This Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili is the perfect example of why people love slow cookers so much. You literally just dump everything in the slow cooker, give it a quick stir, then turn it on and walk away. When you come back you have this hearty white bean chicken chili that’s ready for topping with creamy cheese and diving in with some tortilla chips. And when the sky is dark, the air is cold, and you’ve got the winter blues, easy dinners like this are a total life saver!
Originally posted 1-2-2015, updated 2-9-2020.
See this recipe used in my weekly meal prep.
Does White Chicken Chili Have Chili Powder?
Nope! Unlike traditional red chili, this “white” chili does not contain chili powder. It’s flavored using salsa verde, cumin, and oregano. This chili gets its name from the white beans used in place of the red kidney beans used in red chili.
Is This Chili Spicy?
This chili is a “medium” level spicy. If you want to make the chili more mild, skip the jalapeño and cayenne pepper listed in the ingredients, and make sure to use a mild salsa verde.
What Size Slow Cooker do I Need?
You can make this in a 3-4 quart slow cooker, or double the recipe for a 5-7 qt slow cooker and feed a crowd. I have a 5 quart slow cooker (affiliate link) and the recipe, as listed below, filled it about half way.
Can This White Chicken Chili be Frozen?
Yes, this chili freezes very well! As always, make sure to chill your chili completely in the refrigerator first, before transferring to the freezer for long term storage. I prefer to freeze all my leftovers in single portions so they can be reheated one by one whenever I get hungry.
Chili Topping Ideas
I highly suggest topping this chili with something creamy, like the Monterrey jack cheese listed in the ingredients below, some sour cream, or avocado. The creamy flavor is the perfect contrast to the salsa verde. You can also top with some green onion, sliced jalapeño, cilantro, pico de gallo, crumbled cornbread, or pickled red onions.
Easy Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.11)
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (about 3/4 lb.) ($3.62)
- 1 16oz. jar salsa verde ($2.59)
- 2 15oz. cans cannellini beans ($0.98)
- 1 15oz. can pinto beans ($0.89)
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin ($0.30)
- 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.10)
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper ($0.03)
- 2 cups chicken broth ($0.26)
- 4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded ($0.85)
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Slice the jalapeńo lengthwise, scrape out the seeds with a spoon, then dice. Place the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chicken breast in the bottom of a slow cooker.
- Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and pinto beans, then add them to the slow cooker, along with the cumin, oregano, cayenne, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the salsa over top.
- Pour two cups of chicken broth over the contents in the cooker and then give everything a brief stir. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours, or on low for eight hours.
- After four hours on high, or eight hours on low, carefully remove the chicken breast from the slow cooker and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the meat to the slow cooker. Stir the chili, slightly mashing the beans with the back of the spoon as you stir. The mashed beans will help thicken the chili.
- Serve the chili topped with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Other optional toppings include fresh cilantro, diced avocado, freshly squeeze lime, or tortilla chips.
Serve with a side of Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread!
How to Make Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili – Step by Step Photos
Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Slice the jalapeño in half, scrape out the seeds, then dice the remaining pepper. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chicken breast to the slow cooker.
Drain and rinse two 15oz. cans of cannellini beans and one 15oz. can of pinto beans. Add the drained beans to the slow cooker along with 1 Tbsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, ¼ tsp cayenne, and some freshly cracked black pepper.
Pour one 16oz. jar of salsa verde into the slow cooker (I’ve used many brands for this recipe in the past, the one in the photo is Kroger’s Private Selectrion brand).
Pour two cups of chicken broth into the slow cooker.
Briefly stir the contents of the slow cooker to distribute the spices. Place a lid on top and cook on high for four hours, or low for eight hours.
After cooking on high for four hours, or on low for eight hours, remove the chicken breast to a clean cutting board to shred (or you can shred directly in the pot with two forks).
Shred the chicken using two forks.
Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Use the back of a spoon to smash some of the beans agains the side of the pot. The smashed beans will help thicken the chili.
Top with your favorite ingredients and enjoy!