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Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe

This white chicken chili recipe is hearty, creamy, and full of your favorite Tex-Mex flavors.  

It’s absolutely delicious and I dare you to try and eat just one bowl! 

White Chicken Chili Recipe
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Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe

Welcome back to day two of soup week! Today I’m sharing a family favorite, white chicken chili recipe.

It’s one of those special family recipes that is requested every time the weather turns colder and just makes everyone happy. You know what I mean, right? That moment when you take a bite and it just warms your soul?  Yep, that is exactly what this recipe does.

When I tell you this white chicken chili is frequently requested, I’m not kidding! Hubby loves it, kids love it and even my parents request this chili when they visit. And I don’t mind that request at all.  ANY excuse I get to make this easy chicken chili I’m 100% fine with because this recipe is a snap to make.

Ok… Truth be told, this chicken chili is not exactly a new recipe to the blog, I’m just re-sharing it with new photos and answers to all the questions I get about making it. 

This white chicken chili is one of the very first recipes I posted when I started this blog over 10 years ago. (I can’t believe it has been 10 years- time really does fly.)

What Exactly is White Chicken Chili Anyway?

As you probably know, a typical chili recipe is tomato-based and made with beef, but a white chili often uses white beans and chicken or pork and is seasoned with cumin, green chilis or jalapenos. Some white chilis are broth-based while others are creamy, like this recipe.

Creamy White Chicken Chili Recipe

Ingredients in White Chicken Chili:

Want to give this White Chicken Chili recipe a try?  Here are the ingredients at a glance. (Full ingredient list and the recipe can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

  • Onion | White or yellow is fine for this recipe
  • Herbs and Spices | Garlic powder, Cumin, Oregano
  • Chicken | Either raw or precooked
  • Chicken broth
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Diced green chilies
  • Mexi-corn | regular corn is fine. You can also use frozen corn.
  • Great northern beans
  • Evaporated milk | I reccomend Evaporated milk as it wont curdle in high heat, see more tips below about substitutions in the FAQ section.
  • Sour cream
  • Optional: cayenne or crushed pepper (optional for extra spice), Green onions, avocado, extra sour cream, tortilla strips, cilantro (whatever you like as additional garnish)

How to Make White Chicken Chili

You can find the printable recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Saute onions and spices for 3 to 4 minutes over med-high heat.
  2. If using raw chicken, add chicken and continue sauteing until chicken is cooked, another 4 to 6 minutes. (If using pre cooked chicken, you can add it in at the same time, just don’t cook it any longer.)
  3. Add broth, water and cream of chicken soup to pot, stir until the soup is completely mixed in.
  4. Add 2.5 cans of white beans, corn and diced green chili
  5. Puree 1/2 can of white beans in blender or food processor until smooth (you can add a bit of water if needed.)  Add to puree to chili. (This is what thickens the chili, feel free to puree a bit more if a thicker chili is desired.)
  6. Turn up heat and bring to boil.
  7. Reduce heat, add evaporated milk and sour cream.  Simmer for another 20 minutes or so. Chili will thicken as it cooks.
  8. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
How to make White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili Recipe Tips:

While I find this white chicken chili recipe easy, it’s probably because I’ve made it about half a dozen times.  I know all the shortcuts and tricks to make it perfect for me and my crew.

I’ve gotten a few questions and comments over the years about this recipe, these are the most frequent:

FAQ’s

Is White Chicken Chili Low Carb?

I sometimes share low carb recipes,  (I cycle off and on low carb eating) but, no, this recipe is not low carb.  (Waaay too many beans to be low carb and I dare you to eat just one bowl, lol.)  If you’re looking for a healthier or a lower carb version you could try these 3 soup/chili recipes:

Do I Have To Use Evaporated Milk To Make White Chicken Chili

No, you do not have to use Evaporated Milk.  The main reason I use evaporated milk in my white chicken chili recipe is since evaporated milk has half its water removed, it is thicker and creamier than milk AND it is less likely to curdle than milk. 

That being said, you can substitute half n half or milk in this recipe if you’d like.  The flavor might be slightly less rich, you can fix that by adding a spoonful of better than bullion chicken base or maybe a bit more sour cream.)  For best substitution results, use 3/4 cup of whole milk and 1/4 cup of half n half for every cup of evaporated milk needed. 

How Spicy Is This White Chicken Chili Recipe?

This chicken chili recipe is on the mild side. I came up with this recipe for my family (and other Mom’s/ Grandmas’s with small children) so this version is toned down on the spicy scale. 

This recipe is absolutely delicious, so don’t let that stop you from making it!

If you like a lot of heat in your Chicken Chili, feel free to turn it up a notch with jalapenos, cayenne, or red pepper flakes.

If I Make My Own White Beans For This Chili Recipe, How Many Cups Of Beans Do I Need?

I will occasionally cook a bag of dried beans for this recipe and freeze the leftover beans in 1 cup servings for later use.  If you cook your beans from scratch, 6 cups of beans is the amount I usually set aside for this recipe. 

Keep in mind you might need more salt and other spices if using home-cooked beans in this recipe, it just depends on how you originally seasoned the beans.

My White Chicken Chili Turned Out Too Watery, How Do I Fix It?

If your chili is too watery, you can thicken it up easily in two ways:

1, Use a fork and mash up more of the beans in the pot and then cook it for a few more minutes until chili is thicker.

2. Add a few tablespoons of cornstarch to a few tablespoons of water.  Stir till the cornstarch is completely mixed in.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the chili and bring it back to a simmer for a few minutes.  Reduce heat and cook chili for a few more minutes until thicker.

Help, My Chili Is Too Thick!!!

You will find this chili will thicken quite a bit after it has cooled. To thin it out, transfer the chili back to a pot, then over medium heat, add more chicken broth a quarter cup at a time, till the desired consistency is reached.

Can I Use Pre-Cooked Chicken In This Recipe?

YES!!!  Since I discovered my grocery store sells rotisserie chicken already pulled from the bone, that’s almost all I buy now. (The exception being when the store has bulk chicken breasts or thighs on sale. I can never pass up boneless chicken thighs on sale!)

If you choose to use pre-cooked chicken, you will still add the chicken to the pot after sauteing the onions and spices, just don’t saute the chicken any longer than it takes to make sure the chicken is thoroughly coated with the spices.

How to make White Chicken Chili

How to Make this White Chili Recipe in the Crockpot

This White Chicken Chili can also be made in a crockpot. 

  • Add the onions, green chiles, raw chicken, spices, chilies, water, and broth to the crockpot.
  • Cook on low 5 to 6 hours.
  • Add beans, corn, and evaporated milk to the crockpot and cook an additional 30ish minutes. At the end of the cooking time, stir in the sour cream and heat another few minutes. 
  • Serve with your favorite Toppings

Can I Freeze this White Chicken Chili Recipe  

Yes, you can definitely freeze this White Chicken Chili.  There are 2 ways to freeze it.

First option: Let chili cool significantly, package it up in 1 to 2 servings into a freezer bag, taking care to remove all the air from the bag.

Then when ready to eat, just microwave it on medium power until defrosted. Transfer to a bowl and continue to heat until warmed through.

Second option: (recommended) is to prepare the recipe up to step 7 (stop before adding milk sour cream) and remove the portion you wish to freeze and set aside.

With the remaining chili in the pot, reduce the amount of sour cream and milk, based on how much chili you removed (say you set aside half, reduce sour cream and milk by half) and finish cooking for tonight’s meal.

Allow the removed portion to cool and place in a freezer bag, taking care to remove all the air, and freeze.

When ready to use, put the frozen bag in the fridge in the morning to defrost. Then when ready to cook, place chili mixture in a soup pot, and heat to a simmer over medium heat.

Add the milk and sour cream and simmer for about 20 minutes. If at this point, you find the chili too thick for your liking, you can thin it out a bit with a bit of chicken broth.

Last but not least, definitely spice up this chili recipe to whatever spice level your taste buds want!

Make it mild, make it spicy, but most of all….just make it!

best white chicken chili recipe

A few more awesome soup recipes you might like:

White Chicken Chili Recipe

Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!

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Easy White Chicken Chili Recipe

Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 35 minutes

Description

This white chicken chili recipe is thick, creamy and full of your favorite Tex-Mex flavors.  It’s absolutely delicious and I dare you to eat just one bowl!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. garlic powder
  • 1.5 Tsp cumin
  • 1 Tsp oregano
  • 1/4 Tsp cayenne or crushed pepper (optional for extra spice)
  • 2 large chicken breasts cut into cubes (24 ish oz)
  • 1 14 oz can chicken broth (or 1 3/4 cup)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup water (or more if needed)
  • 1 7 oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 14 oz can mexi-corn (regular corn is fine)
  • 3 14 oz cans great northern beans; drained and rinsed
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Saute onions and spices for 3 to 4 minutes over med-high heat.
  2. If using raw chicken, add chicken and continue sauteing until chicken is cooked, another 4 to 6 minutes. (If using pre-cooked chicken, you can add it in at the same time, just don’t cook it any longer.)
  3. Add broth, water, and cream of chicken soup to pot, stir until the soup is completely mixed in.
  4. Add 2.5 cans of white beans, corn, and diced green chili
  5. Puree 1/2 can of white beans in blender or food processor until smooth (you can add a bit of water if needed.)  Add to puree to chili. (This is what thickens the chili, feel free to puree a bit more if a thicker chili is desired.)
  6. Turn up the heat and bring to boil.
  7. Reduce heat, add evaporated milk and sour cream.  Simmer for another 20 minutes or so.  Chili will thicken as it cooks.
  8. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

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54 Comments

  1. Hi Jamie, This looks delicious. I’ve been looking for a good White Chicken Chili, and I think this may be it. I do have a question. If I do this in a crock pot, would I put the chicken in raw or sautéed? Thanks for any suggestions you can give me. Have a wonderful and blessed day. Happy New Year.

  2. Have you tried or do you think it would be okay to add either a small amount of cream cheese or cheddar/Colby/mozzarella cheese?

  3. Hi, getting ready to make your soup when I saw your double crochet instructional video. I came upon a tip that has worked well and you can google it yourself for pictures.

    To keep the sides of your work straight when working dc stitches, only chain 2 then turn. It sound like common sense to ch 3 but for some reason the ch 3 makes it wavy. BTW, I like the yarn. Crazy how every dc is a different color, like it knows when to switch! ??

  4. Just a note, for people who can’t have milk, try making a substitute nondairy using coffee creamer (one part creamer and one part water) can use more coffee creamer to water if need it creamer. Hope this helps someone else and a blessed day.

  5. Oh my yum! This looks so good and easy to put together. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Made this tonight for Super Bowl. HUGE HIT!! It was amazing! New favorite!!

  7. This is delicious white chili the only thing that I add to it it’s blended potato instead of chicken soup

  8. I’ve tried many white chicken chili recipes and this one is the best! Love how creamy it came out. If you’re a fan of cilantro, try a little as a topping.

  9. This was delicious! Very hearty and creamy! I’m recommending this recipe to all my friends! It does make a ton, so I froze half and have leftovers in the fridge! Hoping it heats back up well!

  10. What is the calorie count per serving? I’m sure it will be very high due to the rich ingredients.

  11. This first time I made this I LOVED it, but my husband doesn’t love onions and asked that I leave them out next time. I made this again tonight without the onions and it wasn’t the same! Definitely didn’t have the same flavor. So don’t skip the onions lol.

    1. That’s good to know! I’ve heard the longer you cook the onions the less you would notice them. I’ve not actually tried that but it’s an option for next time, maybe.

  12. Made this tonight, was so yummy. Looks just like the picture and tastes even better than I had hoped for. Thank you. Will be keeping this recipe as a regular

    1. Green onions, shredded Monterey jack cheese and those little tortilla strips that are used as salad toppings.

  13. Really, Really good! Simple “dump” soup, other than the chicken and onion. I used one can of Ortega chiles and a can of rotel tomatoes. Our white chili had some red specks, but, oh well. I love the flavor of rotel tomatoes – juice and all. Soooo Good! Thank you Jamie!

  14. Is this better to serve right after cooking or does it do better to prepare in advance and warm it up when ready to serve? I know that my regular chili is always better the second day. It lets all of spices work into the meat and sauce more.

    1. Works great either way, but it will thicken overnight, so you might want to thin it out with a bit of broth the next day.

    1. I don’t have a can in front of me to look at, but a standard size. (Around 12 oz maybe?)

  15. I have made this myself! But your recipes was really good I just love chicken chili

  16. How important is the evaporated milk?? I just realized I forgot it.

    1. Pretty important, but you can definitely add it later if needed. Also if you don’t have evaporated milk, you could use cream or half n half towards the end of the cooking time.

  17. I’m using beans that I cooked yesterday and soaked over night. I can’t wait to try this!!

  18. omg I just made this tonight and it came out AMAZING!!! So tasty and perfect for fall time! Thank you for sharing the recipe, will be making this again!

  19. I just made this and wow, I’m obsessed! I can’t wait for my family to taste it, they’re going to love it!

      1. This recipe makes 3 quarts or 12 cups. I fed 10 people with this and there is leftovers. So yummy!

    1. This makes quit a bit- but I've ever actually measured. The red pot I cooked it in is a 6.5 quart pot, but I don't remember how much got eaten before I snapped that picture. I will guess 3.5 quarts.
      Good luck!
      ~Jamie

    1. I have not tried it in a crock pot. If you do try to adapt it, I would add the evaporated milk and sour cream at the very end. These two ingredients would probably curdle in the slow cooker- but they are part of what makes it so yummy.
      ~Jamie

  20. just wondering what is the purpose of puree 1/2 can of the beans. Does this step have to be followed? Can't wait to try

    1. It makes the chili thicker. I am usually too lazy to puree the beans and just squish them with the spoon I've been using to cook with. Works just fine.

  21. Saw via Pinterest and just made tonight! So easy and perfect for this Boston weather right now. Really good! Thanks so much!!

  22. If you were going to leave out the beans would you change anything else about this recipe? This sounds great but I don't like beans and always leave them out of my regular chili. Just curious on your thoughts. Thanks

    1. The beans are what make it creamy and thick, but you could try thickening it with cornstarch and double or tripling the chicken. Possible try adding potatoes, not sure what that will do to the flavor, but this soup recipe is made with potatoes and no beans: Mexican Chicken chowder Try it and let us know how it turns out.

      1. Just made this! It was great. I did not have white beans so I used red beans instead and didn’t purée . It tasted good, but would not put as much water. iy is more like a soup without the purée. Thanks for sharing!

    2. I made this Saturday night and it was a hit! My husband loved it. For just the two of us I would probably half the recipe, just because we cant go through leftovers quickly. I would also cut the beans a bit. We don’t love beans and 3 cans was a little much for us. Very delicious and super easy to make!

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