Instant Pot Chicken Chili with Dried Beans: A hearty and healthy chicken chili has never been easier with the help of a pressure cooker. Start with frozen chicken and dried beans and a few pantry ingredients and less than 90 minutes an easy family dinner will be on the table.
Prepare to have your mind BLOWN! Start with dried beans and frozen chicken and a delicious hearty chicken is ready in less than 90 minutes. And yes, that does include time to come to pressure, cooking time, and natural release time!!
I have been asked over and over again how to make my Classic Chicken Chili in a pressure cooker.
My first advice was to just use my recipe for chicken chili, dump into the Instant Pot set for 20-25 minutes on high pressure and bam, a healthy chicken chili for the Instant Pot.
But then as I thought about how I make frozen chicken breasts in the Instant Pot and dried beans in the Instant Pot, I wondered if I could use those recipes as a base for making Chicken Chili using dried beans AND frozen chicken.
And you can–picture me doing a happy dance right now, because not only is this Chicken Chili easy, it is healthy and darn good!
Instant Pot Chicken Chili
You may be thinking why in the world would I use dried beans instead of canned beans in chili.
- Dried beans are economical.
- You can control sodium content when you use dried beans over canned beans.
- I find dried beans cooked in Instant Pot to be less tough on my digestive system than canned beans (sorry to go there, but so many of you understand!)
Because dried pinto beans take 30 minutes to cook fully, I opted to use frozen chicken breasts in this chicken chili recipe so the chicken would not dry out and be over-cooked.
How would you change the recipe to make this Pressure Cooker Chili using fresh chicken and canned beans?
- Use 1 pound fresh chicken instead of frozen chicken.
- Use 2 15 ounce cans of pinto beans rinsed instead of the 2 cups of dried beans.
- Instead of cooking on high pressure for 30 minutes, cook on high for 15 minutes. Yes this is longer cooking time than required for fresh chicken breasts, but chili tastes best after a bit longer cooking time (and it is even better the next day!)
- Everything else (ingredients, release time, time to come to pressure) remains the same.
Can you make Chicken Chili with fresh chicken and dried beans in pressure cooker?
Technically, you can make Chili with fresh meat and dried beans. But as chicken over cooks easily, it is possible to dry out your chicken at the 30 minute cooking time required to cook the dried pinto beans. This is not my preferred method for cooking Chicken Chili.
Can you make Chicken Chili with frozen chicken and canned beans?
Absolutely. To make chicken chili in the pressure cooker with frozen chicken and canned beans just change the following:
- Adjust the cooking time to 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes on high pressure.
- Use 2 15 ounce cans of drained pinto beans instead of dried beans.
Steps to making Chicken Chili with Dried Beans
Step One: Place everything into the Instant Pot. I know, hard, right?!
Step Two: Let chicken chili cook on high pressure for chicken to be cooked though and dried beans to become tender. Let pressure release.
Step Three: Shred chicken using 2 forks right in your pressure cooker. (You can remove your chicken and shred in bowl or on cutting board, but I like to have as few dishes as possible.)
Step Four: Serve chili with chips, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, etc.
Notes on Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken Chili Recipe:
- I use 2 (15) ounce cans of diced tomatoes. Feel free to use canned tomatoes with green chiles for a spicier take on chili or 30 ounces of tomato puree if you have picky eaters who don’t like the texture of diced tomatoes. In fact, you can even use 30 ounces of your favorite salsa if you would like (just cut salt in half.)
- Be sure to add the tomatoes on top of the broth and not mix into it the chili. This helps the tomatoes not burn while cooking–you can ust mix them in at the end.
- To keep this chili recipe prep time to a minimum, I used onion powder instead of diced onion. This is also a great tactic for kids who HATE to get onion chunks in their food (Yep, been there done that with my kids!)
- If you would rather use black beans instead of pinto beans just substitute the dried (or canned) black beans for the pinto beans and follow the recipe as stated. Or use 1 cup dried pinto beans and 1 cup dried black beans.
- If you like peppers in your chili, add 1 diced pepper.
- I add 2 cups of water to this pressure cooker chili, but you can use chicken broth, beef broth or even beer for a fabulous additon of flavor (just remember that if you use beer your chili will not be gluten-free.)
- Frozen corn is optional in this chili.
- This Gluten-Free Chicken Chili is fabulous served topped with cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese and tortilla chips.
- I like to serve the leftovers of this pressure cooker chicken over baked potatoes.
Be sure to check out all my easy, healthy Instant Pot recipes.
More Healthy Chili Recipes
- Vegetarian Lentil Chili
- Instant Pot Chili
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Chili
- Wine Braised Chili
- Instant Pot Low-Carb All Beef Ancho Chili
Chicken Chili Recipe
Instant Pot Chicken Chili
Pressure cooker Chicken Chili starts off with dried beans and frozen chicken for one of the easiest meals you can have.
- 2 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes I used low sodium
- 2 cups water or stock or beer
- 1 pound frozen chicken breasts
- 2 cups dried pinto beans rinsed and sorted
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in pressure cooker but the tomatoes into the pressure cooker and stir. And in the diced tomatoes and do not stir in. Place lid on pressure cooker and turn valve to "seal."
Set to high pressure for 30 minutes.
Once cooking time has stopped, let pressure release naturally for at least 25 minutes before manually releasing pressure.
- Time to Come to Pressure: 15 minutes
- Time to Cook: 30 Minutes
- Time to Release: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 65 minutes.
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