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White Chicken Chili

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This White Chicken Chili is a spicy and comforting dinner to enjoy at half time or on any chilly evening.  It’s a terrific game day chili option featuring chicken and cannellini beans! 

White Chicken Chili in a white basketweave bowl

White Chicken Chili

I bumped into a mom of one of Tom’s grade school classmates at an event recently. She pulled me aside and thanked me for sharing my white chicken chili in the school cookbook years ago, as it had become one of her family’s favorite soups.

For years, this Black Bean Chili was my go-to recipe, but this white chicken chili recipe is a bit lighter and just as delicious! It was due for some tweaking and after approval from the hubby, it was ready to share with you all.

White Chicken Chili in a white ceramic bowl on a red napkin with tomatoes, green onions and a soup spoon

Tips for Making this White Chicken Chili

Spicier than my original, I was afraid Bill, the picky hubby, would call it a 3-alarm chili, AKA “I need 3 beers to wash it down!” I shouldn’t have worried, but here are some tips on how to tone it down or spice it up and more.

  • A  little dollop of sour cream is the perfect way to lessen the heat. Dairy is known to have a “cooling” effect and makes a delicious topping whether your mouth is burning or you love the spice!
  • Feel free to up the red pepper flakes if you want a fiery soup, as we have tender palates in this household. Well, one of us does. Adding some diced fresh jalapenos would also be a tasty addition.
  • Use rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken (only if the seasonings complement the chili) or poach some chicken the day before to make preparation even easier on the day you plan to serve the chili.
  • I prefer cannellini beans to red kidney beans, but any favorite canned bean would work. Adding black beans would be delicious, though this technically wouldn’t be a “white” chili. This is chicken chili is perfect on a chilly winter night or on game day. Give it a try!

You may need these supplies to make this white chicken chili recipe:

More Chili Recipes You’ll Love:

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

A terrific game day chili featuring chicken and white beans.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Yield 4 servings


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 4 cups cooked and chopped chicken
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • Green onions, Monterey jack cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, cilantro to garnish, optional


  1. Cook onions in oil till soft. Add garlic and saute for a minute or so. Add chiles, beans, chicken broth, spices and chicken and simmer for 30 minutes. Add spinach and cook till wilted.
  2. Serve with garnishes of your choice.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 bowl

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 643 Total Fat: 32g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 116mg Sodium: 802mg Carbohydrates: 44g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 8g Protein: 45g

Skinny Tip

I’m offering a series of Skinny Tips. How I keep slim is one of my most frequent inquiries. I’m featuring some of my past tips to help you start 2015 on a healthy note. Click on the #SkinnyTip tag at the end of this post to see all my previous tips.

Tip #55: I eat numerous times a day. Squeezing in a healthy snack between meals helps stave off intense hunger pangs which can lead to overeating.

White Chicken Chili pinterest collage
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25 comments on “White Chicken Chili”

  1. Yum! This sounds like a lovely idea for Winter and I love having spinach in my chili. Super good!

  2. I will have to try spinach in my version. The original recipe I ended up tweaking called for 2 T. of cayenne. Talk about three-alarm!!!!!

  3. This sounds good Liz and I have some chicken in the freezer… Just need to pick up spinach:@)

  4. Looks delicious, and I love spicy! 🙂

  5. I’ve never made (or even tried) white chicken chili, but I’d love to give yours a try. We have tender palates in my house too (the others think I’m adventurous because I like medium salsa). I think they’d love this version!

  6. This looks so delicious! What a great way to warm up a cold winter day…love it! Thanks so much for sharing another great recipe!

  7. Guess what we were just talking about having for dinner on this cold, damp, rainy, London-like day! Are you back from N.Z.?? I am just pea green with envy about your trip!

  8. This look really fresh and delicious 🙂
    Liz x

  9. What a soothing chili and one that is sure to have everyone asking for seconds. It is also a healthy chili which is perfect to start my new year with!

  10. It looks so delicious yet quite healthy!

  11. I love white chicken chili, a warming bowl of this sounds wonderful!

  12. White chili is not so common. Great idea.

  13. It’s yummilious, Liz! Is this Asian style? It looks quite similar to our Chinese cooking.

  14. Lizzy,
    Great recipe. Just in time for the frigid temperatures.

  15. I made white chicken chili when all the kids were home for Christmas. The next time I will add spinach, its a great addition.

  16. What a heart-warming dish of comfort food!

  17. A tasty little soup you’ve made here Liz! Simple and lots and lots of flavor! Happy 2015!

  18. What a delicious chili! And so healthy too.. this is a recipe I need to make for myself tonight!

  19. Perfect bowl of comfort in the cold weather, Liz! Hope you had some in the freezer for when you arrived home, cold and tired. 🙂

  20. Fantastic! I tweaked the recipe a little to reduce the calories. I put everything but the beans and the spinach in the slow cooker. Cooked for 3 hours on high. Removed the chicken and shredded it then added back to the pot along with the beans and 1/2 c corn. Also, I used 2 cans of beans. The flavor is DELICIOUS! Thank you for sharing. It will be a regular meal in my house.

  21. YUM! I think this one is light enough to serve anytime! THANKS!

  22. I’m about to print this Liz. Thank you~!! This soup looks outstanding.

  23. Pingback: 30 Minute Back to School Meals! - Wine & Glue

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