Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe (2024)

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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!

Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe (1)

Table of Contents

  • Ingredients at a Glance
  • How to Make White Chicken Chili
  • Recipe Tips and FAQ’s
  • Crockpot Instructions
  • How to Store/Reheat
  • More awesome soup recipes:

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.

Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe (2)

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!
Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe (3)

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:

  • Low Carb Green Chile Enchilada Soup
  • Lean and Green Crock Pot Chili
  • Southwest Chicken Chili – Crock Pot Style

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.

Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe (4)

How to Make this White Chili Recipe in the Crockpot

ThisWhite 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!

Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe (5)

A few more awesomesoup recipes you might like:

  • Slow Cooker Corn and Sausage Chowder
  • Creamy Green Chile Enchilada Soup
  • Mac and Cheese Soup with Broccoli and Chicken
  • Easy Sausage and Bean Soup
  • Easy 20 Minute White Bean and Chicken Chili
Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe (6)

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Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe (7)

Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star4.9 from 14 reviews

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

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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About the AuthorJamie Sanders is a wife and mom of 2, located in the heart of Texas. She founded Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom in 2011 as a place to share creative ideas and family friendly recipes. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart, Woman’s World, HuffPost, TODAY, Pioneer Woman, HGTV, CNET, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, Oprah Daily, and Redbook, plus many other publications. To date, she had given away just under a million free pdf sewing patterns.
Family Favorite White Chicken Chili Recipe (2024)

FAQs

How do you thicken white chicken chili? ›

How to Thicken Chili
  1. Simmer down. ...
  2. Stir in some finely ground cornmeal or masa harina. ...
  3. Mix in a scoop of cornstarch, all-purpose flour, or oats. ...
  4. Pile on the vegetables. ...
  5. Try more tomato paste. ...
  6. Mash some beans. ...
  7. Crumble up some corn chips.
Oct 28, 2023

What is the difference between chili and white chili? ›

There's your red. On the other hand, white versions are made with chicken instead of beef, and without tomatoes but with beans (usually white beans) and tons of flavor from green chilies.

How can I make my white chicken chili less spicy? ›

Add a generous dollop of sour cream, creme fraiche, or yogurt to scorching hot chili or stews, or even a touch of milk or cream. For best results, though, go with full-fat dairy. For tomato sauces and stews that don't want dairy, try shredding some cheese on top. Photo by Meredith.

Can you substitute chicken broth for water in chili? ›

The base of your chili determines the success of the dish! This flavor foundation plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall flavor. Instead of using plain water (please, never just use water), consider using stock, broth, or bone broth as your base to add richness and depth.

Is chili better the longer it cooks? ›

A low and slow cook time—at least an hour total—is key for drawing out the most flavor in a pot of chili. Yes, a quick chili is most welcome on weeknights, but it won't have quite the same results. A slow cooker works wonders, but if you're short on time, try a pressure cooker.

Why is my white chicken chili watery? ›

Too much stock: Although chicken or beef stock adds an earthy flavor to chili, it can result in a watery mixture if you use too much. To fix this issue, add more solid ingredients, such as veggies, meat, and beans, or let your chili cook longer.

Why do you put white vinegar in chili? ›

Stirred into the pot right before serving, a spoonful of vinegar brightens up the finished product, and gives it that full, rounded taste that was missing. Even if the chili recipe you're using doesn't call for vinegar, go ahead and add it anyway. You won't actually taste the tang or sharp flavor of the vinegar.

What is the healthiest type of chili? ›

The nutritional value of red chili is much higher than that of green chili. In addition to being rich in carotene, a red chili also contains about 5000 international units of vitamin A, which can meet the daily needs of adults.

What to do if my chili is too watery? ›

If your chili is too watery, there are a few steps you can take to thicken it: Simmer Longer: Continue cooking the chili uncovered over low heat to allow excess liquid to evaporate. Add Thickeners: Mix a small amount of cornstarch or flour with cold water and add it to the chili. Cook while stirring until it thickens.

How much cornstarch to thicken white chicken chili? ›

Make a cornstarch slurry: Mix together 1 tablespoon each of cornstarch and cold water, stirring well to remove any lumps. Then, stir the slurry into your chili and let it simmer for another 10 minutes to fully thicken.

Can you use cornstarch to thicken white chicken chili? ›

In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch with the cold milk or water until smooth. Remove the lid from the slow cooker and return the chicken, then, whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Continue cooking on high for 15-20 minutes until thickened.

What can I add to chili to make it more soupy? ›

Add more water or tomato sauce if it's too thick. Keeping the lid on can keep the steam in resulting in thinner chili. Also, if I cook chili in the crock pot it is usually thinner, as the lid collects the steam rather than it evaporating.

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