This easy Crock Pot White Chicken Chili recipe results in delicious comfort food with the most amazing tender chicken! Top it with your favorite toppings like grated cheese, sour cream (or Greek yogurt), and chopped green onions and enjoy it during the cool months of the year!
We’ve all had classic red chili, but have you tried white chicken chili before?
For some, white chicken chili is preferential to traditional chili recipes in the sense that it has a fresh flavor and can often feel lighter or less heavy depending on how it is prepared.
The difference between traditional red chili and white chili is regular chili is made with fresh or canned tomatoes and chili powder, whereas there is typically neither tomatoes nor chili powder in white chili and the beans used are typically one of the lighter varieties, such as pinto beans, white beans, chickpeas, etc.
For those who prefer the flavor of green chilies in white chicken chili over red chilis and tomato base in regular red chili recipes, white chicken chili is the ultimate comfort food.
This easy crock pot recipe is ideal for setting up the night before or the morning of and letting it cook for hours on end. It can also be made quicker by cooking on high heat.
For my fellow meal preppers, feel free to double this hearty chili recipe to batch cook plenty of weekday meals for lunches and dinners.
If you prefer using your electric pressure cooker over your slow cooker, make my Instant Pot White Chicken Chili recipe.
Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for white chicken chili.
Ingredients for White Chicken Chili:
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts or Boneless Chicken Thighs: Choose your favorite cut of chicken, such as boneless chicken breasts or skinless chicken thighs.
Bone-in pieces work too (and make the soup taste amazing!) as long as you’re okay with picking out the skin and bones at the end of cooking.
Onion & Fresh Garlic: Yellow onion and garlic is the magical duo that brings rich flavor to all recipes. I like sautéing the onion until it is nearly caramelized to maximize the flavor of the soup.
Jalapeno Pepper: Add one to 3 jalapenos to your personal taste. For spicy white chicken chili, leave the jalapeno seeds in and for mild white chicken chili, remove all the seeds and insides out of the jalapenos before chopping them up and adding them to the slow cooker.
White Beans: Pick your favorite type of bean and double it! I like using a combination of Great Northern beans and cannellini beans, but any hearty beans will work for a chicken and bean chili recipe.
Green Chiles: Use two 4-ounce cans of diced green chilies or one 7-oz can of green chilis. Be sure to choose mild ones for a mild soup or Hot chilies for a spicy soup.
Chicken Broth or Chicken Stock: The liquid portion of this delicious chili recipe is some form of broth. Any kind of broth will work here, but I recommend a chicken varietal. Bone broth is delicious here as well!
Seasonings: Ground cumin, dried parsley, dried chives, dried thyme, sea salt and black pepper. These simple seasonings give this easy white chicken chili recipe much of its fresh and delicious flavor.
Optional Additions or Recipe Adaptations:
- Swap out the white beans for any type of bean you love, including black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, etc.
- You can use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken instead of fresh chicken if you have it on hand. Should you decide to do so, you can either prepare the soup on the stove top or adjust the cooking time down and cook for 3 hours on High.
- For creamy white chicken chili, chop up one 8-ounce block of cream cheese and stir it into the soup while it is still hot before serving it up.
- For thick white chicken chili, add 1 to 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, a gluten-free flour blend, or tapioca flour.
- Add one 15-ounce can of drained corn kernels or 1 to 2 cups of frozen corn if you enjoy corn in your chili.
- If you love the flavor of chili powder, add 1 to 3 tablespoons to this crockpot white chicken chili.
- Chop up a green bell pepper or red bell pepper and add it in if you love bell peppers.
- Add cayenne pepper to your personal taste to increase the spice level.
- Replace 1 cup of the broth with salsa verde (also known as green salsa or tomatillo salsa) if you’re a big fan of green salsa.
What Makes White Chicken Chili Thicker?
Many classic recipes for white chicken chili include a combination of cream cheese and corn starch or all-purpose flour to result in a creamy consistency.
Because I always love thick chili, I often start with less liquid rather than thickening the chili at the end. You can use anywhere between 2 and 4 cups of broth depending on your preference of liquid to solid.
Now that we’ve covered some basics, let’s whip up the best white chicken chili recipe!
How to Make White Chicken Chili:
Note: You can speed up this recipe by simply dumping all of the ingredients into the crock pot, stirring them up and turning on your crock pot. I like to sauté the onion first because it brings out a preponderance of flavor, but the dump and go method works in a pinch!
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet and add the onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften and brown around the edges, about 10 to 15 minutes.
This process brings a ton of flavor out of the onion for the best white chicken chili! Add the garlic and jalapeno and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
Transfer the onion mixture to your slow cooker, along with the rest of the ingredients for the chili.
Stir well and cover. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6-8 hours. For the best results, I recommend cooking on low heat for 8 hours as the chicken will turn out so perfectly tender.
Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board using tongs or a fork. Use two forks to shred the chicken to your desired consistency, then transfer the shredded chicken back in the crock pot.
If time allows, let the chicken soak in the chili for at least 1 hour for maximum flavor and tenderness.
Taste the soup for flavor and add more sea salt to your personal taste. You can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, hot sauce, heavy cream, etc.
Serve heaping bowls of chili with your favorite toppings such as grated cheese, green onions, fresh cilantro, sour cream, chopped red onion, and enjoy!
If you love crunchy tortilla chips, don’t forget the chips! Serve with lime wedges so that you can drizzle fresh lime juice into your chili.
Chili tastes even better the next day and the 2 to 3 days following preparation. For this reason, don’t be afraid to prepare this easy chicken chili recipe a few days ahead of time.
Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How Do You Make White Chicken Chili Less Soupy?:
What makes white chicken chili thicker?
There are a few ways you can thicken chili to give it a heartier, creamier consistency. First, you can add less broth to begin with so that the ratio of liquid to solid is lower, resulting in a chunkier consistency.
Second, you can add a cornstarch slurry, regular all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose four to help thicken the broth.
And finally, many people add cream cheese, heavy cream, and/or cornstarch or flour to make the soup extra luscious.
If you’d like to take this approach, add 1 8-oz package of cream cheese several hours into the cooking process and stir well until it is well-incorporated.
If you decide to add a thickening agent like cornstarch or flour, add 1 to 3 tablespoons of either one around 1 hour before the chili has finished cooking, and allow the chili to continue cooking at a gentle boil until it has reached your desired consistency.
And that’s it! A healthy chili recipe the whole family will love. This easy meal is perfect for keeping on constant rotation during the cold months of the year.
Just some healthy ingredients and a slow cooker make the loveliest hearty white bean chicken chili.
If you love soup and stew recipes, also try these gems!
More Soups and Stews:
- Hearty Ground Turkey Soup with Vegetables
- Immunity-Boosting Turmeric Chicken Soup
- Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Cabbage Roll Soup
- Albondigas Soup Recipe
- Crock Pot Beef Stew
- Creamy Sweet Potato and Quinoa Stew
Slow cooker white chicken chili all day every day!
Crock Pot White Chicken Chili
- 2 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 5 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped
- 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 (4-ounce) cans green chilis, undrained
- 3 to 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 (14-ounce) cans white beans or cannellini beans drained and rinsed**
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried chives
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp sea salt to taste
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high and add the onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
- Transfer the onion-garlic-jalapeno mixture to your slow cooker (I used this 6-quart slow cooker), along with the rest of the ingredients for the chili. Stir well and cover. Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Use a fork to fish out the chicken breasts and place them on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken, then place it back in the crock pot. If time allows, let the chicken soak in the chili for at least 1 hour (overnight is better) for maximum flavor.
- Serve heaping bowls of chili with your favorite toppings.
I originally shared this recipe on November 14, 2016. I added more information to the post and updated the photos but the recipe itself is the same.
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