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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.

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!

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Ingredients

Ingredients for creamy white chicken chili.

Key Ingredient Notes

Oil – Any neutral-flavored oil, like canola oil, will work.

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.

Jalapeno – Jalapeno is what 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.

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. Fire-roasted corn would also be great!

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 broth concentrate. Both options produce a great-tasting chili. Of course, you can also use homemade chicken broth if you have it. Use reduced-sodium broth for less salt.

Chicken – 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.

Step By Step Instructions

Note: A complete list of ingredients, their amounts, and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.

Step 1:

In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.

Step 2:

Once the oil is hot, add in the diced onion. Sauté for about 5 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.

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

Step 3:

Stir in the corn, chiles, cumin, and salt.

Corn, chiles, cumin, and salt added to diced onion, garlic, and jalapeño in a Dutch oven with a wood spoon.

Step 4:

Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.

Step 5:

Add the chicken and beans and reduce the heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.

Chicken and beans in broth in a Dutch oven with a wood spoon.

Step 6:

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.

Shredded chicken added back to the pot of white chicken chili with a wood spoon.

Step 7:

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

Cubed cream cheese and  cilantro added to a pot of white chicken chili and then the chili after they're mixed in.

Step 8:

Serve the creamy white chicken chili warm with the toppings of your choice and enjoy!

Topping Ideas

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

Tips & Tricks

  • Have the cream cheese at room temp before adding it to the chili so that it will melt in faster and easier
  • Wear gloves when cutting the jalapeño to avoid getting the juices on your hands.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Greek yogurt or sour cream can be used in place of the cream cheese.
  • Mix shredded white cheddar cheese into the chili when you add the cream cheese for an even cheesier version.
  • Poblano peppers can be used instead of the jalapeño peppers.

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.

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.

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

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

Creamy White Chicken Chili

Alicia
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

  • 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.

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.