Easy White Chicken Chili

Quick Summary

This comforting and easy White Chicken Chili is quick to make with hearty white beans, zesty seasonings, and rotisserie chicken. You’ll be warmed up with a bowl of cozy and creamy white chicken chili in no time! 

Overhead view of a bowl of white chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro.

During the fall and winter months, we’re all about easy and comforting dinner recipes. Homemade chili is one of our favorite cozy dinners, and this recipe for white chicken chili is just the greatest (more on this below).

My hearty white chicken chili recipe trades out the traditional red beans, tomatoes, and ground beef for white beans, shredded chicken, and chicken broth. It’s made in one pot in 30 minutes or less, and the flavors are second to none. Truly the perfect meal for a busy weeknight.

Make this chili on the stovetop or in the crock pot – either way, this recipe turns out delicious!

Close up of white chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.

What Makes this the Best White Chicken Chili

What are my secrets to a delicious white chicken chili recipe? Let’s go over what makes this chili recipe the best:

  • It’s made with rotisserie chicken. Store-bought rotisserie chicken is the ultimate chicken chili hack, hands-down. All you need to do is shred it.
  • No soaking the beans. This recipe uses canned beans, so no soaking is required! Of course, if you want to soak and cook your own beans, you can certainly do that, too.
  • Ready in under 30 minutes. This chicken chili recipe packs in TONS of flavor from just 15 minutes of simmering on the stovetop.
The ingredients for homemade white chicken chili.

Recipe Ingredients

Below is everything you’ll need for a savory homemade white bean chicken chili. Be sure to refer to the recipe card for the full ingredient amounts:

  • Olive Oil – For sautéeing. 
  • Aromatics – Diced onion, along with minced garlic and jalapeño.
  • White Beans – Canned beans, rinsed and drained. You can use navy beans, Great Northern beans, or cannellini beans. These white beans work well in this white bean chili recipe and can be found at any grocery store.
  • Green Chiles – I used diced green chilies. Either chop them yourself or use canned green chilies.
  • Chicken Broth – In case you’d like to thin out your white chili, use chicken broth or vegetable broth. You can also adapt the amount of broth to your preference.
  • Lime Juice – Freshly squeezed, to brighten up the chili flavors.
  • Seasoning – Ground cumin, chili powder, and dried oregano. You’ll also need salt and pepper to taste.
  • Rotisserie Chicken – Pick up a cooked rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store to shred. Or, you can use any leftover cooked chicken and chop or shred it.
  • Cilantro – Freshly chopped, as an optional garnish.
  • Optional Toppings Any chili toppings that you prefer. We love ours with avocado slices, shredded cheese, crumbled corn chips, and sour cream. I’ve included more topping inspiration in the section further down!

How to Make White Chicken Chili

See for yourself just how easy it is to make this flavorful white chicken chili! Check out the video further down in the post, as well as this helpful step-by-step: 

  • Sauté the veggies. Sauté the onion in a large pot with olive oil. After a few minutes, add minced garlic and jalapeño. Cook for another minute or two, until fragrant. 
  • Add the other ingredients. Add the white beans and chilies, then stir in the shredded chicken, chicken broth, and seasonings. Turn the heat to low and let the chili simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Serve. Dish up and serve your white chicken chili with any of your favorite chili toppings! See further on for ideas.
Overhead view of a bowl of white chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro, next to a small bowl of rainbow peppercorns.

Can I Make White Chicken Chili in a Crockpot?

Absolutely. While I love making this recipe on the stovetop, this chicken chili can also easily be made in your crockpot or slow cooker. To make crockpot white chicken chili, combine all of the ingredients in your crock and set it to cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours.

The Trick For A Creamy White Bean Chicken Chili

If you’re after a creamier white chicken chili, an easy trick is to use a blender! After the chili has simmered for a bit, scoop out a cup or so, blend it, and add it back in. An immersion blender also works great as you can hand-blend the chili right in the pot. Puréeing some of the chunky bits makes this recipe extra thick and creamy!

Alternatively, another easy “creamy” hack is to go right in and add cream cheese, heavy cream, or a bit of both once your chili is off the heat.

Close up overhead view of a bowl of white chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro, next to a small bowl of rainbow peppercorns.

More Tips for Success

Here are some additional tips for making the best chili:

  • Drain the beans. This is important, as just about all canned beans come in a thickish brine. This extra liquid will thin out your chili and can add an odd flavor. Draining canned beans is easy! You can do it using a colander under some cold water, or crack the lid of the can a smidge and then pour out the liquid while the beans are still inside.
  • Thicken to preference. If you prefer a thicker chili, feel free to simmer it a little longer on the stovetop. Mashing up the beans (or pureeing, like above) will also help to thicken the chili. If you prefer a thinner chili, add in a little extra stock at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Serve with lime wedges. A squeeze of fresh lime really brings out the flavors of the chili. See below for even more topping ideas!
A bowl of white chicken chili surrounded by chili toppings.

Toppings and Variation Ideas

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that toppings are the best part of a bowl of chili? I love setting out a variety of topping options so that everyone can customize their bowl. Here are some ideas:

This white chicken chili recipe easily adapts to what you have on hand and your family’s tastes. Try these variations:

  • Use any leftover chicken. Whenever I have leftover Chili Lime Grilled Chicken, I’ll shred it or chop it up in place of a rotisserie chicken. I love it when leftovers turn into a delicious meal!
  • Make leftover turkey chili. You can also use leftover turkey. I’ll always make a batch of chili after Thanksgiving and Christmas as a way to put our leftover holiday turkey to good use!
  • Extra spicy. If you like your chili with an extra kick, feel free to up the number of jalapeños, or stir in red chili flakes or hot sauce.
  • More veggies. Sneak in more vegetables like diced carrots, celery, sweet corn, or zucchini.
A spoon stuck into a bowl of white chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro.

Serving Suggestions

Chili and cornbread are a match made in heaven and our Easy Cornbread recipe is the BEST! You can also serve these tasty dishes on the side:

Close up of white chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Let the chili cool completely, then refrigerate it airtight for up to five days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.  

Can I Freeze Extras?

You can also freeze this white chicken chili, which is SO nice. I love doubling up the recipe so I can stash some in the freezer for last-minute dinners!

To freeze, let the chili cool and transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Label, date, and freeze for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge before reheating and serving.

More Soups and Chilis to Try

Overhead view of a bowl of white chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro.

Easy White Chicken Chili

This comforting white chicken chili is easy to make with hearty white beans, zesty seasonings, and rotisserie chicken. A favorite weeknight meal!
4.64 from 58 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 30 ounces white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ounces diced green chiles
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken broth (depending on how thick you want your chili)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (or shredded cooked chicken)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: avocado slices, shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the white beans, green chiles, chicken broth, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, oregano, chicken, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Stir and let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Ladle chili into bowls and serve with desired toppings.

Nutrition

Calories: 327kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 211mg, Potassium: 922mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 225IU, Vitamin C: 7.3mg, Calcium: 136mg, Iron: 5.4mg
Keywords chicken chili recipe, white bean chicken chili, white bean chili

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Loved how easy this was to make and it didn’t skip out on the taste! Will be making this regularly! Thank you 🙂

  2. Diced green chilies? I ask because the majority of what I see at the grocery store are fire roasted diced green chiles.

  3. 5 stars
    All I can say is WOW!!! This was absolutely amazing!! Every year we order roasted green chilies from Hatch New Mexico. We keep them frozen and use them through the year. I tossed some in this recipe and we have a new family favorite!!! It was such a hit my parents, in-laws and brother in law all use it now!! Thank you!!

  4. I made this in the Crock Pot and sadly it was quite bland. I threw all the ingredients in (except the olive oil) and cooked on low for almost four hours. Not sure if there was something I did wrong on my end or not but unfortunately my family was underwhelmed. Any advice for how I should have done it differently in the slow cooker would be appreciated!

  5. 5 stars
    This is definitely a family go-to! I’ve made it for so many friends/guests and all of them have loved it. It’s so fresh and flavorful! Thank you!!

  6. 5 stars
    Working from home is still working and this chili is such a great weeknight meal!
    I did add a bunch of kale to it just to boost the veggie intake for my family.
    This is a keeper and will be on rotation in my home.

  7. The chili was tasty. Did not put in Jalapeno but added a little red pepper flakes. Added some leftover rice, some bella mushroom, and colored pepper.

  8. Will using red kidney beans instead of the white beans change the flavor too much? My husband can’t stand white beans. Thanks!

  9. 5 stars
    I added a little cream cheese to mine too and it was amazing! I also sliced the jalapaños (kept the seeds and all), definitely recommend this

  10. 5 stars
    This is a new favorite of mine to make for my grandsons and extended family. The flavor reminds me of Thai soup and with squirts of sour cream is even looks like it. The chile flavor is perfect for us, not too much for kids who are used to a wide cuisine.

  11. 5 stars
    Second time making this delicious recipe. This time along with the chicken,, I also had left over corn on the cob I cut off and added. The sweet worked perfectly with the spicy. This is becoming my go to chili recipe. Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    This is the best chicken chili recipe I have ever made! Husband and family loved it! Hoping we have some leftover for the football game tomorrow! Wow! Thank you.

  13. 5 stars
    Love this recipe and how you can just throw everything in! Have made it a handful of time and it’s always a crowd pleaser :). The most recent time I added frozen corn which was a great addition – easy to customize. Thank you!

  14. 5 stars
    INCREDIBLE!! The INLY thing I did different was add a tad more chili powder, that’s it. And only because my hubby likes it hot. He also does not like ANYTHING resembling soup but loved this! We served avocado slices, shredder cheddar, sour cream and tortilla salad toppings as options. Have made it twice. Will be making it again and again!

  15. 5 stars
    This chili was magnificent! I add a teaspoon of sour cream to my serving and stir. So amazingly delicious! Hubby loved it too!

  16. 5 stars
    This was sooooo good. Huge hit and my husband asked for this to be on the rotation. Putting a cup into the blender to thicken made it perfect.

  17. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I used mild canned green chilies because I was scared the hot ones would make this recipe too hot since it also calls for a jalapeno. It did need more heat and spice at the end for us so I added ground chipolte pepper, and some cayenne pepper.

  18. 5 stars
    Great recipe, love the flavor. I used mild canned green chilies because I was scared the hot ones would make this recipe too hot since it also calls for a jalapeno. It did need more heat and spice at the end for us so I added ground chipolte pepper, and some cayenne pepper. I thickened with a few spoonfuls of leftover mashed potatoes.

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