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Creamy White Chicken Chili

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.

Bowl of white chicken chili topped with sliced avocado, jalapeno, and cilantro on a plate with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This white chicken chili is exactly what comfort food should be. It’s hearty, easy to make, and oh so delicious!
  • It can be served as is or with toppings like avocado slices, jalapeño slices, tortilla strips, lime wedges, sour cream… the list is endless!
  • You could also serve it with these easy Cheddar Jalapeño Biscuits!

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for creamy white chicken chili with labels.

Ingredient Notes

  • Any boneless skinless chicken will work well.
  • 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. Fire-roasted corn would also be great!
  • Diced jalapeño gives this chili a nice background heat that isn’t overpowering but adds a little 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 or use poblano peppers.
  • Choose regular or low-sodium chicken broth based on your preferences. If you opt for low-sodium, you may find that you need to add a bit more salt at the end to balance the flavors.
  • Great North Beans beans have a nice firmness to them that provides a great texture in the chili. You can also use cannellini beans, pinto beans, navy beans, or any other white bean that you like.
  • 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.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Diced onion, jalapeño, and garlic in a Dutch oven with a wood spoon.

Step 1:

Heat the canola oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until it has softened and just starts to turn brown. Add in the garlic and jalapeno and sauté for another minute, stirring often.

Corn, chiles, cumin, and salt added to a Dutch oven with onions and a wood spoon.

Step 2:

Add the corn, chiles, cumin, and salt to the pot and stir well to combine.

Broth, chicken, and beans added to a Dutch oven with a wood spoon.

Step 3:

Add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and beans, lower the heat, and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes.

Shredded chicken added back to broth in Dutch oven with a wood spoon.

Step 4:

Remove the chicken to a plate and, using two forks, shred it into bite-sized pieces. If you would like a thicker chili, mash some of the beans with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Then, return the chicken to the pot.

Cream cheese cubes and diced cilantro on top of chicken chili in a Dutch oven with a wood spoon.

Step 5:

Add the cream cheese and cilantro and cook another 5 minutes, stirring until the cream cheese has fully melted into the chili.

Creamy white chicken chili in a Dutch oven with a wood spoon.

Step 6:

Serve the finished chili with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Bowl of white chicken chili topped with avocado, jalapeño, and cilantro on a plate with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Topping Ideas

  • Sliced fresh or jarred jalapenos
  • Fried tortilla strips
  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Hot Sauce

Storage & Reheating

Storage

Keep leftover chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

If some of the liquid separates, just mix it back in before serving.

Reheating

This chili reheats really well in the microwave. Just put it in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it 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.

Freezing

Transfer the fully-cooled chili to a freezer-safe container or bag, preferably in individual serving sizes. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the chili to thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this chili in a crock pot?

Yes! Add everything but the cream cheese and cilantro into the slow cooker and give it a stir to combine. Cook on low for about 4 hours. Remove the chicken and shred it. Then, return the chicken along with the cream cheese and cilantro and stir to combine. Serve once the cream cheese has melted.

How can I keep my hands from getting jalapeño juice on them?

Wearing gloves is the best solution for avoiding getting jalapeño juice on your hands. Also, be sure to use a sharp knife so that you are cleanly cutting the peppers. You could also run them through a small food processor so that you don’t have to touch them at all.

How can I make my chicken chili extra creamy?

The cream cheese does a great job of adding creaminess. But, you could also add a spoonful of sour cream or some freshly shredded Monterey Jack cheese at the end to make it cheesy.

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Bowl of white chicken chili on a plate with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Creamy White Chicken Chili

Alicia S.
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.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 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
  • 8 ounces canned chiles mild or spicy
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans great northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese cubed and at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped

Instructions
 

  • 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 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeños and saute for another minute.
  • Stir in the corn, chiles, cumin, and salt.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. 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, using two forks, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • 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 warm with desired toppings.

Notes

Storage & Reheating
  • Store the chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat covered in the microwave in 30-second bursts or on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through.
Topping Ideas
  • Sliced fresh or jarred jalapenos
  • Fried tortilla strips
  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Hot Sauce

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 662kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 54gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 1470mgPotassium: 1716mgFiber: 13gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 912IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 195mgIron: 6mg
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4 Comments

    1. Thank you! I always like seeing photos of the process so I know I’m doing it correctly and wanted to provide that for my readers as well.