White chicken chili is my go-to soup during the cold winter months. Healthy, filling, and full of hearty goodness - it will be your new favorite!
Temps have dropped low enough now I can reason that it is soup-appropriate weather now. Once the weather dips into the low 70's/upper 60's and there are leaves all over our yard, I immediately want to go snuggle up in a blanket and enjoy a big bowl of warm soup. Anyone else?!
This white chicken chili is one of my all-time favorites and go-to's during the colder months. I have been making this since college and it is my most favorite soup during the winter months and a crowd favorite everytime I make it for family and friends.
The ingredients are simple, it's easy to make, feeds a crowd, and makes great leftovers throughout the week. Let's get started!
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Canned Green Chilies
- Ground Cumin
- Dried Oregano
- White Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Whole Chicken
- Canned Great Northern White Beans
- Salt & Pepper
- Grated Monterey Jack Cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, lime, and cornbread for topping
You can also use boneless and skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen) instead of a whole chicken in this recipe as well. Sub in 8 cups of chicken broth/stock if using chicken breasts instead of water.
How to Make
- Heat oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
- Stir in garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano, and cayenne and sauté 2 minutes.
- Reduce to medium heat, and place the chicken in the pot with sautéed veggies.
- Add in undrained beans and water. Bring to a low boil and cook for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and falling off the bone.
- Remove the chicken, discard the bones and skin, and shred the meat.
- Reduce heat and add the shredded chicken back in. Simmer for another 10 minutes, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with your favorite chili toppings.
3 Different Ways to Cook Chicken in This Chili
There are a couple of different ways you can prepare chicken for this recipe.
- My personal favorite way - and I think best tasting is to use a whole chicken. I think this yields the best flavor because you are making your own broth and adding depth by cooking with everything with the chicken bones and skin. The beauty of this version is you now can use the water the chicken cooked in as the stock for the soup. Nothing wasted here!
- Boneless skinless chicken breast. You can also use boneless and skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen) instead of a whole chicken. Sub in 8 cups of chicken broth/stock if using chicken breasts instead of water. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
- The easiest of them all: buy a rotisserie chicken and boxed chicken stock. Follow the recipe down below as written, but instead of having to cook your chicken first, all you will have to do is chop the rotisserie chicken (removing the skin and bones) and toss it in at the end. This version can be made in less than 30 minutes since the chicken and the rest of the ingredients are already cooked.
Make it easy for you - all 3 options are great!
How to Make in a Slow Cooker
I love a slow cooker* during the fall and winter AND on busy days. There is nothing better than coming home to dinner already finished! WIN!
Slow cooker: Place all of the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Remove the chicken and shred the meat (discard skin and bones if using a whole chicken). Add chicken back in, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
How to Make in the Instant Pot
Frequently Asked Questions
Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Let the soup cool completely. Place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and seal. Lay on a baking sheet flat and place in the freezer until frozen solid, then store for up to 6 months. To thaw: place in the fridge for 24 hours. Put in a large pot on medium heat and bring to a low simmer until warm.
I love having shredded monetary jack cheese, sour cream, avocado, limes, cilantro, and cornbread for options to serve with this chili!
There are 468 calories in each cup of white chili. This does not include any topping.
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