I am really excited to share this Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili recipe with you. Not only was it great, but I used a new method to make it that I think will open up all kinds of possibilities for soups in the slow cooker.
I used dry beans and bone-in chicken breasts. Usually, soup recipes will call for you to cook the chicken separately and then remove it from the bone before adding it to the soup. And if you already have chicken cooked and in the freezer, it’s a simple process to do that.
But I wanted to experiment with cooking the chicken in the soup. I’ve done this with boneless chicken before, but bone-in chicken gives a much better flavor. And it worked great! I loved simplifying the soup making to one step and one pot. I will be using this method a lot now!
With all of these soups for our Slow Cooker Soup Series, I’m aiming for recipes that don’t require any cooking or prep ahead of time, including pre-cooking meat. I want to find and create the easiest soups possible.
The only prep that this recipe requires is soaking the beans. This step couldn’t be simpler. Sort through the beans to find anything that needs tossed, then pour water over them and go to bed. It’s a one minute process, if you take your time. 30 seconds if you’re in a hurry. And if you forget to do the soak, you can do a quick soak in the morning.
Here’s what you’ll need. Well, part of it anyway. I ended up adding a few ingredients as I tweaked the recipe as I was creating it.
I altered two different recipes to come up with this one. The first is from Amy from Mom Advice. Her recipe uses canned beans and a rotisserie chicken and cooks on the stove top. I also used part of Pioneer Woman’s recipe. I liked how she thickened up the soup at the end, so I used that method in my version too. Pioneer Woman’s recipe calls for cooking the chicken ahead of time. Hers is a multi-step process that cooks on the stove top.
Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- 2 - 2 1/2 lbs. bone-in chicken pieces I used 2 very large chicken breasts
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 can chopped green chilies
- 1 lb. great northern beans soaked
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 - 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 32oz box chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- salt to taste
- 2 Tbs. cornmeal
- 1 cup milk
- Place all ingredients in the slow cooker, except the cornmeal and milk.
- Cook on high 6-7 hours or low 8-9 hours.
- Remove chicken from soup and shred.
- Return chicken to soup.
- Stir cornmeal and milk together and add to the soup to thicken.
- Adjust seasonings and serve.
This recipe is part of our Slow Cooker Soup Recipe series. New recipes will be shared every Friday, October through February. Subscribe to the email list and get them all!
Tiffany, how long did you soak the beans? Do you think it would change the taste a lot if I used can beans?
Becky, I soaked them over night. You could also do a quick soak, where you bring them to a boil and let them soak for just an hour, then drain them. I think you could also use canned beans instead. I’m not sure if the great northern canned would hold up to such a long cooking time, but you could add them later.
Was it easy to fish all the bones out? I would think the chicken would just fall off the bones and then I’d have to find them all… this sounds so easy!
Kristal, I wondered about that, but it wasn’t a problem. I used 2 very large chicken breasts and they just lifted right out. Could be different with smaller pieces or if you use legs or wings.
Kalynne Arrick says
What kind of cheese is on top of the bowl in the picture? Monterrey Jack?
Kalynne, yes, that’s what it is. You could also use cheddar or go without cheese.
What size of chicken broth did you use – or how many cups?
I edited the recipe to show that it’s 32 oz. Thanks for pointing that out.
probably a dumb question but you mentioned using a pre-cooked chicken and then a method of cooking the chicken before putting it in….the recipe that you wrote down do we put the chicken in UNCOOKED? Sorry was just a little confused and didn’t want to mess it up. It looks really good. REALLY trying to get away from using lots of canned/processed foods…I’m a working mom so this recipe is just want I’m looking for! =-)
Amber, the recipe I adapted this from used pre-cooked chicken. I used raw chicken with bones for mine. I put the chicken in uncooked.
This looks so great! If I wanted to…could I go ahead and just use a rotisserie? And if so, how would I alter the time for cooking?
Stacey, yes you can use a rotisserie chicken. Keep the cook time the same. Just add the cooked chicken at the point you would have returned the shredded chicken to the pot.
I was wondering is it corn meal or corn starch to thicken? I have never used meal to thicken something so I was curious how it worked.
It is corn meal. I’d never done that before either, but it was one of the steps in Pioneer Woman’s recipe so I decided to try it. It does thicken it a little and adds a corn taste too.
Kathryn Anderson says
Love your site and your recipes!! You have completely transformed out dinner time and gotten my poor family out of the spaghetti, taco, chicken rut! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes, and life with all of us ( I love Mat Kearney thanks to you btw).
I have 1 more question for you about this recipe please–is that a 7oz or a 4oz can of chopped chiles?
Thank you! 🙂
Kathryn, Thanks so much for your nice note 🙂 I used a 4oz can of chilies, but you can use 7oz if you like them a lot and it would be good.
Looks great! Could this be made ahead and then frozen?
I haven’t tried freezing this recipe, but I think it would work fine.
I’m making this tonight! I have rice flour at home, can I just substitute that? It’s just for thickening, right?
Yes, I think that will work.
Lisa S. says
This was great chili. Love being able to use dried beans, also used boneless, skinless thighs. Didn’t have to worry about them drying out. Really good!
did you take the skin off before cooking or after when you shredded the chicken? Sound wonderful thanks!
I took the skin off after it was cooked.
About how much is a serving size?
When I give the number of servings, it’s just based on the number of people I was able to feed. I’m guessing each person would have about 2 cups?
Nick M. says
Start cooking at 4:30am on low for 8 hrs, then keep it on warm until I get home from work around 5? I will be adding the milk and corn starch then?
That should work.
Turned it on at 4:15 this morning. Cooked on low for 7.5 hours. Was on warm after that until I got home at 4:15. Turned it back up to low from 4:30 and going to leave it on until 6:30ish. Looks amazing…. suck a bite in and it tastes delicous!!!!
I’m going to tray and make this however I bought canned beans instead. Will that be ok and how will that affect my slow cooking time?
Beth Moore says
Canned beans should work just fine in this recipe with no need to adjust the cooking time. ENJOY!
Can you use boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe without the chicken drying out? Also can you make it the day beforein a corningware crockpot then reheat in the crockpot for about 4 hours the next morning? I reheat other cold food in a room temp crockpot like that.
Cathy – You should be able to use boneless skinless chicken breasts without them drying out. The biggest difference will be slightly less flavor, but it should still taste great! As far as preparing the soup one day and reheating it in a crockpot the next, that shouldn’t be a problem either. Many chili recipes seem to taste better after a day or two for the spices to meld even more too!
I made this tonight using the Instant Pot method, and it is delicious! However, I left out the 2 cups of water. Just the 32 oz of chicken broth was plenty. I think it would have been too watery otherwise. . . . Thanks for a great resource! I am finishing up the first week of your meal planning service and I love it.
That’s great to hear, Laura! And I love that you’re using the meal plans and tweaking them to fit your own tastes – it’s the best of both worlds!!