30 Minutes or Less Dinner Make Ahead - Heat & Serve Recipes

White Chicken Chili with Northern Beans

White chicken chili with northern beans and corn, topped with avocado and served with tortilla chips.

We’re big fans of classic chili in our house but we’re new to the white chicken chili game. This recipe for white chicken chili with northern beans got us hooked on the first bite though.

Thick and chunky like the classic stuff but creamy and sweet from the white bean puree and corn, this soup is a total winner. 

I like to make this white chicken chili with northern beans in the morning on the day I plan to serve it. Then I let it cool to room temperature and pop it into the refrigerator. At dinner time I reheat it in a big cast iron pot and it is perfection. The flavors seem to deepen during the day and trust me when I say, the waiting is worth the flavor reward. 

This make ahead white chicken chili with northern beans will quickly become a family favorite once you try it.

About the Ingredients

Shredded chicken – a rotisserie chicken pulled off the bone or 3 chicken breasts, baked and pulled apart both work. If you’re going the chicken breast route, bake the breasts on a rimmed baking tray sprayed with cooking spray. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 

Onion – diced small.

Seasonings – minced garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, oregano, salt and pepper. 

Chicken Stock – one quart

Diced green chilis – a 4oz can. Not to worry, these aren’t very spicy. My kids, who unfortunately for me are very sensitive to all things spicy, don’t mind the green chilis in this dish.

Northern Beans – 2 cans, drained and rinsed. 

Corn –  either 1 large can or I sometimes use frozen corn in which case I measure out about 1 1/2 cups. If you use frozen corn, no need to defrost it. 

Cream cheese – one 8oz brick at room temperature. If it’s cold it will still work fine but it will have a little more difficulty melting leaving a few chunks behind. 

Cilantro – about 2 tablespoons, chopped.

Lime juice – the juice from half of a fresh lime. 

White chicken chili with northern beans and corn, topped with avocado and served with tortilla chips.

How to Make Cast White Chicken Chili with Northern Beans

Start by sautéing the chopped onion in a tablespoon of olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven. After it softens, add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant. Pour in the chicken stock, diced green chilis and seasonings. Let everything come to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 

While the soup simmers, transfer 1 cup of your beans and a ladle full of soup stock to a blender or food processor. Purée the beans and stock until smooth.

Now add the puréed beans, remaining whole beans, corn, and cream cheese. Let it continue to simmer until the cream cheese is completely melted and the chili is thick and creamy.

To finish off your soup, add the pulled chicken, chopped cilantro, and squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Serve white chicken chili with northern beans with slice avocado, tortilla chips and Monterey Jack cheese. 

White chicken chili with northern beans and corn, topped with avocado and served with tortilla chips.

Recipe Substitutions & Variations

Cream cheese isn’t everyone’s favorite ingredient. If you’re looking for a cream cheese substitute try neufchâtel cheese (it should be in the dairy case near by the cream cheese.) Neufchâtel is a little lighter and more mild in flavor and calories. You could also omit the cream cheese all together but your chili will be more broth-y and soup-like in texture.

Who likes their chili spicy? I do! Try adding cayenne pepper to the seasonings line up or swap the diced green chili’s for chopped jalapeño peppers. 

White chicken chili with northern beans and corn, topped with avocado and served with tortilla chips.

FAQ’s and Recipe Tips

Can I freeze white chicken chili with northern beans?

Yes. This chili freezes perfectly. Transfer it to a freezer safe container, leaving a little extra space on top. Cover tightly and freeze for up to 2 months. 

Is white chicken chili spicy?

Only if you want it to be. All of the great flavors come from non-spicy ingredients like coriander, cumin, oregano and lime. If you want to add spice cayenne is a nice compliment to the flavor profile but definitely not necessary.

How long does it take to make white chicken chili with northern beans?

Less than 30 minutes! This recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken so aside from sautéing the onion there’s no other real cooking to be done, just simmering to let the flavors combine. 

White chicken chili with northern beans and corn, topped with avocado and served with tortilla chips.

The Recipe for White Chicken Chili with Northern Beans

The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing.  If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought and what toppings you liked best. Enjoy!

White chicken chili with northern beans and corn, topped with avocado and served with tortilla chips.

White Chicken Chili with Northern Beans

Perfectly seasoned without being spicy. Even the kids ask for seconds!
Active Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • blender or food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cooked chicken breasts meat pulled or chopped
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 oz diced green chilis
  • tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 cans northern beans or other white beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes.
    1 onion
  • Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for another minute.
    2 tsp minced garlic
  • Pour in the chicken stock, diced green chilis and next 6 seasonings. Let everything come to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 
    4 cups chicken stock, 4 oz diced green chilis, 1½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp coriander, ½ tsp oregano, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper
  • Drain the canned beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly.
    2 cans northern beans
  • While the soup simmers, transfer 1 cup of your beans and a ladle full of soup stock to a blender or food processor. Purée the beans and stock until smooth.
  • Add the puréed beans, remaining whole beans, corn, and cream cheese to the soup pot. Let it continue to simmer until the cream cheese is completely melted and the chili is thick and creamy.
    1 can corn, 8 oz cream cheese
  • To finish off your soup, add the chicken, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Serve white chicken chili with northern beans with slice avocado, tortilla chips and Monterey Jack cheese.
    1 tbsp cilantro, 1 tbsp lime juice, 3 cooked chicken breasts
Keyword soup, under 30 minutes

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2 Comments

  1. Paris says:

    I have been wanting to try a white Chili Recipe for some time now! May have to give this a go!

    1. It’s sooo good. You won’t be disappointed

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