Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Grilled chicken adds such a depth of flavor to this creamy slow cooker white chicken chili. Let it simmer all day for a meal that your family will love.

One thing that makes me happy as days get cooler is a good slow cooker chili.  I love throwing the ingredients in at the start of the day and letting the soup simmer all day long.  As the aroma fills the house, I can hardly wait until dinner time!.

This White Grilled Chicken Chili recipe is adapted from my sister-in-law’s recipe. She made her version of this soup for us when we were visiting years ago. It’s easy, comforting and full of flavor.

a bowl of white chicken chili with jalapenos and cilantro

About this Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili Recipe:

  • Flavor: This soup has a Mexican flair, but it is not overpowering. The cream cheese softens the flavor.
  • Texture: The soup has a creamy texture, thanks to the cream cheese. The veggies and beans soften nicely in the slow cooker. And the chicken will be fall apart tender.
  • Method: The slow cooker works best for our family schedule, but if you would rather, you can make this in a pot on the stovetop.

What is the difference between white chili and regular chili?

Regular chili has a base of chili powder and tomatoes. White chili is more of a either a broth base or a thickened creamy base. Both types of chili have beens, vegetables and meats.

What chicken is best for white chicken chili?

This white chili is extra special because it has grilled chicken in it.  Now, you don’t have to grill the chicken first if you don’t want to. But, I highly recommend taking the time to grill the chicken because it adds such an amazing depth of flavor to this soup.

You can use leftover grilled chicken from a previous meal. Other options are rotisserie chicken and baked or boiled chicken breast.

I generally use chicken breasts, but chicken thighs work well, too.

white chicken chili in the slow cooker

How to Make The Best White Chicken Chili

  • Add all of the ingredients above to a slow cooker in the order listed, saving the cream cheese until the end of cooking. 
  • Cook on low for 6 hours or on high from 3-4 hours. 
  • When the soup has about 30-60 minutes left of simmering, scoop out about ½ cup of the chicken brown. Place the room temperature cream cheese in a bow and add ¼ cup of the broth. Use a hand mixer to mix well. Then add in the other ¼ cup broth and mix again. This will help to thin the cream cheese and help it not to be clumpy when you add it to the soup.
  • Add the thinned cream cheese into the soup and mix to combine. Then add the cilantro right before serving.

A note on the cream cheese

Please note that if you just throw in the cream cheese, it may not melt evenly and end up with little chunks of cream cheese. By mixing in the hot liquids a little at a time, it helps the cream cheese melt first, then just get mixed in.

Stove Top Instructions

Need to cook this on the stovetop? Here’s how to do it:

  • Add the soup ingredients to a large pot.
  • Place over medium-high heat until the soup starts to simmer (leaving the lid off). Then turn down to medium heat. Allow the soup to simmer for about 30 minutes or until the onion is tender.
  • Then add in the cream cheese as the recipe states below.
a bowl of slow cooker white chicken chili

Recipe Variations

  • Add poblano peppers for a pop of flavor.
  • Need more spice? Add a few pinches of cayenne pepper.

White Chili Toppings

After you serve up a big bowl of chili, it’s time to top it. Try one of these ideas:

  • sour cream
  • guacamole or sliced avocado
  • cilantro
  • sliced jalapeños
  • green chiles
  • shredded cheese
  • a squeeze of lime juice

Storage Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also store in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

This soup is delicious warmed in the microwave.

overhead view of a bowl of white chicken chili with tortilla chips and a spoon
overhead view of a bowl of white chicken chili with tortilla chips and a spoon

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

5 from 2 votes
Grilled chicken adds such a depth of flavor to this creamy slow cooker white chicken chili. Let it simmer all day for a meal that your family will love!
Servings 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the soup:

  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 can southwest corn 15.25 ounces
  • 1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained* 15.5 ounces
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 15.5 ounces
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced, about ½ cup
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 garlic cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 pounds grilled chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces

After slow cooking:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Optional Toppings

  • Jalapeño slices
  • cilantro
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese or monterey jack cheese

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients above to a slow cooker in the order listed, saving the cream cheese until the end of cooking. 
  • Cook on low for 6 hours or on high from 3-4 hours. 
  • When the soup has about 30-60 minutes left of simmering, scoop out about ½ cup of the chicken brown. Place the room temperature cream cheese in a bow and add ¼ cup of the broth. Use a hand mixer to mix well. Then add in the other ¼ cup broth and mix again. This will help to thin the cream cheese and help it not to be clumpy when you add it to the soup.
  • Add the thinned cream cheese into the soup and mix to combine. Then add the cilantro right before serving.
  • Serve with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips, if desired.

Notes

*Any white beans will work, including great northern beans, white kidney beans or cannellini beans.
If you love spice, throw in a couple of fresh jalapeño slices after you mix in the cilantro. 
Add the grilled chicken in at any point in the day. Although you can make this chili without grilling the chicken, we highly recommend grilling it to get an awesome flavor!
Leave out the cream cheese if want the soup just to have a broth base. Or you can add whole milk instead of the cream cheese, if you’d like.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 6 servings, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the soup. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Serving: 319g | Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 1755mg | Potassium: 860mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 433IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 4mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 442
Keyword chicken soup, chili recipe, crockpot, slow cooker soup

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About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes
8 years ago

This would be great for those nights when life is hectic! It would be nice to come home to having dinner already done 🙂 Pinned!

Nicky
8 years ago

We all like chili in our house. Your recipe looks really good. When you are having a busy day, crock pot meals are a great time saver. I’m pinning for later.

Christina @ Juggling Real Food and Real Life
8 years ago

Hi there! I’m stopping in from Let’s Get Real today. I am always interested in checking out new crock pot recipes. I love how when I come home from work, dinner is ready for me when I use the crock. It’s like someone cooked dinner for me! Cream cheese melts so nicely for a wonderful creamy soup. I look forward to trying this dish soon. Grilled chicken is a great twist.

Linda Warren
8 years ago

I love the addition of the grilled chicken! I am going to add it to my slow cooker white chicken chili next time I make it for a nice change. Thanks for the great suggestion and sharing on Share Your Stuff Tuesdays.

Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life
8 years ago

Your picture looked so delicious on Juggling Real Food I had to stop over! We’re not done with chili either…we eat it year round! Pinned – can’t wait to try it!

Sarah
6 years ago

5 stars
This was delicious!! I made a few adjustments as I was cooking that I’ll share: Iadded a couple of chopped jalapenos, doubled the spices, added a few spoonfuls of cornstarch to thicken, and added a few spoonfuls of chicken boullion just to give it a fuller flavor.