First of all guys, I have a lot of favorite Chili recipes. And I have several favorite Chicken Chili Recipes, links, below. But this Creamy White Chicken Chili really is one of my absolute faves. It’s rich and creamy and oh so flavorful and has just a hint of smokiness and is just perfect comfort food all fall and all winter long. You could not go wrong serving this for any game day get together, either. It’s a little unique and people will rave!
And did I mention this is an easy recipe for a chili? I always think that’s a huge plus. I don’t mind throwing down with an all from scratch chili or a more complicated chili now and then. I gotta admit, though, the ones I make the most often are Chilis like this Creamy White Chicken Chili. Recipes that don’t take a lot of effort – but taste like they do.
About Creamy White Chicken Chili:
This Creamy White Chicken Chili is really unique and mad crazy delish. Among the ingredients, there are chicken and white beans, jalapenos & chili seasoning for a little heat, and bell peppers. What makes it so creamy is a little half and half (there’s a little broth, too, so it’s not too rich) and then cheese. Stirred right into the chili. Pepperjack cheese! Oh, and don’t forget the bacon, both in the chili, and then garnishing the top, too.
While this chili is quick and easy and relies on common ingredients, don’t let that fool you. This is not a wimpy chili; it rides along the cusp of very interesting to mildly spicy. Some of the creaminess cuts the spice and you can easily scale the spiciness up or down by adjusting the number of jalapenos you use. And of course, I’d recommend setting out a jar of Pickled Jalapenos or Cowboy Candy for those that like to up the ante in the heat department. Personally I like to drizzle a little of the juice from the jalapenos right into my bowl of chili.
I first made this Chili awhile back, while I was helping out my folks (my favorite Octogenarians, I call them.) We are a family that loves Chili, especially my Dad (which is probably where I got my love of it from) who loves spicy red & beefy chili and even from him this chili was rated “Super!” and “Terrific.” I think this chili could easily become a serious contender on a game-day buffet.
Just for fun, here are some of my other favorite Chilis made with Chicken. There’s my very serious Chipotle Chicken Chili, a very Easy White Chicken Chili, my Barbecue Chicken Chili that starts with the leftover and drippings from Pulled Chicken and this fun take on White Chicken Chili made in the Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or on the Stove.
Making Creamy White Chicken Chili:
This is really a quick and easy chili to make. You’ll cook up the chicken and remove it from the pan, then cook the bacon, reserving half for garnish. Next toss in the jalapenos, onions and bell peppers; they’ll pick up all that bacon flavor. Then the chicken goes back in with all rest of the ingredients (except for the cheese, which is slowly stirred in, bit by bit at the end) to simmer and meld all those flavors.
You can use a Chili Packet to make this chili, but the spices given in the recipe are excellent in this. I also use canned white beans, but you can use canned or dried if you prefer. The one thing you shouldn’t change is that one can of the Chili Style Beans in Chili Gravy. That adds a certain sumpin’ sumpin’ that will be missed from the recipe if left out. I know It’s a little weird, but it’s key to the recipe and adds a depth that’s kind of indescribable.
And of course, as mentioned above, you can vary the amount of jalapeno to suit your tastes. You really do need some of the spicier jalapeno to spice this up a bit and offset all the creaminess.
Saving Money on Creamy White Chicken Chili:
Make this with canned beans or dried, except for the one can of Chili Beans in Sauce. Now the recipe calls for four cans of white beans, which is really a bit more than a pound. A pound of dried beans is about three cans worth. Chili is not so particular that you need to go to any great heroics to cook up the exact amount but it will definitely be saucier and thinner with only three cans. Or you could cook a full two-pounds of beans up and set aside two cans worth (1 1/2 cups of cooked beans is about the equivalent of a can) to freeze. Use your judgment. If you use canned beans, stock up on them (just like any pantry staple) on sale.
Always shop well for your chicken. It drops to a low once a quarter or so, so watch for those great sales and pick it up in quantity when it’s at the lowest price. Generally, it will be sold in larger family packs so reportion and/or wrap well in amounts your family uses. Cheese, too, is another item that goes on sale so regularly that it pays to stock up. Grocery store cheese keeps for weeks, unwrapped and if necessary, can be tossed in the freezer. It will always be crumbly when thawed; fine for recipes but not for slicing and/or eating out of hand.
Look for half and half on sale around holidays, it keeps for weeks in the fridge, or barring that pick up at an Aldi or Buyer’s club where the prices rival that of the grocery store sales prices. Bell peppers go on sale regularly, so watch for those sales and pick up an extra pepper or two for the following week. They keep well.Print
Creamy White Chicken Chili
Creamy White Chicken Chili is crazy over the top good, a little spicy, a little smoky and crazy good. Perfect for game day or family dinner!
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Soups
- Cuisine: Mexican or Southwestern
- 8 slices bacon, diced
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large or two small green bell pepper(s), diced
- 1 large jalapeno, seeded & finely diced (two if using 1 for garnish)
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (1 oz) packet chili seasoning *
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 (15 oz each) cans great northern beans, rinsed & drained
- 1 (15.5 oz) can chili style beans in chili gravy
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 (8 oz) package shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided
- salt & pepper to taste
- lime wedges for garnish
In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon until browned & crispy/chewy. Remove bacon & drain. Add chicken breast and cook until no longer pink and until slightly browned. Remove chicken and add onion, bell peppers, and jalapeno and cook until softened, about five to six minutes.
Add half of the bacon back into the pot, reserving half for garnish, the chicken, half & half, broth (Depending on how thick you’d like your chili, use one to one & half cups of broth; consider adding one cup now and more after the cheese is stirred in if it’s too thick for you.), chili seasoning, beans and liquid smoke.
Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring now and then. Turn off heat and add about 3/4’s of the cheese, a bit at a time, stirring well, reserving the rest for garnish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the reserved bacon, reserved cheese and additional jalapeno for garnish, accompanied by lime wedges.
Note: if you’d rather not use a chili packet, my preferred spices are: 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 2 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon oregano.
Keywords: Bacon, Bargain Meal of the Week, Beans, canned beans, Chili, Cream, Dried Beans, Half & Half, Hot Peppers, Jalapeno, Soup, white chicken chili