Everyone will love this amazing white chicken chili recipe! It’s a deliciously creamy white bean chicken chili that gets its flavor from caramelized corn, white beans, and amazing spices! It’s creamy, filling, and absolutely delicious!
Easy White Chicken Chili
I like two kinds of chili – Cincinnati chili and this white chicken chili. I hate onions and most chilis have onions. This one doesn’t and the flavors are amazing. It’s kind of the perfect dinner for a cold winter evening. And if you want to know what are white beans – they’re also called canellini beans!
This white bean chicken chili is a staple at our house during the fall, winter, oh and spring/summer. It takes a little while to make but the extra effort of caramelizing the corn and grilling the chicken is what makes this chili recipe so amazing.
What is White Chicken Chili?
White chicken chili is any chili that has a white chili base and chicken rather than the typical beef + tomato base of a normal chili recipe. This one happens to have beans in it as well but you could make a white chicken chili without beans as well, it just wouldn’t be a white bean chicken chili!
What Is In White Chicken Chili?
The main components of this chili are white (cannellini) beans, grilled chicken, caramelized corn, chicken broth, and an amazing combo of spices that make this the best creamy white chicken chili ever.
You can watch the video in the sidebar or head to the bottom of this post to see exactly what’s in the recipe!
What is White Chicken Chili Seasoning?
The white chicken chili seasoning in this recipe is simply made up of spices you probably have in your pantry at home – garlic, salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Many of these spices will also be used in the marinade you make for the chicken.
What Beans for White Chicken Chili?
White beans! Also known as cannellini beans or Great Northern beans. We prefer the organic brand from Whole Foods but you can really use whatever.
How to Make White Chicken Chili
This white bean chicken chili takes a bit of time but that time is totally worth it in the end. It’s easy white chicken chili but does take a bit of time to simmer and let the flavors combine.
You start by marinating your chicken in the spices. If you skip the marinating part, the flavor won’t be as good. Once the chicken is marinated, grill it and shred it. Yes, you could just bake, saute, or cook the chicken however but the smokiness of the grilled chicken really makes this white bean chili amazing.
While your chicken is cooking, put your corn in a pan and cook it until it’s nice and crispy. Don’t be tempted to flip it too often or you’ll end up with warm corn but not caramelized corn – and this is a game-changer for this white bean chicken chili. Even more so than the actual beans!
Next up, you’re going to actually make your chili starting by adding in the shredded chicken, a little flour. Once that’s all mixed together, you add the chicken stock, beans, and corn and bring it to a boil before moving onto the next step.
How to Make White Chicken Chili Thicker?
Technically once things get to a boil, everything will be warm and cooked. You could eat it then BUT you aren’t going to want to because it’ll be super thin. Instead, simply let the white bean chicken chili simmer until it’s thick. The flour that you added with the chicken in the first few steps of this recipe will help thicken it up.
Do not add more flour at this point if you think it’s still too thin – the flour won’t mix in the same way and you’ll end up floury tasting broth.
Just wait it out. The longer it simmers, the more chicken stock will be reduced, and the thicker it’ll be. We typically let it simmer until the chicken stock has been reduced by half.
What Goes With White Bean Chicken Chili
After the chili is done, remove it from heat and serve warm. We like garnish it with cheese, cilantro, tomatoes, chips, and whatever other toppings make sense to you. It’s also great served with any of these things on the side:
- Strawberry spinach salad
- Taco Salad Cups (skip the taco fillings and just use the cups for dipping in the chili)
- Homemade bread bowls
- Citrus Strawberry Mocktail
White Chicken Chili FAQs
These are just some of the questions I get about this recipe on a regular basis! If your question isn’t answered here, leave me a comment, and I’ll answer as soon as possible!
Is White Chicken Chili Low Carb?
No, this is not a low carb recipe. There are a good amount of carbs in the corn, beans, and flour that helps to thicken the chili. If you would like a low-carb chili recipe, this Cincinnati chili is a great keto friendly option!
Is White Chicken Chili Healthy?
There are so many different definitions of healthy these days that I’m not going to say yes or no to this. If you’re eating Keto, Whole 30, or low-carb, this isn’t the chili for you. If you want a chili that tastes great and doesn’t have any added sugar, preservatives, or processed foods – this is a great option! And just like with anything else, eating in moderation is key. If you eat the entire pot of chili, it’s definitely not healthy!
How to Make White Chicken Chili Creamy?
This creamy white chicken chili is already creamy. The soup part of the chili thickens and gets creamy as you simmer off the liquid. If you’d like to make it more soupy and less creamy, simmer for less time!
How Long Does White Chicken Chili Last?
It depends on how long it takes you to eat it! I’m kidding, sort of. This never lasts long in our house. If you want to keep it and eat leftovers, I recommend eating leftovers within five days or freezing.
Can You Freeze White Chicken Chili?
Yes, definitely! This chili freezes great in a freezer safe container. When you’re ready to reheat, simply put it in a pot on the stove and reheat – add a bit of chicken broth or bone broth to give it more moisture.
The Best White Bean Chicken Chili
- 2 T olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 chicken breasts , marinated, grilled and shredded
- 1 tsp salt + salt to taste
- 2 T ground cumin
- 1 T fennel seeds
- 1 T dried oregano
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 3 T flour
- 2 (15-oz) cans cannellini/white beans
- 1 (15-oz) can corn, drained, rinsed, and dried OR 3 ears fresh corn dekerneled
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Mexican blend (or any other kind) cheese for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish
- Any other toppings you'd like for garnish - sour cream , tomatoes, etc.
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 T lime juice
- 2 T water
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp fennel
- Salt and marinade your chicken. If you have time, let chicken marinade for at least a 1/2 hour. If not, go ahead and grill right away.
- Grill chicken. Once fully cooked, let cool then shred chicken.
- Heat 1 T olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add corn.
- Toss corn in olive oil to coat, sprinkle with kosher salt, and roast for 8-10 minutes or until caramelized and brown, only stirring every few minutes. Once caramelized pull out and set aside.
- Add 2 T olive oil to the same pot you used to cook the corn and heat to medium heat. Once hot, add chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes just to reheat. Sprinkle spices (up through chili powder) over chicken, cook for another minute.
- Add flour to chicken, stirring to coat and cook for another minute.
- Add 1 cup chicken stock to deglaze, scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom.
- Add the other 3 cups of chicken stock, beans, and corn. Bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer 30-45 minutes or until reduced by half and thickened.
- Salt to taste. Be careful to not over salt if you will be adding salty cheese and/or eating with salty chips. It's better to under salt.
- Serve hot and garnish with cheese, cilantro, and other desired toppings.
Don’t forget to pin this white chicken chili recipe for later!