Gluten Free

Creamy White Chicken Chili Chowder + Grief Comes in Waves

Gluten Free

Delicious creamy white chicken chili chowder will keep you warm on a cool fall night. This recipe makes one amazing pot of chili!

white chicken chili

This weekend I have to give credit to one amazing guy who made it completely possible that I didn’t fall asleep in my morning cereal.

My oldest got a job at a haunted house and combined with her late nights on the weekends and my required early morning weekend work hours teaching sleep wasn’t going to be happening this weekend.

He packed up his griddle and popcorn maker (woohoo!) and spent the weekend here in the guestroom. He went through each room of the house, making sure printers and TV’s were set up properly and laundry was done and folded and I wasn’t having to make breakfast for the kids after teaching. He got up at 1:00am and made sure that my daughter was picked up so I could sleep before I had to be up at 4:30am to teach for several hours.

I hate knowing that I need help, and I’ll probably never be able to admit that I did need it but i was so grateful for the help. Having family and friends around to carry part of the burden has been so needed, even if it’s in small bursts. They may never have to face the things that I have to–carrying the financial, emotional and other burdens of raising a family alone but having help with driving kids, making meals and getting household chores done helps me during this busy time of their lives and allows me more time and energy to focus on them. I don’t think I could’ve done it this weekend. Emotionally, it was a tough one.

This weekend we went to go clean up my exes grave and place some fall decorations. My littlest made a handmade picture and we found his favorite color blue in pumpkins, a scarecrow and a car. The kids spent about 45 minutes at the cemetary. My littlest and I went to look at other gravestones. oddly, it’s in a weird way therapeutic to see that there were other Dad’s who passed away who left kids behind my kids ages. And there was one family that lost a baby the day they were born, and then lost another child at age 4. You can’t help but know that you oddly share a strange bond of understanding with these people you may never meet but had to share the same type of grief so early in life. I wish I could just reach out to them and know how they were making it. How they survived and how in the world they were getting their kids through this. To let them know that they weren’t alone…I’m here too struggling just like them!

fall gravestone decorations

After bringing the kids to the cemetary several times now, (and then myself), you also start to see the various stages of grief play out. I’ve run by the cemetary many, many times as the trail I run on goes right past the cemetary and I’ve watched many people arrive for funerals. Tonight, the various stages of grief played out. An elderly man who I’ve seen sit by his wife’s graveside for hours as I’ve run past was there again, sitting by her grave quietly. Another family was playing football and enjoying Sunday dinner. Another family quietly put flowers on a grave and sat beside the gravestone, arms around each other before leaving. Another family sat sobbing by the gravestone, the grief raw. We are definetely still in the raw phase. For a few moments we sat near his graveside quietly, then cried, and then prayed. I wonder when we will get to the point we can just come here quietly, put our arms around each other and then leave. I think it will be awhile. The raw phase is not fun. You can’t make it when you go home. It wears you out and you just come home bone tired and numb. I hope this phase ends soon.

creamy chili

It gets colder at night and after the cemetary we went home to try to eat some dinner. This hit the spot and was exactly what we needed on this cool fall night. It’s a quick and simple meal that was nice and hot and warmed us up.

creamy chicken chili

It’s filled with chicken, a little bit of heat, cilantro and beans with a creamy flavor. This is amazing with some cornbread.

Creamy White Chicken Chili Chowder


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24 ounces low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 15oz cans great northern or white beans
  • 2 4oz cans mild diced green chiles
  • 1 15oz can whole white kernel corn, drained
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • small handful fresh cilantro chopped
  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese softened (can substitute dairy free or greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup cream, milk or non dairy milk


  1. Place all ingredients minus the cream cheese and milk. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken and shred. Return to the slow cooker and add the cream cheese and cream. Stir until cream cheese is melted.
  3. Serve chili topped with monterrey or pepperjack cheese, tortilla strips, sour cream, avocado and additional cilantro if desired.

Recipe adapted from The Chunky Chef


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