Instant Pot White Chicken Chili is a hearty, creamy, cheesy chicken chili made fast thanks to the Instant Pot.
Made with hearty chunks of hearty chicken, creamy white beans, diced green chiles, and a rich cheesy broth, Instant Pot White Chicken Chili is a flavorful family-favorite recipe that comes together with minimal effort.
At my house, we judge a recipe's success by how many servings my husband helps himself to. He only helps himself to additional servings if he loves a recipe, it has nothing to do with the level of his hunger. With two servings, the recipe is a keeper, but when he goes for three servings, it is going to be one of his favorites.
He had 4 servings of this white chicken chili the first time I made it! While he admits that he was uncomfortably stuffed, he said it was just so good he couldn't help himself.
And I have to say, from the creamy, slight broth, to the tender chicken and beans, this White Chicken Chili is pretty darn tasty.
But enough about my family, let's talk about why YOU will love Instant Pot White Chicken Chili.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Versatile and delicious, this Instant Pot White Bean Chili just can't be beaten in terms of flavor and ease!
- Comes together quickly. Ready in less than an hour, this recipe for Instant Pot White Chicken Chili has the flavor of being simmered all day, just like my recipe for Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili.
- Incredibly flavorful. From the diced green chiles to the earthy cumin to the rich cream cheese, this chili is packed with flavor, yet not overly spicy.
- This recipe is versatile! Because this is an Instant Pot recipe, you can use dried or canned beans, and fresh or frozen chicken.
- Allergy-Friendly. White chicken chili is already naturally gluten-free and egg-free, but it can also be made dairy-free by omitting cream cheese.
Notes On Ingredients
- Chicken: Use fresh or frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this recipe.
- Beans: White chicken chili is made with white beans. You can use Great Northern or Cannelini beans. I have also included instructions on how to use dried beans if desired.
- Green Chiles: Use canned green chiles, but be sure they are labeled as mild, not hot, or your chili recipe will be overly spicy.
- Chicken Broth: Use either store-bought or homemade chicken stock or broth. It is best to use low-sodium broth to control the level of sodium in the chili.
- Spices: To flavor, this white chicken chili, add cumin and oregano. They add flavor without overwhelming the chili with heat.
- Cream Cheese: The cream cheese is optional, but will give the chili a creamy, almost cheesy finish. Be sure to use full-fat or reduced-fat cream cheese, not fat-free cream cheese as it is not as creamy and will not blend well into the soup.
How to Make Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
To make White Chicken Chili in the Instant Pot you can opt to start with dried beans or you can use canned beans to save yourself time. I have included directions for both versions.
To Prepare Dried Beans (SKIP if using Canned Beans)
- Add 1 cup of rinsed great northern beans and 4 cups of water to the pressure cooker.
- Close the pressure cooker and be sure the vent knob is sealed.
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 25 minutes.
- Let pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes and then release pressure.
- Drain beans, reserving to add to the chili, and then return the empty inner pot back to the pressure cooker.
Preparing the White Chicken Chili
- Turn the instant pot to saute, add in 1-2 teaspoons of oil, and allow to heat.
- Once the oil has heated, add in the minced onion, green chiles, oregano, and cumin and saute for 2-3 minutes or until onions begin to soften and spices are toasted.
- Add in the garlic and toast for 1 minute longer. Turn the Instant Pot OFF.
- Add in a small amount, about ½ cup, of chicken stock and scrape off browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot. Don't skip this step, or you could end up with a burn notice.
- Add in the cooked dried beans or canned beans that have been rinsed and drained, and then nestle the chicken into the liquid. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Seal the Instant Pot and be sure the vent knob is pointed to sealed. Cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes if using fresh chicken and for 20 minutes if using frozen chicken.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes. This will ensure the chicken stays tender, not to mention prevent hot liquid from spewing out the vent knob.
- Once the pressure has been released, open the Instant Pot and remove the chicken to a bowl or cutting board to shred or chop.
- To make this chili creamy and have the texture that white chicken chili is known for, remove 2 cups of the cooking liquid from the inner pot and place it into a blender. Add the softened cream cheese to the blender. Blend until well combined, being sure to leave the vent on the blender lid partially open to let the steam escape while blending.
- Pour the blended cream back into the inner pot.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the chili and mix everything to combine and warm through.
White chicken chili can stand alone on its own in terms of flavor. However, my family loves to top this chili with shredded cheese, diced avocado, pickled jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, and corn chips. I personally love to add in a squeeze of fresh lime juice which really brightens up the flavors.
Store cooled white chicken chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I don't recommend freezing the soup, due to the cream cheese addition. It may separate when thawed. However, if you have omitted the addition of cream cheese, feel free to freeze this chili in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as desired.
No! For a dairy-free or lower-fat white chicken chili, omit the cream cheese. The chili will still be delicious, just not as thick and creamy.
Be sure your cream cheese is at room temperature BEFORE adding the chili. If not, it will be lumpy and not dissolve into the chili as desired.
For the creamiest texture, I do recommend blending a bit of the cooking liquid and beans with the cream cheese. However, you can add cubed cream cheese right to the inner pot, place the lid on the inner pot, and keep on warm for 10 minutes to let the cream cheese slowly melt into the chili.
By sauteing the onion, chilies, garlic, and spices in a bit of oil, you build layers of flavor to this chili with just a few extra minutes of hands-on prep. You can skip sauteing and add the chopped onion, chilies, and spices right to the chicken stock to save a few minutes of time if desired.
More Cozy Instant Pot Chili & Soup Recipes
- Instant Pot Beef & Bean Chili
- Instant Pot Chicken Taco Chili
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup
- Instant Pot Lasagna Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.
If you enjoyed this Instant Pot White Chicken Chili, I would love for you to leave a comment or review below.
Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small onion minced
- 2 (4.5 oz) cans chopped green chiles mild heat level
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 (15.5 oz) can cooked great northern beans, rinsed and drained or 1 cup dried beans (see notes on how to cook)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs fresh or frozen
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
If Using Dried Beans:
- Add 1 cup great northern beans and 4 cups water to the pressure cooker. Close the pressure cooker and be sure the vent knob is sealed.Cook on HIGH pressure for 25 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes and then release pressure. Drain beans. Return empty inner pot back to pressure cooker, keeping prepared beans off to the side.
Instant Pot Chicken Chili Instructions
- Heat the Instant Pot by turning the pressure cooker to the saute function, add in the oil, and allow to heat for a minute or two.
- To the oil, add the diced onion, green chiles, cumin, and oregano and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is softened. Add in garlic and saute for 1 minute longer. Turn the Instant Pot OFF.
- Pour in ½ cup of the broth/stock and scrape off any browned bits on the bottom of Instant Pot.
- Add the remaining broth to the inner pot, along with the canned or cooked white beans and salt. Nestle the chicken into the liquid.
- Close the Instant Pot and be sure the vent knob is sealed.
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes if the chicken is fresh, 20 minutes if the chicken is frozen.
- Once the cooking time elapses, let the pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
- Once the pressure has been released, remove the chicken from the inner pot to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes, before shredding with 2 forks or chopping into bite-sized pieces.
- Remove about 2 cups of the cooking liquid (it is okay if there are beans in the liquid) from the inner pot and place it into a blender. Add the softened cream cheese to the blender. Blend until well combined, being sure to leave the vent on the blender lid partially open to let the steam escape while blending.
- Pour the blended liquid back into the inner pot, along with the shredded chicken, and stir everything together.
- Serve as desired with any toppings you like, such as sour cream, shredded cheese, pickled jalapenos, diced avocado, fresh lime juice, and/or cilantro.
This is my *starred recipe for White Chicken Chili! For heart health I sometimes add Greek Yogurt instead of the cream cheese, or I buy lower fat cream cheese. The flavors are great and well balanced and it's such a reliable dish - definitely a go-to for my family.
I love hearing this, Tracy! Thank you for sharing your review and modifications!
I'm wondering how this soup would freeze since it has dairy in it. Has anyone tried freezing it? We all love this recipe by the way - a total family favorite!
So happy you and your family love this White Chicken Chili! I don't recommend freezing the soup, due to the cream cheese addition as it may separate when thawed. However, if you have omitted the cream cheese, feel free to freeze this chili in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as desired.
Thank you, Kristen!
sorry didn't rate in my 1st comment.
You are so kind to come back and add your rating. Thank you! Glad you feel it is a 5-star recipe 🙂
Girl you just keep hitting home runs! Even my son ate it and enjoyed it, for he is a picky eater. he's a diabetic and can eat this chili. Thank you.
YAY!! I love hearing you are enjoying my recipes Lou!
We loved this meal! I was in a pinch and needed something easy but yummy and this did the trick. The directions were right on. Thank you!
I am so happy to hear you enjoyed Lisa! Thanks for sharing!
I made this meal tonight and didn’t see the part about rinsing the beans until I read another review. It Is still good but too much liquid. I’ll know next time.
Hi Regina! I am sorry that you missed the step to rinse/drain the beans. I am glad you still enjoyed the chili, but I do believe you will enjoy even more with less liquid 🙂
My family loves this and I love how simple and easy it is. Being able to add frozen chicken breasts is a big time saver! For us, I doubled the chilies to add more flavor. Next time I will add corn or hominy, reduce the broth and add more beans for a heartier chili.
This came out a little bit bland as written so next time I will definitely add more spices but otherwise this is great! The only changes I made were to use turkey stock instead of chicken stock (i made and froze it after thanksgiving, trying to use it up now) and about 50% more green chile's because that's the only size can my grocery store had. I especially love the chicken in this, which came out juicy and tender. I've never before had luck with chicken in the IP.
Thanks for sharing Meg! I will say Turkey broth always seems to lack a bit of flavor in my opinion, this could have been part of the issue--or you may just like things with more punch 🙂
Came out a little more like a soup, but the chicken was wonderfully flavorful and tender. My husband’s feet did make a groove in the kitchen floor from repeated trips to the instant pot to replenish his portion. I’m trying to increase my leafy green intake, so I’ll toss in a few chopped fresh kale leaves to soften before serving. If I have enough leftover to reheat, I make sure that there’s no kale on the portion I’m saving. Kale overcooks with reheating. To keep the kale fresh tasting, I’ll microwave my portion of chili one minute, add a handful of kale, and heat another half minute. Yum! Next time, I may add some corn or diced carrots. What can I say, love my veggies.
I have this in my IP right now. I used Trader Joe's Green salsa verde in place of the seasonings and chilis. I had shredded chicken already from your other recipe. This only took me 5 minutes from start to finish. Thank you.
Is this a super spicy dish since it uses chilies?
These are mild green chilies, so the spice level is quite low. Just be sure to look for mild canned chilies.
This soup was very good, my husband had a second serving. I used mild chiles, so not spicy at all. I wasn't sure about the cream cheese, but it was good. I think next time I will add another can of beans.
So glad you enjoyed DB!
Wow. This was so quick and easy! Prep only took about 5 minutes and then it was totally hands off and I was able to knock out some dirty dishes while it cooked. Perfect recipe for busy nights.
Didn't have green chilies on hand so I used some hot cayenne which was tasty. I would have liked more beans but my husband loved how brothy it ended up being.
So happy to hear you enjoyed Kelsey!
Tastes great, but it’s more the consistency of soup than chili. This is totally picky and doesn’t detract from the flavor but more of a personal expectation when I hear something called chili.
Wow, YUM this was sooo tasty! I added some frozen corn and a teaspoon of chili powder. I also blended the cream cheese with some of the hot broth at the end before adding it to the pot. Delicious!