Creamy White Chicken Chili

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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. | gimmesomeoven.com

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.

The BEST Creamy White Chicken Chili Recipe | 1-Minute Video

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

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. | gimmesomeoven.com

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! | gimmesomeoven.com

Enjoy, friends!

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Creamy White Chicken Chili

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 -8 servings 1x

Description

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


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 34 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Serve warm in bowls (adding tortilla “bowls” if you’d like), topped with your desired garnishes.

Notes

*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.

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109 comments on “Creamy White Chicken Chili”

  1. 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. 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!)
    Erin

  4. 1. CONGRATS ON THE NEW COMPUTER!!!!!!!

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

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

  10. 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. :)

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  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!

  16. 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!

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

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

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

  20. 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!

    • 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! :)

  21. 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?

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

  23. 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!

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

  25. 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. =)

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  27. 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!

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

  29. 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! =-)

    • 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.

  30. 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!

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

    Rachael xx.

    theteacozykitchen.blogspot.co.uk

  37. 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?)

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

  38. Pingback: Creamy White Chicken Chili - FullBellies.co

  39. I’ve never heard of “tortilla bowls” before, but I’m intrigued! Can’t wait to give it a shot. :)

  40. “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.

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

  42. 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 :))

    • Thanks, Kaitlin — we hope you enjoy! We would recommend using Lactaid before any other lactose-free milk (since it wouldn’t change the flavor). However, if you want to use something other than cow’s milk, we’d suggest a plain almond milk or cashew milk. We hope this helps!

  43. I love the idea of using milk instead of sour cream (what I usually use in my recipe). And not only does this chili look amazing, but that idea to put a tortilla in the bowl! I have never thought of that before, but I am so glad to have heard it from you! Thank you so much for sharing!

  44. I’ve never actually had chicken chili, which is surprising since I prefer chicken over beef. I’ll have to change that and give this recipe a trial run, sounds really good.

  45. Received your newsletter today and this recipe look so good and I had most of the ingredients so this is what we had for dinner tonight.  This chili was sooooo good!!!  Only used a pinch of salt since I used chicken broth instead of stock, probably didn’t even need the pinch.  I used Dairy-Pure which is 100% lactose free and like I said before the chili was delicious! Didn’t do the corn since hubby doesn’t like.  I also only  used 1 small can of the chilies since I don’t like hot. Left the jalapeño’s off but had them available for the hubby to use as garnish.  I garnished with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.  Definitely a keeper!

  46. Do you know if this freezes well? 

    • Hi Shoni! Soups without dairy freeze better than ones with dairy, but we think it should still probably freeze okay, since it’s not really dairy-heavy. We hope you enjoy!

  47. 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.

  48. Wonderful recipe! I seasoned my chicken a bit with some southwestern seasoning, then sauteed it in olive oil, then shredded it! My husband added a little cayenne to his to add more heat. I loved it with cheese, sour cream & avocado!

  49. Do you have the nutritional values for this recipe?

    • 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!