Creamy White Chicken Chili

November 2, 2011

I’ve never tried making white chili before. Heck, I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten it to be honest but it is set to become a very regular occurrence in this household.

Oregano, cumin, and a dash of cayenne give the chicken and beans some fantastic fragrance and green chilies spice it all up before everything’s totally mellowed out by the creamy half & half and sour cream.

UK readers, half & half is one part milk and one part cream. It’s sold here as a pre-made beverage (probably the wrong word, you wouldn’t want to pour yourself a glass!) that people use for baking, cooking, or putting in coffee. You could achieve the same results for this recipe by using 1/4 cup whole milk mixed with 1/4 cup double cream.

Funny story: when I first moved to the U.S. I saw half & half in the fridge I shared and assumed it was the same as semi skimmed milk (Americans: 1% or 2% milk). I poured it into my bowl of cereal and chowed down, even though it looked a little thick. Yeah…that was a learning moment.

Anyway. Back to this chili. Can you think of anything more dreamy on a cold November day than a bowl of creamy, fragrant, spicy bowl of chicken chili? No, I didn’t think so. It’s just excellent. I dare you to make some this weekend.

Creamy White Chicken Chili
adapted from Eat Live Run


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1/2-1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini beans
  • 14.5 oz chicken broth
  • 2 4-oz cans chopped green chilies
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 4 ounces sour cream


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the chicken and chopped onion and saute for about six minutes, or until the chicken is seared and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another few minutes.
  2. Add the spices, stir to mix, then add the beans and cook for about a minute. Once fragrant, add the chicken broth and green chilies and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for thirty minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the sour cream and half & half. Serve with tortilla chips or a hunk of crusty bread.
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