Instant Pot White Chicken Chili Recipe

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

When you think of chili, does your mind immediately go to hearty beef and bean stews the color of cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and tomatoes? Red chili is, after all, the chili OG, going all the way back to the 18th century Texas and the American West. Not for nothing, in the old days, they referred to bowls of chili as "bowls o' red," per Wonderopolis. But white chilis, which are relatively new to the overall chili genre, are having a moment. 

There are many things that make a white chili distinct, but the creaminess is definitely a key factor. "I think cream cheese gives the best result for a creamy smooth finish," recipe developer and certified nutritionist Hayley MacLean says of her choice. "The tartness of the cheese also adds a great flavor to the final product!" However, what really makes this recipe stand out in MacLean's opinion, is "the amazing flavors imparted by all of the wonderful vegetables and fragrant spices."

"Bright and savory, with just a bit of heat," MacLean describes her Instant Pot white chicken chili, adding that it is a "great option to grab when looking for a cozy, healthy-ish dish!" And yes, that's true even with the addition of cream cheese, which MacLean points out actually adds to this dish's formidable protein hit.

Gather your ingredients for Instant Pot white chicken chili

To create the layered white chili flavors here, we'll be starting by sautéing chopped onion, in olive oil, and adding minced garlic, chopped celery, green bell pepper, chopped jalapeño peppers (with or without the seeds, which intensify the heat). Then, you'll build on that foundation with cumin, dried oregano, ground coriander, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Salt and white pepper to taste are optional. So, check your kitchen to make sure you've got all of that on hand, before you start cooking. 

From there, you'll be adding canned Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, canned cannellini beans, drained, canned black beans, drained, cooked corn kernels, and chicken broth, and topping it off with 2 boneless chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds) and 8 ounces of cream cheese. The toppings are your choice, but MacLean recommends queso fresco, lime wedges, and scallions. 

Use your Instant Pot to start developing your chili's flavor

Turn the Instant Pot to its sauté function, and set the temperature to medium. Pour in the olive oil, and wait for it shimmer. Then add the chopped onion and cook until slightly softened (no more than three minutes or so). To this, add the minced garlic, and stir for one minute. Then add the chopped celery, bell pepper, and jalapeño, and continue to sauté, stirring regularly, until all the vegetables are soft (no more than about five more minutes). 

Then sprinkle in the cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, coriander, and the salt and pepper if you're using them. Stir gently for one minute, and then you'll want to turn off the Instant Pot before moving onto the next step.

Let your Instant Pot do its thing

Now that we've seen what the Instant Pot can do as a sauté pan, it's time to let the Instant Pot do the thing with which it is most synonymous. And by that we mean pressure cook. Cooking under pressure is an effective way of infusing a dish with flavor and letting those flavors mingle into more than the sum of their parts — and in a fraction of the time you would need in the absence of pressure. But first, you'll want to add the cannellini beans and black beans.

Do make sure to drain the beans in a colander before adding them. Then add the diced tomatoes and the corn. The boneless chicken breasts go on top of that, along with chicken broth. But before we send these ingredients off to mingle under pressure, we're going to scatter small cubes of cream cheese over the whole thing and let it do its thing. 

Shred the chicken and serve the chili

Turn the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. When finished cooking, let it naturally depressurize for 10 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure. This gives the chili mixture a little more time to make use of the pressure and for the chicken to become even more ready for shredding. Speaking of which, when your Instant Pot opens freely again, you'll know all the pressure has been released. Transfer the cooked chicken breasts to a plate or bowl, and shred with two forks. 

Stir the shredded chicken back into the chili and stir until well combined. Serve immediately with the garnishes of your choice. You'll notice plenty of savory notes along with hints of spice, and of course some impeccable creaminess that only comes with a delicious white chili!

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili Recipe
5 from 37 ratings
This Instant Pot white chicken chili is loaded with flavor, and it comes together in a breeze.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
chili in instant pot
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (or leave the seeds for extra spice)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
  • ½ cup corn (canned or frozen)
  • 2 (1 ½ pounds) chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
Directions
  1. Turn the Instant Pot to sauté on medium. Heat the olive oil to a shimmer. Add the onion and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the celery, green bell pepper, and jalapeño, and sauté for another 5 minutes, until all of the vegetables are soft.
  3. Add the cumin, oregano, coriander, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and if using, the salt and white pepper, and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute. Turn off the Instant Pot.
  4. Pour the cannellini beans, black beans, Rotel tomatoes, and corn on top of the vegetables, Place the chicken breasts on top and pour in the chicken broth.
  5. Cut the cream cheese into small cubes and place over the top. Cover and seal the lid.
  6. Turn the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. When finished cooking, let it naturally depressurize for 10 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure.
  7. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate or bowl and shred. Stir the shredded chicken back into the chili and stir until well combined.
  8. Serve immediately with the garnishes of your choice.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 518
Total Fat 26.9 g
Saturated Fat 9.8 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 119.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 30.3 g
Dietary Fiber 8.4 g
Total Sugars 3.9 g
Sodium 1,020.6 mg
Protein 39.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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