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Creamy White Chicken Chili is luxurious from cream cheese and thickened with beans for an easy, healthy soup in under 30 minutes!
This easy recipe is all about effortlessly transforming cooked chicken into an indulgent bowl of comfort!
In fact, I plan for leftovers just so I can make this creamy chili the next day. Rotisserie chicken does the job, but so does baked lemon pepper chicken.
And although this white bean chicken chili recipe is weeknight-friendly, it's also perfect for lazy weekends and game days. The velvety broth makes it a crowd-pleaser.
When I have extra time, I serve it with a toppings bar that includes favorites like shredded cheese and crushed low-carb tortilla chips so everyone can customize their bowl.
Here's why you'll love this white chicken chili recipe, too:
- It cooks quickly on the stovetop.
- It has a rich and silky texture.
- You can make it low-carb and keto-friendly by leaving out the corn kernels.
- It's packed with protein from chicken and fiber from beans.
- It's healthyish and gluten-free.
- Leftovers store well and can be frozen.
Here's what you'll need to make this creamy white chicken chili recipe:
- Cooked shredded chicken - We used rotisserie chicken. However, any leftover chicken can be used. The key is to ensure any seasonings will complement the final dish.
- Blackened chicken also works in this recipe.
- Cannellini beans - These white beans are creamy in texture and absorb the chili flavors beautifully.
- Before using canned beans, rinse and drain them to remove any excess salt and preservatives.
- Great Northern, navy, or butter beans can be used instead. They change the color of the chili, but black beans will work, too.
- Cream cheese - Soften and cut it into chunks. It adds a rich, velvety texture to the chili.
- Chicken broth - A good broth lays the foundation for the chili. Using a low-salt one allows you to control the seasoning, ensuring the dish isn't overly salty. Vegetable broth can be used instead.
- Diced green chiles - Buy these in a can and use the juices. They add a mild heat to the chili and give it a tangy flavor.
- Coriander or ground cumin - If you like cilantro, you'll enjoy the slightly citrusy flavor of coriander. It's the dried seeds from the cilantro plant. However, cumin can be used instead!
- Paprika - Provides a sweet-smoky touch and a beautiful color. For a spicier kick, opt for smoked paprika.
- Oregano is a classic herb that pairs wonderfully with chicken and adds an earthy flavor.
- Cayenne pepper - A little goes a long way. Adjust the heat level based on your preferences.
- Corn kernels (fresh or frozen) add a punch of sweetness and a burst of color. Our favorite trick for cooking fresh corn in minutes is microwaving corn in the husk!
- Lime juice - Freshly squeezed lime juice finished the chili with a zesty brightness.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
Directions with Pictures
Here's how to make easy white chicken chili with cream cheese:
- Shred or cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- It's easiest to do this when the chicken is warm. Use 2 forks or your fingers to pull the chicken apart.
- Place half the beans, chunks of cream cheese, and ¼ cup of the chicken broth in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and saute for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add minced garlic, coriander or cumin, oregano, paprika, and cayenne pepper, and cook for about a minute more. This is just long enough to warm up the spices and bring out the flavor.
- Add the remaining chicken broth, unprocessed beans, chicken, corn, and diced green chiles (including the juices) to the pot.
- You don't need to defrost the corn kernels if they are frozen!
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes so the flavors begin to meld together.
- Add pureed bean and cream cheese mixture, salt, and pepper to the stock pot, stir to combine, and simmer for about 10 minutes more. Stir in lime juice at the end of the cooking time.
What to Serve with White Chicken Chili
Make the ultimate bowl of white chicken chili by adding one or more of these toppings:
- Cheeses melt into the hot chili, giving it a gooey, delicious flavor. My favorites are shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese.
- Avocado slices or cubes add a creamy texture and a fresh, buttery flavor.
- Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt brings a creamy, tangy contrast to the chili's subtle heat and rich flavors.
- Fresh Cilantro provides a burst of fresh, herbal flavor.
- Green Onions or Chives that are thinly sliced add a subtle onion flavor and a pop of color.
- Lime Wedges add for extra citrusy flavor.
- Tortilla Strips or Crushed Tortilla Chips add a crunchy texture and a salty bite. Use low-carb tortilla chips to keep this chili keto-friendly.
Making this for a party? Check out these low-carb game-day snacks to round out the menu.
Store white chicken chili in an airtight container or a freezer bag for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheat on the stovetop over low heat.
More Quick and Easy Soup Recipes
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Creamy White Chicken Chili with Cream Cheese
- 4 cups cooked chicken such as Rotisserie chicken
- 30 ounces cannellini beans 2 cans, rinsed and drained
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened and cut into chunks
- 29 ounces chicken broth, low salt 2 cans
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander or cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups corn kernels fresh or frozen; do not need to defrost
- 4 ounces diced green chilies including juices 1 can, undrained
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice more to taste
- Optional toppings: fresh chopped cilantro, sliced green onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips
- Shred or cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside. It's easiest to do this when it is warm.
- Place half the beans, chunks of cream cheese and ¼ cup of chicken broth in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions and saute for about 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add garlic, coriander or cumin, oregano, paprika, and cayenne pepper, and cook for about a minute more.
- Add remaining chicken broth, remaining unprocessed beans, chicken, corn, and diced green chiles to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add pureed bean and cream cheese mixture, salt, and pepper to the stock pot, stir to combine, and simmer for about 10 minutes more.
- Stir in lime juice before serving and serve with assorted toppings.
This recipe was originally published on October 24, 2014, and has been updated to improve the reader experience.