Easy White Chicken Chili Recipe

This easy White Chicken Chili recipe can be made in under 30-minutes! Spicy and smoky, it’s made with chicken, white beans, jalapenos, mild green chilis and plenty of monterey jack cheese. It’s a delicious, creamy white chicken chili that perfect for busy weeknights.

Looking for more delicious chili recipes? Be sure to try my Pumpkin Chili, Buffalo Chicken Chili, and Spicy Beef & Beer Chili. And, for a faster version, be sure to try my Instant Pot White Chicken Chili.

This creamy white chicken chili is a favorite recipe of mine.

It’s different from traditional chili because this recipe calls for tender chicken instead of beef, white beans instead of kidney beans, and you stir in a whole bunch of melty cheese at the end to make it extra creamy. It has so much flavor and just the right amount of spice.

I’m a huge fan of chili for the mere fact that you can cook up a big batch and then have it for lunch throughout the week. Chili is quick to throw together and, in my opinion, it’s always better the next day!

As I do with many of my chili recipes, I like to throw in a splash of beer for good measure (plus, it doesn’t hurt that I get to finish off the can). I do the same thing for this Buffalo Chicken Chili.

🛒 What is White Chicken Chili made of?

  • Chicken
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Jalapenos
  • Green Chiles
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Great Northern Beans (you can also use navy beans or black beans)
  • Chicken Broth or Bone Broth
  • Beer (optional)
  • Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Fresh Cilantro
Ingredients for white bean chicken chili on tray.

🍗 What kind of chicken to use?

  • Shredded Chicken: I used the remnants from this roasted chicken or I make shredded chicken in the instant pot LINK. You could also grab a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store.
  • Chicken Breasts: Just boil a couple of chicken breasts until they’re cooked, then shred them with a fork.
  • Ground Chicken: After the onions have cooked, add in some ground chicken and brown it before proceeding to the next step.

How to make it

  • Heat oil, then saute the onion until softened, about 4-5 minutes. 
  • Add garlic, jalapenos, chiles, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add chicken, beans, broth + beer.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until melted.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings!

How to make it in the Instant Pot

How to make it in a Slow Cooker

  • Yes! To make in the slow cooker, add all ingredients except the cheese to a crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours, then stir in the cheese. 

🥄 How to thicken it 

  • If you like a more soup-like chili, just stir in the beans. If you want a thicker chili, you can mash one can of the beans with a potato masher before stirring them in.
Chicken chili in large pot with spoon.

Is White Bean Chicken Chili spicy?

  • This chili has got a bit of a kick with the addition of jalapenos. If you prefer things a bit milder, go ahead and omit the jalapenos and just use two cans of green chili peppers instead.

What spices go in White Bean Chicken Chili?

  • Add in your usual chili seasoning blend of cumin, oregano and cayenne, and then let it all simmer for about 15 minutes.

Then comes the best part, stir in 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese until it’s melted and incorporated throughout the chili – Yum! It makes for an extra creamy chili and helps meld all of those great flavors together.

Plus, cheese adds protein right? So, it’s basically REALLY healthy for you 😁😁😁

Overhead closeup of bowl of white chicken chili with toppings.

🍴 Topping ideas

You can top your bowls in so many delicious ways! Here are some of my favorite toppings:

  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onion
  • Dollop of Sour Cream
  • Jalapenos
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Lime Wedges
  • Tortilla Strips

Tip: Want to switch things up? Try adding in some fresh corn kernels. You can also swap out the Great Northern Beans for any other hearty beans (navy beans, black beans, etc.)

ℹ️ How long can you keep White Chicken Chili?

  • This chili will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and its flavors will continue to develop over time, making it great for leftovers. Or, you can freeze it for up to three months. I like to portion it into freezer bags in individual serving sizes and place them on a cookie sheet to freeze. Once frozen, I stack them in the freezer making for an easy individual lunch!

How to reheat it

  • Reheat it over low heat on the stove or in the microwave.
Side view of white bean chili.

🍷 What wine goes with it? 

  • The first thing I normally reach for to pair with chili is a beer. But, if you’re looking for a wine pairing with your chili, I’d suggest a non-oaked, light bodied white. Try a dry Riesling or Pinot Gris.

🥣 More chili recipes

If you agree that this is the best White Chicken Chili, I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me onInstagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings & Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

✔️ What do you eat with it?

2 bowls of white chicken chili topped with cheese, sour cream and radishes.

Easy White Chicken Chili Recipe

This Easy White Chicken Chili can be made in under 30-minutes. Spicy and smoky it’s made with chicken, white beans, jalapenos, mild green chilis and plenty of monterey jack cheese. It’s a delicious, creamy white chicken chili that perfect for cozy nights at home. 
5 from 24 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 4-ounce can diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups shredded (cooked chicken breast)
  • 3 15-ounce cans great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup light beer
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • Avocado (for garnish)
  • Sour cream (for garnish)


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. 
  • Mix in the garlic, jalapenos, chiles, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add the chicken, beans, broth and beer. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the mixture from heat. Stir in the cheese until melted.
  • Serve topped with chopped cilantro, sour cream and avocado. 
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 701mg | Potassium: 177mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 8.9mg | Calcium: 302mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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26 thoughts on “Easy White Chicken Chili Recipe”

  1. This looks like a great recipe! It’s been awhile since I’ve made a white chili of any kind. BTW, I would give anything for it to be warmer than the 40F in Minnesota right now…

  2. What a great recipe! It’s finally turned cold here in NYC so I am researching the heck out of Chili recipes and this is one of the most unusual I’ve found. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Hi Brianna:

      I would start with uncooked chicken breasts, instead of the pre-cooked shredded chicken. Add all ingredients (except for cheese) to a crock pot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir. If the chicken hasn’t already shredded with the stirring, go ahead and use two forks to shred the meat. Stir in the cheese until melted, and serve.

      I hope this helps!

    • Kristina – Corn would be AMAZING in this! I would add 1 cup of frozen corn right before the simmering process. Fresh corn and canned corn would work as well. Hope this helps! I’d love to hear back on how it turns out!

  3. 5 stars
    Any ideas on sides for this dish? I am serving this tomorrow for some guests and would like another side or two to even out the meal, but am stumped on what else to make. Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    White chili is one of my favorites and the recipe I use is almost identicle but includes lime juice and doesn’t include beer.

  5. 5 stars
    Sounds delicious! I love white bean chicken chili! I like to use 2 cans of white beans and replace the third can with refried beans. This gives the broth a more creamy texture. I also add a chopped bell pepper and three teasps. chili powder. Yummy!

  6. 5 stars
    I have looked for awhile for a good white bean / chicken chili recipe. This one is REALLY delicious! I ran out of cumin so added some chili powder. I only had Colby jack cheese on hand so used that. No matter. It was really fabulous. Can’t wait to make it again. It was easy although a good bit of chopping and shredding. But worth it. Great dish.


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