Made with hearty chunks of tender 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.
Inspired by my recipe for Crockpot White Chicken Chili, this ultra-creamy, easy version of White Chicken Chili made in the pressure cooker is absolutely delicious.
Why You Will Love Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- Quick & Easy Dinner Recipe. This recipe for Instant Pot White Chicken Chili tastes like it has been simmered all day, yet is ready in less than an hour and most of that time is completely hands-off.
- Incredibly Flavorful. From the diced green chiles to the earthy cumin to the rich creamy broth, this white chicken chili is packed with flavor, yet not overly spicy.
- Versatile Recipe. 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.
- Dairy-free: Omit the cream cheese from the recipe. I promise the white chicken chili will still be delicious, just not as thick and creamy.
- No Instant Pot? Use my recipe for the Crockpot White Chicken Chili.
- Start with Dried Beans. Instead of using canned beans, start this recipe by adding 1 cup of rinsed great northern beans and 4 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Cook on HIGH pressure for 25 minutes with a natural pressure release. Drain the cooking liquid from the cooked beans, and set the cooked beans to the side to add to the chili. Proceed with the recipe for white chicken chili.
Tips for the Best Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Tip#1: Saute the Onions and Spices. Starting this white chicken 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.
Tip #2: Deglaze the Inner Pot. Any time you saute anything in the instant pot, you want to deglaze the inner pot with a bit of thin liquid to prevent a burn notice. For this Instant Pot White Chicken Chili recipe, add in a small amount of chicken stock and scrape off browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
Tip #3: Let Pressure Release Naturally. After pressure cooking the white chicken chili, 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.
Tip #4: Add Cream Cheese. To make this chili creamy and have the texture that white chicken chili is known for, blend a bit of the broth with cream cheese. Be sure your cream cheese is at room temperature BEFORE adding the chili so that it will become super creamy, not lumpy or gritty.
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 or a side of Homemade Cornbread. I personally love to add in a squeeze of fresh lime juice which really brightens up the flavors.
Once the white chicken chili has cooled, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I don't recommend freezing the soup, as it may separate when thawed due to the addition of cream cheese.
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
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. Once the oil has heated, add the diced onion, green chiles, cumin, and oregano and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the 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. Using the manual or pressure cook button, set it to cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes if the chicken is fresh and 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.
To Cook Dried Beans:
- Add 1 cup of rinsed dried 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 the empty inner pot back to the pressure cooker, keeping prepared beans off to the side.