Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

bowl of instant pot white chicken chili with tortilla strips and cheese

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Pressure and Release: 25 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yields: 8 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
624 Calories
26g Fat
40g Carbs
59g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 624
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 158mg 53%
Sodium 980mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 59g
Vitamin C 13mg 63%
Calcium 475mg 37%
Iron 6mg 35%
Potassium 1147mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Instant Pot white chicken chili is easy enough for a busy weeknight dinner with no pre-cooking necessary. All you have to do is layer the ingredients in the Instant Pot. You'll have a delicious and satisfying meal in less than an hour!

The flavors in this white chicken chili are amazing as well, and the dish is versatile. It's easy to make changes to suit your family's tastes. Feel free to use a different kind of cheese in the dish, or add some spicier ingredients if your family likes heat.

Top your chicken chili off with your favorite garnishes. Along with cilantro, avocado slices, fresh tomato salsa, tortilla strips or chips, sliced ripe olives, pickled jalapeno pepper rings, sliced green onions, diced red onions, or lime wedges.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts

  • 1 medium onion (chopped)

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans (or great northern beans)

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn

  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can green chilies (mild, chopped)

  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper, optional

  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste, divided use)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese (or pepper jack, divided use)

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for instant pot white chicken chili

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  2. Place the chicken in the Instant pot, then add the onions, beans, corn, green chilies, jalapeño (if using), garlic, cumin, oregano, and half of the salt, stirring to coat. Pour in the chicken stock.

    ingredients are combined in the instant pot for white chicken chili

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  3. Secure the lid on the Instant pot and ensure the steam release knob is in the sealing position. Select pressure cook (manual on some models), high pressure, then set the timer for 15 minutes.

    set the instant pot timer

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  4. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully turn the knob to venting to release the remaining pressure.

    remove the instant pot lid

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  5. Transfer the chicken pieces to a cutting board, then shred or chop. 

    shred the chicken breasts

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  6. Return the chicken to the pot with the sour cream and about half of the shredded cheese; stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, as desired.

    add the sour cream and cheese to the instant pot white chicken chili

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  7. Serve the chicken chili with the remaining shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, and other toppings, as desired.

    bowl of white chicken chili with extra cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

How Do You Thicken White Chicken Chili?

  • If you like a thicker broth, make a slurry with 2 to 3 tablespoons of cornstarch whisked with an equal amount of water. Shred the chicken and set it aside. Add the cornstarch mixture to the chili mixture and set the pot on sauté; heat until it is thickened. Add the chicken back to the pot along with half of the cheese and the sour cream. Stir to blend and serve.
  • Mashing some of the beans will add thickness as well.

Can Frozen Chicken Be Used In Chicken Chili?

Feel free to use frozen chicken breasts, but make sure they are separated, not stuck together. Follow the instructions and add 4 minutes to the time for chicken breasts under 8 ounces each, or about 6 minutes if the chicken breasts are 8 ounces or larger.

What's the Difference Between Cannellini Beans and Great Northern Beans?

Cannellini beans—also known as white kidney beans—and great northern beans are white beans and similar in flavor. Great northern beans are a bit firmer than cannellini beans, and cannellini beans are creamier. The two kinds of beans are close enough in flavor and texture to use interchangeably.

What Do You Serve With Chicken Chili?

How To Store and Freeze

Refrigerate leftover white chicken chili in airtight containers for up to 4 days.

Leftover chicken chili may be frozen as well. Freeze in airtight containers or zip-close freezer bags for up to 3 months.

Recipe Variations

  • For extra heat, add about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red chili flakes or some ground cayenne pepper.
  • Add a diced green or red bell pepper along with the onion.
  • Instead of sour cream, stir about 4 ounces of cubed cream cheese into the hot chicken chili.
  • Replace the chicken breasts with boneless chicken thighs and add 10 minutes to the cooking time.
  • If you aren't a cilantro fan, omit them or garnish the dish with chopped green onions or parsley.