This creamy Instant Pot white chicken chili is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner when you need a healthy, hearty meal. It's loaded with beans and chicken in a flavorful, creamy broth and, best of all, it's all made in one pot in under 45 minutes!
Why This Recipe Works
When the weather turns cold, you can never have too many cozy, comforting meals to warm you up. But many classic comfort foods have long cook times, so they're not always weeknight-friendly. This creamy white chicken chili is ready in under 45 minutes and made all in one pot, so it's perfect for easy weeknight dinners all winter long!
Most ingredients in this White Chicken Chili recipe are common pantry items making it easy to prepare any night of the week!
- Chicken - I used chicken breasts in this chicken chili, but boneless skinless thighs will also work.
- Beans - I like a mix of beans for variety. Great Northern and Cannellini are good options, but choose your favorites. And if you want to use homemade beans instead of canned, here's a great article on preparing white beans in your Instant Pot!
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make Chicken Chili in an Instant Pot
- Sauté the veggies - Set your Instant Pot to sauté mode and allow it to preheat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add the onion and green pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent then turn off the pot and add in the garlic. Cook for another minute, stirring frequently to avoid burning the garlic.
- Add the beans and seasonings - Add the beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano and chicken stock then stir to combine. Be sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot to avoid a burn warning.
- Add the chicken - Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place on top of the beans.
- Pressure cook - Seal and lock the lid then cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick vent any remaining steam before removing the lid.
- Shred the chicken - Remove the chicken to a plate and shred using two forks. Add the chicken back in
- Add the cream cheese - Stir in the cream cheese until it is all melted, then stir in the chopped cilantro. Top with your favorite garnishes such as lime wedges, sliced jalapeños, and diced avocado and serve.
How to Serve White Chicken Chili
This Instant Pot chicken chili is a hearty dish with a ton of flavor, so it doesn't require a lot of side dishes. A batch of my southern cornbread and a simple salad like my apple walnut salad would be perfect pairings.
And for garnishes, try:
- tortilla strips
- chopped cilantro
- diced avocado
- lime wedges
- shredded jack cheese
- sour cream
- sliced jalapenos
Storage and Reheating
Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop in a pot over medium heat until warmed through, or reheat smaller portions in the microwave.
To freeze, let the chili cool, then transfer to a freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
To give the dish some heat I recommend adding a can or two of diced green chilis. These are available in different heat levels, so you can pick how much spice you want. Another option is to add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper when adding the seasoning. You can also add diced jalapenos when sauteeing your veggies if you like.
If you like your chili thick, ladle out around 1 cup of the beans and broth into a blender or food processor and puree, then add back to the pot. It's best to do this after pressure cooking the chili, when you've got the chicken removed for shredding.
Alternatively, you can mix 2 tablespoons of cold water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and stir into the chili before adding the cream cheese. Set the Instant Pot to Saute and bring to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Then turn off the pot and add in your cream cheese.
You can totally customize this chili with additional veggies. Some of my favorites are adding frozen corn, diced tomatoes, or other varieties of beans like black beans.
Stove Top Method
You can easily adapt this white chicken chili recipe to a stove-top version.
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat, cook the veggies in 1 tablespoon of oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the seasonings and chicken stock, then add your chicken and bring to a boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Then, remove the chicken and shred.
- Return the shredded chicken to the pot and add in the beans. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add the cream cheese. Stir for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted and combined.
And for an even quicker version of white chicken chili, you can use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. After cooking your veggies and garlic, add the chicken, stock, seasonings, and beans and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Then remove from heat and stir in the cream cheese.
More Soup Recipes
Instant Pot White Chicken Chili Recipe
- 1¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- ½ cup diced green pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 15oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Set your Instant Pot to sauté mode and allow it to preheat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add the onion and green pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent then turn off the pot and add in the garlic. Cook for another minute, stirring frequently to avoid burning the garlic.
- Add the beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano and chicken stock then stir to combine. Be sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot to avoid a burn warning. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place on top of the beans.
- Seal and lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick vent any remaining steam before removing the lid.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and shred using two forks. Add the chicken back in and stir then add the cream cheese and chopped cilantro. Stir until the cream cheese is all melted. Serve warm with your favorite garnishes such as lime wedges, tortilla strips, sliced jalapeños, and diced avocado.
* All nutrition information we provide are estimates based on third party calculators. We encourage you to calculate these on your own for accurate results.