I used hominy instead of corn, and used 2 poached chicken breasts. The 505 green chile was pretty spicy, but the whole thing was very, very good.


This is a great, easy recipe. I substituted a can of hominy for the corn and added more broth, otherwise I made as directed and it was delicious. I served with crushed tortilla chips, diced avocado, and shredded Mexican cheese.

michael burk

My wife and I developed a bean mashing trick. Instead of mashing them in the pot, put one can of beans in a bowl with a splash of chicken stock. Take an immersion blender and immersion it. Then toss the immersioned beans into the soup.

Lisa D

Maybe I didn't add enough lime juice but this was missing something for me so I added a bit of apple cider vinegar and worcestershire sauce. Turned out great!


The taste of this dish was great and my 6yo loved it (I left out all the chilis in the cooking and the adults just added extra canned jalapeños at the table, maybe not quite the same but it worked). But it took much longer than advertised to make. About 2 hours. I made twice the amount and added 2 yellow bell peppers - maybe it was just the extra chopping time? Maybe I’m just slow.. It was worth it though!


Can I make this in a slow cooker? What temp?


Easy and very good! Would make again!


This is quite tasty and not that spicy (to my taste buds anyway). I prepared it for a chili cook off as something different than the red chilis other people brought. It was well received.


Great recipe. Very tasty. We made 1/2 recipe and it was ample for four servings. I added a bit more heat.


Follow the instructions. Don’t deviate. The best and easiest recipe. Freezes real nice.


Always good. This last time I grabbed diced jalapeños instead of chilis. Wooh, that brought some heat. I won't do it again, but it was pretty amazing.


Yum! I made this as written. Cooked everything in the morning but stopped before adding the chicken and put it in the fridge for the day. Just before dinnertime I reheated and added the chicken and lime. I used a tbsp of chipotle chili powder (in place of 1 tsp paprika/chili powder) and skipped the cayenne pepper and it had a nice medium amount of heat - I offered hot sauce for people who like extra. Tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado and tomatillo salsa as add ins. I wouldn’t change anything.


This recipe tastes so good! What I was confused about was the serving size. It says it serves 4-6 but we had 6 cups between the 3 of us and we still had about the same amount left! How big is a serving according to the recipe?


Made this for the third time but accidentally bought dived jalapeños, not chilis. The finished product brings heat but it was great! I won’t do this again but what fun.


Made with 1 lb ground turkey. Add after cooking onions and jalapeño. Used 1.5 times broth and beans.

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White Chicken Chili  Recipe (2024)
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