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Creamy White Chicken Chili

A 30-minute soup that you’ll keep coming back to.

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I have never been big on meal prepping. I have wanted to be that person, sure, but the reality is that I get tired of leftovers too quickly for prep to do any good because I have no interest in heating up chicken-and-rice-whatever for the third day in a row. (Or even the second, if I’m being honest.) The exception to this is soup. And while making a big pot of soup (or stew or chili) on a Sunday doesn’t really count as meal-prepping, it’s as close as I’m gonna get, so we’ll go with it. This Creamy White Chicken Chili is one that I’m more than happy to eat throughout the week. It’s filling and sensible food, but it has a creamy, rich broth full of zesty green chili flavor, and it lends itself to being topped in enough ways to keep it from every feeling boring. (Even after you’ve reheated it for the third time.)

As many great things do, this starts with garlic and onion. Well, garlic and onion cooked down in olive oil, to be more precise. Some chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano join the party too.

Then, there’s the star of the show — chicken — but the good news is that the chicken simmers right in the broth. You don’t need to have already cooked chicken here and you don’t have to cut up any raw meat. Just season a couple of chicken breasts and place them in the pot.

Cover the chicken in four cups of broth and bring that to a simmer just until the chicken cooks through, which should take about fifteen minutes.

At this point you’ll pull the chicken from the pot and shred it up, and then stir it back into the broth along with a couple of cans of white beans and green chilies.

Those ingredients really just need to be warmed through so there isn’t any more simmering to do, just the thing that makes this chili so irresistible — make it creamy. And you do that by adding in half a block of cubed cream cheese.

It’s honestly not a ton for a soup that serves this much but it gives the broth a lovely velvety quality and it just tastes a little indulgent.

You can top it with tortilla chips, avocado, cheese, sour cream, some fresh tomato… Like I said, there are enough topping options to keep things novel for a few days.

But I like it served pretty simply, with maybe a little cilantro, some tortilla chips (or strips) for a little added crunch, and an extra squeeze of lime.

Yield(s): Serves 6

10m prep time

20m cook time

Rated 4.9 out of 5
Rated by 14 reviewers

Allergens: Milk, Citrus

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you're making mealtime meaningful.
100% of the Share to Care sponsor fees fund meals for families in need. Learn More
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (14 oz each) cans white beans, drained
  • 2 (4 oz each) cans diced green chilies
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For topping: (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Tortilla strips
  • Shredded cheese
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until starting to soften, 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
  2. Add chicken, season well with salt and pepper, then stir in 4 cups of the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and let cook until chicken has cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken from pot and roughly shred with two forks. (Create chunks, not finely shredded.)
  4. Stir chicken back into pot, along with the white beans and green chilies.
  5. Cube the cream cheese and stir it into the soup, until melted. Stir in lime juice, then season to taste with salt and pepper. If thinner consistency is desired, thin out with more broth.
  6. Serve topped with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Salt and Lavender.