White chicken chili is a hearty, comforting stew, made with white chicken meat chicken, corn, cannellini beans, chopped chiles, and spices. It comes together easily and inexpensively, making it a perfect weeknight dinner or game day meal.
(This post was originally posted on October 29th, 2012 and has been updated to contain nutritional information. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
What makes white chili “white”?
I was given this white chicken chili recipe, from a friend, more than twenty years ago. It was the first time I’d ever tried “white chili”.
This version use white chicken meat, white cannellini beans and chicken broth. Instead of chili powder and tomatoes, this recipe gets its flavor from cumin and oregano. If you want a really white chicken chili, you can use white corn instead of yellow corn.
It’s definitely not a spicy chili, so if you like more heat, add more chiles or chili powder, as desired. Canned jalapenos come in a variety of heat levels.
Using Hatch chiles
While the original recipe calls or canned chilies, if you have Hatch chilies on hand, you absolutely substitute them! I now make this chili with Hatch when I have them and canned chilies when I don’t have Hatch. If you love Hatch chiles or would like more recipes using them, I have a delicious and low-carb Hatch Chile Rellenos Casserole, Hatch Chile Egg Bites and a Hatch Chile and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
Can you make White Chicken Chili ahead?
Yes! You can make it the day before and just warm up on the stove or in a slow-cooker. It’s even better the second day.
How to make White Chicken Chili
The best part about this recipe is how quick and easy it is, especially if you’re starting with leftover white chicken. (I usually buy a rotisserie chicken if I don’t have any leftover). Once you get past the initial saute of the onions and garlic, just toss the remaining ingredients in cook until hot and bubbly.
- Saute the onions and garlic in a large Dutch oven like this.
- Add pre-cooked diced or shredded chicken.
- Stir in canned or Hatch chiles.
- Add frozen white or yellow corn
- Bring to simmer and cook until hot, about 30-35 minutes.
Can you make White Chicken Chili in a crock-pot?
Absolutely! Start by sauteing the onions and garlic to soften in a large pot or Dutch oven. Then add all the ingredients to the slow cooker or crock-pot and set to low for 5 hours. Alternatively, you can make the chili on the stove-top and just keep in warm in the slow cooker or crock-pot.
Make a Chili Bar
White chicken chili is the perfect party, potluck or game day food. To make a chili bar, set out bowls of shredded cheese, chopped onions, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, chips and salsa, and let the guests make their own bowls. Serve homemade cornbread and a big green salad on the side.
White Chicken Chili
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups cooked chicken white or dark meat chicken, about 2 large chicken breasts, shredded or diced
- 4-5 cups chicken broth Less broth for a thicker chili, more for a thinner, ore soup-like consistency.
- 8 ounces green chilies chopped (canned or frozen Hatch)
- 2-3 teaspoons cumin powder
- 2-3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3 cans white beans Great Northern or cannellini, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups frozen corn
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- In a large pot, heat over over a medium heat until shimmering. Add chopped onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute.
- Add chicken broth, chicken, chiles, beans, corn and spices and seasonings.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer on low until hot, about 30-35 minutes.
- Add lime or lemon juice and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
Crock Pot Instructions
- Follow first step above. Add onions and garlic to crock-pot add remaining ingredients and set slow-cooker or crock-pot to low.
- Heat on low until hot, about 6 hours.