This keto white chicken chili recipe is the perfect bowl of comfort food and is super easy to make any night of the week.
Chili is the perfect comfort food and I could eat it year round. While there is always a place in my heart for classic low carb beef chili or this smoky keto chipotle chili, this one is definitely the one I make the most frequently.
In fact, this shredded chicken chili recipe has been a staple in my house for going on a decade (long before the days of blogging). It’s not only something I crave, but it feels so easy and “do-able” for a busy weeknight.
I also love that it makes enough meals to carry over for other busy days for additional lunches and dinners too. You can also easily freeze the leftovers for another time as well (the options are endless here).
With a handful of staple pantry canned goods, whole chicken breasts (or even a rotisserie chicken in a real pinch), and a few fresh diced veggies you can whip up the whole recipe in 30 minutes or less.
Don’t want to even deal with standing over your stove? Use your slow cooker or crock pot and get this cooking in the morning before work or toss it into an instant pot too for an even quicker cooking time. What’s not to love about that?
Grab all the ingredient details, substitutions, and cooking tips below or jump to the full recipe at the bottom of the page. Let’s dive in!
- Large Pot
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Two Forks (for shredding chicken)
- Wooden spoon/ Spatula
Need to know more about this recipe? Use my culinary notes below to help guide you through. Enjoy!
Keto chicken chili ingredients (and substitutions):
- Olive Oil: Helps for sautéing your vegetables and adds good fats
- Red and Green Bell Pepper: I like to use both a red and green bell pepper, remove the seeds and membrane and dice them small. Any other colored bell pepper works as a substitution.
- Jalapeno: Give your chili the slightest kick of heat with some minced jalapeno. Either remove the seeds (or keep them) to help manage the heat level you desire.
- Fresh Garlic: While I also use garlic powder, fresh garlic always adds so much flavor so I prefer it!
- Yellow Onion: Cut the onion into a small dice for sautéing.
- Spice Blend: I love using a mixture of Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder, Cayenne, Smoky Paprika, Cumin, and Garlic Powder. Don’t have all these spices? Use a keto friendly taco seasoning blend as a substitution.
- Canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes: Canned fire roasted tomatoes (I like the Muir Glenn brand best) in green chiles will get added fully to the chili recipe (liquid and all).
- Chicken Broth: Use your preferred brand or sub with a chicken stock or veggie stock too.
- Chicken Breasts: I use 3-4 raw chicken breasts for this recipe (they cook in the chili). You can sub with rotisserie chicken or even canned chicken in a pinch.
- Cream Cheese: I use cream cheese to help thicken the chili. Want more of a soup? Use heavy cream instead.
- Fresh Lime: A little bright citrus at the end ties it all together
Are beans keto friendly? Can I add them to my chili recipe?
Regular kidney beans or black beans (often seen in chili recipes) are not keto or low carb diet friendly. If you love having beans in your chili though, you can try black soy beans instead.
These are a higher fiber bean allowing them to be much lower in carbs overall and make a great choice if you desire the texture and it fits into your diet and lifestyle. I’ve even used these to make low carb Cuban style black beans too.
Chicken chili cooking instructions:
This chili is a great recipe for when you want a home cooked meal on a busy night but you’re limited to 20 minutes of cooking. Here is how to make this recipe-
- Start by dicing your peppers, onion, and garlic. Get a nice heavy bottom pot onto the heat and pre0heat your olive oil and add them in (hold the garlic).
- Sauté the veggie mixture until it starts to smell fragrant and becomes tender, about 5 minutes or so. At this point I toss in the fresh garlic and the spice blend and let it cook on medium heat to draw out the flavors.
- Next, add your can of fire roasted tomatoes (including the liquid) into the pot. Pour in your chicken broth and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Once the broth is simmering, add the chicken raw into the pot. This is totally safe to do. Let it cook on a slow boil and cook the chicken through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Once the chicken is cooked fully, carefully remove it from the broth mixture and place it on a cutting board. Add the diced chunks of cream cheese into the broth. Reduce the heat a little lower so it’s at a simmer and won’t scorch the cream cheese.
- While the cream cheese is working it’s way into the chili mixture, shred your chicken with two forks. Once fully shredded, dump it back into the pot and mix everything thoroughly.
- Add in the fresh lime juice over the top and stir.
- Taste test to adjust any of your seasonings and pull it from the heat. Serve with your favorite toppings (I love avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and hot sauce). Pair it with some homemade keto tortilla chips for a nice crunch too.
Tips for prepping in you
When the chicken is cooked through, remove and shred then add back in. Add softened cream cheese in at the end and mix well.
Instant Pot- Add your chicken into the bottom, then top with the veggies, canned fire roasted tomatoes and only 1 cup of chicken stock (not the full 4). Cook on manual high pressure for 20 minutes and let it release the pressure naturally before opening (takes about 10 minutes).
Remove the lid and shred your chicken and add the cream cheese in at the end. Stir everything in and allow the softened cream cheese to melt fully. Serve as desired.
- Avoid chunky looking cream cheese bits in your chili by letting it soften before adding it to the mixture. You can also microwave it before hand for 30 sec. to help with this.
- The chili will be soupier than traditional chili. You can either reduce the amount of stock (cut in half) or use a small amount of cornmeal (gluten free option) to thicken it a bit. It will also thicken more as it cools.
- If adding low carb black beans, be sure to add them in at the end so they don’t over cook.
- Serve with shredded cheese and crispy homemade keto tortilla chips and fresh cilantro or sour cream!
- Store for up to 1 week in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months.
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil (or butter)
- 1/2 Onion, diced small
- 1/2 Red Bell pepper, diced small
- 1/2 Green Bell Pepper, diced small
- 1 jalapeno, diced small (seeds removed if desired)
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- 2 tsp. Cumin
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 2 tsp. Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 2 lbs. Chicken Breasts (3-4)
- 4 cups. Chicken Broth
- 8 oz. Softened Cream Cheese
- 1 Lime, juiced
- Optional 1 can, Black Soy Beans (I use Eden Brand)
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers and jalapeno. Cook for 5 minutes until tender and translucent. Then add the garlic and all of the spices.
2. Cook for about 30-45 seconds until the garlic and spices smell fragrant. Add the can of fire roasted tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring to a slow boil.
3. Carefully place the raw chicken breasts into the pot so it is submerged in the hot liquid.
4. Cook on a simmer for 15-20 minutes or until it hits an internal temperature of 165 F. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.
5. Add the softened and diced cream cheese to the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. You may need to break it up with a spoon. While this is heating through, shred your chicken with two forks then add it back in.
6. Continue to stir everything until it comes together and the cream cheese is dissolved. Remove from the heat (it also thickens as it cools) and serve with your favorite toppings!
Want a thicker chili? Add a teaspoon of arrowroot powder to a small amount of warm chicken broth liquid and whisk until it's dissolved. Then add it back to the full mixture to thicken a bit more.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 1247mgCarbohydrates: 6gNet Carbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 38g