This Crock Pot White Chicken Chili recipe is a family favorite because it's easy to make and has inexpensive ingredients. It also freezes well so that you can enjoy it on busy days or chilly days. Plus, there are endless possibilities for toppings!
Warm up this winter with a bowl of Crock Pot White Chicken Chili. It's easy to make and will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
This chili is loaded with flavor and spice, thanks to the addition of green chiles and chipotle powder. And because it's made in the crock pot, it practically cooks itself!
What's the difference between chili and white chili?
Traditional chili is typically tomato-based with ground beef and chili beans. On the other hand, white chili is made with chicken and white beans in a chicken-based or creamy broth.
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
- Diced yellow onion
- Minced garlic cloves
- Corn (canned, frozen, or freshly cooked)
- Chicken broth
- White beans (Cannellini, Great Northern Beans, Butter Beans)
- Green chiles
- Cream cheese
- Smoked paprika
- Dried oregano
- Chipotle powder, or chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper
How to Make Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
Prepare. Wash and pat dry chicken thighs (or whatever boneless skinless chicken part you are using) and trim, removing any excess fat.
Assemble. Place in a 4.5-quart slow cooker, top with spices, salt, black pepper, and the rest of the ingredients.
Cook. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours. Remove the chicken and dice it or shred it with a fork. Return the chicken back to the crock pot. Stir in the cream cheese and close the lid. Cook on HIGH for 15–30 minutes or until the chili starts to thicken. Taste for seasoning.
Finish. Squeeze in half of the lime juice before serving. Serve with plenty of toppings!
Tips for Success
Here's how to make sure your white chicken chili recipe turns out perfect!
- Drain the corn. If using canned corn, be sure to drain it before adding it to the chili.
- Add the cream cheese at the end. This will help thicken the chili and make it extra creamy.
- Use freshly minced garlic. Minced garlic in a jar just doesn't have the same flavor as fresh, so it's best to take the extra time to mince your own.
- Don't forget the toppings! Chili is always better with toppings like sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onion, and tortilla chips.
Substitutions and Variations
If you do not have everything on hand to make this chili recipe, no worries! Here are some substitutions and variations:
- Substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the thighs. Just be sure not to overcook the chicken breasts, or they will be dry.
- Use frozen corn instead of canned or freshly cooked corn.
- Add a can of black beans, kidney beans, or navy beans in addition to (or in place of) the white beans.
- If you like your chili extra spicy, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or more chipotle powder.
- Make it extra creamy by stirring in another block of cream cheese at the end.
- For a bit of heat, stir in a jar of salsa verde at the end.
- To make it extra cheesy, top with shredded cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, or Monterey jack cheese.
- Make it extra hearty by adding diced potatoes at the beginning of cooking.
Here are some of my favorite ways to serve white chicken chili:
- With a big bowl of tortilla chips.
- To pour over burritos or enchiladas
- Over rice.
- With a side of cornbread or biscuits.
- As a dip for chips or pretzels.
Easy Sides for Pairing with Slow-Cooker White Chicken Chili
If you want to keep things super simple, pair your white bean chicken chili recipe with corn chips or cornbread. If you're up for putting in a little more effort, here are some easy side dish ideas that will go well with the flavors in this recipe:
- Texas Caviar
- Garlic bread
- Dirty rice
- Garlic fries
- Sweet potato fries
- Fried green tomatoes
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheat on the stove over low heat until warmed through or in the microwave. You may need to add a little bit of water or chicken broth to thin it out if it's too thick.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Yes! This recipe freezes well. I just suggest freezing your leftovers without the cream cheese, as it may change the texture. To freeze, let the chili cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove over low heat or in the microwave. After it's warmed through, you can add the cream cheese.
You can also freeze leftover chili in individual portions for an easy lunch or quick dinner. Then, just reheat in the microwave or on the stove until heated through.
If your chili is watery, it's likely because you didn't drain the canned corn or beans before adding them to the pot. Be sure to drain them well to avoid a watery chili.
You can thicken up your chili by stirring in a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon cold water) or by cooking it on the stove over low heat until it has reduced and thickened.
There are, unfortunately, a confusing array of items with the labels "great northern white beans," "navy beans," "cannellini beans," and more to be found. These aren't merely different names for the same kind of bean, even if they are all technically white beans. In actuality, each of these is a unique variety.
In a recipe, great northern beans work well as a stand-in for navy beans. Great Northern Beans, also known as Common Beans, are considered mild-flavored beans because of their delicate, faintly nutty flavor. In addition, these beans have a somewhat grainier texture than navy beans.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
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Crock Pot White Chicken Chili
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans (or other white bean)
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Sour cream, grated cheese, sliced jalapenos, cilantro, and tortilla chips, for serving
- Place chicken in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, top with spices, salt, black pepper and the rest ingredients.
- Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours. Remove chicken and dice or shred it with a fork. Return the chicken back to the crock pot.
- Stir in the cream cheese and close the lid.
- Cook on HIGH for 15 -30 minutes and until chili starts to thicken. Taste for seasoning. Squeeze in half of lime juice before serving.
- Serve with plenty of toppings!
- Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat on the stove over low heat until warmed through or in the microwave. You may need to add a little bit of water or chicken broth to thin it out if it's too thick.
- Corn: Fresh or canned, drained corn can also be used.
- Chicken: I prefer chicken thighs for their soft and juicy flavor, but chicken breast are fine too!
- To thicken chili: You can add cornstarch slurry (1:1 ratio) once chili is cooked and before adding the cream cheese. Or you can also add ½ cup more beans to the chili. Once cooked, take some of them out and mash or blend them until chunky. Return back to the pot along when adding cream cheese.