Healthy White Chicken Chili recipe is a 30 minute meal with the option of making it 3 different ways. Whether made on the stovetop, in the Instant Pot or a slow cooker, this healthy chicken chili is easy and extremely popular for a reason! Serve with tortilla chips or almond flour cornbread, avocado slices, and your favorite cheese!

A true crowd pleaser just like this buffalo chicken chili, chili with ground chicken and this ground turkey chili recipe.

Healthy white chicken chili served with avocado slices, cilantro and jalapenos.

Soup and stew, no matter where you’re from, will always be comfort food, especially when there’s a chill in the air. I did not grow up in Ukraine eating any kind of chili, especially white chicken chili.

We warmed up every single day with bowls of borscht and healthy chicken noodle soup.

So, chili, in general, is something I’ve learned to love over the years and healthy white chicken chili is a welcome change to the traditional beef chili that I was first introduced to.

Both are hearty, wholesome, and delicious healthy chili recipes, but the creamy, slightly salty, flavorful white chicken chili is a nice way to switch it up!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Lighter meal: This version of a very popular dish is healthier as it doesn’t require any cream cheese or heavy cream. Instead, I use plain Greek yogurt which is high in protein and still gives it that creamy velvety texture.
  • Delicious: Made with tender beans, juicy kernels of corn, shredded chicken, green chilies, and a tasty broth infused with tons of delicious flavor and texture. The slightly mashed cooked beans also give it the body and heartiness. It doesn’t skimp on flavor and rivals any gourmet restaurant soup recipe!
  • Family friendly recipe: It’s not too spicy, so the kids will have no problem polishing off their bowls.
  • Quick to make: The entire recipe comes together in as little as 30 minutes, depending on your cooking method (white chicken chili in crockpot will slow cook longer).
  • Easy to make 3 different ways: In the crockpot, on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. You decide!
  • Perfect for meal prep: Leftovers can be kept in the fridge or frozen, so make a big batch and meal prep lunches for the week!

Ingredients for Healthy White Chicken Chili

To make this healthy white chicken chili, you will need just a few simple ingredients.

Chicken breasts, white beans, corn, onion, lime, garlic, chicken broth, diced green chiles, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, salt.
  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts come with a lot of meat and are easy to shred once cooked and start falling apart.
  • Beans and corn: When cooked, great Northern beans or cannellini beans, are buttery and just melt in your mouth. They add to the creaminess and the juicy corn gives it added texture with a bit of sweetness from the juice. Use frozen corn, quickly cook corn on the cob in Instant Pot or use leftover crock pot corn on the cob.
  • Aromatics: Onion and garlic are needed to impart flavor into the entire dish.
  • Diced green chilies: A can of this will add not only a bit of heat but flavor too!
  • Chicken broth: Look for low sodium broth, if you can. If you’ve got some homemade chicken broth or Instant Pot chicken broth, by all means, use that!
  • Herbs and spices: Ground cumin, dried oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to taste. You can adjust any of these to your preferences. Fresh cilantro is perfect to add some vibrant herbaceous notes or skip all together.
  • Yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt adds the thick and rich body that the base of the white bean chicken chili needs without the heaviness of processed cream cheese and heavy cream. Be sure to use yogurt with at least 2% fat.
  • Fresh lime juice: The acid from the lime juice is exactly what this chili needs to cut through the creaminess.
  • Oil: I use avocado oil because of its heat tolerance and health benefits. Olive oil will work just as well.
  • For serving: Tortilla chips, avocado, yogurt, fresh limes.

How to Make White Chicken Chili on the Stove

Here is a quick overview how to make healthy white chicken chili on the stove. Crockpot and Instant Pot versions are down below. Also there is detailed recipe card with all 3 cooking options at the end of this post.

Step by step process how to make healthy white chicken chili on the stove.
  • Saute veggies with spices: Saute onion and garlic for a few minutes. Then add spices for 30 seconds to allow them to release their flavors. You want to stir at this point constantly to prevent burning.
  • Mash the beans: Mash about 1 cup of white beans with a fork and a bit of water, if necessary. Beans starch will thicken the chili as it cooks. I find mashing beans before rather than after cooking much easier. Especially, because there is no blender to wash.
  • Cook the chili: Then add chicken, broth, green chilies, corn and simmer for 20 minutes. The tight lid on a heavy bottom pot or even better option Dutch oven cooks chili fast.
  • Shred the chicken: You can do it inside the pot with two forks. I like to use meat claws (also great for chicken salad), so I remove chicken and place it on the cutting board and then shred.
Pot with white chicken chili, yogurt and soup ladle in it.
  • Combine with seasonings: Return chicken to the pot along with lime juice, cilantro, and yogurt. Make sure the stove is off, so the yogurt doesn’t curdle. Your white chicken chili recipe is ready!

Make It in the Crock Pot

The difference between stovetop and crockpot white bean chicken chili is that you have to saute onion, garlic, and spices in the skillet and then transfer them to the slow cooker. And add only 1 cup broth.

  • Cook veggies in a skillet: Saute onion, garlic, and spices in the skillet. Transfer to a large slow cooker.
  • Combine in the slow cooker: Mash 1 cup of beans and add to the slow cooker along with other whole beans, only 1 cup of broth, chicken, and corn.
  • Cook: Cover and cook on Low heat for 6 hours or on High heat for 3 hours.
  • Shred meat and season: Shred chicken and return it to the crockpot along with cilantro, lime juice, and yogurt.

Recipe Tip

If you like to use the Keep Warm setting for your chili, I recommend adding the yogurt to individual bowls once served, to prevent it from scorching.

Make It in the Instant Pot

If you know me, you know I am obsessed with Instant Pot recipes. It just makes healthy dinner a reality and so much easier.

I do have an official Instant Pot white chicken chili recipe. However, here is a quick run down:

  • No need to saute: You don’t have to saute the veggies or spices. Food cooked under pressure comes out more flavorful.
  • Add and cook: Just throw everything in the Instant Pot in the order listed in the recipe (please note only 1 cup of broth). Pressure Cook on High pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Quick release, shred, and season: Quick Release the pressure. Shredding the chicken can be done right in the pot because it’s stainless steel. Add cilantro, lime juice, and yogurt.

Recipe Tip

Just like with a slow cooker version, if you like to keep your white chicken chili warm while you wait to serve it, hold off on adding the yogurt until it’s served. That way it won’t curdle in the pot.

Tips for Best Results

  • Chicken broth amount varies: For each different cooking method, pay attention to the amount of liquid used. The Instant Pot and slow cooker only require 1 cup whereas the stovetop requires 3 cups of chicken broth. This is because cooking on the stovetop will allow more of the liquid to evaporate.
  • Make it more creamy: The base is already thick and creamy, and the beans are nice and buttery, but if you like your soup even more blended, pulse it with an immersion blender for a few seconds until desired consistency is reached.
  • Make it thicker: If you find using the Greek yogurt doesn’t give you thick enough results you’re after, you can add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up a bit.
  • Don’t use non-fat yogurt: 0% or 1% yogurt lacks flavor and body. It tastes quite chalky on its own. This creamy chili recipe relies on the fat in yogurt because all other ingredients do not contain any of it.


  • Cream cheese: If cream cheese is what you have on hand and you don’t mind using it, make classic white chicken chili with cream cheese instead of Greek yogurt or in addition to it.
  • Using chicken thighs: Instead of chicken breasts, use the same weight of boneless skinless chicken thighs. No changes to the recipe are necessary.
  • Leftover cooked chicken: Use leftover store-bought rotisserie chicken or from another recipe. I use Instant Pot shredded chicken breast, Instant Pot chicken breast or even Instant Pot frozen chicken frequently. Add it in the beginning just like when you would add raw chicken. Super flavorful and even easier!
  • Using fresh corn on the cob: Scrape off the kernels if you’ve got an abundance of corn from the market or garden.
  • No heat: If you want to keep peppers in your soup but none of the kick, swap for sauteed diced bell peppers. Green for savory and red for a sweeter flavor.
  • Other spices: Ground coriander is a nice addition to increasing the flavor profile.
White bean chicken chili garnished with fresh cilantro, avocado and jalapenos in a bowl. Spoon, tortilla chips and cilantro on a counter.

Toppings Ideas

When it comes to chili toppings, it is all about personal taste, heat preference and availability. This healthy white chicken chili is mouthwatering and delicious all on its own but that doesn’t mean you can’t load it up with your favorite toppings:

  • Cilantro: Never too much but I know some people find it soapy. You can also omit it!
  • Yogurt: Or sour cream which is creamier.
  • Tortilla chips. Crunchy, crispy, and slightly salty are great for dipping!
  • Avocado: If you have a ripe one, dice it or slice it and serve on top.
  • Heat: If you can handle the heat, fresh sliced jalapeno with seeds is amazing addition.
  • Cheese: Top with shredded cheese for additional cheesiness. Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, and even Parmesan would work. Or crumbled Cotija cheese is a classic!

What to Serve Healthy White Chicken Chili with?

How to Store and Reheat

Store: This white chicken chili recipe serves 6 people. It was enough for our family of 4 for dinner and then Alex and I finished it for lunch, so you may not have any leftovers for long. But if you do, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: If you’re serving only 1 or 2 people, make the entire batch of chili and freeze any leftovers. Because there is not much dairy, chili will thaw just fine. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You can also make this recipe as a freezer meal, following my freezer meals instructions.

Reheat: Thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat on low heat on the stove, in the slow cooker, or steam in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes. The nice thing about a pressure cooker is that you can thaw chili from frozen.


What can I substitute for green chilies?

Canned diced green chilies are usually not spicy. However, there are mild and spicy versions. My stores carry very mild green chilies and that is what I am using. You can skip them altogether and use more cumin and maybe ground coriander would be nice too. Or add sauteed bell peppers.

Can I use dried beans in this healthy white chicken chili?

Some of our readers have had success using dry beans in the slow cooker by adding an extra 1.5 cup of water at the start to account for the dried beans, which by the time it was ready (4 hours), the chili was nice and thick. Alternatively, you could soak them overnight and cook next day. Here is a full tutorial how to cook dried beans on the stove.

Can I add rotel or diced tomatoes?

The awesome thing about this chili is that it’s completely flexible and customizable to your liking. Adding Rotel or diced tomatoes will increase the acidity and tomato flavor, and change the color of the chili, but it will be great!

Can I make this white chili without chicken?

Yes! Omit the chicken and bam. Also, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and if you’d like, you can increase the number of beans used.

Why is white chili white?

Unlike traditional chili, there are no tomato products to turn it red! Instead, we’re using white beans, white yogurt, and in some cases, white cream cheese. So, naturally, this would result in a white stew!

More Healthy Recipes to Try

Healthy white chicken chili in white pot garnished with cilantro.
Healthy white chicken chili in bowl with avocado, cilantro and jalapeno.

Healthy White Chicken Chili

Healthy White Chicken Chili recipe with chicken, white beans, corn, cumin, and yogurt. Ready in 30 minutes on the stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot!
4.98 from 206 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 345
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts 3 medium-large
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon oil I use avocado oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 2 x 15 ounces cans great Northern beans or cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups corn
  • 4 ounces can diced green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small bunch cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt fat 2%+
  • 1 lime juice of
  • Tortilla chips, avocado, more yogurt, limes for serving


Stovetop Healthy White Chicken Chili

  • Preheat large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat. Add garlic and onion, sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  • In a small bowl, add about 1 cup of beans and mash with a fork. It helps to thicken the chili.
  • Transfer to the pot along with chicken broth, remaining whole beans, corn, green chilies and chicken breasts. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks or meat claws. Return chicken to the pot along with lime juice, cilantro and yogurt.
  • Stir and serve warm with your favorite toppings like tortilla chips, cheese, more cilantro and lime.

Slow Cooker Healthy White Chicken Chili

  • Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat. Add garlic and onion, sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Transfer to a large slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, add about 1 cup of beans and mash with a fork. Transfer to the slow cooker along with only 1 cup broth, remaining whole beans, corn, green chilies and chicken breasts. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.
  • After follow the steps like in the stovetop version above.

Instant Pot Healthy White Chicken Chili

  • In a small bowl, add about 1 cup of beans and mash with a fork.
  • To 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, add ingredients in the following order: garlic, onion, corn, whole and mashed beans, chicken breasts, green chiles, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and only 1 cup broth. Do not stir.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 20 minutes. Release pressure using Quick Release method by turning pressure valve to Venting position immediately after cooking.
  • Open the lid, remove chicken and shred with 2 forks or meat claws. After follow the steps like in the stovetop version above.



  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.
  • Diced green chilies substitute: Canned diced green chilies are usually not spicy. You can skip diced green chilies all together and use more cumin and maybe coriander would be nice too. Or add sauteed bell pepper.
  • Rotisserie chicken: Yes, you can use shredded rotisserie chicken. Add it in the beginning just like when you would add raw chicken – more flavor.
  • Cream cheese: Add 2-3 ounces with yogurt or in place of it, if you wish. I do add it to my Instant Pot white chicken chili.


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 664mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 5g
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    Just made this chili last night, and it was AMAZING!! Possibly the best I’ve ever tried. I realized I only had one can of northern beans, but had a can of refried beans to use instead for the mashed portion, and it came out great! I also used 4oz cream cheese, since I didn’t have yogurt on hand. The lime and cilantro really bring everything together. The whole meal was done in an hour max, and tasted like it had been simmering all day! I’m having more for my lunch today and I can’t wait 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    My family absolutely loves this dish! We currently have it in our weekly rotation and are using the leftovers for meal prep for our lunches! I have a question though. Do you have any recommendations on how much chicken broth to use and how much to increase the cooking time when doubling the recipe and cooking it in the crock pot? I tried it once by doubling all of the ingredients, but it came out a little too soupy (compared to the single recipe) and it seemed the chicken needed a little more time to cook. Thank you!

    1. Hi Cherie. Glad to hear your family loves this recipe! I would try double version with 4 cups of broth then. And for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. You can always add more broth at the end, if needed. Enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    Easy, delicious, and healthy ingredients, I think this will become a wintertime staple for our family!
    didn’t have cayenne so I substituted a couple TBS of Jalapeno Salsa

  4. 5 stars
    I made the white chicken chili and it came out really delicious and so easy. I was nervous as I replaced the olive oil with cow ghee and was in doubt about the result, but trust me it was amazing! I think we should think twice before adding oil to our everyday diet. I prefer Milkio ghee, you can check them out as well. You won’t regret it!

  5. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious!! Even my picker eater loved it. Everyone agreed we have to add it to the meal rotation. Thank you!!

  6. 5 stars
    I made the white chicken chili in my crockpot. It came out really delicious and so easy. I was nervous about putting in two large raw chicken breasts so I cooked it on high for over three hours but it came out so tender and I used two forks and it shredded so easily. Thank you Olena!

  7. 5 stars
    I made this last night for my partner and I and we agree that it’s the best white chicken chili recipe and SO EASY! I love how it’s not too heavy on the sodium but still super creamy! I added an extra cup of chicken broth to make the soup go a little bit further and it’s absolutely the perfect ratio of liquid to ingredients for us! Will definitely keep this in the weeknight rotation!

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