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white bean chicken chili in a white bowl with lime and cheese garnish
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4.86 from 34 votes

White Chicken Chili

This Creamy White Chicken Chili recipe is the best one I've ever tried, and it's super easy to throw together! Tender shredded chicken is combined with white beans in a thick and creamy sauce. There is an unexpected secret ingredient that brings the flavor of this chili over the top! 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 387kcal
Author: Karen


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic about 1 tablespoon minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 (1-ounce) package) Ranch seasoning dry
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel or a can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (7-ounce can) diced green chilies I like the fire roasted kind
  • 1 (14-ounce) can white beans navy beans or cannelini (drained)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can pinto beans drained
  • 2 & 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken about 12 ounces
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese softened (low fat cream cheese is fine)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups frozen corn or canned corn is fine

To garnish:

  • cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • limes
  • avocado
  • jalapeno
  • green onion
  • tortilla chips


  • Start by prepping your veggies and gathering spices. Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
    Add all the spices to a small bowl: 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons oregano, AND the 1 ounce packet of dry Ranch seasoning.
    If you are breaking down a rotisserie chicken, do it now and set aside so it's ready to go. Get the cream cheese out of the fridge to soften.
  • Make the chili. Heat a large pot or stock pot over medium high heat. When the pot it hot (at least 1 minute of preheating) add 3 tablespoons of oil. The oil should shimmer immediately, meaning it's ready for you to add what you're cooking.
  • Add the onions to the oil and saute for 3-5 minutes until they are starting to turn translucent.
  • Turn the heat down to medium. Add the minced garlic and the bowl of seasonings all at once. Continue sauteing for another 2 minutes or so, until the garlic is fragrant and the spices smell toasty.
  • Add the can of Rotel and diced green chilies without draining them. Stir into the onion.
  • Drain the white beans and the pinto beans. You don't need to bust out the colander, I always used the lid and just dump some of the liquid out into the sink. It doesn't need to be perfect and you don't have to rinse them. Add the drained beans to the pot and stir.
  • Add 2 and 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 12 ounces), I like rotisserie chicken best, and prefer a mix of dark and light meat.
  • Turn the burner up to high heat. Stir in 3 cups of water and 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base. If you used a rotisserie chicken, swirl some of the broth into the plastic dish that the chicken came in, then pour it into your chili. Get all that chicken goodness in there! See photos.
  • Chop the cream cheese into 1 inch cubes and add to the chili.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer.
    Let simmer for as long as you want, I would say a minimum of 5 minutes or anywhere up to an hour if you want to get some good flavor melding going on. If you cook longer, make sure the chili is at a low bubble so it doesn't evaporate too much liquid.
  • Serve hot. This chili totally stands alone. It has so much flavor all by itself, but who can say no to a few toppings? And when I say a few I mean a lot. Shredded cheddar cheese is a must, sour cream is good but in my opinion a little redundant because of the cream cheese. Other options include cilantro (a must for me), lime wedges, avocado, jalapeno, green onion, and crushed tortilla chips.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  • Freezer Instructions: This chili freezes well! Add to a ziplock bag, seal well, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use it, thaw in the fridge, then heat in a pot over low heat until it is hot. Or toss it in the microwave (from thaw OR frozen). You can also partially thaw it on the counter or defrost in the microwave until you can work it into a pot. Then add a couple tablespoons of water and heat on low until completely melted and hot.
  • Slow Cooker Instructions: Add all the ingredients except the chicken, corn, and cream cheese to a slow cooker. (If you want extra flavor, saute the onions, garlic, and spices first as described in the recipe, then add to slow cooker.)
    Cook on low for about 5 hours on low, or about 3 hours on high. Add the corn, chicken, and cream cheese, and cook on low for another hour. Stir before serving with all the fixins.


Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 860mg | Potassium: 629mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 446IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 3mg