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Easy White Chicken Chili in a Crock Pot

A bowl of white chicken chili garnished with jalapenos and sour cream, accompanied by a halved avocado and a black spoon.

With a creamy broth, just the right kick, and packing a protein punch, this white chicken chili is a “hug in a bowl” according to my daughter. Here’s how easy it is to make this one-pot wonder the next time you want a fast, easy, comforting dish during soup season.

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions, making any adjustments needed, and directing any questions to your physician.

When it’s cold outside, it seems as if we make chili once a week — especially during football season. If you’re looking for a delicious departure from your favorite tomato-based classic chili, this white chicken chili will warm your soul and tantalize your taste buds. It’s a hearty, satisfying twist on traditional chili that’s both nourishing and delightfully easy to whip up, making it the perfect addition to your winter meal rotation.

Slow-cooked white chicken chili recipe with garnish and information on meal type, preparation time, difficulty, and servings.

    

In This Article

Various ingredients for a white chicken chili recipe laid out on a kitchen counter.
Photo Credit: Sage Scott.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

These are the key ingredients you need to make this easy one-pot white chicken chili. Each component is crucial in creating a comforting and satisfying dish, from the tender chunks of chicken to the creamy white beans and flavorful spices.

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A glass jar of dried great northern beans spilled over onto a counter
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Great Northern Beans

Great northern beans are a versatile, protein-packed, plant-based ingredient. They are known for their light, creamy texture, making them perfect for a wide range of dishes. One of the great things about Great Northern beans is their ability to absorb spices easily, making them ideal for adding flavor to any dish, especially this white chicken chili.

If you don’t have Great Northern beans, nearly any other white bean works in this dish. Feel free to substitute cannellini beans, navy beans, and even black-eyed peas for the Great Northern beans.

You can also use Great Northern beans or a similar variety in this deliciously filling, alpha-gal friendly one-pot white bean soup

Fresh green chiles in a basket.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Green Chilies

Perhaps it’s because my parents live near the green chile capital of the world in southern New Mexico, but I only use Hatch green chilies in my white chicken chili. They are widely available in most grocery stores and add the perfect amount of heat to this dish based on my spicy meter.

Glass Bowl of Whipped Cream Cheese
Photo Credit: Canva.

Cream Cheese

When paired with the creaminess of the white beans and a splash of half-and-half, it only takes half a brick of cream cheese to give this dish the creaminess it needs. If you are an alpha gal who is sensitive to dairy, substitute vegan cream cheese. Two of my favorites are Violife and Kite Hill dairy-free cream cheese.

Pouring half and half into a bowl.

Half-and-Half

Half-and-half is a dairy product that contains equal parts of whole milk and light cream, giving it a creamy and slightly rich flavor. Adding just ¼ cup to the white chicken chili gives the dish a slightly rich flavor and a velvety texture. You can easily substitute cream or a dairy-free option, if desired. Two of my favorite dairy-free options are Country Crock Plant Cream and Silk Dairy Free Whipping Cream.

Dairy-free sign

For Dairy-Free White Chicken Chili

For a dairy-free version of this creamy white chicken chili, use these ingredients and then follow the same instructional steps in the regular recipe below:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 15-oz cans of great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 4-oz cans diced green chiles
  • 2 cups corn
  • 3 cups (24 oz) chicken stock or chicken broth
  • 4 oz dairy-free cream cheese, softened (I like Violife dairy free cream cheese made with coconut oil and Kite Hill cream cheese made with almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free half-and-half or cream (I like Silk dairy-free heavy whipping cream alternative made with coconut oil and faba bean protein and Country Crock plant cream made with lentil protein and coconut oil)

How to Make White Chicken Chili

This one-pot wonder is super easy to make. Here are the basic steps:

  • Place all ingredients except the cream cheese and half-and-half in a Crock Pot or slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  • Remove and shred the chicken.
  • Return the chicken to the pot and add the cream cheese and half-and-half.
  • Cover and cook on high for about 15 minutes or until the cream cheese is melted and the chili is slightly thickened.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings.
Corn cobs alongside a spilling bag of cornmeal with a wooden spoon on a wooden surface.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

How to Thicken White Chicken Chili

My family loves the consistency of this white chicken chili, but if you’d like your soup to be thicker, try adding a tablespoon or two of cornmeal to the Crock Pot at the same time as the cream cheese and half-and-half. It will absorb moisture from the chili and thicken the dish as it cooks.

A bowl of white chicken chili topped with tortilla chips.
Photo Credit: Sage Scott.

What to Serve with White Chicken Chili

Pairing the right side dish with this white chicken chili can turn a simple meal into a feast. Here are a few of my favorites that perfectly complement the creamy chicken and flavorful spices in this dish:

  • Cornbread: Its sweet, crumbly goodness is the perfect counterbalance to the zesty chili.
  • Tortilla Chips: Ideal for crumbling or scooping, they add a delightful crunch.
  • White Rice: A bed of fluffy rice makes this chili go further, perfect for gatherings.
  • Baked Potatoes: A surprising but utterly delicious companion to ladle the chili over — especially if you’re setting up a baked potato bar.
  • Mexican Coleslaw: A crisp, refreshing side that balances the chili’s richness.
Click here for more ideas of what to serve with white chicken chili.

Can You Freeze White Chicken Chili?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze leftover white chicken chili! First, allow the chili to cool completely. Then, transfer it into an airtight container, ensuring there is some space left at the top of the container to allow for expansion as the soup freezes. I like to freeze my leftover soup in individual serving containers so that I can easily grab one from the freezer for a quick lunch. Label the container with the date and store it in the freezer for up to three months.

A bowl of white chicken chili garnished with jalapenos and sour cream, accompanied by a halved avocado and a black spoon.

White Chicken Chili

This creamy white chicken chili recipe combines tender chicken, white beans, and a gentle spice kick for a comforting, flavorful meal. Easy to make, it's a satisfying one-pot dish that warms from the inside out.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Servings 6
Calories 372 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 15- oz cans of great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 4- oz cans diced green chiles (my favorite are Hatch chilies)
  • 2 cups corn
  • 3 cups 24 oz chicken stock or chicken broth
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half or cream

Optional Toppings

  • Cream cheese
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sliced or diced avocado
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Diced green onions
  • Tortilla chips or tortilla strips
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice from lime wedges

Instructions
 

  • Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a Crock Pot or slow cooker.
    Preparing white chicken chili by placing chicken breasts into an Instant Pot.
  • Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the spices: salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and fresh cilantro.
    Seasoned chicken breast in an Instant Pot.
  • Add the diced onion, minced garlic cloves, great Northern beans, green chiles, and corn.
  • Pour in the chicken stock or chicken broth.
    An Instant Pot with all of the ingredients needed for white chicken chili.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
  • At the end of the cooking time, remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker. Shred or dice the meat and return it to the pot.
  • Add the cream cheese and half-and-half to the slow cooker and stir to incorporate them into the chili.
  • Cover and cook on high for about 15 minutes or until the cream cheese is melted and the chili is slightly thickened.
  • Stir well to ensure that the creamy ingredients are mixed throughout.
  • Spoon the chili into bowls, and serve with desired toppings.

Nutrition

Calories: 372kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 30gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 832mgPotassium: 953mgFiber: 8gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 581IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 119mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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