Chicken

Creamy White Chicken Chili Recipe

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings

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This creamy white chicken chili is made in the Crockpot for the perfect deliciously easy meal on a cold night!

easy white chicken chili in a bowl topped with lime, sour cream, avocado, and cilantro on a marble surface with a grey towel beside it

White Chicken Chili

I love chili, whether it’s a classic Texas chili, green chili, or even this pumpkin turkey chili, I love ALL of the varieties! This white chicken chili is one I find myself making over and over again in the winter though. And even though it’s called chili, I’d say it has a more stew or chowder-like consistency. It is easy to make, has just a hint of spice from the diced green chiles, a bit of sweetness from the corn, a smoky hint of bacon, and a creamy broth thanks to sour cream. Even better, it is perfect for piling high with toppings to make it your own! This recipe has been a fan favorite from our book, Cook Once, Eat All Week, so we’ve adapted it here!

Creamy White Chicken Chili Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this chili:

  1. Boneless, Skinless Chicken – you’ll need about 1 1/2 pounds of chicken for this recipe, we recommend using boneless/skinless so it is easy to shred later!
  2. Chicken Broth – you’ll need 5 cups of chicken broth for this recipe, either store-bought or homemade will work!
  3. Diced Green Chilis – you can typically find these canned chilis in the Mexican food section of your local store. If you can’t find any green chilis, a diced poblano pepper or jalapeno will work in its place.
  4. Bacon – you won’t find bacon in most white chicken chili recipes, but we find that a few slices lend a delicious smoky, salty flavor to the chili!
  5. Onion and Garlic – fresh onion and garlic give this chili great flavor, but if you want to save even more time, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of onion and garlic powder instead.
  6. Corn – 1 cup of frozen corn lends just a bit of sweetness to the chili that makes it taste so good!
  7. White beans – white beans have a great creamy consistency that fits perfectly with this white chicken chili.
  8. Sour cream – sour cream is what makes this chili creamy, and it adds a great tangy flavor.
  9. Lime juice – the juice of a lime brightens up the soup and adds another layer of flavor.
  10. Spices – This chili is simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of oregano and cumin.
  11. Garnishes – you can garnish this with as few or as many things as you’d like! A few of our favorites are extra lime wedges, sour cream, avocado, and fresh cilantro. You could also add cheese, sliced jalapenos, hot sauce, or tortilla strips.
white chicken chili with chopped cilantro on top in a white pot on a marble surface

How to Make Easy White Chicken Chili

This white chicken chili really is simple to make, just follow the steps below:

  1. Cook + Crumble the Bacon – cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once crisp, remove from the pot and set aside, then drain all but one tablespoon of drippings from the pan.
  2. Saute the Onion + Garlic – still working over medium-high heat, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the Green Chilis + Seasonings – add the green chilis and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant, then add the seasonings and stir to combine, then remove from heat.
  4. Add the Chicken, Green Chili Mixture, Chicken Broth, Beans, and Corn to the Slow Cooker – place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker, then spread the green chili and onion mixture over top. Pour in the chicken broth and add in the beans and corn.
  5. Set it and Forget it – cook the chili on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, until the chicken pulls apart easily.
  6. Shred the Chicken + Stir in the Sour Cream, Lime Juice, and Bacon – remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with two forks, then return it to the pot, and stir in the sour cream, lime juice, and bacon.
  7. Garnish + Serve – garnish each serving with avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, and a lime wedge, and enjoy!

Tips for Making the Best White Chili Recipe

This recipe is really as easy as it gets (as slow cooker recipes tend to be!), but if you’re looking for a few quick tips, here they are!

  • Keep a tablespoon of bacon drippings – don’t forget to leave a tablespoon of the bacon grease in the pot to saute your onion and garlic in. This adds so much really delicious flavor!
  • Combine the lime juice + sour cream first – if you find that you have an issue with dairy (sour cream specifically) curdling when you add it to hot soups and chilis, try whisking it with the lime juice until smooth and then adding it to the chili! 
  • Use the garnishes – topping this chili with avocado, sour cream, and lime juice is half of the fun! Feel free to use any other garnish that you think would be delicious here too.
white chicken chili with chopped cilantro on top in a white pot on a marble surface
Q Can I Make White Chicken Chili in an Instant Pot?
A

Yes! If you’re an Instant Pot-lover (like we are!), you can find everything you need to know to make this delicious chili in the Instant Pot here.

Q Can I use rotisserie chicken instead of chicken breast?
A

Yes! Using pre-cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken makes making this white chicken chili even easier!

Q How do I make my chicken chili thicker?
A

Your chicken chili should be *just* thick enough if you’ve followed the recipe to a T,  but if you’re looking for an even thicker chili, feel free to omit a bit of the chicken broth.

Q What do you mix with White Chicken Chili?
A

This chili is totally a meal all on its own, but if you’d like to add a side to it, feel free to serve it over rice or scoop it up with your favorite tortilla chips.

Q Can I make this white chicken chili Paleo?
A

You can make this chili Paleo with a few simple substitutions. You can omit the beans and corn and either reduce the broth by 1 cup, or you add in about 2 1/2 cups of extra veggies to bulk it up. Zucchini, carrots, and sweet potato would all be great options for this chili. Next, substitute the sour cream for coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk and add 1 extra tablespoon of lime juice to the soup.

Q What goes well with white chili?
A

This chili is actually really balanced, and because of that, it makes a really great meal all on its own. If you’d like to serve it over white rice or next to a slice of cornbread, though, that would be really delicious!

Q How long can you keep White Chicken Chili?
A

Your chili will stay good in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. If you’d like to freeze it (more instructions on that below!) though, it’ll stay good for up to 5 months.

Q Is white chili real chili?
A

We think so! While it isn’t a “red” chili that’s made with beef, it’s definitely still a variation of chili. Because it is made with green chiles, we consider it chili!

Q Can white chicken chili be frozen?
A

Yes, this easy white chicken chili freezes beautifully! Just portion it out into one of our favorite meal prep containers, label it, and freeze for up to 5 months. To reheat, you can either put it in a covered pot over medium heat for about 10 minutes or microwave for 4-5 minutes on high, stirring halfway through.

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White Chicken Chili Recipe

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
This easy white chicken chili can be made on the stovetop, Instant Pot, or Crockpot. With simple ingredients, it is a creamy, delicious one-pot meal!

Ingredients  

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 4-ounce can diced hot or mild green chilis, drained (depending on preference)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs*
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained*
  • 1 cup frozen yellow corn*
  • ½ cup sour cream*
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 avocado sliced, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 4 lime wedges from ½ lime, for garnish
  • Additional sour cream for garnish

Instructions

Stovetop:

  • Cook the bacon in a large pot with matching lid over medium-high heat. Once crisp, remove from the pot and set aside, then drain all but one tablespoon of drippings from the pot.
  • Still working over medium-high heat, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the green chilis and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant, then add the seasonings and stir to combine.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and add in the chicken, beans, and corn. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, over medium heat, until the chicken shreds easily with a fork.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with two forks, then return it to the pot and turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream, lime juice, and bacon.
  • Garnish each serving with avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, and a lime wedge and enjoy!

Instant Pot:

  • Set your Instant Pot to saute mode and cook the bacon in it. Once crisp, remove from the pot and set aside, then drain all but one tablespoon of drippings from the pot.
  • Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the green chilis and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant, then add the seasonings and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken broth and add in the chicken, beans, and corn.
  • Using the manual setting, place the lid on pot, making sure the valve is sealed, then set it to cook for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes is up, let the pot naturally release pressure for at least 10 minutes before turning the valve to “venting” to manually release the remaining pressure.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with two forks, then return it to the pot and stir in the sour cream, lime juice, and bacon.
  • Garnish each serving with avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, and a lime wedge and enjoy!

Slow Cooker:

  • Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once crisp, remove from the pot and set aside, then drain all but one tablespoon of drippings from the pan.
  • Still working over medium-high heat, add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the green chilis and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant, then add the seasonings and stir to combine, then remove from heat.
  • Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker, then spread the green chili and onion mixture over top. Pour in the chicken broth and add in the beans and corn.
  • Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, until the chicken pulls apart easily.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with two forks, then return it to the pot and and stir in the sour cream, lime juice, and bacon.
  • Garnish each serving with avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, and a lime wedge and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
White Chicken Chili Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
663
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
31.1
g
48
%
Saturated Fat
 
10.5
g
66
%
Cholesterol
 
168.9
mg
56
%
Sodium
 
1963.2
mg
85
%
Carbohydrates
 
40.7
g
14
%
Fiber
 
9.5
g
40
%
Sugar
 
5.8
g
6
%
Protein
 
56.5
g
113
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes

  • If using rotisserie chicken: Use 4 cups of shredded chicken and simmer for 10 minutes on the stove, cook for 5 minutes in the Instant Pot, and the same amount of time in the slow cooker.
  • To make this recipe dairy-free: replace the sour cream with an equal amount of coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk and 1 additional tablespoon of lime juice.
  • To make this recipe Paleo/Whole30: Follow the dairy-free substitution and omit the beans and corn. You can either replace them with 2 1/2 cups of chopped veggies (zucchini, carrots, kale, or sweet potato would be great options), or simply reduce the broth by 1 cup.


Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
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  1. Kris says

    Kris —  01/13/2020 At 12:37

    This was an excellent recipe! Indulgent but healthy, especially since it was not made with cream cheese which tends to make dishes seem heavier. I served this with some tortilla chips for the rest of the family and I had some too 😉

  2. Chriss says

    Chriss —  01/21/2020 At 08:49

    Absolutely delicous! We used rotisserie chicken and added a bit more broth and low fat sour cream to stretch it a but further. We also tossed in some carrots for color. My only concern with this dish is the sodium content, but that tends to be the case with most soups. We’ll be doing this one again for the Superbowl when friends come over, and it’s -10F outside where we live!

  3. Laura says

    Laura —  01/21/2020 At 19:15

    Made it in the instant pot and unfortunately it came out really liquidy.
    Tasted good though!

  4. Ronda says

    Ronda —  01/25/2020 At 13:07

    Can the carbs be correct? I’m not sure where all those 43g are coming from. ??

  5. Colleen says

    Colleen —  02/03/2020 At 10:41

    Made this for the Superbowl last night. SO tasty and easy. Used rotisserie chicken which made it exceptionally easy and quick. A tad too much liquid for my taste, so I’d probably omit at least one cup of broth when I make it again. But definitely a recipe that will make an appearance in our house this winter – thank you!

  6. Whitney Rodriguez says

    Whitney Rodriguez —  09/19/2020 At 08:21

    How much does one serving weigh? Says 5 servings but doesn’t say how much weight

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  09/21/2020 At 08:32

      Hi Whitney! We don’t have weight measurements, but the volume of one serving would *approximately* 1 cup…I hope this helps!

  7. Hannah Johnson says

    Hannah Johnson —  09/25/2020 At 21:35

    This was so easy and super delicious! I have not found a recipe that I do not love yet on this website! Great job fed and fit team. I am grateful for these easy and delicious recipes!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  09/28/2020 At 11:07

      So glad you loved it, Hannah! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  8. Cristina says

    Cristina —  11/15/2021 At 15:08

    After you remove the bacon, do you use it as garnish or put it in the soup while it’s cooking? Thanks 🙂

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  11/16/2021 At 11:02

      Bacon goes into the soup at the same time as the sour cream and lime juice!

  9. Bailey says

    Bailey —  04/08/2022 At 04:54

    Can the chili be frozen with the sour cream and lime juice already added?

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  04/11/2022 At 19:21

      Hi Bailey! We recommend prepping to step 6, then freezing and adding the lime juice and sour cream once defrosted to ensure that the dairy doesn’t split when defrosting. Instructions for the freezer meal prep method can be found here. -Melissa

  10. Bailey says

    Bailey —  04/08/2022 At 04:57

    Will the coconut cream break when frozen like dairy would? Just wondering if it can be frozen with the dairy/coconut cream already added in or if it should be added after!

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  04/11/2022 At 19:24

      I don’t think coconut cream splits quite the same way that dairy does, but can’t say for certain since I haven’t tried freezing it before. It would be a good experiment for us to test out! To be safe, I would add it after defrosting. -Melissa

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