This creamy white chicken chili is just the thing to warm you up on a chilly day. Serve with white cheddar, tortilla chips and torn cilantro leaves.

For years you guys, YEARS I wasn’t so sure how I felt about white chicken chili. Crazy, right?

Creamy White Chicken Chili #recipe #fromscratch #chili

The name alone hasn’t ever won me over, but on New Year’s Eve everything changed. Pat and I were at our good friends for dinner and celebrating, on the menu was white chicken chili. The last time I made it was YEARS ago and it turned out more as a dip then a chili, needless to say I’ve never had it since. However my friend Heidi is a great cook so I knew I’d be in good hands and plus I think I’ve always wanted to love it, I just hadn’t found the right recipe yet.

If it wasn’t for the fact we were sitting among 6 other people, I think we would have licked our bowls. This chicken chili is deliciously creamy with chunks of shredded chicken, great northern beans and the green chiles and cayenne give it a subtle spice. Plus you can top it with cheddar and crushed tortilla chips… what’s not to love?

white chicken chili ingredients

Heidi found her recipe by Google searching, so I borrowed her recipe and decided to do my very own bean soaking and a few other minor changed to be a little more scratchier without compromising the amazing flavor of the chili.


If you leaning toward the soaked bean method, start by soaking 1 heaping cup of dried great northern beans in cold water overnight or at least 8 hours.


In the morning you’ll notice that the beans have plumped and the skins have softened.


Rinse your beans under water…

warm water

Cover with three cups of fresh warm water, cover and bring to a simmer. Leave the lid cracked so steam can escape and cook the beans for one to one and a half hours or until the beans are tender.


Mean while I threw two chicken breasts into a pot and covered them with water.


I poached the chicken for about twenty minutes or so, until the chicken was fully cooked.

rest and cool

Remove the chicken breasts and let them cool until they are safe to touch and then shred them.

onion collage

Peel, halve, slice and chop up one medium yellow onion.

minced garlic

Then smash, peel and mince up two large cloves of fresh garlic.


Heat a 5 quart pot over medium heat and pour in a tablespoon of olive oil. Throw in the chopped onion and cook it until soft and translucent… about 6-8 minutes.

add in minced garlic

Next, add in the mince garlic and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.

add in spices

Measure and add in the cumin, oregano and cayenne…

stir for a few

Stir and cook for one minute.

chicken in

Now you can start building the chili by adding in the shredded, cooked chicken.

beans in

The cooked great northern beans…

broth in

Pour in 1-3/4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth.

chopped green chiles

And 8 ounces of chopped green chiles.

salt and pepper

Season with a teaspoon  {more or less to taste} of kosher salt and a half teaspoon of black pepper.

stir and simmer for 30

Give it a good stir and let it simmer for 30 minutes. During this time the liquids will reduce a tad.

sour cream

After the soup has simmered, reduce the heat to low and stir in a cup of sour cream.

heavy cream

…and pour in a half cup of heavy whipping cream.


Heat the soup until warm and ready to serve and then ladle them into bowls.

White Chicken Chili

What I love about white chicken chili is that you really don’t need any toppings in order to devour it because it’s utterly scrumptious. I kept my bowl of white chicken chili pretty simple with torn cilantro because I wanted you to see how thick, creamy and dreamy this chili truly is.

White Chicken Chili l

And then when you weren’t looking I added lots of white cheddar, crushed white corn tortilla chips and a small dollop of sour cream, ya know… to keep it in that whole “white chili” theme.


Enjoy! And if you give this White Chicken Chili recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!


Creamy White Chicken Chili

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Creamy White Chicken Chili
Yield: 6-8 servings

Creamy White Chicken Chili

Shredded chicken, white beans and tons of flavor. This chili is just the thing to warm you up on a chilly day.

Prep Time 1 day 2 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 day 2 hours 45 minutes


  • 1 heaping cup of dry great northern beans (or you could just use 2 (15 ounce) cans of great northern beans)
  • water
  • 2 whole chicken breasts
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1-3/4 cups of chicken broth
  • 8 ounces (or two 4 ounce cans) of chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  • fresh cilantro
  • white cheddar cheese
  • white corn tortilla chips



  1. Place a cup of dried northern beans into a bowl and cover with at least 3 cups of cold water. Let the beans soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse the beans in cool water. Add the beans to a pot and cover with three cups of warm water. Bring to a simmer, crack the lid so steam can escape and cook the beans for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.


  1. Place two chicken breasts into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and poach the chicken for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  2. In a 5 quart pot heat over medium and add in the tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the chopped onion into the pot, stir and cook until soft and translucent. Next add in the chopped garlic, stir and cook for one minute.
  3. Measure and add in a teaspoon of both cumin and oregano and then a 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Stir and cook for one minute.
  4. Add in the cooked and shredded chicken, the green chiles and 1-3/4 cups of chicken broth and beans. Stir and simmer with the lid off, for 30 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat down to a low and add in the cup of sour cream and a 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
  6. Stir and keep warm on low heat.
  7. Serve with chopped cilantro, crushed white corn tortillas and lots of white cheddar.


If you decide to use canned beans to save time, simply omit the dry bean soaking and cooking instructions.

[this post contains affiliate links.]