Easy white bean chicken chili made with salsa will become one of your favorite fall soup recipes or simple slow cooker recipes. (You can also make this white chicken chili instant pot or on the stove top!) Add this to your list of soup recipes in crockpot for an instant family favorite (even a recipe kids will love), easy recipes for dinner, or favorite chili recipe ideas and is a nice change from ground beef chili.
White Bean Chicken Chili Made With Salsa CrockPot Recipe
This white bean chicken chili in crock pot white bean chicken chili recipe is one of our favorite crockpot soup recipes (especially when we’re looking for fall comfort food or cozy winter soups!). It’s a quick and easy soup recipe to throw together and have ready in a couple of hours of cooking in the slow cooker or instant pot.
What is white chili made of?
Best white chicken chili recipe ingredients:
- Chicken (canned, cooked shredded, skinless chicken breasts or frozen chicken)
- Chicken broth
- Salsa (heat / spiciness of choice) for white chicken chili seasoning
- Great Northern white beans
- Cream of chicken soup (or cream cheese)
- White cheese (like Monterey Jack)
- Sour cream (optional)
- Tortilla chips (optional)
- Green chiles or jalapeno (optional)
Get the full easy recipe for white bean chicken chili recipe card to print below. Also, don’t miss recipe hacks at the bottom, including how to thicken white chicken chili crockpot tips!
White Bean Chicken Chili Crockpot Recipe
Our recipe for white bean chicken chili in crock pot calls for canned chicken (find it in the same area as canned tuna at the store), but you can easily make this white bean chili with chicken breast, either fresh or frozen.
(I often use frozen chicken breasts for crockpot chicken chili white bean. I just put them in frozen and let them cook down with the rest of the soup.)
If you want to be prepared for pantry cooking recipes, keep some of this canned white chicken breast in the pantry as a “just in case.”
Sometimes, I also add other things I need to use in the refrigerator, like carrots and celery. It’s still good!
It’s so easy and so yummy that I usually keep the ingredients for this in the pantry as a “Dang, what are we going to have for dinner?” panic meals or a frugal pantry meal.
If you don’t have canned creamy soups, make it as a white bean chicken chili with cream cheese.
It’s nice because, depending on the kind of cheese you use (shredded or cubed) or if you use dried beans or can beans, it can be a short couple of hours to cook or an all day white chicken chili in a crock pot.
If you love the slow cooker white chicken chili Pioneer Woman, you’ll love this one, too!
(I also think it tastes a little like white bean chicken enchiladas!)
Why is it called white chicken chili?
Chicken chili recipes are called white chili because it’s white in color instead of the reddish color of traditional chili with a tomato base. White chicken chili stays white because it is cooked with light ingredients like chicken, a light broth (like chicken), white beans, and a white cheese (like Monterey Jack).
Someone once said to me that this is a white chicken chili dump recipe because you dump ingredients into the crockpot, set, and forget. That’s the perfect description!
Whats the difference between chili and white chili?
Regular chili, like chili with ground beef, has a red tomato base with red chilis and chili powder and sometimes red beans (for a deeper red color). White chili is a lighter colored base because it is often made with chicken stock, chicken or turkey, white creamy bases (like cream soups or cream cheese), white beans, and also often green chilis.
White Bean Chicken Chili Seasoning
The seasoning flavor from this white bean chicken chili using salsa comes mainly from the jar salsa. However, you can also add crushed pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper, and more to create the flavor your family likes.
Can I add cream cheese to white chicken chili?
Yes! You can add cream cheese to a white chicken chili recipe for extra creaminess and to even thicken the soup part. Just stir in the cream cheese toward the end of the cooking time for chili.
About White Chicken Chili Beans
What kind of beans are white beans?
There are several types of white beans:
- Northern white beans
- Navy beans
- Cannellini beans
- Lima beans
All of these are hearty beans and great in soups, stews, and chilis recipes.
What white chicken chili beans should I use?
For the beans for white chicken chili, use Northern white beans. The flavor is really mild compared to some of the other white beans. However, you can substitute other white beans and get a different flavor for your chicken white bean chili in the crockpot.
Play around with your white chicken chili recipes to see what you like best!
Are white beans and northern beans the same?
White beans describe a variety of beans from Northern white beans to lima beans. Great Northern white beans are part of that group. They are large beans with a more nutty, mild flavor.
Recipes for chicken chili usually call for Northern white beans because of their mild flavor over other white chili beans. That’s what we like best for our soup recipes for crock pot.
Let’s get to white bean chicken chili slow cooker recipe!
How Do You Make White Bean Chicken Chili (aka: Salsa Chicken Chili)
Easy white chicken chili is one of our favorite chili recipes and is on regular rotation at our house in colder months. (It even freezes well and makes great leftovers when stored in an airtight container!)
This is an easy pantry recipe since you can make white chicken chili with canned chicken. I like to keep all the chili ingredients (canned chicken, cans of beans, salsa) on hand for those days I need easy dinner recipes or a one-pot meal when I have zero motivation to cook.
(I love a good recipe with pantry staples, don’t you?)
Sometimes I throw in whatever we have in the refrigerator or need to get rid of like fresh corn (you can use canned corn or frozen corn too), shredded carrots, onions, kale, spinach, bell pepper, fresh herbs, fresh garlic, etc.
You can even mix in black beans (for a black and white bean chicken chili) or substitute them for the great Northern beans completely to kick it up a little from the original recipe.
RECIPE TIP: This recipe for chili is a great way to get rid of your leftover store-bought rotisserie chicken! (Seriously, white bean chicken chili with rotisserie chicken is one of my favorite ways to use leftovers! I works as white bean chicken chili with leftover chicken of any kind – even fast food fried chicken and grilled chicken in your chicken salsa chili!)
We made our white chicken chili slow cooker style, but you can also make this white chicken chili Instant Pot, or in a large pot / large dutch oven or on the stovetop, too! (This is by far the easiest crockpot recipe and freezer meals crockpot recipes that I make!)
I often throw frozen chicken breasts in there (instead of chicken in can). Slow cooking it all day makes a super tender chicken for the soup. You can easily pull apart the chicken before serving so that it’s soup with shredded chicken.
The seasoning for white bean chicken chili comes from the salsa. Some people make this as a white bean chicken chili with salsa verde recipe. I haven’t tried it that way yet, but it’s on my list!
If your family likes super spicy, try this as white bean chicken chili with green chilies. (Just add chopped green chilies to the recipe.)
You can make this white bean chicken chili with cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, or cream cheese. (You’ll be surprised what a creamy white chicken chili crockpot recipe this is!).
The spiciness level of the chili will depend on the spicy salsa you use. If you like more heat, use hot salsa, chili powder, red pepper, garlic powder, cumin, or even chopped up jalapenos or poblano peppers.
Also, I say this is a easy white chicken chili with salsa, but if you don’t have salsa you can use Rotel or even canned tomatoes with spicy seasonings added.
RECIPE HACK: If you don’t have salsa, cook this as a white bean chicken chili with tomatoes. Just up your spices to get to the desired heat level.
Our favorite toppings are cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. (If you’re looking for soup recipes Mexican flavor, I think this one checks that box, too!)
You can also have fun with the condiment toppings for this: dollop of sour cream, crushed tortillas, shredded cheese, slices of avocado, fresh cilantro, green chilis, red and black pepper, and a drizzle of lime juice are all great toppings!
Also, we use Monterey Jack cheese, but if you like spicier recipes make this white chicken chili with salsa and Pepper Jack cheese.
**Tips on how to thicken white chili chicken below (after the recipe card with the white bean chicken chili ingredients). Don’t miss them!
- 3 cans great northern (white) beans, undrained
- 1-2 12-oz cans chicken, drained (OR 2 chicken breasts, fresh or frozen)
- 1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
- 1 soup can of water OR 1 cup chicken broth
- 8 oz. salsa (mild, medium or hot-your choice!)
- 8 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese (or any cheese you have!)
- Drain liquid from canned chicken (or place frozen or fresh chicken breasts in bottom of crockpot).
- Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot.
- Cook on high for 2 hours if using shredded cheese, or on low for 6 hours if using cubed cheese.
- IF USING CHICKEN BREASTS, shred the chicken and stir back into the chili before serving.
- To serve: Sprinkle extra cheese on top and serve with a side of crusty bread, corn bread, or tortilla chips. Add sour cream, if desired.
We've also used cheddar cheese when we didn't have Monterey Jack and it also turned out good. (It will just be less white.)
Sometimes we add chopped onions, carrots, or even celery (if we have veggies we need to use before they go bad). This is definitely a recipe you can play around with to your liking!
IMPORTANT: Don't miss extra tips like how to thicken white chili chicken and more chili variations in the post!
Serving Size:2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 1201mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 31g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
You can make white bean chicken chili from scratch by using dried beans and fresh chicken. Just up your cook time for homemade crock pot white chicken chili.
White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe Crock Pot Tips and Recipe Hacks
No Bean White Chicken Chili Crock Pot
You can also make this as a no bean white chicken chili, but the beans really do add a great, thick flavor and consistency. (My husband isn’t that crazy about beans and even he likes this recipe, which makes it a real recipe winner in our house!)
The best white bean chicken chili uses beans!
Is white chicken chili supposed to be thick?
White chicken chili will be thick, but not as thick as you may be accustomed to with a beef chili. It has a soupier texture than beef chili, but can be thickened with cornstarch or by using an emulsifying blender (immersion blender) or food processor to blend down some (but not all) of the beans for a less chunky bean mixture.
(You can even use a potato masher for this step for a white bean chicken chili recipe easy way to blend the beans.)
Here’s how to thicken white bean chicken chili…
How do you thicken white chicken chili?
When making white bean chicken chili in slow cooker if you find your white chicken chile too thin or soupy, simply remove about 1/4 cup of the chili broth that’s been cooking. To the broth, add 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the mixture back into the chili and stir. Continue cooking until thickened or it makes your white chicken chili creamy.
It’s a white bean chicken chili easy thickening tip!
If you want more of a white bean chicken chili soup, don’t thicken it. It’s good that way, too!
Can you make white bean chicken chili dairy free?
You can easily make crockpot white bean chicken chili as a dairy-free recipe by leaving out the cheese (or cream cheese) and cream soups. It won’t make the white bean chicken chili creamy dairy free, but the flavor is just as good!
White Bean Chicken Chili Vegetarian Style
This is also a great alternative for a vegetarian chili or vegetarian creamy white beans soup. Just leave out the chicken and cup of chicken broth. Great vegetarian soup for winter months or your fall soups list!
Let us know when you try this white bean chicken chili easy recipe and what you think!
I think next I’m going to try a white chicken chili with rice recipe. Stay tuned if you love this recipe!