White Chicken Chili

4.63 from 43 votes

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You have to give this White Chicken Chili a try! It is creamy, a little spicy, filling, and filled with nutrition. Make a big pot and it will seem bottomless and the perfect meal for a crowd. If Simple Chili isn’t your thing, I bet you will love this white chicken chili.

Close up of White Chicken Chili in a bowl

White Chili vs Regular Chili…What’s the Difference?

White Chili is made with chicken instead of beef, and without a tomato base. White beans and lots of delicious spices are used instead of chili beans or pinto beans. Both have amazing flavors!

A few tips for success with this White Bean Chili

To make this white chicken chili the best that it can be, here are a few tips I have found helpful.

  • Low Fat Milk – I use low-fat milk to keep this recipe “skinny”, but 1/2 cup of half and half (or heavy cream) is also AMAZING!! If you can find the fat free half and half, get that!
  • White Beans – drained and rinsed. Great Northern Beans or Cannellini are a great option. 2 whole cans of this stuff! And if you are vegetarian, skip out on the chicken and just add another can of beans.
  • Sweet Corn – drained. You could also use frozen or fresh corn here. Consider grilling fresh corn for a charred flavor. Plus it looks gorgeous.
  • Chicken Breasts – cooked and shredded. I had started cooking a bunch of chicken in my pressure cooker, just to have something on hand. Rotisserie chicken or previously cooked/roasted chicken works well too! If you have raw chicken, simply throw whole chicken breasts into the mixture to cook before you add the milk. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then remove, shred, and finish the recipe.
  • Watch the Temperature – Just as a side note, you don’t want your pot screaming hot. You want things to cook gently so that they don’t get too brown….unless you want brown chicken chili. We want WHITE chicken chili, so I take it easy on the temperature.
white chicken chili on tablescape

How to Make White Chicken Chili

I love a simple and fast recipe and White Chicken Chili is exactly what that is! You only need about 10 minutes of active work before you have dinner done. For full recipe details, including ingredients needed and measurements, see the printable recipe card down below! Here is step by step what you can expect when making this Chili:

white chicken chili ingredients

Sauté Onions and Garlic

In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat until soft and translucent.

Sprinkle in Flour

Sprinkle flour over veggies and stir. Cook 2 minutes. Raise temperature to medium-medium high. Slowly stream chicken broth into the pot, whisking as you go. Continue stirring until the sauce has boiled and thickened. Reduce heat to low.

Add in Remaining Ingredients

Stir in salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon. Then add in milk, beans, corn, and chicken. Warm through.

Serve warm with any desired toppings.

White Chicken Chili Toppings

Just like any chili recipe, what makes it to die for are all the tasty toppings! These are some of our favorites for white chicken chili.

  • grated white cheddar or pepper jack cheese
  • fresh cilantro
  • crushed tortilla chips (or doritos…yum!)
  • diced tomatoes
  • fresh or pickled jalapenos
  • sour cream
  • avocado/guacamole
  • diced red onion

Side Dishes

Serving White Chicken Chili with rice is optional, but definitely stretches the meal if you’re trying to feed a big family or stretch a dollar. Another great and classic option is to go with cornbread. If you’re not really feeling the whole side dish thing, that’s fine too because this white chili recipe is great on its own.

white chicken chili on tablescape

Storing Leftovers

Any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Simply reheat in the microwave in intervals until heated through. White Chicken Chili makes a warm and comforting meal for the next day. However, I do not recommend freezing this recipe. This is just because all of the dairy products have a hard time freezing then thawing.

white chicken chili on tablescape

More Chili Recipes to Love!

It’s a really good one! If you make this White Chicken Chili, I would love if you would give it a star review and leave me a comment. The printable recipe card is below. Enjoy, friends! 🙂

White Chicken Chili
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4.63 from 43 votes

White Chicken Chili

This White Chicken Chili recipe will wiggle its way onto your weekly menu and stay FOREVER because that's how amazing (and healthy!) it is.
servings 4 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk*
  • 2 cans white beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can sweet corn drained
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
  • Any desired toppings avocado, diced tomato, cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, lime wedges, tortilla chips


  • In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until softened and translucent, about 7 minutes on medium-low heat.
    onions and garlic in pot
  • Sprinkle flour over veggies and stir. Cook 2 minutes. Raise temperature to medium-medium high. Slowly stream chicken broth into the pot, whisking as you go. Continue stirring until the sauce has boiled and thickened. Reduce heat to low.
    woman's hand whisking white chicken chili in pot
  • Add in spices, milk, beans, corn, and chicken.
    white chicken chili ingredients in pot
  • At this point, the chili is done once everything is warmed through! Do not boil it once the milk has been added.
    white chicken chili in bowl
  • Serve with any desired toppings.



*I use low fat milk to keep this recipe “skinny”, but 1/2 cup of half and half or heavy cream is also AMAZING!! 


Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 1028mg | Potassium: 356mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 146IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: white bean chicken chili, white chicken chili, white chicken chili recipe
what to serve with chili

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Recipe Rating

62 Responses
  1. Liz A.

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night and if I could give this 10 stars I absolutely would! It was super easy and delicious — even my finicky eater gobbled his up. This is officially on our favorite meals list! Your recipes never disappoint, Lauren!

  2. Lynda

    5 stars
    So good!!! I’m making it for the second week in a row and doubling it! Only thing I did different is I used seasond white beans, just to add a little flavor since I’m typically not a fan of beans, although I did still rinse them. I also didn’t feel like I needed to add the milk because I liked the consistency. Excellent recipe!

  3. Cathy Webb

    4 stars
    Great flavor! I tallied up the calories for the different ingredients and came up with 240 calories per cup including the mushrooms and only using 1 Tbsp oil and 8 oz. chicken .

  4. Michelle’

    5 stars
    I made a few adjustments. 1 yellow pepper, 1 Serrano pepper and 2 celery stalks. It was delicious!!! Oh and I double the spices! ☺️

  5. Olivia Maxwell

    5 stars
    I made this last night as it is nearing soup weather season! My husband LOVED it! I also appreciated that someone already took the time to utilize almond milk in the recipe instead since that is what we drink/use in our family as well!

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      1. Jody

        Thank you! Please tell me you updated the recipe because I see now that it says to drain! I swear I read through recipe several times to find the answer! I can try to blame it on my exhausted mom brain…..

  7. Kimberly E

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness, so good! My kids are tough critics, but they seemed to nibble at it. I call that a win in my book! I did add some carrots that I chopped up small and cooked until soft to add a little bit of color. This will definitely stay on my soup list!

  8. Maressa D

    5 stars
    Made this and it was a hit with the whole family! It came together quickly and was so yummy! I added hot sauce to mine but the kids thought it was perfect. I loved the idea of a white Chili as sometimes you just don’t feel like a tomato base.

  9. Karen Muenchmeyer

    5 stars
    Hi Lauren,
    I love white Chicken Chili and am looking forward to try this :skinny” version. Love your blog reading about your family and your awesome recipes.


    5 stars
    I made your chili for dinner last night. It was a hit!!!! Was hoping for leftovers but not any. Going to make it again on Sunday.

  11. Carolyn Cheeseman

    5 stars
    Such a great recipe. I love white chicken chili but I’ve been disappointed with all the recipes I’ve tried at home… maybe it’s that this one uses milk.insted of sour cream.. it cream cheese. It just tastes lighter and more creamy! I actually used some fat free half and half, per Lauren’s suggestion and it was perfection!

  12. Dianne

    5 stars
    This was delicious! I made some changes to make this vegan, as our family is trying to switch to a mostly vegan diet. I substituted unsweetened almond milk for the low-fat milk, and left out the chicken. Absolutely delicious! This recipe is certainly a keeper!

    1. Kristen

      I was just about to ask if anyone has tried it with almond milk! One of my kids has a dairy allergy. Yay! Can’t wait to make this later this week!

  13. 2pots2cook

    5 stars
    This s a new thing to me, I confess, but it makes me try it for week dinner ! Thank you for refreshing my menue and see you soon 🙂 for more !

  14. Beth Cook

    Just out of curiosity, what does CF add to their white chili to make it spicier? We love white chili but I’ve made it and sometimes it verges on bland, but we’re also not wanting it TOO spicy.

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  16. Cortney

    5 stars
    AHH-MAZING! So glad I stumbled onto your blog!! This stuff I crazy good! I have to admit I was skeptical when I added the cinnamon and wasn’t sure about the rice but I listened to you and boy oh boy so glad I did! This is a keeper!!