This easy Instant Pot White Chicken Chili becomes a family favorite with just a few chicken breasts, pantry staples and only 20 minutes of cook time!
Chicken chili is a nice change to a turkey chili. Another one we love around here is this Instant Pot buffalo chicken chili and ground chicken chili!
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If I had to pick one healthy soup recipe to make year round, it would be this Instant Pot white chicken chili recipe. There is literally a lineup with bowls as soon as chicken is shredded and cream cheese has melted.
This creamy chili is a version of my healthy white chicken chili.
It has creamy texture without too much fat, tender chicken, hearty cannellini beans, is tangy and perfectly spiced for kids and adults. Then topped with diced avocado, lots of cilantro, green onion and tortilla chips.
One of the easiest healthy dinner ideas for a family! Just dump and go, and this hands off hearty meal practically makes itself for you. Minimal effort and whole family is fed!
Ingredients for White Bean Chicken Chili
This recipe for chili in the Instant Pot is highly versatile and customizable. Make it less or more spicy for your crew, add more cream cheese, or make Instant Pot chicken chili with canned or dried beans. Not to mention all ingredients are very forgiving.
- Chicken: Boneless and skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs. You can even use separated frozen chicken breasts. Same cook time.
- White beans: Use “low sodium” or “no salt added” canned beans like cannellini beans, navy beans or great Northern beans. For dry beans, use 1 cup rinsed (but unsoaked) dried white beans with 2 cups of chicken stock (total not extra), and cook Instant Pot white chicken chili for 35 minutes. You could also use pinto beans in a pinch.
- Corn: Fresh, cooked, frozen (no need to thaw), or canned (drained) corn works.
- Veggies and fruit: White onion or yellow onion, fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice.
- Broth: Low sodium chicken broth, chicken stock, or vegetable broth. I like to use organic bouillon cubes or chicken paste diluted in water.
- Diced green chiles: In a 4 oz can found in Mexican food aisle or shelf. You could use a minced jalapeno with seeds removed or salsa verde instead of canned green chilies.
- Spices: Chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt, pepper.
- Dairy: Greek yogurt or regular yogurt, and cream cheese.
How to Make Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
Absolutely everyone loves a hot bowl of this Instant Pot white chicken chili. Especially, kids love to add their own toppings. You can also double the recipe in large Instant Pot.
Step 1: Add fresh chicken breasts or frozen ones whole and save yourself from washing another cutting board. Also add corn, onion, green chilies, beans and spices to Instant Pot.
We will make chili creamy and add fresh herbs after it is cooked. Dairy scorches under pressure, that’s why we don’t add it before.
Step 2: Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes and allow 10 minutes of natural release. Then turn pressure cooker valve to Venting position.
If you vent right away, stew will splatter all over your counters. Shred chicken, I like to do so right in Instant Pot with 2 forks.
Step 3: Add yogurt, cream cheese and herbs. You can use all yogurt, cream cheese or heavy cream. I like my proportions for balance of health and creaminess.
Tips and Variations
Here are a few tips and ways to change things up for the best white chicken chili in Instant Pot experience.
- Shredded chicken: If you have leftovers, for example Instant Pot shredded chicken, they would be perfect for this chili recipe. Just cook as directed. Also Thanksgiving turkey leftovers would be great as well.
- Rotisserie chicken: Add shredded rotisserie chicken including even bones, if you wish. I recommend to add salt at the end then because store-bought cooked chicken comes pre-seasoned.
- Using frozen chicken: Truth is cooking frozen chicken breasts in Instant Pot doesn’t require much more time. Just make sure chicken pieces are separated and cook for same time.
- Make it spicy: At the end, add desired amount of chopped or sliced jalapeno pepper right to the pot.
- Lighten it up: Omit cream cheese and mash a few white beans in a bowl, then return to the pot. Instant Pot white chicken chili will be creamy naturally.
What Instant Pot Should I Use?
For this recipe you can use either a 6 quart or 8 quart Instant Pot. To double the amount of white chicken chili in the Instant Pot, do so only in 8 quart or 10 quart pot.
Make sure all ingredients do not exceed 2/3 max line before cooking. Cook time remains the same.
For 3 Quart Instant Pot cut ingredients in half and keep same cook time. Also make sure to browse more than 45 healthy Instant Pot recipes on our website.
How To Serve White Chicken Chili
Ladle it over rice or a potato for a one bowl meal or serve with freshly baked cornbread with almond flour.
Our favorite easy toppings for healthy chili recipes are:
- Diced avocado
- Tortilla chips or tortilla strips
- Cilantro, green onion
- Greek yogurt, Instant Pot yogurt or sour cream
- Shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled cotija
Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. This Instant Pot white chicken chili recipe is one of those recipes that tastes even better the next day.
Freeze: It also freezes extremely well as there are no tender vegetables to go mushy. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on a stovetop covered while simmering on low.
This white bean chicken chili is healthier than traditional versions. It is creamy without too much fat from heavy whipping cream and loads of cream cheese.
I recommended to use low sodium beans and broth. And you can’t forget that it is loaded with high in plant based protein and fiber cannellini beans.
Yes. You will need to saute onion with spices first then transfer to the slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients except Greek yogurt, cream cheese, fresh cilantro and lime.
Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours. Shred chicken and return it to the crockpot along with chopped cilantro, squeeze of lime juice, cream cheese, and yogurt.
Saute onion with spices. Add all remaining ingredients except Greek yogurt, cream cheese, fresh cilantro and lime. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 20 minutes.
Shred chicken and add cilantro, lime juice, cream cheese, and yogurt.
Yes, meal prep this as a freezer meal! Add all ingredients from step 1 in the recipe card (minus the broth) to a gallon Ziploc bag, let out as much air as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
Add broth and cook from frozen. Check out my full list of 20 healthy freezer meals including reader favorite buffalo chicken chili. I’m obsessed!
Yes, omit dairy and puree 1 cup of beans with a bit of chili liquid. Add it back and chili will be naturally creamy.
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot turkey chili
- Instant Pot chili
- Instant Pot vegetarian chili
- Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup
- Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos
Instant Pot White Chicken Chili Recipe
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 x 15 oz cans cannellini, white or great Northern beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups corn fresh or frozen
- 1 cup chicken broth low sodium
- 4 oz can diced green chiles
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 lb 2 large chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- Small bunch of cilantro finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt 2%+ (or sour cream)
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 1 lime juice of
- Tortilla chips, avocado, more yogurt, limes for serving
- In 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, add onion, beans, corn, broth, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and lay chicken on top. No need to stir. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 20 minutes.
- After allow pressure to come down naturally for 10 minutes and release remaining pressure using Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 2 minutes.
- Open the lid, remove chicken and shred with 2 forks.
- Return chicken to the pot along with cilantro, 1/2 cup yogurt, cream cheese and lime juice. Stir well.
- Serve hot with your favourite toppings like tortilla chips, diced jalapenos and avocado, more yogurt or sour cream, hot sauce etc.
- Store: Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on a stovetop covered while simmering on low.
- Make ahead: Combine and refrigerate ingredients right in inner pot of Instant Pot covered for up to 2 days. Can add chicken right before cooking.
- Freezer meal: Add all ingredients from step 1 (minus the broth) to a gallon Ziploc bag, let out as much air as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen + broth as per recipe.
- Dried beans: Use 1 cup dried and rinsed white beans with 2 cups of stock and cook chili for 35 minutes.
- Frozen chicken breasts: You can add them right in, no need to thaw but make sure they are separated. Same cook time.
- For 3 Quart Instant Pot: Cut ingredients in half and keep same cook time.
I made this during the pandemic and really loved it but I can’t remember if I needed to thaw the chicken breasts before using or could I use frozen ones? I think next time I’ll use a little less chili powder though! It’s the Norwegian blood in me although I live in Mexico now!
You can use separated frozen chicken breasts. Same cook time. Glad you love this recipe so much!
Delicious. Didn’t add the beans to the Instapot because I thought they’d get mushy so folded in before serving. Swapped jalapeño cream cheese for plain for a nice kick. Top the Tater, avocados, lime, cilantro and cheese topping made for a perfect chili. ❤️
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the wonderful review!
If I wanted to make this with chicken thighs instead (cuz that’s what I have on hand) could I do that. Do I need to do anything different? Thank you! Excited to make this recipe!
Yes you can, no other changes.
Hi! If I wanted to omit the chicken and make this vegetarian, would that cause an issue with cooking time or ingredients?
No. Just cook as per recipe with whatever you substitute for chicken. You still want to let chili cook to develop flavor.
Thanks for the recipe! have you tried making it with other beans? For example, black beans for the cannellini (trying to make due with what’s in the pantry haha)?
Haha totally get that. I haven’t tried but I don’t see a reason why it wouldn’t work.
Question. Do you think ground chicken would work in place of the chicken breast? Thank you!
Totally! Just saute it to break into small pieces first. Enjoy!
Can I use canned whole kernel corn? I decided to use your instant pot recipe instead of a crockpot recipe I had (I don’t have all day to cook this!) 😉
Haha I hear ya. Yes sure, any corn!
Meant to make this as a freezer meal but it didn’t make it! It was wonderful! Thank you!!
So happy to hear this recipe worked for you, Beth!
This was delicious! I only had thighs bit they worked perfect and I like a little tomato so I switched the can of green chilies with a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies…. all of your flavors were perfect! Thank you!
You are so welcome, Dawn! Your substitutions sound delicious and the ones I would have done myself!
Fast, easy, and delicious. Made it for the first time tonight and my husband and I both think the recipe is a “keeper”. I made the recipe as written with the exception of adding a finely diced jalapeño in addition to all the other ingredients. Thanks!!
I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback!