Creamy White Chicken Chili

Creamy White Chicken Chili


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (14 oz each) cans white beans, drained
  • 2 (4 oz each) cans diced green chilies
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For Topping (Optional):

  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Tortilla strips
  • Shredded cheese
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado


  1. Sauté the Aromatics:
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pot. Sauté until the onions are translucent and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  1. Add Spices and Chicken:
  • Stir in the chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, and dried oregano. Cook for an additional minute to toast the spices.
  • Add the diced chicken breast to the pot. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink on the outside, about 5-6 minutes.
  1. Simmer the Chili:
  • Pour in the chicken broth, white beans, and diced green chilies. Stir to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the chili simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  1. Add Cream Cheese and Lime Juice:
  • Once the chicken is cooked, add the cream cheese to the pot, stirring until it melts into the chili and creates a creamy texture.
  • Squeeze the juice of one small lime into the chili. Stir to incorporate.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Serve and Garnish:
  • Ladle the creamy white chicken chili into bowls.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro, tortilla strips, shredded cheese, lime wedges, and avocado slices, if desired.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Using Rotisserie Chicken: To save time, you can use shredded rotisserie chicken instead of raw chicken breast. Simply shred the chicken and add it to the pot during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Customizing Heat Levels: Adjust the amount of chili powder and diced green chilies to your desired level of spiciness. For a milder chili, reduce the amount of chili powder and use mild green chilies.
  • Adding Vegetables: Enhance the nutritional value of the chili by adding diced bell peppers, corn kernels, or spinach to the pot along with the chicken and beans.

Variations to Explore:

  • Creamy Turkey Chili: Substitute ground turkey for the chicken and follow the recipe as directed. The lean turkey meat pairs perfectly with the creamy texture of the chili, creating a lighter yet equally delicious dish.
  • Spicy Black Bean Chili: Replace the white beans with black beans and use extra chili powder and diced jalapeños for added heat. Top with sliced jalapeños and a dollop of sour cream for a satisfying kick.
  • Tex-Mex Chicken Chili: Add a Tex-Mex twist to the chili by incorporating ingredients such as corn, diced tomatoes, and taco seasoning. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread for a festive and flavorful meal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I make this chili in a slow cooker?

  • A: Yes, you can easily adapt this recipe for the slow cooker. Simply sauté the onions, garlic, and spices in a skillet, then transfer them to the slow cooker along with the chicken, beans, green chilies, and chicken broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender. Stir in the cream cheese and lime juice during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers?

  • A: Absolutely! This chili freezes well and makes for convenient future meals. Allow any leftovers to cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and gently warm on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Q: How can I make this recipe keto-friendly?

  • A: To make a keto-friendly version of Creamy White Chicken Chili, omit the beans and use full-fat cream cheese. You can also add extra vegetables such as bell peppers, cauliflower, or broccoli to bulk up the dish without adding carbs. Serve with keto-friendly toppings such as shredded cheese, crispy bacon bits, and sliced avocado.

Q: Is there a dairy-free alternative to cream cheese?

  • A: Yes, you can use dairy-free cream cheese or coconut cream as a substitute for traditional cream cheese. Just be sure to adjust the seasoning and consistency of the chili to taste.

In conclusion, Creamy White Chicken Chili is a versatile and satisfying dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re craving a cozy meal on a chilly night or hosting a gathering with friends, this chili is sure to impress. With its creamy texture, bold flavors, and customizable ingredients, it’s a recipe that you’ll want to make again and again. So gather your ingredients, grab a spoon, and get ready to savor the comforting goodness of this delicious white chicken chili!

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