I’m indecisive when it comes to what I want to eat, especially in the wintertime. I tend to crave something warm at night (especially in my chilly New York City apartment), so I'd usually whip up some version of red chili or soup—until I saw some delicious-looking white chili recipes online. It all sounded so appealing: some versions were creamy, some cheesy, others had chicken, some had pork, while others were vegetarian and packed with seasonal veggies.
I’m not going to lie, I love red sauce of all types—my Italian mother served most of her dishes in a marinara sauce—but sometimes it’s nice to change things up to avoid getting yourself into a food rut. What I particularly like about a white sauce is that you are often better able to taste the nuances—you're not just comparing a chunky tomato sauce to a slightly creamier one.
We searched high and low to find some of the top white chili recipes out there—from white bean and pumpkin to vegetarian with chickpeas. Get ready for a warm bowl of goodness.
White Bean and Pumpkin Pork Chili
If fall is over, it doesn’t mean you can’t still infuse your dishes with some pumpkin flavor. This chili from Foodie Crush with white Great Northern beans, diced sugar pumpkin, onion, chilies, kale, and shredded pork will do just that. And if you can’t find pumpkin near you when you want to make it? Butternut squash makes an awesome substitute.
Spiced White Chicken Chili
This Pinch of Yum white chicken chili is anything but boring. It owes its yumminess to a rich, creamy broth that comes from combining cornmeal and milk (who knew?). And when it comes to spice, there’s no lack of it here. Jalapeño, diced green chilies, chili powder, and cayenne pepper have got you covered.
Chickpea White Bean Chili
You don’t need to add meat to your chili to have it taste great. One trick is making your own homemade veggie stock as a base. The all-star ingredient in this Hello Glow recipe happens to be cloves, which doesn’t seriously overpower it, but instead adds the perfect amount of richness. Shredded cheese and heavy cream make it extra creamy, but we swear that it’s just as good without if you happen to be vegan.
Instant Pot White Bean Chicken Chili
The Modern Proper shows us how it's done with this quick, light, and sublime white bean chicken chili. The best part is you can truly set it and forget it while the Instant Pot simmers up the garlic, red bell peppers, green chilies, cumin, and chili powder for an intoxicating combination.
Crockpot Creamy Taco Chicken Chili
When we saw that this tasty white chili recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron didn’t call for any cutting, we were sold. All you need to do is throw chicken, diced tomatoes, chili peppers, all your favorite beans, corn, some stock, and softened cream cheese into your slow cooker and let it do its thing.
Spicy White Bean Chili with Shredded Chicken
Spice lovers, this is for you: a shredded chicken chili with charred corn kernels (yum). There are three—yes, three!—types of pepper in this creation from Spoon Fork Bacon, including poblano, Anaheim, and jalapeño. The heavier consistency comes from mashed white beans in the broth, which is such a genius idea.
White Chicken Quinoa Chili
For a particularly filling white chili recipe, try this take from How Sweet Eats packed with chicken and quinoa. Cannellini beans, red quinoa, and shredded chicken will all but ensure that you’re leaving your meal without any need for a snack. Of note: Some freshly shaved Monterey Jack cheese is the perfect final fixing.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
Ground turkey is a great lean option for a protein if you want something other than chicken (it happens). This delicious recipe, courtesy of Foodie Crush, owes a lot of its flavor to roasted veggies—butternut squash and pasilla peppers, in particular. Onion, garlic, beans, chicken stock, and fresh sage mingle with just a bit of white wine—in fact, pour yourself a glass while it’s cooking.
Crockpot Southwestern White Chicken Chili
Joyful Healthy Eats shares this easy breezy recipe for a delectable white chicken chili with southwestern flair that practically makes itself in the crockpot. The combined flavors of cumin, avocados, green chilis, cloves, and smoked gouda are exquisite.
Salsa Verde White Chicken Chili
Joyful Healthy Eats nails it again in this super simple crockpot white chicken chili with a salsa verde twist. The comforting flavors of cumin and spices also add a nice kick – all clocking in at under 220 calories per serving.
Slow Cooker Coconut Lime White Chicken Chili
This creamy, soothing concoction from Melanie Makes hits all the right notes with velvety coconut milk, tangy lime, chili powder, and loads of Mexican cheese. The real standout ingredient is hominy which gives it a unique texture and flavor. Best of all, you can throw it all in the slow cooker and call it a day.
Healthy Crockpot White Chicken Chili
Food Faith Fitness shares this ultra simple and healthy recipe for a light white chicken chili that you can toss in the crockpot for a quick and satisfying weeknight meal. The gluten- and dairy-free recipe is not short on flavor, combining canellini beans, onions, cumin, jalapenos, garlic, coriander, chili powder, and lots of fresh cilantro. Slurp up.