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Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

This Instant Pot white chicken chili is a one-pot wonder filled with zesty, cozy flavor. Brimming with tender chicken, smoky chilies, and warm spices, it tastes like it’s simmered all day. When really, this Instant Pot chili is ready in a fraction of the time!

If you love recipes like my secret ingredient turkey chili, you’re going to want to make this creamy white chicken chili ASAP.

Overhead view of a spoon and a piece of cornbread resting in a bowl of instant pot white chicken chili garnished with sour cream.

Why You’ll Love This Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

This Instant Pot white chicken chili is about to become a weeknight favorite. Mainly because it’s as delicious to eat as it is easy to make! I’ve been making this white chili for game day ever since I first tried it in the pressure cooker. It’s warm and creamy, filled with juicy chicken and all the Tex-Mex flavor we know and love. But wait! There’s more:

  • It’s super quick. Filled with tender chicken, white beans, corn, and spices, this white chicken chili recipe is ready in one pot in a fraction of the time it takes using other cooking methods. Thank you, Instant Pot.
  • There’s tons of flavor. You don’t need any crazy spices or far-out ingredients to make a homestyle, hearty chicken chili that tastes amazing. Just some easy seasonings cooked with the rest of the ingredients, some smoky chilies, and cream cheese to make it creamy.
  • You can make it ahead. Make this Instant Pot chili in the morning before the big game and leave it on the Keep Warm setting for serving. Or, make a big batch on the weekend, and refrigerate or freeze it for last-minute meals all week.
  • It’s something a little different. I’ll always love classic beef recipes, like my taco truck chili, but there’s something special about ultra-creamy, flavor-packed chicken chili that never disappoints. The Instant Pot packs all that flavor into a short and sweet cooking time!
Ingredients for instant pot white chicken chili with text labels overlaying each ingredient.

Chili Ingredients

Check out the ingredients you’ll need, plus some notes to get you started. You’ll find a printable ingredients list in the recipe card.

  • Onion and Garlic – Our chicken chili’s aromatics, sauteed in olive oil.
  • Diced Green Chilies – Canned green chilies work great here. Choose the heat level that works for you, whether that’s spicy or mild.
  • Beans and Corn – Canned white beans (like cannellini beans or kidney beans), and canned sweet corn. Remember to drain and rinse both before you start.
  • Chicken Broth – I like to use low-sodium chicken broth. You can also use homemade chicken stock if you prefer, or vegetable stock.
  • Spices – Chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  • Chicken – You’ll cook whole boneless chicken breasts in the Instant Pot alongside the other chili ingredients.
  • Cream Cheese – Room temperature cream cheese brings the creamy component to this white chicken chili. 

How to Make White Chicken Chili in the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot shortens a whole day of simmering into a short few minutes of cooking time. You’ll still need to budget for the pot to come to pressure and release afterward, but it’s still a LOT faster than your typical stovetop white chicken chili. Here are the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for printable instructions.

  • Saute the onions and garlic. With your Instant Pot switched to Saute, cook the onions and garlic in oil until they’re softened a bit.
  • Add the chilies and spices. Next, stir in a can of green chilies along with the seasonings. Cook for another minute or so, then cancel Saute mode.
  • Combine. Stir in your beans, corn, and broth. Afterward, nestle the uncooked chicken into the cooking liquid. 
  • Cook. Seal the lid, and set the Instant Pot to cook on Manual/High pressure for 13 minutes, followed by a 10-minute natural release. 
  • Shred the chicken. Take out the now-cooked chicken breasts, and use two forks to shred them before returning the shredded chicken to the chili.
  • Make it creamy. Finally, stir in the cream cheese and let it melt. After 5 minutes, your white chicken chili is ready to serve! See below for easy serving suggestions.

Can I Make This Without an Instant Pot?

Absolutely. Follow the cooking directions for my original white chicken chili to make this creamy chicken chili in the crock pot instead. You’ll also find stovetop instructions in that post.

Close up of a ladle lifting white chicken chili from the instant pot.

Recipe Tips

Take note of the following when making white chicken chili in the pressure cooker. You can also check out my guide on how to make the best chili. Even though it’s a chili con carne recipe, a lot of those tips apply here. 

  • Take note of the cooking time. Keep in mind that the Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure before the actual cooking time starts.
  • Read the manual. If you’re new to pressure cooking, it’s worthwhile to look over your Instant Pot’s instructions and safety warnings. Not all models cook the same!
  • Double the creaminess. To make an extra creamy white chicken chili, double the amount of cream cheese (from 4 ounces to 8 ounces).
  • Use pre-cooked chicken. You can make this recipe with pre-cooked shredded chicken. Instead of pressure cooking the chicken, simmer the chili ingredients on the Saute setting a little longer, and stir in the shredded chicken at the end before the cream cheese. The flavors won’t be quite as full, but the chili will still taste delicious!
  • Add-ins. Feel free to change things up with diced bell peppers, hotter chilies, and herbs like cilantro. You can also stir in salsa verde for a little extra kick like I do in my salsa verde white chicken chili recipe.
Bowls of white chicken chili set on white plates next to pieces of cornbread, with the instant pot in the background.

How to Serve White Chicken Chili

We love dressing up bowls of white chicken chili with toppings like diced or sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, and sour cream. For some extra kick, sprinkle over chopped jalapeños. Serve this white chicken chili with a side of cornbread or tortilla chips, or spoon it over a baked potato for a hearty meal.

Close up of a spoon and a piece of cornbread resting in a bowl of instant pot white chicken chili.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • Refrigerate. Store your leftover white chicken chili in airtight containers in the fridge. It’ll keep for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat. Warm chili servings in the microwave or on the stove. You can also reheat chili in the Instant Pot using the Saute setting.

Can I Freeze White Chicken Chili?

Definitely. I love making a double batch of this Instant Pot chicken chili on a Sunday afternoon to freeze for later meals (I mean, it’s that easy, so why not?). Once the chili has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to airtight, freezer-safe containers and freeze it for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

More Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Print

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Description

This creamy Instant Pot white chicken chili is a one-pot recipe filled with tender chicken and veggies, plus smoky chilies and a handful of spices. Ready in a fraction of the time!


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Med Onion, diced (approx 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 24 ounce cans of Diced Green Chilis
  • 215 ounce cans of White Beans, drained
  • 12-ounce can of Corn, drained
  • 1 ¾ Cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ? teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, optional
  • 11 ½ pound Chicken Breast
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese, cut into cubes at room temperature

  1. Turn the instant pot to saute mode and add olive oil to the insert.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until translucent.
  3. Add the green chilis, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Continue to cook while stirring for about 1 minute. Press the cancel button.
  4. Add the white beans, corn, and chicken broth to the instant pot. Stir.
  5. Add the uncooked chicken to the instant pot and nestle it into the liquid ingredients.
  6. Place the lid on and turn the vent to the sealed position. Set the instant pot to manual/high pressure for 13 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for the pressure to build and the timer to start counting down. Once the cook time has elapsed, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then open the vent and release the remaining pressure.
  7. Open the lid and remove the chicken breast. Shred the chicken using two forks, then return it to the soup.
  8. Add the cream cheese. Stir it into the soup and replace the lid. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
  9. Remove the lid and stir again before serving.
  10. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.

Notes

  • For an extra creamy chili, increase the cream cheese to 8 ounces.

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