This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Creamy white chicken chili is made with shredded chicken, white beans, corn, green chiles, and cream cheese. This flavor-loaded Southwest chili recipe includes Crockpot and stovetop instructions.
Have you heard? This very white bean chicken chili recipe, along with my three bean chili recipe, was published in Brian Baumgartner's Seriously Good Chili Cookbook released September 2022. Fans of The Office know actor Brian as Kevin Malone – and who could ever forget his famous chili scene?! I'm so honored to have my chili recipes included in the project.
Why you'll love this recipe
- The combination of simple, budget-friendly ingredients make this chili unbelievably flavorful and comforting.
- Conveniently make white chicken chili in the Crockpot or on the stovetop.
- The recipe prep time is only 10 minutes and there's no cutting raw chicken, which makes for easy cleanup.
- White beans, boneless chicken, and Southwest seasonings make white chili a unique and delicious change from classic beef chili.
- You'll see how to thicken white chicken chili without adding unnecessary ingredients.
- Serve white chicken chili at family dinners or game day gatherings.
Ingredient amounts are listed in the recipe card below.
- chicken - I like to use chicken thighs for this recipe because they stay juicy and tender, especially with the longer-cooking Crockpot method. If using boneless skinless chicken breasts, visit the recipe footnote for timing recommendations.
- chicken broth - Use your favorite chicken broth or vegetable broth.
- white beans - Use any variety of canned or pre-cooked white beans such as Great Northern beans, navy beans, or cannellini beans.
- onions - Use any color onions for this recipe.
- corn - Use frozen, fresh, or canned corn.
- canned diced green chiles - These add distinct Southwest flavor
- garlic cloves - I recommend fresh garlic over granulated, but of course, use what you have on hand.
- cumin, chili powder, and oregano - These are essential seasonings to this Southwest chili.
- cream cheese - This adds a layer of flavor and richness that also makes white bean chicken chili undeniably white.
How to make white chicken chili in the Crockpot
These step-by-step photos offer a visual guide for the slow cooker method. You'll also find stove top instructions in the printable recipe below. Enjoy!
Step 1. Place chicken, white beans, onions, corn, green chiles, garlic, oregano, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and chicken broth in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and set the slow cooker on HIGH for 2-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.
Step 2. Confirm that the cooked chicken has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a meat thermometer. Then transfer it out of the slow cooker and shred into bite-sized pieces.
Step 3. Add shredded chicken back to the chili. Add cream cheese to the chili and stir until well-combined.
Pro tip: To make white chili thicker without adding other ingredients, use a potato masher to mash some of the beans right inside the Crockpot until the chili thickens to your liking.
What to serve with white chicken chili
Serve white chili with toppings like cilantro, avocado, sour cream or lime crema, fresh lime, jalapeños, and Cotija cheese or other variety. Of course, a hunk of cornbread adds another level of comfort to chili. Cilantro lime rice or a healthy green salad with avocado ranch dressing would also make delicious sides.
- This white chili recipe is moderately spicy. You can adjust the heat level to make it hotter or milder by adjusting the amount of green chiles to your liking.
- Using reduced-sodium versions of ingredients such as chicken broth and canned beans allows you have complete control over the salt for this recipe. Of course you can also omit the stated salt amount and season the cooked chili to taste.
- Add contrasting color to this recipe by replacing some of the white beans with canned or pressure cooked black beans.
- You can substitute canned white beans with dried white beans. To do this, I recommend soaking dried beans for 8 hours and slow cooking them for 8 hours on the LOW setting, or longer, if needed.
- Fresh chicken can be substituted with store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftovers from recipes such as Instant Pot shredded chicken and pressure cooker whole chicken. In all cases, I recommend adding it near the end of the cook cycle to prevent overcooking it.
- When you make white chicken chili with cream cheese, it adds a layer of irresistible flavor and richness. Of course, you can omit it, which would make this chili dairy-free.
Chicken thighs or breasts
You can use either for this recipe, but the cook time varies. When using the Crockpot method, I prefer to make white chicken chili with chicken thighs because they're effortlessly juicy, even with prolonged cooking. Chicken breasts are lean, which means they're easily overcooked in a slow cooker because they lack fat and connective tissue needed to stay juicy once they're fully cooked. If using chicken breasts, visit the recipe footnotes to get my timing recommendations for optimal results.
Allow chili to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container or freezer-safe packaging. Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 90 days (or longer if vacuum sealed). Thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
More easy dinner favorites
- Turkey Chili Recipe
- Lentil Chili
- Ham and Beans
- Crockpot Corned Beef
- Kale and White Bean Soup
- Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
Creamy White Chicken Chili Recipe
- 1 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or boneless breast
- 3 (15-ounce cans) White Beans (drained) (same as 4 ½ cups cooked beans)
- 2 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 (4-ounce cans) Diced Green Chiles keep the juice
- ½ medium Onion diced
- 1 cup Corn (canned, fresh, or frozen)
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Chili Powder
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese or sour cream
- can opener if using canned beans
- 6 quart slow cooker or 4-quart soup pot
Crockpot instructions (see footnotes for stove instructions)
- Place CHICKEN THIGHS, WHITE BEANS, CHICKEN BROTH, GREEN CHILIS, ONION, CORN, GARLIC, CUMIN, CHILI POWDER, OREGANO, SALT, and BLACK PEPPER in the slow cooker.* See footnote about using chicken breasts
- Cover the slow cooker and set on HIGH for 2-4 hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours. (Slow cooker times may vary)
- Transfer chicken out of the cooker, shred, and stir back into the chili.
- Stir CREAM CHEESE into the chili until well-combined.
- (optional) To make the chili creamy, use a potato masher to mash some of the beans right in the pot until the chili has thickened to your liking.
Serving and storage
- Serve warm with your choice of toppings. Ideas include: cilantro, lime, avocado, jalapeños, sour cream, shredded cheese.
- To store, cool chili completely and refrigerate in an airtight container up to five days.
Click stars to vote. Please visit 'Comments' below for reviews.