White Chicken Chilli
White Chicken Chilli
5 from 1 vote
Explore White Chicken Chilli, a harmonious mix of shredded chicken, white beans, and spices, offering a comforting and flavourful experience.

White Chicken Chilli, a recipe that conjures up images of cosy family dinners and friendly get-togethers, is more than just a dish; it’s a culinary experience. Originating from the heart of traditional American cuisine, this recipe has gained popularity for its unique twist on the classic chilli.  

Unlike its red counterpart, which relies heavily on tomatoes and red kidney beans, White Chicken Chilli is known for its creamy base and use of white beans, offering a milder yet equally tantalising flavour profile. 

Preparing White Chicken Chilli is a journey in itself, suitable for cooks of varying skills.  

The process is straightforward, making it accessible for beginners yet still enjoyable for more experienced cooks. The key lies in balancing the spices and ensuring that the chicken is cooked to perfection, lending the dish its signature tender texture. 

One of the most appealing aspects of White Chicken Chilli is its versatility. While the traditional recipe is a treasure in itself, there are numerous variations to explore. 

Some might add a dash of heat with extra cayenne pepper or jalapeños, while others might opt for a vegetarian version by substituting chicken with a meat alternative or additional beans.  

The choice of beans can also vary; some prefer the creaminess of cannellini beans, while others might opt for Great Northern beans for a firmer texture. 

The heart of this recipe lies in its ingredients. The shredded chicken, ideally seasoned and cooked, forms the backbone, offering a rich and meaty flavour. The white beans, with their creamy texture, not only add substance but also beautifully absorb the flavours of the spices.  

The green chiles and spices like cumin, coriander, and oregano bring a depth of flavour, creating a harmonious blend of warmth and spice. The sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese introduce a delightful creaminess, rounding off the dish with a smooth and comforting finish. 

Moreover, White Chicken Chilli is more than just a tasty dish; it’s a symbol of home cooking, bringing people together.  

It’s a dish that warms you from the inside out, perfect for chilly evenings or as a hearty meal any day of the week. Its simplicity, combined with the depth of flavour, makes it a favourite among home cooks and professional chefs alike. 

As you embark on making White Chicken Chilli, remember that cooking is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. Each step, from sautéing the onions and garlic to letting the chilli simmer, is an opportunity to infuse your personal touch into the dish.  

The joy of seeing your friends and family enjoy a bowl of your homemade White Chicken Chilli is incomparable, making every effort worth it. 

White Chicken Chilli is a celebration of simple ingredients coming together to create something extraordinary. It’s a dish that tells a story, a story of tradition, adaptation, and the simple joys of home cooking. So, grab your apron, and let’s bring this comforting classic to life! 

Expert Tip: To enhance the depth of flavour, sauté the spices with onions and garlic before adding the other ingredients. This step releases the essential oils in the spices, intensifying their aroma and taste. 

What Ingredients to Use & Why

Before going into the details of each ingredient, it’s important to understand that each component in White Chicken Chilli plays a unique role. They collectively contribute to the dish’s overall taste, texture, and enjoyment. Now, let’s break down the ingredients and explore their significance. 

Chicken, Cooked shredded: The shredded chicken is crucial for adding a rich, meaty texture and flavour. It’s the primary protein in this dish, offering a satisfying heartiness. For those looking for alternatives, turkey is an excellent substitute, offering a similar texture while slightly altering the flavour profile. 

White Beans, Can, drained and rinsed: White beans are essential for their creamy texture and ability to absorb flavours. They also provide a lovely contrast to the shredded chicken. If you’re looking to experiment, chickpeas or cannellini beans can be used as substitutes, each bringing a unique texture and slightly different flavour. 

Onion, Finely chopped: Onions are fundamental in building the base flavour of the chilli. They offer a subtle sweetness when cooked, which complements the other ingredients beautifully. For a variation, shallots could be used for a milder, more refined flavour. 

Garlic, Minced: Garlic adds depth and a pungent flavour that’s irreplaceable in this dish. It marries well with the onions and forms a flavourful base. For those who are not fond of garlic, a small amount of garlic powder can be used as a more subdued alternative. 

Green Chiles, Can, diced: The green chiles introduce a mild heat and a slight tanginess, contributing to the chilli’s distinctive flavour. For a spicier version, jalapeños are an excellent alternative, while bell peppers can be used for a milder chilli. 

Ground Cumin: Cumin adds warmth and a slightly earthy, spicy note. It’s a key spice in achieving the classic chilli flavour. For a twist, try using a pinch of smoked paprika for a smoky undertone. 

Oregano, Dried: Oregano brings a slightly bitter, aromatic quality to the dish, enhancing the overall flavour profile. For an alternative with a different aromatic note, try using dried thyme. 

Ground Coriander: This spice offers a lemony, floral accent, complementing the cumin and oregano. If unavailable, ground caraway can be used as a substitute, though it will slightly alter the flavour. 

Cayenne Pepper, Adjust to taste: Cayenne pepper adds a spicy kick. It’s adjustable based on your heat preference. For a different type of heat, try using red chilli flakes or for no heat, simply omit it. 

Chicken Broth: The chicken broth forms the liquid base of the chilli, adding depth and richness. A vegetable broth can be used as a substitute for a lighter flavour profile. 

Sour Cream: Sour cream introduces a creamy texture and a slight tang, balancing the spices. For a lighter version, Greek yoghurt can be used as a substitute. 

Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated: This cheese melts beautifully, adding creaminess and a mild flavour. Cheddar can be a good alternative for a sharper taste. 

Salt and Black Pepper, Adjust to taste: These seasonings are essential for enhancing all the other flavours in the chilli. 

Cilantro, Fresh for garnish: Cilantro adds a fresh, herby finish. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, parsley is a great alternative, offering a milder taste. 

Each ingredient in White Chicken Chilli has its role, contributing to a harmonious balance of flavours and textures. Understanding these ingredients helps in appreciating the complexity and the comfort that this dish brings to the table. 

Expert Tip: For a thicker, heartier chilli, mash a portion of the white beans before adding them to the pot. This natural thickener contributes to the creamy consistency without altering the flavour. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make White Chicken Chilli in a slow cooker? 

Yes, White Chicken Chilli adapts well to a slow cooker. Combine all ingredients except the sour cream and cheese in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Before serving, stir in the sour cream and cheese until well combined and creamy. 

Is White Chicken Chilli spicy? 

The spiciness of White Chicken Chilli can vary based on your preference. The recipe as is offers a mild heat, thanks to the green chiles and a hint of cayenne pepper. If you prefer a spicier version, increase the cayenne pepper or add diced jalapeños. 

Can I use raw chicken instead of cooked? 

Absolutely. If starting with raw chicken, cut it into small pieces and cook it with the onions and garlic until no longer pink before adding the rest of the ingredients. This method infuses the chicken with more flavour from the spices and aromatics. 

What can I serve with White Chicken Chilli? 

White Chicken Chilli pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides. Some popular options include cornbread, a crisp green salad, tortilla chips, or a slice of crusty bread. For a more filling meal, serve it over rice or with a side of roasted vegetables. 

How long can I store leftovers? 

Leftover White Chicken Chilli can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It reheats well on the stove or in the microwave. You can also freeze it for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. 

Can I make this recipe vegetarian? 

Yes, you can easily make a vegetarian version of White Chicken Chilli. Substitute the chicken with a meat alternative like tofu or extra beans, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Adjust the seasoning as needed to suit the substitution. 

Expert Tip: Fresh toppings like diced avocado, sliced jalapeños, or a squeeze of lime juice add a burst of freshness and can balance the richness of the chilli, elevating the overall dining experience. 

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White Chicken Chilli

by Nabeela Kauser
Discover the joys of White Chicken Chilli, a delightful recipe that combines tender shredded chicken, creamy white beans, and a blend of spices. This dish is a perfect balance of flavour and comfort, making it an ideal choice for any meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 457 kcal


  • 400 g Chicken Cooked shredded
  • 400 g White Beans Can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium Onion Finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 200 g Green Chiles Can, diced
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Oregano Dried
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper Adjust to taste
  • 750 ml Chicken Broth
  • 250 ml Sour Cream
  • 100 g Monterey Jack Cheese Grated
  • Salt and Black Pepper Adjust to taste
  • Cilantro Fresh for garnish


  • In a pan, heat some oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the chicken for about 6-7 minutes per side or until they are cooked through and no longer pink in the center.
  • Remove from the pan and let them cool slightly. Shred the cooked chicken using two forks.
  • In a large pot, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Stir in the ground cumin, dried oregano, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper. Cook for another minute until fragrant.
  • Add the shredded chicken, white beans, diced green chiles, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  • Let the chili simmer for about 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. If it gets too thick, you can add a bit more chicken broth.
  • Stir in the sour cream and grated Monterey Jack cheese. Continue to cook for a few more minutes until the cheese is melted and the chili is creamy.
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Adjust the spiciness with more cayenne pepper if desired.
  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.


You can customise the level of heat in your white chicken chilli by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper and green chiles.
This chilli is delicious on its own, but you can also serve it with some crusty bread or tortilla chips for dipping.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 457kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 26gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.05gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 905mgPotassium: 795mgFibre: 6gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 767IUVitamin C: 7mgVitamin D: 0.2µgCalcium: 366mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Chicken, Chilli, Cooking, Food, Recipe, White Chicken
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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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