This Creamy White Chicken Chili recipe is the best one you’ll ever have, I said what I said. It’s a chili that’s loaded with roasted poblano peppers, well-seasoned chicken, hearty beans, salsa verde, cheese, and much more. You’ll love the heartwarming and comforting flavors within this fan-favorite chili. It’s such a staple as it hits the spot, I’m talking lick-the-bowl-clean! So creamy and so decadent!

creamy white chicken chili in white owl with brass spoon

Yessss, it’s white chicken chili, y’all! One of my top favorite chilis of all time. Hmmm, would you say it needs to be classified as a soup or a stew? I feel like it can swing either way but that specific detail is not what we’re after here, ha. Whenever I think about this dish I think about the famous restaurant chain, The Cheesecake Factory, because it’s one of my staples there. I wanted to develop a homemade version that hits and ticks every box, and of course…we did it, Joe!

BEST White Chicken Chili Recipe 😤

Don’t ya love it when a food blogger says that their ish is the best?! Lol. Well, idc idc, I’m saying it with my whole chest because this white chicken chili recipe is incredibly bomb. It might even win some of those county fair ribbons, bloop. Seriously speaking, when it comes to white chicken chili (in my opinion), it needs to be extra creamy, chock-full of hearty texture, and beaming with flavor…and that’s exactly what this recipe delivers. Sooo very good!

⇢ Whether it’s my Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta, this Sticky Toffee Pudding, or most definitely the coziest Gnocchi Bolognese…I love fall-inspired eats!

white chicken chili in white bowls with bowl of fried tortilla strips on the side

This Dreamy, Creamy White Chicken Chili & Its Recipe Highlights:

Okay, so boom…let’s get into some highlights of this recipe:

  • DEPTH OF FLAVORRR: From roasted poblano pepps to fragrant spices to a variety of well-rounded flavors…this chili ain’t messing around. There’s warmth, there’s spiciness, and much more. All of the flavors compliment each other and each ingredient yields a delicious, flavor-filled chili.
  • ELEMENTS OF TEXTURE: Speaking of big flavor, let’s discuss all the different elements. Like any other chili recipe, of course, we have our beans. I just think a bean-less chili is absurd, argue with someone else, ha. However, we’ve also got fresh roasted poblano peppers, diced jalapeños, salsa verde, and corn. Another thing I love about this recipe is the tender chunks of chicken. Instead of the shredded chicken varieties, you’ve got nice plumpity-plump bites of seasoned chicken all throughout.
  • EASY & SIMPLY GOOD: This recipe is super simple. There’s no fuss or things that leave you scratching your head in confusion. From start to finish, this creamy white chicken chili recipe is a breeze!
ingredients for white chicken chili laid out on wooden surface

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe:

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Oil: for roasting the poblano peppers, and for browning the chicken.
  • Poblano peppers: a mild chili pepper that’s similar to a bell pepper but with a kick…and roasting them first adds a ton of robust flavor.
  • Chicken: I use boneless/skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks.
  • Spices: chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, white pepper, and salt.
  • Butter: for cooking the onions, and more flavor.
  • Onion: because what is chili without a touch of aromatic onion tho?!
  • Garlic: mmmm, garlic is life, garlic is #bae ya know.
  • Flour: just a touch to thicken up the chili.
  • Diced jalapeños: adds a pop of delectable heat.
  • Chicken broth: a flavorful liquid, and needed to build the chili.
  • Half and half: this half milk/half cream mixture brings a creamy texture.
  • Sour cream: for a little tang and thickening agent.
  • White beans: use beans like cannellini, great northern, or navy beans.
  • Salsa verde: a slightly spicy green sauce with tomatillos and green chili pepps.
  • Corn: I use fire-roasted corn to add some smokiness, yum!
  • Cheddar cheese: to kick up the richness and add some cheesiness.

Let’s Look At How To Make This Creamy White Chicken Chili Recipe:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Roast the poblano peppers. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the poblano peppers onto a medium rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and toss to coat peppers in oil. Then roast peppers for 30 minutes until blistered and fragrant. 
  2. Season the chicken. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, white pepper, and salt- to taste. Use your hands to massage the spices into the chicken until well combined. Cover and set aside to marinate while the peppers roast.
  3. Chop the peppers. Remove the stems and outer papery layer of the peppers. Gently slice open the peppers and scrape out the seeds. Then chop the peppers into rough pieces. Set the chopped poblano peppers aside.
  4. Brown the chicken. In a large dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Once sizzling, working in batches, add the chicken into the pot. Sauté the chicken until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the sautéed chicken to a clean plate and set aside. Repeat the process until all chicken has been sautéed.
  5. Sauté the aromatics. Add the remaining oil into the pot. When hot, add the chopped onion and sauté until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Then add the chopped poblano peppers and garlic, and continue cooking, about 1 minute.
creamy white chicken chili in large pot

Finishing & Serving Chili:

  1. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir well to coat and cook out the flour, about 1 minute. Add the diced jalapeños and sautéed chicken along with residual juices into the pot, stirring well to combine.Then slowly pour in the chicken stock or broth with one hand while stirring with the other hand to break up any pockets of flour until it has dissipated. Let the mixture come up to a simmer, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Then add the half and half and sour cream, stirring well to combine. Add the beans, salsa verde, corn, and shredded cheese- stirring well to fully combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the chili simmer for 20-25 minutes for all the flavors to meld.
  3. Divide the creamy white chicken chili into serving bowls. Serve this chili immediately with your desired toppings. Slurp, slurp, and enjoy ya life! 😋

What To Serve With Your Chili

We love this creamy white chicken chili with fried corn tortilla strips (or regular crushed tortilla chips for a crunchy bite!), chopped avocado, and fresh cilantro as garnishes- chef’s kiss! Beyond that, this chili can be served alongside some buttermilk cornbread, (or peep my jalapeño cheddar version), white rice, or a crusty buttered baguette for sopping, too.

white chicken chili in white bowl with brass spoon

Storing Leftover White Chicken Chili:

This chili freezes like a dream, peeps. Make sure the chili has cooled down to room temperature first. Then transfer the chili into an airtight container, deli container, or a large freezer-safe plastic bag that’ll lay flat. Be sure to label chili with the date made for good measure. Keep the chili stored in the freezer and it will keep for up to 3 months. When ready, thaw chili in the fridge overnight. To reheat, simply cook on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. Alternatively, heat in the microwave until warmed through.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili:

If you wanna make this chili using your crockpot, let’s take a look…

First, follow steps # 1-6 in the recipe card below minus adding the broth. Transfer everything into your slow cooker vessel and then add the broth. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. At the halfway mark, follow steps # 7-8 to finish and serve creamy white chicken chili.

Here’s the thing: can you just dump everything into the crockpot without roasting, browning, and sautéing? Yes. Although, I highly recommend *not* skipping those steps because they bring out a ton of flavor, y’all.

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili:

Likewise, let’s take a look at whipping up this chili in a pressure cooker

First, follow step # 1 in the recipe card below to roast the poblano peppers (and then step #3). Then season the chicken and sear in the instant pot vessel (steps # 2 and 4). Afterward, follow steps # 5 and 6 to sauté the aromatics and build the chili base. Then cover and seal, set the IP to the pressure cook function, and pressure cook for 20 minutes. When done cooking, allow the IP to vent until all steam ceases. Finally, follow step # 7 by stirring in all the remaining ingredients until well combined. Set the IP to the sauté function and let simmer for at least 10 minutes. Then serve as directed in step # 8.

white chicken chili with chopped avocado and fried tortilla strips in bowl

Mmm, get into this Creamy White Chicken Chili recipe, friends. Tis the season for good soup and this one is def the move! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

More soul-warming recipes to check out:

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creamy white chicken chili in white owl with brass spoon

BEST Creamy White Chicken Chili

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  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Roasting, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

This Creamy White Chicken Chili recipe is the best one you’ll ever have, I said what I said. It’s a chili that’s loaded with roasted poblano peppers, well-seasoned chicken, hearty beans, salsa verde, cheese, and much more. You’ll love the heartwarming and comforting flavors within this fan-favorite chili. It’s such a staple as it hits the spot, I’m talking lick-the-bowl-clean! So creamy and so decadent!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 large poblano peppers
  • 1 ½2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste (or 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced jalapeños
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, rinsed & drained
  • ⅓ cup salsa verde
  • 1 cup fire-roasted corn, canned (drained) or frozen (no need to thaw)
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

For serving & garnishing chilioptional:

  • fried corn tortilla strips, chopped avocado & chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the poblano peppers onto a medium rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and toss to coat peppers in oil. Then roast peppers for 30 minutes until blistered and fragrant. 
  2. Meanwhile, season the chicken. In a large bowl, combine the chicken breast chunks, 1 tablespoon olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, white pepper, and salt- to taste. Use your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to massage the spices into the chicken until well combined. Cover the bowl and set aside to marinate while the peppers roast.
  3. Back to the peppers, let them cool down for a few minutes before handling. Then remove the stems and outer papery layer of the peppers (as much of it as you can). Gently slice open the peppers and scrape out the seeds. Transfer the peppers to a cutting board and chop into rough pieces. Then set the chopped poblano peppers aside.
  4. In a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter. Once sizzling, working in batches, add the chicken chunks into the pot in a single layer. Sauté the chicken until golden brown and caramelized, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the sautéed chicken to a clean plate and set aside. Repeat the process until all chicken has been sautéed and set aside.
  5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the pot. When hot, add the chopped onion and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Then add the chopped poblano peppers and garlic, and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir well to coat and cook out the flour, about 1 minute. Add the diced jalapeños and sautéed chicken along with residual juices into the pot, stirring well to combine.Then slowly pour in the chicken stock or broth with one hand while stirring with the other hand to break up any pockets of flour until it has dissipated. Let the mixture come up to a simmer, about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Then add the half and half and sour cream, stirring well to fully combine. Add the beans, salsa verde, corn, and shredded cheese- stirring well to fully combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the chili simmer for 20-25 minutes for all the flavors to meld.
  8. Divide the white chicken chili into serving bowls. Serve chili immediately with a topping of fried corn tortilla strips, chopped avocado, and chopped cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Gluten-free needs? Swap the all-purpose flour for any gluten-free flour as a 1:1 ratio (we love Bob’s Red Mill gf flour!).
  2. Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.