Healthy White Chicken Chili Recipe Crockpot or Stove

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You can make a delicious and healthy white chicken chili recipe using the crockpot (slow cooker) or stovetop methods. This recipe is packed with flavor and protein and lower in fat than traditional chili recipes. Comforting and creamy (without cream), you will love this easy chicken chili recipe- perfect for cold nights!

Serve with Homemade Cornbread.

bowl of healthy white chicken chili with avocado, sour cream, lime, and cilantro as toppings. Chips in the bowl and on the side. Spoon in the bowl.
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Best White Chicken Chili

This creamy, easy white chicken chili is the epitome of comfort in a bowl. With tender shreds of chicken, velvety beans, and a medley of aromatic spices, it’s a hearty and wholesome dish that warms you from the inside out.

The sautéed onions and green chilis lend a subtle sweetness and a mild kick of heat, while the blended beans create a luxuriously creamy texture without the need for heavy cream.

Topped with a vibrant sprinkle of cilantro and a dollop of tangy Greek yogurt, it’s the perfect fusion of comfort and health, making it an absolute must-try for chili enthusiasts and cozy dinner nights. It’s an easy recipe the whole family will love!

Also, try my Italian Beef Chili.

bowl of healthy white chicken chili with avocado, sour cream, lime, and cilantro as toppings. Chips in the bowl and on the side. Spoon taking a bit of the soup.

Simple Ingredients

ingredient shot.
  • Chicken: Tender and juicy boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs provide the protein base for this comforting soup. I prefer chicken thighs!
  • Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the onions and adding a touch of richness to the dish.
  • Onion: Finely chopped onion is sautéed to add a sweet and savory flavor base to the chili.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic enhances the aromatic profile of the chili with its pungent and fragrant notes.
  • Jalapeño Pepper: Adds a subtle heat and a touch of spiciness to the chili; the heat level can be adjusted to your preference.
  • White Beans: Canned white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern beans, are a key ingredient, providing creaminess and fiber to the soup.
  • Diced Green Chilis: Canned diced green chilis contribute a mild heat and a distinctive flavor that complements the other ingredients.
  • Chicken Broth: Low-sodium chicken broth serves as the liquid base for the soup, infusing it with a savory and comforting essence.
  • Spices: Ground cumin, coriander, dried oregano, and chili powder add layers of warm and earthy flavors to the chili.
  • Salt and Pepper: season the chili to your taste preference.
  • Frozen Corn (optional): Adds a hint of sweetness and texture to the chili; it’s optional but a delightful addition.
  • Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice provides a zesty and citrusy kick that brightens the flavors.
  • Cilantro: Chopped fresh cilantro serves as a vibrant and aromatic garnish for a burst of freshness.
  • Cheese (optional): Shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese can be added as a creamy and indulgent topping.
  • Garnishes (optional): Additional garnishes like sliced green onions and Greek yogurt or sour cream add extra layers of flavor and freshness to the dish.

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to Make Healthy White Chicken Chili Recipe Stovetop (Step-by-Step Photos)

How to make Healthy White Chicken chili recipe step by step: sauté onions and garlic in olive oil.

Stovetop Method:

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the finely chopped onion until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and jalapeño pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

How to make Healthy White Chicken chili recipe step by step: sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken thighs to the pot.

Place the chicken breasts or thighs to the pot and cook until they’re no longer pink on the outside.

How to make Healthy White Chicken chili recipe step by step: adding the spices and beans to the pot and cooking .

Add the white beans (reserving about 1/2 cup for blending later), diced green chilis, chicken broth, cumin, coriander, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

How to make Healthy White Chicken chili recipe step by step: shredding the chicken in a white bowl.

Remove the chicken from the pot, shred it with two forks, and return it to the pot.

How to make Healthy White Chicken chili recipe step by step: adding chicken back to the pot.

How to make Healthy White Chicken chili recipe step by step: adding blended soup back to the pot.

In a blender, combine the reserved beans and a small amount of broth. Blend until smooth.

Stir the blended bean mixture into the chili to thicken and make it creamy.

How to make Healthy White Chicken chili recipe step by step: adding the corn and cilantro the pot.

Stir in the frozen corn kernels (if using), lime juice, and chopped cilantro.

How to make Healthy White Chicken chili recipe step by step: Adding the chicken back to the pot and cooking.

Continue to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes until the chili is heated through and the corn is tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serve hot with garnishes, such as chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, Greek yogurt, or shredded cheese.

bowl of healthy white chicken chili with avocado, sour cream, lime, and cilantro as toppings. Chips in the bowl and on the side.

How to Make White Chicken Chili Crockpot or Slow Cooker

  1. In a skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the finely chopped onion until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Transfer the sautéed onion mixture to the slow cooker.
  3. Place the chicken breasts or thighs on top of the onion mixture in the slow cooker.
  4. Add the white beans (reserving about 1/2 cup for blending later), diced green chilis, chicken broth, cumin, coriander, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until the chicken is cooked and easily shreds with a fork.
  6. About 30 minutes before serving, shred the chicken with two forks in the slow cooker.
  7. Combine the reserved beans and a small broth, or use an immersion blender. Blend until smooth. Stir the blended bean mixture into the chili to thicken and make it creamy.
  8. Stir in the frozen corn kernels (if using), lime juice, and chopped cilantro.
  9. Continue to cook for 30 minutes or until the chili is heated through and the corn is tender.
  10. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve hot with garnishes, such as chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, Greek yogurt, or shredded cheese.

If you love Mexican recipes, you will also enjoy Turkey Tacos For Thanksgiving!

Substitutions

  1. Protein Substitutions:
    • Instead of chicken breasts or thighs, you can use turkey, ground chicken, ground turkey, or even ground beef for a different flavor profile. You can even use leftover shredded rotisserie chicken.
    • For a vegetarian version, consider using tofu, tempeh, or meatless crumbles.
  2. Bean Substitutions:
    • While cannellini or Great Northern beans are commonly used, you can try navy beans, black beans, pinto beans, or butter beans for a variation in texture and flavor.
  3. Broth Substitutions:
    • If you’re looking for a lower-sodium option, use low-sodium vegetable broth or mushroom broth.
    • Use homemade chicken, vegetable broth, or chicken stock instead of store-bought for a richer flavor.
  4. Vegetable Substitutions:
    • You can add a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, celery, or spinach to enhance the nutritional content.
    • Swap the frozen corn for fresh corn kernels when it’s in season for a burst of sweetness.
  5. Dairy Substitutions (for creaminess):
    • Use a plant-based creamer or coconut milk instead of dairy-based cream or cheese for a dairy-free option.
  6. Garnish Substitutions:
    • Customize the garnishes based on your preferences; options include diced tomatoes, chopped avocado, sliced radishes, or chopped green olives.
    • Use dairy-free alternatives like coconut yogurt or vegan sour cream for garnishing. Any of your favorite Mexican-inspired toppings will do!

Variations

Here are five recipe variations for White Chicken Chili to suit different tastes and dietary preferences:

  1. Vegan White Bean Chili:
    • Substitute chicken with plant-based protein sources like tofu or tempeh.
    • Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
    • Add extra veggies like diced bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots.
    • Garnish with avocado slices, dairy-free cheese, and vegan sour cream.
  2. Spicy White Chicken Chili:
    • Increase the jalapeño peppers or use hotter chili varieties for extra heat.
    • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for more spiciness.
    • Serve with a drizzle of hot sauce for an added kick.
  3. Creamy White Chicken Chili with Cream Cheese:
    • Stir 4-8 ounces of softened cream cheese into the chili for added creaminess.
    • Adjust the seasoning to balance the richness of the cream cheese.
    • Top with shredded cheddar cheese and fresh chives.
  4. Tex-Mex White Chicken Chili:
    • Add a can of drained and rinsed black beans for a Tex-Mex twist.
    • Mix in corn tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips for a crunchy texture.
    • Garnish with diced avocado, sliced jalapeños, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  5. Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes:
    • Cube sweet potatoes and add them to the slow cooker for a hearty, sweet element.
    • Consider using boneless, skinless chicken thighs for a richer flavor.
    • Season with smoked paprika and ground cinnamon for a warm, comforting touch.

Equipment

bowl of healthy white chicken chili with avocado, sour cream, lime, and cilantro as toppings. Chips in the bowl and on the side. Spoon taking a bit of the soup.

How to Store and Reheat

Storing White Chicken Chili:

  1. Refrigeration: Allow the chili to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing: If you want to store it for longer, transfer the chili to a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bags. Make sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  3. Portioning: Consider dividing the chili into serving portions before freezing for convenient reheating.

Reheating White Chicken Chili:

From the Refrigerator:

  1. Transfer the desired amount of chili to a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl.
  2. On the stovetop, reheat the chili over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches the desired temperature. Be cautious not to bring it to a boil, as this may affect the texture.
  3. Cover the bowl in the microwave with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent. Reheat in 30-second intervals, stirring between intervals until it’s heated through.
  4. Once reheated, serve your White Chicken Chili with your favorite garnishes.

From the Freezer:

  1. If the chili is frozen, it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Once thawed, follow the steps for reheating from the refrigerator as mentioned above.
bowl of healthy white chicken chili with avocado, sour cream, lime, and cilantro as toppings. Chips in the bowl and on the side.

Top Tips for Best Results

  • Sauté the Aromatics: Sautéing onions, garlic, and jalapeño peppers in olive oil before adding them to the chili can enhance the depth of flavor and aroma in your dish.
  • Use Quality Chicken: Choose high-quality boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs for the best taste and texture. Trim any excess fat for a leaner chili.
  • Season at Every Step: Season the chili at various stages of cooking. Season the chicken before cooking, season the sautéed vegetables, and taste and adjust the final seasoning before serving. This layering of flavors results in a more well-balanced dish.
  • Adjust Heat Level: Control the spiciness by varying the jalapeño pepper and chili powder amount. Taste as you go, add more heat if desired, or remove seeds from the jalapeño for milder chili.
  • Blend Beans for Creaminess: Blending a portion of the beans with some broth and then adding it back to the chili is a fantastic way to create a creamy texture without adding dairy.
  • Slow Cooker Versatility: If using a slow cooker, consider using chicken thighs for richer flavor and moisture. Slow cooking allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  • Customize Garnishes: Garnishes add a lot to the final dish. Customize with fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, shredded cheese, avocado, lime wedges, or a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream to suit your taste.
  • Corn for Sweetness: While optional, adding corn (fresh or frozen) can provide a subtle sweetness and an extra layer of texture to the chili.
  • Simmer for Flavor: Allow the chili to simmer for sufficient time, even after adding the shredded chicken. This allows the flavors to meld together and the chili to thicken.

FAQ

How long does chicken chili last in the fridge

White Chicken Chili can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

How do I thicken the chili if it’s too watery?

To thicken the chili, you can continue to simmer it uncovered for a longer period, or you can blend a portion of the beans and broth, then stir the mixture back into the chili.

How many calories in a bowl of white chicken chili?

A standard serving of White Chicken Chili (about 1 cup) typically contains approximately 250 to 350 calories. This estimate includes chicken, beans, vegetables, and basic seasonings but excludes optional garnishes like cheese, sour cream, or avocado, which can add additional calories.
Please remember that these calorie estimates are approximate and can vary based on the specific brands and quantities of ingredients you use.

Can I make it in advance for a party?

– Absolutely! White Chicken Chili is a great make-ahead dish for parties. Prepare it ahead of time and reheat it before serving to save time on the day of your event.

bowl of healthy white chicken chili with avocado, sour cream, lime, and cilantro as toppings. Chips in the bowl and on the side. Hands holding the side of the bowl.

What to Serve with White Chicken Chili

Common accompaniments for healthy chicken chili include crusty bread, tortilla chips, cornbread, or a side salad. Garnishes like cilantro, avocado, and cheese are also popular choices.

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bowl of healthy white chicken chili with avocado, sour cream, lime, and cilantro as toppings. Chips in the bowl and on the side.

Healthy White Chicken Chili (Crockpot or Stove)

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5 from 3 reviews

You can make a delicious and healthy white chicken chili recipe using the crockpot (slow cooker) and stovetop methods. This recipe is packed with flavor and protein and lower in fat than traditional chili recipes. Comforting and creamy (without cream), you will love this easy chicken chili recipe- perfect for cold nights!

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the White Chicken Chili:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) white beans (cannellini or Great Northern), drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 4 oz can diced green chilis
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime

For Garnish (optional):

  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sliced green onions
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado Slices

Instructions

Stovetop Method:

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the finely chopped onion until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and jalapeño pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add the chicken breasts or thighs to the pot and cook until they’re no longer pink on the outside.
  3. Add the white beans (reserving about 1/2 cup for blending later), diced green chilis, chicken broth, cumin, coriander, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pot, shred it with two forks, and return it to the pot.
  6. In a blender, combine the reserved beans and a small amount of broth. Blend until smooth.
  7. Stir the blended bean mixture into the chili to thicken and make it creamy.
  8. Stir in the frozen corn kernels (if using), lime juice, and chopped cilantro.
  9. Continue to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes until the chili is heated through and the corn is tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  10. Serve hot with garnishes, such as chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, Greek yogurt, or shredded cheese.

Crockpot (Slow Cooker) Method:

  1. In a skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the finely chopped onion until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Transfer the sautéed onion mixture to the slow cooker.
  3. Place the chicken breasts or thighs on top of the onion mixture in the slow cooker.
  4. Add the white beans (reserving about 1/2 cup for blending later), diced green chilis, chicken broth, cumin, coriander, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until the chicken is cooked and easily shreds with a fork.
  6. About 30 minutes before serving, shred the chicken with two forks in the slow cooker.
  7. Blend the reserved beans and a small broth. Blend until smooth. Stir the blended bean mixture into the chili to thicken and make it creamy.
  8. Stir in the frozen corn kernels (if using), lime juice, and chopped cilantro.
  9. Continue to cook for 30 minutes or until the chili is heated through and the corn is tender.
  10. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve hot with garnishes, such as chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, Greek yogurt, or shredded cheese.

Enjoy your creamy and flavorful white chicken chili!

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Mexican
  • Cuisine: Mexican

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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5 Comments

  1. I’ve made plenty of white bean chicken chili before and honestly didn’t like any of them. Elena’s recipe is delicious! When I make it for my family or a crowd, it disappears quickly, leaving me thinking I should have made a larger batch.