Low Carb White Chicken Chili

Inspired by the Blue Owl Restaurant, this Low Carb White Chicken Chili is creamy and comforting. Made with Monterey Jack cheese and green chiles, this chili is a change from the traditional.

low carb white chicken chili

The Blue Owl Restaurant is located in historic Kimmswick, Missouri. They are known for their Levee High Apple Pie (now listed as Caramel Apple Pecan Levee High Pie) which contains 18 apples! This pie has been featured on Food Network and as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things!

low carb white chicken chili

Aside from the apple pie, the Blue Owl’s White Chicken Chili is one of their most popular signature offerings. Recipes for this chili have been circulating for years. I even tried one many years ago, and it didn’t turn out well.

After I had Charlotte, one of my MOPS friends brought us a homemade White Chicken Chili as part of a Meal Train. It was SO good. Of course, I had to ask her for the recipe. After that, I started making this chili constantly. It is one of my go to dinners during the cooler months.

white chicken chili in a bowl

Recipe Details

I’ve made a few modifications to the recipe over the years. The original recipe calls for a lot of white beans. I like beans, but usually in small doses, so I reduced this amount. That’s why I call this “low carb” because of the small amount of beans. In addition, beans are considered a “slow carb,” so not equivalent to pasta, for example.

This recipes goes super quick if you use rotisserie chicken. My favorite grocery store sells pulled rotisserie chicken in small containers that are ready to use – those make this chili come together even quicker!

I almost exclusively serve this chili with homemade Cornbread Muffins. This recipe is great, but in a time crunch I’ve also used boxed cornbread mix. The girls LOVE cornbread muffins!

Looking for a change of pace? Try this Pumpkin Cornbread!

How to Make Chicken for Chili

The easiest thing is to buy preshredded rotisserie chicken from a grocery store. The second easiest thing is to buy a precooked rotisserie chicken and use the chicken from it for the chili. If these are not options for you, I will take you through two easy options for making the chicken yourself.

1. Cook the chicken with an instant pot: If you have an instant pot, use the pressure cooker feature. Place chicken breasts with chicken broth or water inside the instant pot. Season with some salt if you’re using water. Cook for about 20 minutes on the “poultry” setting according to your equipment’s instruction manual. When chicken is done, remove from liquid, cool slightly, and shred with two forks.

2. Poach the chicken on the stove: Place the chicken and broth or water with salt in a saucepan and cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Drain the chicken, cool slightly, and shred with two forks.

Instant Pot and Crockpot or Slow Cooker Chili

After preparing the chicken, you’re ready to assemble the chili.

low carb white chicken chili ingredients

Chili in an Instant Pot

I love making soup and chili in the instant pot because everything can be made in one pot. If I making my own shredded chicken, I will do that in the instant pot first, then rinse it out and proceed with making the chili.

The oil and onions are sauteed in the instant pot, followed by the garlic, chopped green chiles, and spices. Then, the broth is added and the flavors are allowed to blend, before adding the cheese, followed by the chicken and the white beans. You can keep the chili on warm for a while until ready to serve. I list this in the recipe notes, but if you’re keeping the chili on warm or low for several hours, don’t add the beans until the last 30 minutes or so. Adding them too early results in soft, mushy beans.

When I’ve taken this chili to potlucks or parties, I just transport it in my instant pot!

Chili in a Crockpot or Slow Cooker

To make this chili in a slow cooker, you first need to start sauteeing the onions in a pot on the stove. Proceed with the recipe until the green chiles and spices have been added and cooked. Then, transfer this mixture to a crockpot and add the broth. Continue with the recipe to finish making it in the crockpot.

Keto White Chicken Chili

Eliminate the Great Northern beans for keto friendly chili.

Gluten Free Chili

This is a naturally gluten free chili recipe.

Low Carb White Chicken Chili PIN

Looking for More Soup and Chili Recipes?

Check out my favorite soups and chilis:
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Turkey Chili
Fancy Turkey Chili
Sonoma Chicken Stew {Panera Copycat}
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Homemade Turkey Soup
Leek and Potato Soup {Julia Child’s recipe}
Roasted Tomato Soup
Black Bean Soup

Bread ideas to serve with soup and chili:
Classic Cornbread Muffins
Pumpkin Cornbread
Cheddar Bay Biscuits {Red Lobster Copycat}
Cheddar Dill Scones
Pumpkin Yeast Bread
Soft Garlic Knots
Garlic Bread

low carb white chicken chili

Low Carb White Chicken Chili

This Low Carb White Chicken Chili is made with Monterey Jack cheese and green chiles and contains less beans than traditional chili for a lower carb option.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8


For the Chicken:

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt (omit if using broth)
  • or 4 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken

For the Chili:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 8 ounces canned chopped green chilies (two 4-ounce cans)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (ground red pepper)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 12 ounces shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (3 cups)
  • 1-2 cans Great Northern Beans (drained, and rinsed)

Toppings (optional):

  • Monterey Jack or Colby Jack cheese, shredded
  • sour cream
  • oyster crackers or saltines


Make the Chicken:

  • Add the chicken, water or broth, and salt (if using water) to the inside of an instant pot. Use the pressure setting for "chicken" or set for 20 minutes. Cook chicken, drain, cool slightly, and shred with two forks. Set aside, dump/wipe out inside of instant pot and proceed to make the chili.
  • Alternatively, to poach the chicken on the stove top, add the chicken, water or broth, and salt (if using water) to a saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until just tender, about 15 minutes, drain, cool, and shred with two forks. Set aside.

Make the Chili:

  • Heat oil over medium high heat in a large pot or in an instant pot.
  • Add onions and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic, chiles, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Saute 2 minutes. If using a crockpot, transfer the mixture to the crockpot at this point.
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the shredded cheese until completely melted. Add in the chicken and beans (see note) and stir well. Continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. At this point, the chili can be served immediately or held on "warm" in the instant pot or crock pot. Serve with toppings as desired.


NOTE: if keeping chili in instant pot or crock pot for several hours, avoid adding the beans until the last 30 minutes or they will become too soft and mushy.  If the chili is cooked for a long time, the cheese may separate a little.  Make sure to stir well before serving.
Recipe from the Blue Owl Restaurant via Ginny K.
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword American, chicken, gluten free, soup

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