In our house, we’re always looking for creative ways to add more soup to the menu. It’s the perfect, easy weeknight meal full of nourishing veggies, protein, and broth. This white chicken chili recipe is the newest addition to our meal plan and you might find it’ll be a new family favorite!
White Chicken Chili
Regular chili is a staple in most homes, but I like to play with the ingredients for new flavors. That’s how my pumpkin chili recipe was born. This white chicken chili doesn’t have the regular tomato base but instead features a creamy broth seasoned with lime zest and flavorful spices. Some recipes call for ground cumin in their chicken chili, but I prefer it without. Instead, I use a blend of smoked paprika, chili powder, coriander, and oregano to spice it up.
This goes well with a piece of cornbread, some tortilla chips, or even just by itself. I’ve included more topping suggestions below so you can choose whatever toppings appeal to you. This is also a great way to get kids involved (even little ones). Letting them help with meal prep and choosing their own soup toppings is just one way to encourage kids to eat healthy.
I use diced chicken here, but shredded chicken or a leftover rotisserie chicken also works. You can use chicken thighs, boneless chicken breasts, or skinless chicken breasts. Whatever you have on hand or prefer!
Beans add extra protein and a soft, creamy texture to the white chicken chili soup. I use great northern beans, but cannellini beans are similar and work well too. Black beans are another option.
It’s the perfect soup to ladle up on a chilly evening (or even if it’s not chilly where you’re at). Because there isn’t a lot of hands-on time it pulls together quickly for a family meal. Especially if you use leftover chicken. Sometimes I’ll batch-cook chicken and ground beef to use in meals later in the week to make meal prep even easier.
Don’t have any precooked chicken? Just add diced raw chicken to the pot with the hot oil and heat until cooked through before adding the onions and peppers. If you’re opting for the slow cooker version, just dice the meat and add it to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients.
This soup also works well reheated for leftovers for lunch the next day!
Customize the Heat
Customize your soup with as much heat as you like by increasing or decreasing the quantity of jalapeño you use. You could even use canned diced green chilies, which have the flavor, but little heat. Or add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
Sometimes I’ll leave spicier ingredients out for younger kids, and include them as a topping option for those who prefer things a little spicier. Some diced jalapenos on top make a great topping option. Here are some more topping ideas for your chili.
Chili Topping Suggestions
- Fresh cilantro
- Green chiles
- Homemade corn tortilla chips
- Grain-free cassava flour tortilla chips
- Monterey jack cheese (or your favorite kind)
- Jalapeno pepper slices
- A dollop of sour cream
- Lime wedges
White Chicken Chili Recipe
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion (or your favorite color)
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 jalapeño
- 6 cloves garlic
- 10 cup chicken broth
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cans great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
- 3 cups cooked chicken (diced)
- 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature, or heavy cream or plain yogurt)
- 2 TBSP lime juice
- 2 tsp lime zest
- sliced jalapeños
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- crispy tortilla strips
- In a large stock pot on the stovetop, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Dice the poblano and jalapeño peppers, discarding the pepper seeds.
- Add the diced vegetables to the pot and saute, stirring occasionally until tender.
- Add the minced garlic cloves to the vegetables in the large pot, cooking for an additional minute or two.
- Add the chicken broth and all the spices.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the beans, cream cheese, chicken, lime juice, and zest.
- Heat, stirring frequently until the cream cheese is melted and fully incorporated.
- Garnish with any desired toppings and enjoy!
- To make slow cooker white chicken chili, combine all the ingredients except the cream cheese, lime juice, and lime zest in the crockpot and heat on low for 4 hours or until warm. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Storage: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
More Soup Recipes
In the mood for some more soup ideas? Here are some of my favorites!
- Creamy Instant Pot Potato Soup
- Chicken Taco Soup (Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Options)
- Indian Mulligatawny Soup
- Hearty Italian Sausage Soup With Vegetables (One Pot Recipe)
What do you like to top your chili soup with? Ever had white chicken chili before? Leave a comment and let me know!
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