This delicious White Chicken Chili recipe can be made using poached chicken breasts or, my favorite, smoked chicken! We’re including options for both in this post, so you can enjoy your hearty, delicious bowl of chicken chili no matter how you want to prepare it.
White Chicken Chili – Smoker or Stovetop Recipe
Have you ever had one of those days when you just want something hearty and delicious that’s also a little different from the usual? That’s exactly how this Smoked White Chicken Chili recipe came to be. It’s our take on traditional chili, but with a smoky twist and some unexpected extras.
Think of it like your favorite cozy sweater, but in food form. It’s packed with all the good stuff: corn, white beans, and smoked chicken all swimming in a creamy broth. And the cream cheese? It makes this chili ultra-thick and comforting. It’s kind of like a warm hug in a bowl – something we all need from time to time, right?
To top it off, we’ve added some jalapeño and cilantro for a little zing and color. It’s the perfect balance of cozy and exciting, familiar and new. And guess what? You don’t need to be a professional chef to make this. It’s super easy, and perfect for any day of the week.
Don’t have a smoker? You can make this on the stovetop by poaching the chicken breasts in the chicken broth. Super easy!
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Smoked White Chicken Chili shopping list
Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Chicken breasts
- Chicken broth
- White kidney beans
- Great northern beans
- Green chiles
- Tabasco Sauce
- Chili powder
- Onion powder
- Cream cheese
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How to make White Chicken Chili
This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.
Smoke or poach the chicken
Choose your own adventure for how you’d like to cook the chicken. We prefer to make it in the smoker, but if you don’t have one or it is buried in snow or something, you can always poach the chicken instead.
After the chicken is cooked, shred it with two forks or some meat claws.
Assemble the soup
Add the shredded chicken, beans, corn, chiles, hot sauce, and seasonings back into the pot. Stir well!
Make your corn starch slurry and thicken the soup. Turn the heat to low and stir in the cream cheese. Let it cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve hot with cilantro and fresh jalapeños. Extra shredded cheddar cheese on the side would also be welcome around my house!
Try our Brisket Chili too!
White Chicken Chili FAQ
Can I use rotisserie chicken instead of smoked or poached chicken?
Yes, you can substitute the smoked chicken with rotisserie chicken. However, keep in mind that the smoky flavor unique to this chili comes from the smoked chicken.
What type of white beans should I use for this recipe?
Cannellini (White Kidney Beans) or Great Northern beans are perfect for this recipe. But feel free to use any white beans you have on hand.
Can I make this chili spicier?
Absolutely! If you like a bit more heat, feel free to add more jalapenos or even a dash of cayenne pepper. Remember, you can always add more spice, but it’s hard to take it out, so start small.
I’m dairy-free. Can I still make this chili?
Yes! You can substitute the cream cheese with a dairy-free alternative. The chili might be a bit less creamy, but it will still be delicious.
Can I make this chili in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can. Just add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, except the cream cheese, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Stir in the cream cheese during the last 30 minutes of cooking, and you’re good to go!
Serve this with…
More great recipes to love!
- Smoked Pickled Jalapeños
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- Traeger Jambalaya
- Smoked Salsa
- Traeger Boursin Pasta
- Smoked Short Rib Poutine
- Smoked Chuck Tender Roast
- 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 - 15.5 ounce can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 - 15.5 ounce can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 - 15 ounce can corn, drained
- 8 ounces canned diced green chiles
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco Sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed & room temperature
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- Pour the chicken broth into a large pot. Place the chicken breast into the pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and allow the chicken to cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat your smoker to 220°F. Season the chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Smoked for 30 minutes and then turn the heat on the grill up to 375°F. Continue cooking until the chicken reaches 165°F.
Put the chicken stock into a large soup pot. Add the chicken and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Take the chicken out of the pot and shred it.
- Place the shredded chicken, beans, corn, green chiles, Tabasco sauce, chili powder, onion powder, and salt back into the pot. Stir to combine.
- In a separate small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water together. Add the mixture to the soup and stir to combine. Let it simmer until thickened.
- Mix the cream cheese cubes in with the soup and then cover the pot with a lid.
- Allow the soup to continue cooking on low for 10 additional minutes.
- Serve soup immediately with cilantro and jalapenos for garnish.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 824Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 224mgSodium: 1979mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 16gSugar: 8gProtein: 93g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.
Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.