Favorite White Chicken Chili

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Our family’s Favorite White Chicken Chili is a hearty creamy soup perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of spice from cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and green chilies. Serve the easy white chicken chili recipe topped with shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sliced green onions, and cilantro and a side of tortilla chips for dipping.

Sometimes I also like to serve this chili chicken with homemade Mexican Cornbread Muffins (I keep a stash in the freezer for the Winter months). But, don’t feel like you have to add a lot of toppings, because this soup is delicious all on its own!

white chicken chili in a green soup bowl

Favorite White Chicken Chili

I’ve been making this delicious soup for many years, and in fact, it was one of the very first recipes that I posted when I started my blog a little over two years ago.

At that time, I started out by sharing tried and true recipes (which I still aim to do) that my family had always enjoyed. This chili has been the star of many football gatherings and winter sleep-overs around our house. 

The recipe originally came from one of our favorite local restaurants, Calhoun’s, and is still the most popular soup on their menu.

Another thing I love about this chili is that it is so EASY to prepare. Often, I’ll toss the ingredients into the Crock Pot in the morning and let it simmer all day for a quick-fix dinner after work.

white chicken chili in a green soup bowl with condiments


  • Cooked chicken — I often use leftover chicken or pick up a rotisserie chicken for convenience
  • White Northern canned beans —are the perfect white bean for chili; white Cannelini beans are too firm are are not a good substitute.
  • Fresh garlic — for flavor
  • Diced canned green chilies
  • Cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper — add heat and spice
  • Chicken broth
  • Monterey Jack cheese — stirred in at the end of cooking to create a creamy broth

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More easy and delicious soup recipes!

white chicken chili in a green soup bowl with a tortilla chip

Let’s cook!

During the cooler months I love making a big pot of soup on the weekends and then pack or freeze the leftovers for lunch during the week. To freeze soups, always be sure to let the soup cool completely and then refrigerate it for a few hours until chilled thoroughly before packaging in resealable bags for the freezer.

I also recently adapted this recipe for the instant pot. The complete instructions are in this post, Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

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white chicken chili in a green soup bowl

Favorite White Chicken Chili

Snowy days call for warm, hearty soup like my Favorite White Chicken Chili seasoned with cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and green chilies.
4.31 from 99 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 363 kcal


  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 4 oz. can green chilies diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
  • 3 cups chicken breast cooked and chopped
  • 3 15 oz. cans white Northern beans drained
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded


  • Heat oil in large saucepan over medium low heat. Sauté the onion until tender. Add garlic, chilies, and spices. Continue to cook and stir the mixture for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, chopped chicken, and beans. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Serve with your favorite cornbread or tortilla chips.


Original Recipe by Calhoun’s


Serving: 8ServingsCalories: 363kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 34gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 367mgFiber: 12gSugar: 2g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword chicken, chicken chili
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

White Chicken Chili | Life, Love, and Good Food

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  1. A full teaspoon of cayenne pepper was way too much. I like spicy food, but this was just too spicy to eat. A 1/4 teaspoon would have been plenty heat.

    1. The amount of smoke applied to any meat is highly subjective. Hickory or mesquite are much stronger that apple or cherry. My favorite is a mix of hickory and apple wood chips for ribs. I typically apply smoke for the first 2 for this recipe.

4.31 from 99 votes (99 ratings without comment)

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