This simple White Chicken Chili is loaded with flavor from delicious cannellini beans, tender chicken and a rich and creamy broth. It’s so comforting for a cold night in, yet light enough to enjoy even when the sun is out.
If you’re a fan of the bold and comforting flavors of chili, but you’re looking for a lighter fare, this is the answer! Each bowl of my white chicken chili is surprisingly filling for the measly 327 calories it packs. Eating healthier is so much easier when you can make a meal so delicious like this! It’s all about the layers of flavors.
I’ve used a mixture of spices, fresh, and canned ingredients to give you the sustenance you need after a busy day, without weighing you down. You all know I love some fresh greens as optional garnish, but this time I promise these toppings really take the dish to the next level! You don’t want to leave them out.
Keep scrolling down to the recipe card for full ingredient amounts and instructions, or click the Jump To Recipe button at the top.
- Olive oil – You can use sunflower, safflower, vegetable, or avocado oils instead.
- Chicken breast – Cubed thighs or even ground chicken will work too.
- Onion – I used a white onion, but yellow or red, whatever you have on hand, will be great.
- Salt – Season to taste.
- Cumin – You can use as much or as little as you like.
- Chili powder – I found a chipotle chili powder that tastes amazing! Use any type you like best.
- Cayenne pepper – I just used a bit to make the level of spice alright for everyone. You can cut it out completely or use more if you want.
- Oregano – I used dried. If you use fresh, double the amount called for.
- Garlic – You know what I always say! The more the merrier. You can use as much or as little as you like.
- Chicken broth – I always use unsalted. If you have veggie broth on hand, that’ll work too.
- Cannellini beans – These are also referred to as white kidney beans.
- Canned green chiles – I used one can. You can use fresh chiles for some added heat.
- Half and half cream – This is cream that is usually around 10% MF. You can use anything from 10% – 35%.
- Toppings – This is the best part, right? I used Monterey Jack cheese, fresh sliced jalapeño, lime wedges, and cilantro.
How to Make White Chicken Chili
- Prep the beans and chicken: Use a potato masher or fork to mash one can of the beans. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the chicken, onion, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, and salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink.
- Simmer: Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the broth and green chiles, then bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add both the mashed and whole beans. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Finish the chili: Stir in the half & half and cook for another 5 minutes. Ladle the chili into bowls and finish them with your favorite toppings.
What Else Can I Mix Into My Chili?
Making a big pot of chili is a great opportunity to clean out some items from your fridge or pantry. Give these ideas a try!
- Red kidney, pinto, or black beans
- Coconut milk instead of cream
- Fresh herbs
- Pork, turkey, or sausage, cubed or ground. (fat drained if needed)
- Bell peppers
- Fresh avocado, as a topping
How to Make White Chicken Chili in a Slow Cooker
This is a great recipe to toss into your slow cooker before heading to work! Homemade dinner is possible even for your busiest weeknights.
Add all the ingredients, except for the cream and the toppings, to your slow cooker. Mix everything well and set for either 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Mix in the cream, then cook for 15 more minutes on high. Ladle into bowls and add your toppings.
Keep in mind that with my stovetop method, some of the liquid has a chance to evaporate. If you want your chili to be more thick, eliminate 1/2 – 1 cup of broth from the recipe.
How to Store Leftovers
Your leftovers will last 3-4 days in the fridge. Let it cool down fully in the pot before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating. You can reheat either in the microwave, or on the stovetop over medium heat.
Want to freeze this recipe? This recipe is perfect for freezing! It’ll last 4-6 months frozen. You can freeze in individual servings, or all in one large container.
It’s easiest to let your chili thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. You can also thaw it straight from the freezer in the microwave or on the stovetop, you’ll just have to keep a close eye on it and stir often.
Love This Recipe? Try These:
- The Best Chili Recipe
- Healthier Beef Chili
- Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
- Pork Chili Verde
- Chicken and Corn Chowder
- World’s Best Chili
- Chicken Meatball Noodle Soup
- Skillet White Chicken Lasagna
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White Chicken Chili
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb chicken breasts boneless and skinless, cut in small cubes
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin ground
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 32 oz chicken broth low sodium or no sodium added (2 containers)
- 42 oz cannellini beans or Great Northern, drained and rinsed (3 cans)
- 4 oz chopped green chiles (1 can)
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- 1 jalapeno pepper sliced
- 1 lime cut in wedges
- cilantro chopped
- Using a potato masher or fork, mash one can of the beans until smooth. This will help to make the chili a bit thicker and creamier.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken, onion, salt, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, stir and cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the broth and green chiles then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add the mashed beans, and the other 2 cans of beans. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the half and half cream and cook for an 5 minutes.
- Serve topped with cheese, jalapeno peppers, lime and cilantro.
- Leftovers will last 3-4 days in the fridge. Let it cool down fully in the pot before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating. You can reheat either in the microwave, or on the stovetop over medium heat.
- This recipe is perfect for freezing! It’ll last 4-6 months frozen. You can freeze in individual servings, or all in one large container.