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White Christmas Chicken Chili

White Christmas Chili, easy white chicken chili with cannellini beans, chicken broth and green chilis.  Serve with sour cream and fresh cilantro for a warm, cozy bowl of comfort!

White chicken chili in serving bowl with dollop of sour cream.

I'll say one thing about Minnesota ~ it's unbelievably cold in the winter, but the people make the best of it and get outside as much as possible.  I hated the bitter cold when we lived in St.Paul, really hated it, and the snow that NEVER melted.

But we lived on beautiful Summit Avenue (think F. Scott Fitzgerald) and in the winter they had a snow carving festival/contest that was pretty much in our front yard, on the boulevard.  And my house was the "warming" house for our friends and family.  I had two pots of chili on the stove ~ one red and one white ~ and my favorite was this White Christmas Chili.


White chicken chili ingredients photo.

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • onion and garlic
  • chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • canned cannellini beans
  • canned chopped green chiles
  • dried spices -- oregano, cumin, chili powder, ground cloves, cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper

How to make white chicken chili

It's very simple:

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and sauté with onions and garlic in a large pot.
  2. Add the chicken stock, beans, green chiles and spices and simmer for half an hour.
  3. Serve with fresh, chopped cilantro and sour cream.  

Ladle of chili over pot.

I have no idea where I got the recipe almost 25 years ago, it's jotted down on a piece of scrap paper.  I think I got it out of a magazine in a waiting room, maybe Southern Living ~ not wanting to tear it out, I copied it down. It was called White Christmas Chili.

Recipe notes and tips

  • This is a really easy recipe to make, especially for a crowd.  And it's freezer friendly.  I love having homemade comfort meals in the freezer to pull out all winter long!
  • I prefer to use homemade chicken stock, it makes such a difference.  I almost always have some in my freezer.  If you have it, use it.  I usually make Instant Pot chicken stock or I make chicken stock on the stovetop and then freeze in quart-size containers.

White Christmas chicken chili is perfect this time of year and a definite crowd pleaser.  Change things up, try white chili instead of red ~ you'll love this in your cold weather rotation.  Kelly🍴🐦

Chili in serving bowl with sour cream and cilantro.

Like chili?  Two more favorite's of mine:

  • Classic beef chili served chili mac style, now that's chili!
  • Turkey chili a bit on the healthier side with ground turkey and chunky veggies with a good dose of spiciness!

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Ladle full of chicken chili held above pot of chili.

White Chicken Chili

Easy white chicken chili, topped with sour cream and cilantro.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 269kcal


  • 8 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 4 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed and mashed
  • 2 4½-ounce cans chopped green chilis
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
  • Sauté chicken, onion and garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • Stir in chicken broth and then remaining 10 ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Ladle into bowls and top with fresh chopped cilantro and sour cream.

Recipe Notes

This chili is freezer friendly, stash some away for later.


Calories: 269kcal Carbohydrates: 34g Protein: 29g Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 48mg Sodium: 699mg Potassium: 570mg Fiber: 10g Sugar: 1g Vitamin A: 85IU Vitamin C: 9mg Calcium: 138mg Iron: 5mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!




Recipe Rating


Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Thanks sooooo much for this recipe. I got it out of a magazine years ago and then lost it. I know this is the one I have been looking for!


Saturday 5th of December 2020

Small world, I'm glad I jotted it down years ago, I really like this recipe for a change of chili pace.


Friday 15th of November 2019

This is a Southern Living recipe and it’s my fave!! I haven’t been able to find it online. Thank you so much for posting it! I can no longer find the issue it is in and i’ve been trying to make it by memory.

anne schmauss

Wednesday 21st of December 2016

Kelly, The white Christmas chili was a big hit last night. Everyone loved it. Very different but still solid comfort food and easy to make (essential for me). Thanks!


Thursday 22nd of December 2016


anne schmauss

Thursday 15th of December 2016

I'm going to make this next week for a little dinner party. will let you know how it turns out. Anne


Thursday 15th of December 2016

I hope you like it, it's been Mark's favorite this season.


Tuesday 29th of November 2016

Love it! One of my favorites...looks delicious!