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The Best White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

If you’re looking for a new chili recipe to mix things up, you should give this white bean chicken chili a try! It has a completely different flavor profile than the typical beef chili and is packed with tons of flavor. If tomato-based chili isn’t for you, I would recommend making this white chicken chili. My family adores it and I know yours will too!

White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

Over the years, I’ve tried plenty of chili recipes, and dare I say it, this is the best white chicken chili recipe out there! A fall and winter favorite, it has all the heartiness of classic chili but omits beef for chicken and tomatoes for green chiles.

Unlike most white chicken chili recipes out there, this one has no dairy or wheat in it. Besides the optional toppings, this is a great recipe to make if you’re concerned about dietary restrictions.

I love that you can easily feed lots of people with this recipe. It can serve 6 people, which is perfect for weekday dinners but you can easily double or triple the recipe to feed a group of people.

Made in one pot, it doesn’t take up a ton of dishes and makes large meals easy to prepare. Personally, I think white bean chicken chili makes a perfect game-day meal where everyone can watch and enjoy dinner.

So whether you’re looking for a chili recipe to enter in a contest or a new staple dinner that the kids will love, I promise you that this white chicken chili recipe won’t disappoint!

Ingredients Needed

To make this white bean chicken chili recipe, here are the ingredients you will need:

  • Chicken Breasts: Since I make my chili on the stovetop, I cook the chicken, shred it, then add it to the chili to simmer.
  • Chicken Broth: For most of my recipes, I prefer to use low-sodium broth so I can oversee how much salt the dish has. If you use regular chicken broth, be sure to keep an eye on how much salt you’re adding.
  • Beans: For this recipe, I use either navy beans or white kidney beans for some extra protein and to provide that classic chili texture.
  • Onion and Garlic: Chopped onion and minced garlic are a must-have when it comes to any one-pot recipe!
  • Green Chiles: Chopped chili add some mild spice to the chicken chili.
  • Spices: To season the chili, I like to include salt, ground cumin, oregano, ground red pepper, and ground cloves.
white bean chicken chili ingredients

Optional Toppings

Chili is tasty on its own, but it’s even better with some toppings! Here are a few I like to include in my chili:

  • Shredded Cheese: Monterey Jack is my personal go-to for this chili but uses whichever cheese you like best!
  • Tortilla Chips: Perfect for scooping up your chili. It adds a delicious crunch while eating!
  • Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream adds some creaminess and contrasts the flavor of the chili.
  • Avocado: A delicious and healthy addition, the creamy texture and subtle flavor of avocados takes your chili to the next level. 
  • Lime Juice: The tartness of the fresh, squeezed lime juice adds an extra level of flavor that pairs so well with the chicken, beans and other flavors.

What To Serve With This Chili

This chicken chili should always be the star of the meal! When it comes to chili, I like to have a nice carb to help soak up the chili with. Salty crackers to dip in the chili are great for lunch!

At dinner, a crusty-heavy piece of bread or homemade cornbread is perfect. Always be sure to save a little bit for the end to help sop up the leftovers in the bowl!

You can also make a batch of this cilantro-lime rice to serve alongside the chili. It has tons of flavor that go wonderfully with the white bean chicken chili.

If you’re feeling extra wild, you can serve this chili atop some oven-cooked fries or on top of tortilla chips for some loaded nachos!

White Bean Chicken Chili in a pot

Frequently Asked Questions About White Bean Chicken Chili

Whenever I make this white bean chicken chili, I get many of the same questions. Here are some of the most common ones I get.

If you have a question not answered below, feel free to leave it in the comments down below and I’ll answer you as soon as I can!

Can I make this recipe in the slow cooker?

Yes! You can make this recipe by placing in raw (thawed or even frozen) chicken breasts and then mixing the remaining ingredients on top. Cook the chili on low for 4-6 hours. Once ready, remove the chicken and shred it before mixing it back into the chili. Add your toppings and enjoy!

How should I store leftovers?

Store your leftover chili in an airtight container. It should last in the fridge for up to 5 days.

You can also freeze the chili in an airtight container, good for up to 2 months. To thaw it, leave it in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the microwave or the stovetop.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? 

Sure you can! Just note that chicken thighs have a higher fat content, which can slightly change the taste of this chili. Thighs also take slightly longer to cook than chicken breast so keep an eye on them and adjust the cooking time if necessary.

How can I thin out or thicken this white chili? 

If you want to thin your chili, all you have to do is add some extra water. You can also save your drained liquid from your bean cans or more chicken broth to thin out the chili without watering it down.

To thicken the recipe, use an immersion blender to mash some (not all) of the beans. Mix it all up and your chili should be much thicker.

white bean chicken chili with lots of toppings
White Bean Chicken Chili loaded up with toppings!

More Grandma-Approved Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this white bean chicken chili recipe, be sure to check out some of these other yummy recipes:

This may just become your new favorite chili recipe. Have you tried a chicken chili before? Let me know in the comments down below how the meal turns out for you!

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white bean chicken chili

White Chicken Chili

If you’re looking for a new chili recipe to mix things up, you should give this white bean chicken chili a try! It has a completely different flavor profile than the typical beef chili and is packed with tons of flavor. If tomato-based chili isn’t for you, I would recommend making this white chicken chili. My family adores it and I know yours will too!

  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 people 1x


  • 2 cups cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 3 cans of navy beans or white kidney beans, drained
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp. salt (or more, to taste)
  • 4 oz. chopped green chiles
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. ground red pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves

Toppings, optional

  • ¾ cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • tortilla chips
  • sour cream
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • lime


  1. Combine all ingredients, except for toppings and simmer for 2 hours on medium-low heat.
  2. Spoon into bowls and top with cheese and sour cream or other toppings.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or toasted bread.
  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours

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