Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

5 from 7 votes
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Hearty, creamy, and delicious, Instant Pot White Chicken Chili is the cozy comfort food that will warm you up on the coldest nights. Made with simple ingredients and naturally gluten free, your pressure cooker gives you slow-cooked taste with little time and effort.

White chicken chili in a blue bowl with cilantro, jalapeno slices, and tortilla chips on top.

Why You’ll Love This Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

  • Cuisine Inspiration: American Southwestern
  • Primary Cooking Method: Instant Pot
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free
  • Skill Level: Easy

This is comfort food with so many reasons to fall in love with it.

  • Minimal hands-on time. Chop the veggies, dump them in the Instant Pot, then when it is done cooking, just shred the chicken and stir it all together. The prep work is a breeze, and most of the cooking time is totally hands-off.
  • So creamy. Other versions are more like a soup. This recipe has cream cheese to make it rich and thick. It’s so hearty and satisfying.
  • Fresh ingredients. Unlike some white chicken chili recipes that call for seasoning packets or canned sauces, this one uses mainly fresh ingredients, with a couple of exceptions for canned beans and frozen corn. So not only are you avoiding lots of processed ingredients, but it is also naturally gluten free.
  • Versatile. You can add more or less spice, depending on what you and your family like. You can cut down the fat and calories, or reduce the sodium. Change out the beans based on what you have. Or even try replacing the beans and corn with other veggies for a low carb option.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Excellent flavor, super easy. Will make it again and again! -Stephanie

For more hearty recipes, try my chicken orzo soup, white turkey chili, and slow cooker turkey chili recipes.

Chicken chili in a blue bowl from overhead.

White Chicken Chili Instant Pot Ingredients

You’ll love the simple and fresh ingredients in this Instant Pot White Chicken Chili recipe. Here’s an overview of what you need, but check out the recipe card for the full quantities.

  •  Boneless skinless chicken breasts: You’ll need two large ones, or about 1-1 1/2 pounds total. You can leave them whole.
  • Canned chickpeas: Drained and rinsed. You can use low sodium, if desired.
  • Onion
  • Bell pepper: Yellow is a nice color with this white chicken chili, but you can also use orange or red. Green peppers are too bitter.
  • Jalapeno: You can leave the seeds for extra heat, or remove them if you don’t want it too spicy. You can also substitute a small can of chopped green chilis.
  • Corn kernels: Fresh or frozen. They do not have to be thawed. You can even cut kernels off of Air Fryer Corn on the Cob.
  • Chicken broth
  • Chili powder: Feel free to use more or less for the level of spice you like.
  • Cumin
  • Cream cheese: Cut the block in half.
  • Salt and pepper: To taste.
chicken breasts, cans of chickpeas, and other ingredients to make instant pot white chicken chili on a countertop

How to Make Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Here’s an overview of how to make this white chicken chili recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

  • Combine the ingredients. Place the chicken in the bottom of the Instant Pot then layer the chickpeas, onion, pepper, jalapeno, and corn. Pour the broth on top then sprinkle with the seasonings and pieces of cream cheese.
  • Cook. Close the lid, place the valve on sealing mode, and select Manual/High Pressure. Cook for 12 minutes, then let naturally release for 10-15 minutes.
  • Shred the chicken. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Place back in the Instant Pot and stir to combine. Saute to heat it through. Serve and enjoy!

Tips & Variations on this Chili Recipe

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making Instant Pot white chicken chili:
  • Adjust to your level of heat. You can use the seeds of the jalapeno or leave them out. Toss in an extra one or use more chili powder. It’s up to you.
  • Swap the beans. If you don’t have chickpeas or aren’t a fan, replace them with small white beans, cannellini beans, or Great Northern beans.
  • Don’t burn the cream cheese. Dairy can scorch in the Instant Pot, so make sure the cream cheese is resting on top of the other ingredients, away from the sides of the Instant Pot.
  • Make it faster with rotisserie chicken. Just chop up about 3-4 cups of leftover rotisserie chicken and use it in place of the chicken breasts to make white chicken chili. Then you can skip the shredding step and just stir everything together at the end of the cooking time.
  • Make it heart-healthy. Be sure to use low sodium beans and chicken broth. Reduce the cream cheese by half and even try substituting light cream cheese (not fat free). Then stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lowfat or nonfat Greek yogurt to make it creamy.
  • Add toppings. The best way to customize your bowl of chili is to add your favorite fixings on top, like fresh cilantro, minced red onions, bell peppers or jalapenos, tortilla chips, chopped avocado or avocado crema, cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese, or sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
two bowls of white chicken chili on a counter in front of a tiled wall

Proper Storage

  • Fridge. Any leftover white chicken chili can be packed in an airtight container and refrigerated. It is best if you enjoy it within 4 days.
  • Freeze. Because it has dairy, if you freeze this Instant Pot white chicken chili, the texture will change and it won’t be as smooth. One option, if you want to make it ahead, cook it without the cream cheese and freeze it in an airtight container or plastic freezer storage bag for up to 2 months. Then let it thaw overnight and reheat in the Instant Pot or on a stove. Stir in the cream cheese as soon as it is nice and hot.
A spoonful of white chicken chili lifted out of the bowl.

White Chicken Chili FAQs

How do you thicken white chicken chili without flour?

This chicken chili is thickened and made creamy with cream cheese. If you find that it isn’t thick enough, you can slurry about a tablespoon of cornstarch in a small amount of chicken broth or water. Add it to the chili and bring it to a simmer until thickened. Or try stirring in some cornmeal.

Can I use frozen chicken for Instant Pot white chicken chili?

Yes, you can use frozen chicken. Just be sure it isn’t frozen together into one large clump. As long as the breasts are separated, you can just add another 5 minutes or so to the cooking time.

Can I freeze white chicken chili?

As mentioned above, dishes with dairy don’t freeze well, as the cream cheese can separate once it thaws. But you can follow the directions above to cook it without the cream cheese, then stir in the cream cheese when you reheat it.

What Instant Pot Should I Use?

Which Instant Pot you buy depends on your budget and the size you need based on the many people you usually cook for. However, for this instant pot white chicken chili recipe, the smaller 3-quart Instant Pot will not be large enough. You’ll need one that is at least 6 quarts so that ts isn’t overfilled. Here are some options.

Brianne Recommends

Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart 7-in-1 – your best budget-friendly option for all of the basic functions, including pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, saute pan, and food warmer.

Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 Quart 9-in-1 – gives you more functionality, including sous vide and sterilizer.

Instant Pot Ultra 8 Qt 10-in-1 – has even more features and is great for feeding a crowd.

Instant Pot Duo Crisp 6 Quart 11-in-1 – a single appliance that does double-duty as a pressure cooker and an air fryer.

Each of these models are available in multiple sizes to find the one that meets your needs.

a bowl of white chicken chili with two spoons and tortilla chips

What to Serve with White Chicken Chili

This Instant Pot Chicken Chili makes a hearty meal on it own. So you can just spoon it into a bowl and enjoy with toppings. But you can also round it out with some extra sides:

white chicken chili in a blue bowl with cilantro, jalapeno slices, and tortilla chips on top
5 from 7 votes

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Hearty, creamy, and delicious, Instant Pot White Chicken Chili is the cozy comfort food that will warm you up on the coldest nights. So easy and made with simple ingredients!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Heating and drepressurizing time for Instant Pot 30 minutes
Total: 52 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1-1 1/2 pounds total
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (can substitute small white beans, cannellini beans, or Great Northern beans)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced (can substitute orange or red)
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds removed if you don't want it too spicy
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, cut in half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Sour cream, shredded cheese, minced red onion, or any of your favorite chili toppings for serving

Instructions

  • Place the chicken in the bottom of the Instant Pot, then add the ingredients in the order listed, layering the chickpeas, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and corn. Pour the broth over the top, then sprinkle on the chili powder and cumin. Place the pieces of cream cheese on the top so that they aren't touching the sides or bottom of the Instant Pot bowl.
  • Close the lid and place the valve on sealing mode. Select Manual (high pressure if your Instant Pot has that setting) and cook for 12 minutes. (it will take about 20 minutes for it to pressurize and start cooking).
  • Once the cooking time is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 10-15 minutes before opening the valve for a quick release.
  • Remove the chicken breasts and place them on a cutting board or on a plate. Use two forks to shred the chicken.
  • Place the shredded chicken back into the Instant Pot and stir to combine everything. If desired, set to Saute to heat it through.
  • Serve garnished with cilantro and any other favorite toppings, if desired.

Notes

Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Because of the dairy in the recipe, if you freeze it, the texture will not be as smooth once thawed.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 291 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 67mg22%
Sodium 627mg26%
Potassium 534mg15%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 6g24%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 625IU13%
Vitamin C 34mg41%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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