Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

5 from 5 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.

Easy Instant Pot White Chicken Chili – Gluten Free Comfort Food

When the temperature drops, there isn’t much better than a bowl of something thick and hearty and creamy. It warms the body and soothes the soul. But sometimes comfort food takes so much time that you have to wait until the weekend to have the time to make it or let it simmer.

Not the case with this chicken chili recipe because it’s made in the Instant Pot. You get all the best parts of slow-cooked food, but with minimal time and effort. The other benefit is that no matter what time of year you crave a dish like this, you can make it without heating up the kitchen!

chili in a blue bowl from overhead

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

Minimal hands-on time. Chop the veggies, dump it in the Instant Pot, then when it is done cooking, just shred the chicken and sitr 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 reduct 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.

a spoonful of white chicken chili lifted out of the bowl

Ingredients

You’ll love the simple and fresh ingredients in this Instant Pot White Chicken Chili recipe. Here’s what you need:

  •  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. You can also substitute small white beans, cannellini beans, or Great Northern beans.
  • 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 White Chicken Chili in the Instant Pot

Once you prep the ingredients, you can just let the pressure cooker do its thing.

Add the ingredients. 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 of bottom of the Instant Pot bowl.

Let it cook. Close the lid and place the valve on sealing mode. Select Manual (high pressure if you Instant Pot has that setting) and cook for 12 minutes. Once the cooking time is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 10-15 minutes before opening the valve for a quick release.

Finish the chili. 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 with your favorite garnishes and toppings.

Serving Suggestions

While you can just spoon it into a bowl and enjoy, chili is always better with toppings.

Chicken Chili Toppings

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Minced red onions, bell peppers, or jalapenos
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Side Dishes

two bowls of white chicken chili on a counter in front of a tiled wall

Tips for Success

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.

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.

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.

Or try leftover or 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 everythign 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.

Storing Leftover Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Any leftover white chicken chili can be packed in an airtight container and refrigerated. It is best if you enjoy it within 4 days.

Because it has dairy, if you freeze it, the texture will change and it won’t be as smooth. One option, if you want to make it ahead, if to 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 over ngiht and reheat in the Instant Pot or on a stove. Stir in the cream cheese as soon as it is nice and hot.

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

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.

More Instant Pot Recipes

white chicken chili in a blue bowl with cilantro, jalapeno slices, and tortilla chips on top
5 from 5 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 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Heating and drepressurizing time for Instant Pot 30 mins
Total: 52 mins
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.

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