Creamy White Chicken Chili

This Creamy White Chicken Chili recipe only takes about 30 minutes to make, and it’s full of the most delicious, creamy, comforting flavors.

This Creamy White Chicken Chili recipe only takes 30 minutes to make, and it's full of the best, comforting, creamy flavors. So delicious, and easy to make gluten-free if you'd like. |

Today, I’m digging into the blog’s old recipe archives to pull back up an oldie-but-goodie classic recipe that I absolutely cannot live without:

Warm, comforting, zesty, always-hits-the-spot Creamy White Chicken Chili.  

I don’t know about you all, but this soup was a regular in our home growing up ever since I can remember.  (<– Well, made with cream of chicken soup back then, holla to the 80s!)  And even back in my pickiest-eating years, I always absolutely loved our white chicken chili nights.  They were one of first forays into eating Mexican food (yeah!), and they were also Mom’s sneaky way to teach me to like beans (well-played).  But I think that my sister and I probably loved our white chicken chili nights most because they were the only time that we were allowed to make our own “bowls” for our soup.  Mom would give us a stack of soft flour tortillas and we would poke them into little liners for everyone’s bowls, then we would “ooh” and “ahh” as she ladled in the soup and we marveled at how pretty everything looked.

Mmmm, white chicken chili nights were always good nights.

Anyway, I still love this soup today just as much as I did back then, although my mom and I have updated our recipe since to nix the canned soups.  But it’s still just as delicious and cozy and comforting as ever.  And bonus?  It’s also just as quick and easy to make as ever, and can be ready to go on the table in just about 30 minutes.  Perfect.

This Creamy White Chicken Chili recipe is easy to make, and full of the most delicious comforting flavors! |

A photo from my initial blog post on Creamy White Chicken Chili, circa 2011.

So, did anyone else grow up making these tortilla bowls, or was our family the only one?  We never baked or fried them — just pressed flour tortillas into our bowls, and then added them to our bites especially as they got nice and warm and soft.  So easy, and so good!

This Creamy White Chicken Chili recipe only takes 30 minutes to make, and it's full of the best, comforting, creamy flavors. So delicious, and easy to make gluten-free if you'd like. |

Another joy of this classic recipe is that it’s also really easy to tweak to your preferences.  Like a spicier soup?  Feel free to leave in the jalapeno seeds, or add in an extra.  Like a thinner soup?  Leave out the flour, and it’ll be nice and brothy.  Like a gluten-free soup?  You’re welcome to leave out the flour, and thicken it with a cornstarch slurry if you’d like (or just leave that part out).  Like a meatless soup?  Sub in an extra can or two of beans, in place of the chicken.

The choices are all yours.  ♥

This 30-Minute Creamy White Chicken Chili recipe is easy to make, and full of the most delicious comforting flavors! |

Enjoy, friends!

Creamy White Chicken Chili

A delicious, easy and "lighter" take on classic White Chicken Chili. Always a crowd-pleaser, and always so comforting!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, cored and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3-4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans
  • 1/2 cup whole-kernel corn (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 cups warmed milk (I used 2%)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste*
  • optional "tortilla bowls": flour tortillas**
  • optional garnishes: shredded (or ribbon-ed) Monterrey Jack cheese, sliced avocados, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro


Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeño, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Stir in the flour until it is evenly combined and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.

Gradually add in the chicken broth, stirring until combined.  Then stir in the cooked chicken, green chiles, white beans, corn (if using), and cumin. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the warm milk until combined.  Then give the soup a taste, and season generously with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm in bowls (adding tortilla "bowls" if you'd like), topped with your desired garnishes.

*I used 1 heaping teaspoon of salt, and about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  But salt levels will vary depending on your preference, plus the brand of chicken stock that you use.

**I used large soft flour tortillas to make tortilla "bowls" for my soup.

Recipe slightly updated December 2016.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Leave a Comment:


  1. little kitchie — November 1, 2012 @ 6:33 am (#)

    THANK YOU for this post! I was looking for a recipe for white chicken chili last weekend and couldn’t find a good one that didn’t use canned soup (although I agree – those taste GOOD!). It’s still 80 degrees, supposed to get to 90 today, in Texas, but once the weather cools off I’m definitely going to try this out. It looks beautiful!

    and congrats on the new computer!! xx

  2. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — November 1, 2012 @ 6:55 am (#)

    I’m impressed your last computer lasted so long! It’s the absolute best feeling to have a brand new computer that does what you want it to do when prompted! And this chili is seriously right up my alley… no tomatoes yay! ;)

  3. Hi there!
    I saw your comment on Averie Cooks and am so happy to have found your blog! We just had a chili cook off at yesterday and the white chicken + avocado was my absolute favorite! Ta da, now I can create something similar at home. This is a perfect chilly night recipe. Thanks!! (and congrats on the new computer. I’ve had the same macbook for 4 years now and still love it!)

  4. Tina | My Life as a Mrs — November 1, 2012 @ 8:24 am (#)


    2. This looks delicious!!!!! & you are so cute with all your food styling… i need you to come teach me ;)

    3. Speaking of you coming to teach me… UMMMM when are you going to come visit South Florida?!?!?!

  5. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — November 1, 2012 @ 9:09 am (#)

    I have never ever seen chicli served this way but your mom is a genius! Mmm and the avocados- a MUST on white chili! I thought I was the only one lol

  6. Julia — November 1, 2012 @ 9:34 am (#)

    This chili recipes looks so delicious. I love how you serve it..clever!

  7. Melissa b — November 1, 2012 @ 9:49 am (#)

    Looks yummy! Another way i found to lighten it up its to take out some of beans and broth and puree in a blender and add back to soup. Thickens right up no cream or flour required.

  8. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure and Health — November 1, 2012 @ 9:51 am (#)

    I love the idea of serving in warm tortillas and loved avocados on top. Congratulations on the new computer. Its such a chili season now I made some chipotle turkey chili. Such a great delicious comfort food.

  9. Megan (Braise The Roof) — November 1, 2012 @ 10:34 am (#)

    This looks amazing! I’m not a big fan of traditional chilis and have been on the hunt for a good white chili recipe. I’m going to have to make this one. :)

  10. Jackie @ The Beeroness — November 1, 2012 @ 12:00 pm (#)

    Congrats! New Computer Day is the best. And, I love this chili. We are finally starting to cool down a bit over on the west coast (like low 60’s) and I can finally start indulging in all the soup I want.

  11. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — November 1, 2012 @ 1:27 pm (#)

    LOVE that you thickened your soup with masa harina!! I need to try this – I bet the flavor is insane!!

  12. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — November 1, 2012 @ 2:01 pm (#)

    Congrats on getting the new computer! I love white chicken chili but all my ingredients come from the cans as well. Can’t wait to try this one out without your cream of chicken can.

  13. Cassie | Bake Your Day — November 1, 2012 @ 4:07 pm (#)

    So glad you got your new computer! And – oh my gosh – why did I not come over to have some of this last weekend! It looks perfect!

  14. Kathryn — November 1, 2012 @ 4:29 pm (#)

    Hurrah for the new computer! And hurrah for recipes like this, it looks so delicious and comforting and I love how you lightened it up. Such vibrant photos too!

  15. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — November 1, 2012 @ 5:13 pm (#)

    Congrats on the new computer! I saw your instagram and I couldn’t be happier for you! And this chili – SO AMAZING! It’s definitely a comforting dish, and just in time with this cold weather we’ve been having!

  16. Lacey — November 1, 2012 @ 6:13 pm (#)

    Wow, this looks so good. I wish I had a bowl of it right now. Pinning this so I can make it soon.

  17. Anna @ Hidden Ponies — November 1, 2012 @ 9:32 pm (#)

    Oooh, a new computer is totally worth serious excitement! I love the tortilla in the bowl with these, so pretty and fun!

  18. Katie | Healthnut Foodie — November 2, 2012 @ 12:17 pm (#)

    We love white chicken chili at our house! I’ve shared the recipe we created at the classes I teach at the Culinary Center several times and it is always a crowd pleaser. Our version uses pureed beans and sour cream to “lighten it up”, but your masa version looks great too! Hope to see you soon!

    • ali — November 2nd, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

      Ooooh – I love the idea of pureed beans! Will have to give that a try next time. I’m all for healthier thickening shortcuts in just about all my cooking! :)

  19. moe — November 5, 2012 @ 4:30 pm (#)

    Oh man I used to make a version of this all the time too but had almost forgotten about it–I’ll try yours soon, but a vegetarian version perhaps. Any thoughts on that? Maybe seitan to sub in for the chicken or just more beans and veggies?

  20. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — November 5, 2012 @ 5:49 pm (#)

    I love your tortilla-lined bowls, great idea!

  21. Kaela — November 12, 2012 @ 11:30 am (#)

    Just printed this off for a coworker–thank you Ali!!!

  22. Noticed — November 30, 2012 @ 8:29 am (#)

    Love your recipes. Found you on Pinterest (of course!!). One suggestion… put your blog title on all of your pics, not just the one or two. You take great photographs. Get credit for all of them. =)

  23. Becky B — February 3, 2013 @ 6:22 pm (#)

    Just made this tonight for the Super Bowl- so delicious!! I have been looking for a good chili recipe without tomatoes because I am allergic, and this is perfect- I have missed chili so much and the hubby loved it too!

  24. Tammy W — February 5, 2013 @ 5:41 pm (#)

    Made this tonight and my husband and I LOVED it! Definitely will make this one again!

  25. Kyle — February 20, 2013 @ 9:33 pm (#)

    Sounds so good, can’t wait to try it! Any ideas on how to make it in a crockpot?? My husband and I work late nights and its always easier to come home to a meal. Thanks! =-)

    • Tanya B — October 17th, 2013 @ 10:53 am

      This would be super easy to do in the crock-pot. just cook the onions and peppers as directed, and then throw everything in the crock-pot. If you are letting it cook all day, I would cook it on low.

  26. Magan — September 9, 2013 @ 5:54 pm (#)

    Tried this recipe last night and it turned out AMAZING! The only thing I did different was add in some fresh corn and it added just the right touch. Even did the tortilla bowl and topped with avocado..perfect recipe! Thank you!

  27. Rachael — December 7, 2016 @ 10:00 am (#)

    Oh I’ve never heard of a white chilli before but this looks delicious!

    Rachael xx.

    • Ali — December 7th, 2016 @ 11:09 am

      Thank you! :) It’s my favorite kind of chili!

  28. Amanda — December 7, 2016 @ 10:17 am (#)

    This looks awesome! Just wondering-there are some ingredients in the list at the bottom beside the difficulty level that aren’t referenced in the recipe? (Cayenne, oregano?)

    • Ali — December 7th, 2016 @ 11:04 am

      Whoops, sorry about the confusion. Those were from the original recipe, which I omitted with the update (not necessary, I think!). :)

  29. Sara @ Last Night's Feast — December 7, 2016 @ 1:10 pm (#)

    This looks fabulous!

  30. SpiritedMorgan @ Spirited and Then Some — December 7, 2016 @ 3:54 pm (#)

    “Well, made with cream of chicken soup” – dying over here. Yes. And cream of mushroom soup – that was our family’s staple. Holla to the 80s indeed! And how am I just seeing this bowl of deliciousness? Looks. So. Good.

  31. Libby — December 7, 2016 @ 5:16 pm (#)

    I’ve never heard of that tortilla bowl idea but I sure do like it!

  32. Kaitlin — December 7, 2016 @ 6:45 pm (#)

    I love this recipe ~~~ as someone who can’t have direct dairy, would you recommend soy milk or coconut milk as a sub for the cow’s milk? Or would it change the flavor too much to sub in a dairy free milk? 

    Thanks :))

  33. Susan — December 8, 2016 @ 2:22 pm (#)

    This soup sounds wonderful.  I’m glad I’m not the only one who is nixing the canned soups.  I don’t think we need all the additives in those.  I grew up on Hungarian food (my mother learned to cook that way for my father’s sake), so I’ve actually never had white chicken chili.  Seven decades and I’ve never had it before.  Hopefully, now that I have your recipe I’ll fix that error of omission.  Soon.  Especially now that we are having some wintery temperatures.

  34. grce — December 8, 2016 @ 8:47 pm (#)

    Do you have the nutritional values for this recipe?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 9th, 2016 @ 1:31 pm

      Hi there! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!


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