White Chicken Chili  Recipe (2024)

By Lidey Heuck

Updated Oct. 12, 2023

White Chicken Chili Recipe (1)

Total Time
50 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
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This easy chili comes together quickly, thanks to rotisserie chicken or leftover roast chicken and an ingredient list that leans heavily on pantry staples. Made with canned chiles and seeded jalapeños, this chili has a mild heat that can be intensified with the addition of ground cayenne, or by leaving the seeds in the jalapeños. While some white chili recipes call for cream cheese or sour cream to thicken the broth, this one achieves a similar texture by mashing some of the white beans. If you prefer a creamy chili, feel free to stir in a large spoonful of sour cream just before serving. Or, include sour cream with a host of toppings — including crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, diced avocado and pickled jalapeños — to make this chili a customizable family favorite.

Learn: How to Make Chili

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Yield:4 to 6 servings

  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1large jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
  • 2tablespoons minced garlic (about 5 cloves)
  • 1teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½teaspoon sweet paprika or chili powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste (such as Diamond Crystal)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2(15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2(4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
  • 2½ to 3cups cooked shredded chicken (from 1 roast chicken or rotisserie chicken)
  • 1cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • Half a lime, plus lime wedges for serving
  • Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, pickled jalapeño slices, diced avocado, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro and crushed tortilla chips, for serving (optional)

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

439 calories; 18 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 45 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 28 grams protein; 1071 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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White Chicken Chili Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

  2. Add the chicken broth, cannellini beans and diced green chiles with their liquid; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth has reduced by about half, 18 to 20 minutes. Off the heat, use a wooden spoon to mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue mashing the beans until the broth is noticeably thicker.

  3. Step


    Return the pot to medium, stir in the chicken and corn, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Juice the lime half over the pot, then taste for seasonings and add more salt, black pepper, and cayenne, if desired.

  4. Step


    Serve the chili in bowls topped as you like with a lime wedge, shredded cheese, pickled jalapeños, diced avocado, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, and/or crushed tortilla chips.



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Cooking Notes

Maggie B

I used chicken breasts with the bone and skin on to make to soup base. Just cook until tender, remove from heat and cool. Remove the bones and skin and shred the chicken to proceed with the recipe. Sometimes I also add a can of pinto beans or black beans along with the cannellini beans, which adds a bit of color to the white chili. It is delicious served with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, and /or lime and cilantro.

Chris Cooks

I have been making a vegetarian version of this for years and it is a family favorite at gatherings! I always use 2 different kinds of white beans and hominy. It is so versatile—in the winter I cook it in my instapot and soak and cook dried beans and hominy. In fall I add freshly roasted hatch green chillies, roasted tomatillos and zucchini. Camping or river rafting in summer time I use all canned ingredients and add salsa verde and make it the last night out. Fresh squeezed lime is essential!


Brown the ground chicken in the Dutch oven (or whatever pot you are using) after Step 1. Then proceed with the recipe.


Delicious. Poached boneless skinless chicken breast in chicken stock. Once cooked, strained the broth to use in the chili. Used fresh corn and roasted in a dry skillet until charred. Added 1 diced red pepper and sautéed with the diced onion. Added 1 can of drained and rinsed beans but added a second can of beans without draining. Adjusted spice level to our liking.


This chili is perfection. Lovely combination of flavors and textures. Huge hit in our house. Bonus: easy recipe! This goes into the regular rotation.

Rosanna M

A very versatile, tasty dish that really could be made in under an hour. Winning side accompaniments for us included chopped onion, shredded cheese, extra lime wedges and crumbled cheddar crackers. One successful substitution I made was to swap out the canned chiles in favor of a cup and a half of spicy green salsa. A great way to use up the salsas I make plenty of this time of year.


So good!! One of those rare recipes with an amazing effort-to-taste ratio. Comes together quickly since it's mostly pantry staples. Highly recommend adding avocado for more creaminess, crushed tortilla chips for salt and crunch, and a generous squeeze of lime to round it all out.


Always use a can of white beans to thicken soups and stews so don’t have to use cream. Use immersion blender with a little broth. Then make soup per recipe. I use instapot for broth. Put in rotisserie chip carcass, fill to max line with water. Hit soup button, instant stock. I freeze in ziplock bags in 2 cup or 1 cup portions and stack in freezer.


Sub 12 oz bottle of Mexican lager for some of the chicken broth. Serve with lime wedges.


This turned out kind of soupy (but delicious). Next time I’ll use less broth, or more bans.


Slow cooker suggestion: if using fresh or even frozen chicken breasts, no need to precook. Simply place them whole at bottom of crock, pour other ingredients over and cook 4 to 5 hours on High. They’ll poach with all those good spices. At the end, remove chicken into a bowl and shred with two forks, then add back in. Also, couple of medium-sized potatoes diced in 1-inch chunks makes a great addition to this chili.

Shelley M. Gordon

I used kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn to the recipe. I added corn last minute so it stayed crunchy. Great texture contrast to the rest of the ingredients and delicious!

Joseph Korona

Great flavor with sweet paprika. I poached a breast and used the liquid from that with a little "better than bullion".

Jeff A.

Don't think this would feed 6, maybe 3-4 with a salad and bread.Cooked a chicken breast right in the pot during the simmer and then pulled out and shredded to add back, so easy that way.Didn't add any of the chilies due to family taste buds, but added a bag of spinach like someone suggested.Definitely starts a bit soupy but keep smashing the beans against the side and will thicken up nicely.


Delicious and really easy to improvise and not screw up! I had some bacon, kale, and black eyed peas that I wanted to get rid of, so I threw those in and it was amazing!

Judy t.

Is this recipe freezable?


Excellent. Made as written no changes. Will definitely go into rotation.

Ann Marie

I skipped the salt and tortilla chips to substitute fritos.


MMM...Love this chili. I added a 1/2 of a large red bell pepper as I thought it needed some color. Then I had some celery and finely chopped it up and tossed it in as well. It is such a great recipe!

Nancy O.

This can be done in the crockpot. Add sliced carrots for more veggies.

Wende G

I Love this easy and flavorful recipe! Have made it so many times.


Used 1 can of beans. Instead of mashing the beans, I added 1/3 of the beans with some broth to a blender and then poured back into the soup. Used only a 1/2 tsp salt


Consider adding a can of cheap beer (Modelo, Bud) as part of the liquid. Like spice? Double-down on the peppers with a sliced habanero and a few more Serrano and jalapeños.

Judy t.

Would this recipe be freezable?


Where do I find canned chilis? And what kind of chili is in a can of chilis? I did find a glass jar of jalapeños (brand name: Mezzetta) but it was 16 oz.


I halved the recipe and ended up with five servings. I also added half a block of cream cheese and it made it creamy with a little tang


Weirdly couldn't find diced chilis but instead got tomatillo salsa. Was excellent!

Rachel R.

I added 6 tomatillos. Delicious.

Matthew N. Rss

I added chorizo, more garlic and tomato paste. . rounded it out by making it a sofrito esque flavor. Also used 3 tablespoons of rum as I couldn't find the vermouth.

Florida Cook

Very good! I add a diced poblano pepper and use a rotisserie chicken or 2. A crowd pleaser!

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White Chicken Chili  Recipe (2024)
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