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Dec 06

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

I first posted this one-pot White Chicken Chili recipe back in January 2011 and I thought both the recipe and the photos were in need of an update! I made very minor tweaks to the recipe to make it easier to follow and I upgraded the photos since the previous ones were not so appetizing. This White Chicken Chili is super healthy, hearty and flavorful, so hopefully the refresh will get this recipe on more readers’ radars (and in more of your kitchens as well!). I love that this comes together all in one pot and it’s super easy to make – perfect for the colder days ahead! Plus, a serving of this chili is 291 calories or just ONE Weight Watchers SmartPoints. One!

White Chicken Chili

I make a big batch of cooked, shredded chicken fairly frequently so that I have it on hand for recipes like this, and also to just use in salads, sandwiches, wraps, etc throughout the week. My favorite way to do it (also the easiest way, in my opinion) is to just toss it in the slow cooker with some water or broth. In the end it basically shreds itself! If you want complete instructions for this super simple method, I outline it in this Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken post.

Looking for more warm, comforting soups, stews and chili recipes? Check out my Sausage and Tortellini Tomato Soup, Butternut Squash Soup, Beef Taco Soup, Buffalo Chicken Soup, Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, Best Turkey Chili, Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup, Zuppa Toscana, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Slow Cooker Beef Stew, Italian Wedding Soup, Chicken Corn Chowder, Cheeseburger Soup, Spaghetti and Meatball Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup and more in my recipe index!

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White Chicken Chili

Yield: 8 (1 cup) servings


  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 (15.5 oz.) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups reduced sodium fat free chicken broth
  • 3 cups chopped or shredded cooked skinless chicken breast
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


  1. Bring oil to medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and sauté for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Add the chili powder, garlic and cumin and stir to coat the onions. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add the oregano and beans, stir and cook for 30 more seconds. Add the broth and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove 2 cups of the bean/broth mixture into a blender (or container for an immersion blender) and process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to the pot. Add the chicken and tomatoes and cook over medium-low for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cilantro, lime juice, salt & pepper and stir to combine before serving.

1 per (1 cup) serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on, a serving was 7 SPs on the previous program

7 per (1 cup) serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

NUTRITION INFORMATION per 1 cup serving:
291 calories, 36 g carbs, 4 g sugars, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 27 g protein, 12 g fiber (from

Source: My mom, who adapted it from Cooking Light, November 2006


43 Responses to “White Chicken Chili”

  1. #
    katie — April 5, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

    my bf is a big fan of your recipes, so i decided to make him this chili. it was a hit! super tasty and very filling. thanks for the recipe!

  2. #
    emilybites — April 17, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

    Glad to hear! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. #
    Anonymous — November 3, 2011 @ 1:51 am

    Just made this tonight – husband loved it! Will be making it again, thanks for the recipe.

  4. #
    emilybites — November 7, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    Hooray, glad it was a hit!

  5. #
    Anonymous — November 14, 2011 @ 1:28 am

    Burnt it 🙁 Didn’t know what heat to cook it over and guessed medium. Bad choice.

  6. #
    Anonymous — January 11, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

    I made this last night and both my husband and daughter loved it (and of course I did as well)! I just started back to WW and have had my eye on a ton of your recipes. Thank you!!

  7. #
    emilybites — January 13, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    Anonymous #1 – Sorry it didn’t work out. I hope you’ll try it again, it’s delicious!

    Anonymous #2 – So glad it was a hit with the whole family!

  8. #
    Lisa — September 8, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

    Delicious! I added spinach at the end and it was a hit!

  9. #
    Anonymous — October 9, 2012 @ 6:49 am

    A lot of us are counting calories, fat, carbs and protein, so it would be VERY helpful if you would list those things on ALL of your recipes instead just on some.

    • Anonymous replied: — October 29th, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

      Rude Much? She is doing YOU a favor by giving you a recipe….I would probably suggest you not use her site if it causes you undue hardship.

    • Anonymous replied: — August 21st, 2013 @ 4:54 am

      I think the problem is the carbs here. VERY carb-heavy recipe.

    • Anonymous replied: — October 26th, 2013 @ 4:42 am

      PMS much? Geez.

  10. #
    SheilaMix — June 12, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

    Any idea on what the calorie count is for this? This is the best White Chicken Chili I have ever had. Taking it camping with us this weekend!

  11. #
    Erin — January 3, 2016 @ 3:01 pm

    Do we know how manysmart points this is?

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 4th, 2016 @ 11:59 am

      Hi Erin,
      I’ve been updating my recipes with SmartPoints as quickly as I can! I’m working my way backwards and I’ve finished 2015-2012 and about half of 2011. I’m working on finishing 2011 and 2010 – it’s a lot! If a recipe doesn’t have SPs yet it’s because I haven’t calculated them yet, but I will get to it soon! If you want to make it before then try plugging the ingredients into the WW recipe builder. Thanks so much for your patience, I hope to get here ASAP!

  12. #
    Donna J. — November 28, 2016 @ 6:45 pm

    H!, do we know the SPs for this. It looks great and it’s the comfort food time of the year! Thanks

  13. #
    Kellie — October 30, 2017 @ 2:01 pm

    FYI….this recipe calculates to 6 Smart Points per serving according to the WW recipe calculator.

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 31st, 2017 @ 1:09 pm

      Thanks! I’m actually working on updating this recipe with new photos, SmartPoints etc in the next few weeks 🙂

  14. #
    margaux — October 31, 2017 @ 10:38 am

    Hi Emily, this recipe looks very yummy! I don’t think we have diced tomatoes for chili in France, so I’ll be using normal dices tomatoes. Is there anything you’d recommend to substitute for the lack of “tomatoes for chili”?
    thanks 🙂

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 31st, 2017 @ 1:08 pm

      Hi Margaux! Do you have normal canned diced tomatoes? You can just use those and add a bit more chili powder to taste. The ones “for chili” are just seasoned.

  15. #
    Rachel — December 6, 2017 @ 8:16 am

    This is very similar to the recipe I use but I have always added carrots to just add a vegetable to the soup. I never thought to add diced tomatoes so I will add those next time! Thanks for the update!

  16. #
    Andrea — December 6, 2017 @ 8:20 am

    Is the recipe 1sp now ?

    • Emily Bites replied: — December 6th, 2017 @ 8:55 am


  17. #
    Linda — December 6, 2017 @ 8:51 am

    Can this be made in a crockpot?

    • Emily Bites replied: — December 6th, 2017 @ 10:22 am

      I have never tried making it in a slow cooker so I can’t give specific instructions, but if you try it out please report back!

  18. #
    Michelle — December 6, 2017 @ 8:58 am

    This is my *go to* chili recipe – it’s a hit with everyone who tries it – and no one ever guesses it has pumpkin! I’ve been making it regularly for the last year, and thought it was high time I thanked you for this wonderful, easy recipe! We like things spicy in my household, so I double the seasonings and throw everything in the crockpot (I cook the turkey and onions in a skillet first). You can only imagine how excited I was to see the revised points value on Weight Watcher’s Freestyle update this morning! Love, love, love your recipes!!

    • Jessie replied: — December 6th, 2017 @ 2:01 pm

      Hi Michelle, how many hours in the slow cooker? High or Low? Thanks

  19. #
    Michelle — December 6, 2017 @ 9:03 am

    Oopsie, forgot to clarify that I also add a can of pumpkin for a little extra fiber – in any case a total keeper 🙂 thanks again

    • Emily Bites replied: — December 6th, 2017 @ 10:21 am

      Sounds delicious!

  20. #
    Erica Fortunato — December 6, 2017 @ 9:04 am

    Hi I would love to do this recipe but I have dry white beans how can I incorporate in this recipe?

    • Emily Bites replied: — December 6th, 2017 @ 10:21 am

      Hi Erica,
      I have never tried this using dry beans so I can’t give specific instructions, I’m sorry!

  21. #
    Yvonne C. — December 6, 2017 @ 10:16 am

    To be clear – on the new FreeStyle program, you have to use boneless, skinless chicken breast to get the lower points. If you use any other chicken in this recipe, the point value will increase. (I’m a service provider at WW.)

    • Emily Bites replied: — December 6th, 2017 @ 10:20 am

      Yup, I should have specified skinless – I only ever use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for basically everything! I fixed it 🙂

  22. #
    Christine Connolly — December 6, 2017 @ 10:45 am

    I haven’t made this yet but it looks delicious. Can you tell me the reason you use the blender for the 2 cups? Curious to understand why. Thanks!

    • Emily Bites replied: — December 6th, 2017 @ 10:48 am

      Blending a portion of the beans/soup makes it thick and rich and delicious!

  23. #
    Cyndy — December 6, 2017 @ 12:49 pm

    I add a green pepper, chopped into fairly large pieces, to this recipe. I saute it with the onions. Love the taste of green peppers in any chili. Also, with this only being 1 smart point in the freestyle plan, you can afford to sprinkle a little reduced fat cheddar over each serving.

    To the person who only has dried beans, I suggest planning ahead and cooking the beans up before making the recipe.

  24. #
    Jennifer — December 8, 2017 @ 5:22 pm

    LOL this isn’t white chili. It’s red.

  25. #
    Sue — December 8, 2017 @ 6:27 pm

    Hi Emily, my freestyle at Weight Watchers kicked in today. Can this chili be done in the crock pot on low? Thank you.

  26. #
    Tasleen — December 8, 2017 @ 7:18 pm

    I’d also love to know if this recipe can be made in the slow cooker, with the chicken cooking alongside everything else and shredded afterward!

  27. #
    Carole — December 8, 2017 @ 7:38 pm

    I loved this. It is hearty. I loved the lime and cilantro and the shredded chicken.

  28. #
    Darlene — December 10, 2017 @ 8:31 pm

    This recipe is a keeper for the new freestyle plan! Made it today in the crockpot – mine tends to run really hot, but I put in the broth, seasonings, orange pepper, can tomato sauce (I’m a tomato hater and that’s as close as l’ll do), and 2 cans of the beans on low for a few hours. Blitzed it with the stick blender and added in a bunch of shredded chicken and the other can of beans and let it go for another hour or so. Then added the fresh cilantro and lime just before serving. Soooo good! Would probably decrease the broth next time since it doesn’t evaporate much in the slow cooker. If I didn’t have chicken ready, I think it could definitely cook with the beans and broth and you couldn’t just take it out and shred it before using the immersion blender.

    Thanks for updating this one Emily!

  29. #
    Jayde — December 10, 2017 @ 10:28 pm

    Made it tonight. Chilly outside and this chili warmed me up inside. Thank you so much.

  30. #
    Jane — December 12, 2017 @ 2:13 pm

    Hi Michelle – I like the thought of adding pumpkin to Emily’s chili recipe. I live in Toronto, Canada and the only size of canned pumpkin I have found here is approximately 4″cups which would REALLY add to the fibre content! How many cups do you add?

    The recipe without the pumpkin sounds yummy but I do like the thought of your addition.

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