This Creamy White Chicken Chili is comfort in a bowl. Loaded with chicken, beans, and corn, and a subtle heat from the jalapenos, this chili is sure to warm you right up. Finished with cream cheese to give it a smooth creamy taste, you'll want to tuck into a bowl of this chili all year long.
Oil - Any neutral-flavored oil, like canola oil, will work. I would not recommend using extra virgin olive oil since the flavor is too strong and will come through in the final dish.
Onion & Garlic - All chilis benefit from aromatics and this one is no different. Onions and garlic add texture and depth of flavor to the overall dish. I like to use either yellow or sweet onions but green onions or scallions would also work. For the garlic, using a garlic press really helps to get a fine mince.
Jalapeno - Jalapeno is what gives this chili a nice background heat that isn't overpowering but adds a nice kick. If you like a very spicy chili add 2 or 3 jalapenos and if you don't like spice at all just leave it out.
Corn - I use canned corn in this recipe since I typically make it in the fall and winter when corn is out of season. But you could absolutely use fresh or frozen corn instead.
Chiles - Canned chiles are convenient and work great in this recipe. You can choose mild or spicy chiles depending on your preferences.
Cumin - Cumin adds such a nice warm flavor to this chili. Be sure not to skip it as it really goes a long way in giving the chili a well-rounded flavor.
Chicken Broth - I use either chicken broth from a carton or water and chicken concentrate. Both options produce a great-tasting chili. Of course, you can also use homemade chicken broth if you have it.
Chicken - Since this chili doesn't cook very long I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken breast. However, you could use boneless skinless chicken thighs or a combination of the two. Any boneless skinless chicken will work well.
Great North Beans - These beans have a nice firmness to them that provides a great texture in the chili. You can also use cannellini beans, navy beans, or any other white bean that you like.
Cream Cheese - Cream cheese is what gives this chili its creamy goodness. It provides a nice tang and smoothness that really takes the whole dish over the top.
Cilantro - I always like to add something green to a dish like this. It's nice to have the pop of something fresh and cilantro adds a nice flavor to the overall dish. If you don't like cilantro feel free to use parsley instead.
How to Make Creamy White Chicken Chili
In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add in the diced onion. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion has softened and just starts to turn golden brown. Add in the minced garlic and diced jalapeno and sauté for another minute, stirring often.
Stir in the corn, chiles, cumin, and salt.
Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil.
Add the chicken and beans and reduce the heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a plate and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes or until you are able to handle the chicken. Once it is cool enough to handle, using either your hands or two forks, shred the chicken.
Meanwhile, allow the chili to continue simmering uncovered. At this point, if you like a thicker chili, use a potato masher or the back of a large spoon to mash some of the beans in the pot.
Return the shredded chicken to the pot. Add the cream cheese and cilantro and cook another 5 minutes, stirring to incorporate.
Serve the Creamy White Chicken Chili with the toppings of your choice and enjoy!
Sliced fresh or jarred jalapenos
Fried tortilla strips
Crushed tortilla chips
Substitutions & Variations
For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with extra beans or cubes of sautéed tofu.
Storage & Reheating
Keep leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If some of the liquid separates, just mix it back in before serving.
This chili reheats really well in the microwave. Just put it in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and reheat in 30-second bursts, stirring between each one, until it is to the desired temperature.
It can also be reheated on the stovetop over medium-low heat until heated through.
Items You May Need
Creamy White Chicken Chili
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 jalapeno ribs and seed removed and diced
- 15 ounces canned corn drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces canned chiles mild or spicy
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts about 3 to 4 breasts
- 45 ounces canned great northern beans drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces cream cheese cubed and at room temperature
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- In a dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the diced onion and sauté until it is softened and slightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in the corn, chiles, cumin, and salt.
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil. Add the chicken and beans, partially cover the pot, and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool for about 10 minutes or until you are able to handle it. Using either your hands or two forks, shred the chicken.
- Meanwhile, allow the chili to continue simmering uncovered. At this point, if you prefer a thicker chili, use a potato masher or a large spoon to mash about half of the beans.
- Return the shredded chicken to the pot and add the cream cheese and cilantro. Cook another 5 minutes stirring until the cream cheese has fully melted into the chili.
- Serve with desired toppings.
- For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with either more beans or sauteéd cubed tofu.