White Chicken Chilli Con Carne – a lighter but just as tasty version of regular chilli – made with chicken and spices in a lightly creamy sauce. Finish it off with all of those regular chilli toppings!
Use rotisserie chicken and you can have this comforting dinner on the table in 45 minutes!

Close up image of white chilli chicken con carne in a white bowl.
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Regular chilli con carne appears on our menu at least once a week. Chris is the Chilli Con Carne master, and frankly I was getting a bit jealous.
So I decided to make my own white chicken chilli version!

Quite a lot faster to make then a regular chilli, it requires minimal simmering time and uses cooked chicken.

It’s a fantastic comforting winter dinner, and I’d go so far as to say it holds its own against Chris’s hugely popular chilli.

📋 What do we need?

Ingredient for white chilli chicken con carne on a wooden table
  • Chicken – you’ll need the meat from a whole cooked chicken, or from 4 cooked breasts or 4-5 cooked thighs. I usually use rotisserie chicken.
  • Chillies – jalapeños are the more traditional choice for this type of dish, but you can use whatever chillies you prefer. I used green Fresno chillies as I couldn’t get hold of jalepenos.
  • Beans – I use cooked cannelini beans in a tin or carton that have been drained and rinsed. You can use dried cannelini beans that you’ve cooked yourself if you prefer.

🔪 How to make this White Chilli Chicken

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Fry onion in a little oil, then add in garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, chopped jalapeños and a chopped yellow bell pepper and fry again for a few minutes.
  2. Add stock and simmer for 10 minutes, then add cooked cannelini beans and heat through.
  3. Add milk and cooked shredded chicken plus a squeeze of lime juice. Heat for a few more minutes until everything is piping hot.
8 image collage showing how to make white chilli chicken con carne

👩‍🍳PRO TIP If you want to thicken your chilli, stir in a cornstarch slurry of 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 4 tbsp of cold water.

I love to serve my chilli with lots of toppings – such as tortilla crisps, finely chopped red onion, lime, sour cream, grated cheddar and avocado!

white chilli chicken con carne in a white bowl on a dark background. The white chilli chicken has toppings of avocado, red onion, sour cream, coriander and lime.

🍽️ What to serve it with

This is worlds apart from the minced beef and tomato version of chilli, but still works really well with all of the regular chilli trimmings like sour cream, coriander and grated cheese.

If you like it really spicy, add in some dried chilli flakes too. If you’re the other end of the scale, you can always leave out the chillies entirely (although I’m not sure you can call it chilli then :-)).
If I’m cooking for the kids, I’d make this one with half a chopped and de-seeded jalapeno, then serve it with finely chopped chillies for the grown ups.

White bowl filled with white chilli chicken con carne on a dark background. Second bowl just in shot. Ingredients and a grey napkin are scattered around the bowl.

🍲 More fantastic Spicy Chicken recipes

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5 from 7 votes

White Chilli Chicken Recipe

White Chilli Chicken – perfect when you feel like a change from regular chilli con carne!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 regular onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 jalapenos chopped finely (just use one jalapeno and remove the seeds if you don’t like it too hot)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper de-seeded and chopped in chunks
  • 720 ml (3 cups) chicken stock
  • 600 g (21 oz) tinned (cooked) cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) milk full fat or semi-skimmed
  • meat from one whole cooked chicken shredded (remove the skin) – this is about 500g (1.1lbs)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 4 tbsp cold water to make a slurry (optional)

To Serve:

  • boiled rice
  • tortilla crisps
  • fresh coriander cilantro roughly chopped
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • sliced jalapenos
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  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add in the chopped onion and fry for 5-6 minutes on a medium heat, until the onion softens.
    1 tbsp olive oil, 1 regular onion
  • Add in the minced garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, chopped jalapeños, and the yellow pepper chunks.
    2 cloves garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 1/2 tbsp cumin, 1/2 tbsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground ginger, 2 jalapenos, 1 yellow bell pepper
  • Stir and cook for 3 minutes, until the spices start to release their fragrance.
  • Add in the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the cannellini beans and cook for a further 5 minutes, until heated through.
    720 ml (3 cups) chicken stock, 600 g (21 oz) tinned (cooked) cannellini beans
  • Stir in the milk, then add in the shredded cooked chicken. Bring to the boil again and simmer for 5 minutes.
    120 ml (1/2 cup) milk, meat from one whole cooked chicken
  • Stir in the 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice.
    1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • If you'd like the sauce to be thicker, stir in half of the cornflour slurry. Add the rest if needed.
    2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • Turn off the heat and serve over boiled rice with some tortilla crisps. If you like toppings, try some of these suggestions: fresh coriander, grated cheddar, sour cream, avocado, red onion, and jalapeno slices.
    boiled rice, tortilla crisps, fresh coriander, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced jalapenos


YouTube video


Can I make it ahead?
Yes! Make the chilli (don’t add any toppings), then quickly cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Reheat in a pan until piping hot, then add the toppings.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, this chilli freezes really well. Make the chilli (don’t add any toppings), then quickly cool, cover and freeze.
Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a pan until piping hot before adding your toppings.
Ingredient swaps
  • Use cooked shredded pork or chicken thighs (instead of the shredded meat from a whole chicken).
  • Swap out the yellow bell pepper for red or green peppers
  • Swap out the cannelini beans for butter beans or haricot beans. You could even use red kidney beans if you like.
  • Add extra veg – such as courgette or canned or frozen sweetcorn. Add them in with the yellow peppers.
How to scale up and scale down this recipe
You can half or double the recipe using the same ratios of ingredients.
If you’re doubling the recipe, it will take 5-10 minutes longer to cook altogether (slightly longer time to soften the onions and heat through the chilli).
Nutritional Information is per serving (serves 4) – without the serving suggestions of rice, cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, coriander or jalapenos.


Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1681mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 256IU | Vitamin C: 68mg | Calcium: 190mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

This Post was first published in Sept 2016, updated in Feb 2021 with new photos, extra hints and tips, improvements to the recipe and a recipe video.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Bryan says:

    5 stars
    What do you think about adding cut up butternut squash?

  2. Tania says:

    5 stars
    Hello! I accidentally came across your website when googling for a roast veggie soup recipe. I’ve now saved 10 recipes to my phone from you! They all look amazing. Anyway, I have just made this white chili chicken dish – it’s SOOO good !! We are obsessed with Mexican in our house so this is going to be on high rotation for sure !! Thanks and can’t wait to make the other 9 things I’ve saved 🤣😉 Tania

  3. Sophie Bevan says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and enjoyed as leftovers two days later!!

  4. gwen randles says:

    5 stars
    Really like this idea of using chicken for a change, one for the girls? Enjoy all you recipes Nicky, food for living in the real world!

  5. Joe says:

    5 stars
    Lovely and simple to make. Making this again today.

  6. Margaret says:

    5 stars
    I made this and my family just loved it ❤️
    Can this be frozen I wonder……..?

  7. sarah says:

    hi, just wondering if this recipe is freezable? thanks

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Yes, the recipe freezes well, but I wouldn’t freeze it if you’re using leftover chicken from another dish to make the recipe (it’s not a good idea to cook the chicken, cool it, reheat for this recipe, then cool, freeze and reheat a second time).

  8. TC says:

    5 stars
    Chilli con carne is one of my favorite meals to batch cook. Tried this one for a change and it’s a keeper. Thank you.

  9. Jeff says:

    I made this for my wife and son last weekend. It was a hit. They want me to make it again this weekend. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Fab!! I haven’t made it in ages, I think I’ll make it this weekend too!

  10. Julie says:

    What is half a cup of milk? I,m surprised on an English blog to find American measurements!

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Hi Julie, even though I’m English, more than half of my readers are from the US, so I try to include both English and US measurements. Just putting the the US measurement for the milk was an oversight that I’ve corrected now, thanks for the heads-up 🙂