Creamy Dreamy Chicken Chili

By Published On: June 28th, 2023Categories: Meals8 Comments on Creamy Dreamy Chicken Chili

For those of you who know me, or follow my food blog, you know I am a bit of a food snob. I like using all fresh ingredients and doing everything from scratch, almost to a fault! My friend Francine Manspeaker, also a fabulous cook,  made this chili for one of our Monday Mahjong games and it is absolutely, incredibly delicious. It is almost addictive and very difficult to stop eating. Who would guess that canned chicken (from Costco no less…0oops…here comes the snob again!), canned tomatoes and a few spices would come together to make this wonderful dish. Of course, 8 oz. of cream cheese doesn’t hurt!

I make many different types and styles of chili, but usually with pork or beef and almost never with no meat, although I have done that, as well.

I do think one of the ingredients that makes this chili absolutely irresistible is the cream cheese. It just brings everything together and mellows out the flavors.

The ingredients of this chili were very simple. I did make a couple of tweaks to Francine’s, but there really was nothing to change. Just couldn’t help myself! I do think homemade chicken stock makes any recipe richer (snob alert!) and I always have several quarts frozen to be ready on hand. I also used 2 cloves of finely minced garlic rather than 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder, but again if you tasted side by side, not sure you could tell the difference. The only other spice I added (because I had it on hand and it seemed like a good idea) was to add 1 tsp. of New Mexican Chili powder.

Ingredients before adding the cream cheese.

And the chili after adding the cream cheese. See how ‘creamy’ it looks!

This complete recipe comes together, literally, in minutes. I hope you try it and let me know what you think.

A glass of red wine, crusty bread and you have a simple, but beautiful meal.

Thanks, Francine, for this yummy recipe!

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5 from 2 votes

Creamy Dreamy Chicken Chili

You will not believe how perfectly balanced and delicious this chili is, with a little heat from the spices, and lots of creaminess from the cream cheese.


  • 2 cans Kirkland canned chicken Very well drained.
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 Qt. Chicken Stock Either 1 box or make your own.
  • 2 cans Fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Tomato paste That's 4 Tbsp.
  • 2 cans Cannelloni Beans, rinsed and well drained Any other white beans also work well.
  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder OR 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely diced.
  • 1 tsp. New Mexican Chili Powder My (optional) addition.
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese Francine calls for 1/3 less fat. I went for full fat. That's why she is more trim than me!
  • Salt and Pepper to taste It's so important to taste as you mix ingredients. You can never get the correct salt ratio if you add after the dish is cooked.


  • Saute onions in butter and add all ingredients, except cream cheese. Simmer 10-15 minutes. This is where I also did a little variation. I watch a lot of cooking shows and complaints are often made by judges if canned tomatoes are not cooked down enough so I cooked the ingredients down with canned tomatoes for about 30 minutes. Then I added the cream cheese in chunks. Stir until melted and season to taste. Let simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt, chives, parmesan cheese or other favorite toppings.


I am not sure cooking the canned tomatoes down for 30 minutes or so matters a hoot, as I loved it the first time I had it at Francine's and also loved it the way I made it. Experiment! Have fun! This is note baking. No need for precision! 

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  1. Brenna Reilly June 28, 2023 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Omg this looks amazing!!! I’m tempted to try!! And canned chicken!! Awesome as always!!!

    • Cindy Rabbitt June 28, 2023 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Who would think?!? Try it and let me know what you think!

  2. Francine Manspeaker June 28, 2023 at 11:20 am - Reply

    5 stars
    Quick and yummy. Love your tweeks ❤️

    • Cindy Rabbitt June 28, 2023 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      You created a fabulous recipe. And appreciate even more as a sister food snob!! 🤪💚😊

  3. Diana Makes June 29, 2023 at 7:33 am - Reply

    YUM! I think I could even MAKE this one!

    • Cindy Rabbitt June 29, 2023 at 9:00 am - Reply

      I know you could!

  4. Joyce Prim June 30, 2023 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Diana Makes…I’m with you! And I tried some that Bonnie made and it was really good!

    • Cindy Rabbitt June 30, 2023 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      You and James will love this chili and it’s as easy as I said to put together!

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