White Chicken Chili

November 1, 2012 by Ali

**We interrupt your regularly scheduled foodie talk for a brief announcement — I GOT A NEW COMPUTER!!!!**

Ok, I know that the Apple store is always packed and people buy new computers all the time. But I am the ridiculously proud owner of a new computer today — one that will not shut down on me 3+ times a day, one that is splatter-free (sorry – watch a little too much Hulu in the kitchen!), and one that, um, WORKS. My last Macbook gave me a mostly-awesome last 6 years, but I am ready to retire it and finally have a pretty new screen to edit photos and talk with you all. Hallelujah!

Alright, back to this White Chicken Chili. I realized recently that I don’t have a post on Gimme Some Oven for this soup, which was one of my absolute favorites growing up!! Granted, we used to make it with canned cream of chicken soup (no judging – it was good!). But a few years ago, I switched to making it completely homemade, and also a bit “lighter” (milk instead of cream), and I still love it as much as ever. Whenever I make it, though, I still always serve it in bowls lined with warm tortillas just like my Mom did.

So cheers to comforting soups, and “comforting” new computers!!!

White Chicken Chili

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6-8 Servings


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (you can remove the seeds for less heat)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3-4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 (4 oz.) cans chopped green chiles
  • 2 cans white beans (I used Great Northern)
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. masa harina (optional thickener)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional garnishes: shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, sliced avocados, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, salsa, warm tortilla "bowls"


Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeno, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the chicken broth, cooked chicken, green chiles, white beans, cumin, oregano, cayenne and white pepper, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Let simmer for at least 10-15 minutes.

10 minutes before serving, whisk together the whole milk and masa harina in a separate bowl until combined. Then add the mixture to the soup and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium high, and stir the soup until thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with optional garnishes.

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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34 thoughts on “White Chicken Chili

  1. 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!

    - Magan

  2. 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! =-)

    - Kyle

    • 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.

      - Tanya B

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

    - Tammy W

  4. 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!

    - Becky B

  5. Hi!
    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. =)

    - Noticed

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

    - Kaela

  7. i recently got a new macbook as well and it is SUCH a joy to use! i’m being good and keeping it out of the kitchen bc i want it to stay in pristine condition!

    - natalie@thesweetslife

  8. I love your tortilla-lined bowls, great idea!

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

  9. 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?

    - moe

  10. 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!

    - Katie | Healthnut Foodie

    • 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! :)

      - ali

  11. Congrats on your new computer!! And your white chicken chili looks incredible :)

    - Kristi@My San Francisco Kitchen

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

    - Anna @ Hidden Ponies

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

    - Lacey

  14. 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!

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

  15. 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!

    - Kathryn

  16. 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!

    - Cassie | Bake Your Day

  17. 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.

    - Meagan @ A Zesty Bite

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

    - Liz @ The Lemon Bowl

  19. 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.

    - Jackie @ The Beeroness

  20. 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. :)

    - Megan (Braise The Roof)

  21. I love that you line the bowl with a tortilla! White chicken chili is a favorite around here!

    - Jessica@AKitchenAddiction

  22. 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.

    - Dixya @ Food, Pleasure and Health

  23. 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.

    - Melissa b

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

    - Julia

  25. 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

    - Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen


    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?!?!?!

    - Tina | My Life as a Mrs

  27. 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!)

    - Erin@theLawStudentsWife

  28. 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! ;)

    - Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

  29. 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

    - little kitchie