We must have a bunch of chili lovers who read Ambitious Kitchen because my turkey chili from 2015 is still my most popular recipe EVER. If you haven’t tried it yet, ’tis the season to get your chili and pumpkin cornbread game on.
If you’ve already tried it, then I recommend cooking up this creamy, healthy white chicken chili recipe next because hot damn, it might just be my favorite! I have a few secret ingredients and tips for making it extra creamy without using any dairy, and it’s seriously a family favorite. It makes the perfect meal prep dinner and is even freezer-friendly, so it’s truly a winter staple.
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What is white chicken chili?
Traditional chili recipes have a tomato base, beans like kidney beans and/or black beans, and usually have beef. White chili recipes are instead made with white beans (or in this case, chickpeas), typically chicken and mild green chiles. The base is usually from a broth instead of tomatoes, and sometimes even includes cream or sour cream.
The secret to creamy, dairy free white chicken chili
What’s unique about this white chicken chili recipe is that it’s made without any cream, milk or dairy, yet the broth is still so creamy!
The secret? Using delicious chickpeas, in both whole form and then blended to create a rich puree that’s stirred into the soup to replace the cream or milk that’s typically used in most white chicken chili recipes.
Typically, white chicken chili is made with white beans, however, I happen to love the flavor and texture of chickpeas more so I chose to use them in this version and dang, it turned out DELICIOUS.
What’s in this white chicken chili?
This healthy white chicken chili is made with simple ingredients you likely already have in your cupboard and fridge, making it the perfect recipe to meal prep or serve during game day. Here’s what you need to make healthy white chicken chili:
- Veggies: you’ll need a white onion, mild green chiles & corn.
- Spices: we’re loading this chili up with cumin, chili powder, oregano, coriander and plenty of salt & pepper.
- Proteins: this white chicken chili has both boneless skinless chicken thighs (or feel free to use chicken breasts) and chickpeas for a boost of protein.
- Chicken broth: we’re using some low sodium chicken broth to simmer that chili all together.
- Garnishes & toppings: I love topping my bowl with lime, fresh cilantro, jalapeño, and tortilla strips or chips!
How to make white chicken chili in the slow cooker
Making healthy white chicken chili in the slow cooker or crockpot is EASY!
- Blend your chickpeas. Start by blending one of the cans of chickpeas + water (or broth) as indicated in the original recipe instructions.
- Add your ingredients. Next, add all ingredients (including the whole chickpeas AND blended chickpeas) except the lime juice and cilantro to your slow cooker. In this version, I also recommend reducing the chicken broth in the recipe by 1 cup as your slow cooker will create condensation and additional liquid as the soup cooks.
- Slow cook it. Cook everything on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours.
- Shred the chicken. Remove the chicken from your slow cooker, shred it, and then add back to the slow cooker, then stir in lime juice and cilantro.
- Season & enjoy! Feel free to adjust the salt & pepper or kick up the spice and serve it up!
Storing & freezing tips
- To store: this white chicken chili will stay good in your fridge for about 5 days. Once your chili is completely cooled, just place it in an airtight container (or multiple, if you’d like to meal prep it) without the additional toppings and place it in the fridge. To reheat it, simply do so in the microwave with a microwave safe bowl, or feel free to reheat it on the stovetop. Add your toppings once you’re ready to serve!
- To freeze: yes, you can freeze this white chicken chili! Follow the instructions above, but instead of placing the chili in the refrigerator just put it in your freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw the chili overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.
More healthy chili recipes to try
Get all of our soups, stews & chilis here!
I hope you love this easy, healthy white chicken chili recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Healthy White Chicken Chili
Healthy white chicken chili that’s nice and creamy, yet there’s no cream! Made with green chile, chicken, corn and blended chickpeas to make it thick and creamy. This easy white chicken chili recipe can even be made in the slow cooker and is bound to become a new family favorite. Serve with avocado, tortilla chips and cilantro.
medium white onion, chopped
can mild green chiles (or sub 2 seeded and diced jalapenos)
low sodium chicken broth
(15 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
boneless skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breast)
medium lime, juiced
fresh, chopped cilantro
- For garnish:
- Tortilla strips or chips
- Extra cilantro
- Avocado slices
- Extra lime wedge
Add olive oil to a large dutch oven or large pot and place over medium high heat. Add onion and green chiles and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
Next stir in cumin, chili powder, coriander and dried oregano; allow the spices to cook for 30 seconds, then add in chicken broth, 1 can of drained chickpeas (about 1 1/2 cups chickpeas), uncooked chicken breast and salt and pepper. Simmer on medium low heat for 20-30 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and shred with two forks. Next add in fresh lime juice and cilantro.
Finally, add the remaining can of rinsed and drained chickpeas (1 1/2 cups chickpeas) and ½ cup water (or broth) to a blender. Blend until somewhat smooth, adding a little more water if necessary.
Pour blended chickpeas into soup pot and then stir in the corn, lime juice and cilantro. Allow soup to cook and simmer for 5-10 more minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, an extra lime wedge and avocado if you’d like. Serves 4. Enjoy!
Make this in your slow cooker: add all ingredients except the lime juice and cilantro to your slow cooker. I also recommend reducing the chicken broth in the recipe by 1 cup as your slow cooker will create condensation and additional liquid as the soup cooks. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. Remove chicken and shred, then add back to the slow cooker and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Season to taste. That’s it!
See the full post for storing & freezing instructions!
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)
Saturated fat: 3.3g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eat
This post was originally published on January 1st, 2019, and republished on January 6th, 2022.