White Chicken Chili

There is nothing more comforting than a piping hot bowl of chili on a cold day. This version of White Chicken Chili skips the usual tomato and ground beef base and instead uses hearty garbanzo beans and chicken.

white speckled bowl of crock pot white chicken chili


White chicken chili in the slow cooker is a hands-off meal that will fill your home with earthy aromas, not break the bank and be sure to satisfy the whole family.

Different than traditional chili, and as the name states, this is a white bean chicken chili. Ingredients like shredded chicken, fresh garlic, onion and beans will be the star of the dinner table this chili season.

spoon holding white chicken chili

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

A creamy and hearty chili recipe that’s made with chicken instead of beef- what’s not to love!

  • We use chicken thigh fillets instead of chicken breasts. This meat is more tender and juicy. Of course, you are welcome to use good old boneless skinless chicken breasts too.
  • It only takes 10 minutes to get this whole meal into the pot, no browning and very little dicing. Set it and forget it!
  • White chicken chili is also low carb and full of fiber.
  • Additionally, it is great for meal prep and also freezer friendly.

White Chicken Chili Ingredients

This ingredient list is short and sweet. Feel free to increase or decrease any of the ingredients; they are all so versatile and can be customized to your personal preferences.

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – These are thighs with the bone removed. Alternately, you can use chicken breasts. Shredded rotisserie chicken also works great. Any leftover chicken can also be used.
  • Garbanzo beans – Also known as chickpeas, garbanzo beans are a hearty legume that provides a robust base for this easy chili recipe. You can also add white beans, great northern beans, cannellini beans or navy beans.
  • White onion – White onion just helps to keep this concoction creamy white. Feel free to use yellow onion as well.
  • Yellow bell pepper – Again, trying to stay true to lighter colors, we opted for yellow instead of green or red, but feel free to use either.
  • Fresh garlic cloves – Fresh garlic will give the best, full garlicky taste. Jarred stuff does save time, but is also sweeter. I will not fault you for wanting to save time!
  • Spices – chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, coarse kosher salt, black pepper- any of these can be adjusted up or down.
  • Low-Sodium chicken broth – I always opt for low sodium so I can control the saltiness. Vegetable broth can also be swapped.
  • Fresh cilantro – If you are a cilantro hater, just omit it. Parsley can also be used.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt – Plain yogurt in the actual chili brings it all together in a creamy dream and helps to thicken the base and give it tang. A dollop of sour cream is another option.
ingredients for white chicken chili

How to Make White Chicken Chili

Because it’s made in the slow cooker, this chili really is so easy to make.

  1. Drain beans. Rinse and drain the two chickpea cans, and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Add ingredients. Place chicken on top, followed by the onion, bell pepper, garlic, spices, and broth. 
  3. Cover and cook. Cover with lid and cook on low for 7 hours. 
  4. Shred chicken. Remove chicken from the slow cooker, and with two forks shred the chicken. 
  5. Stir and serve. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and add the cilantro and sour cream. Stir and you are ready to serve. 

Serving Suggestions

There is no right or wrong way to serve this creamy white chicken chili. You can serve it with cornbread, flour tortillas, corn tortillas or quesadillas. You can also serve it on top of rice.

The topping ideas are endless so top with your favorite toppings. But here are a few of our favorites for inspiration:

  • Green chiles
  • Green onion
  • Sweet corn
  • Monterey jack cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Corn
  • Avocado

And of course, serve it with tortilla chips or a side of cornbread. Use our easy Jiffy Cornbread Mix or make Sweet Potato Cornbread or try honey jalapeno cornbread. Hush puppies are fun too!

close up of white chicken chili in a bowl


I love this white chicken chili recipe exactly as written, but there are plenty of ways you can make them your own.

  • Make it creamy – To amp up the creamy factor, you can add a little bit of cream cheese into the mix. This will also thicken this easy white chili recipe.
  • Spice – If you’d like to make it a little spicy, you can add green chilies, cayenne pepper or poblano peppers. It’s a great balance to the creamy texture of the chili.
  • Flavor – Make this chili your own. Think about adding some salsa verde for just the right amount of spice, or some lime juice for a touch of acidity.

Storage and Freezing

Soup like this is great for making ahead and either storing in the refrigerator or freezing.

How to Store White Chicken Chili

You can store the easy white chicken chili in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. 

Can I Freeze White chicken Chili?

You can also freeze the chili in freezer containers, but let the chili thaw in the fridge for 12 hours before serving. Reheating the white chili in a microwave can cause the dish to become too mushy.

More Easy Chili Recipes

There’s nothing like a warm bowl of chili to warm you up on a cold day. Here are a few of our favorites.

best vegetarian sweet potato chili in a bowl

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili

This EASY Sweet Potato Chili is the perfect Meatless Monday weeknight dinner! It's simple to make plus freezer and meal prep friendly.
See The Recipe!
angled shot of bowl of instant pot chili

Instant Pot Chili Recipe

Instant Pot Chili is a gold star chili. A simple chili recipe using jalapeño, chili seasoning, beans and beef ready in just 20 minutes!
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Red Beef Chili uses chunks of steak and simmers them to tender perfection in a chili tomato sauce. Serve over rice, noodles or as a stew. #bestchilirecipe #bobbyflay #redbeefchili www.savoryexperiments.com

Steak Chili

Red Beef Chili uses chunks of steak and simmers them to tender perfection in a chili tomato sauce. Serve over rice, noodles or as a stew. 
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half a shot of white chicken chili in a bowl with text overlay for pinterest
white speckled bowl of crock pot white chicken chili

Crock Pot White Chicken Chili Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Zesty White Chicken Chili is made with hearty beans, tender chicken thighs, and a creamy broth, all in the slow cooker. A great alternative to tomato and beef chili.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8



  • Add the beans to the bottom of the crock pot, then add the chicken, onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and broth.
  • Cover with the lid and cook on low for 7 hours.
  • Remove the chicken from the slow cooker, and shred with two forks.
  • Return the chicken to the slow cooker and stir in the cilantro and yogurt.
  • Serve with more yogurt, jalapeno slices and lime wedges.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.


Calories: 278 kcal, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Protein: 24 g, Fat: 6 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 0.01 g, Cholesterol: 54 mg, Sodium: 386 mg, Potassium: 616 mg, Fiber: 9 g, Sugar: 6 g, Vitamin A: 189 IU, Vitamin C: 30 mg, Calcium: 90 mg, Iron: 4 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 278
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: white chicken chili
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of white chicken chili for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

5 from 5 votes

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This white chicken chili is so versatile. It’s absolutely delicious! The flavors are perfectly balance and the texture is so satisfying. Thank you for sharing an incredible kind of recipe. Amazing!

  2. 5 stars
    It’s a perfect day for this chili bowl. Spring is taking it’s sweet time to arrive and I’m still enjoying my winter comforts. I love how hearty and wholesome this is…definitely a perfect weeknight meal for the entire family!

  3. 5 stars
    This chicken chili is absolutely fantastic and so comforting! I topped mine with some jalapenos and corn chips and it really hit the spot. Thanks for the recipe!