This Instant Pot White Chicken Chili is a delicious spin on the classic made with green chilis, white beans and shredded chicken!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – or another neutral cooking oil like avocado or canola oil.
- Red onions – white or yellow onions will also work but have a milder flavour.
- Chicken breasts – try using boneless skinless chicken thighs instead.
- Garlic – fresh minced garlic is best but jarred minced garlic will also work.
- Green chiles – if you don’t like a lot of spice, try using poblano peppers instead.
- Chili powder – use a blend of paprika, cumin and cayenne for a similar taste.
- Cumin – coriander is the best substitute for cumin.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
- White beans – feel free to swap out for another kind of legume like garbanzo beans or kidney beans.
- Frozen corn – you can swap this out for another frozen vegetable like frozen peas or leave this out altogether.
- Chicken broth – vegetable broth would also work here.
- Green pepper – use any other colour bell pepper like red or green pepper.
- Lime juice – freshly squeezed lime juice is preferred. Bottled lime or even lemon juice will work in a pinch.
- Cilantro – leave this out altogether if you don’t like cilantro.
How to make white chicken chili
- Add the first 11 ingredients to the Instant Pot in order.
- Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Shred the chicken breasts.
- Stir in the lime juice, green pepper and cilantro.
- Serve with your favourite toppings!
How to thicken white chicken chili
The consistency of chili is really a matter of personal preference. Some people believe that if chili is too thin, it isn’t chili, it’s soup. Others believe that it’s the spices that separate chili recipes from soup recipes.
If you prefer a thicker consistency for white chicken chili, thickening it isn’t too difficult. There are several ways to thicken Instant Pot chicken chili.
- Add a cornstarch slurry after the pressure cooking is complete.
- When you place the ingredients into the Instant Pot, add 2 tablespoons of flour (lor unflavoured protein powder for a low-carb option).
- After the pressure cooking is complete, release the pressure and remove the lid. Then switch the setting to sauté or simmer and let the chili reduce.
- Add more chicken and green peppers!
Frequently Asked Questions
White chili has a base of chicken broth with white beans, corn, green chiles and spices. Typically, white chili has chicken in it, but sometimes pork is used.
This recipe pairs perfectly with Mexican comfort foods like tortilla chips and queso. Or you can serve it with a side of Ranch Rice Bowls. Just leave the chicken out of the rice bowls, because there’s plenty of it in the chili!
The main difference between chili and white chili is that regular chili has a tomato base whereas white chili has a broth base. White chicken chili is usually less spicy than traditional tomato-based chili, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.
Storing and reheating
This white chicken chili will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in glass meal prep containers. I like storing it in individual serving sizes so when I’m ready to enjoy, all I have to do is pull a container out of the fridge and pop it in the microwave! You can also reheat it in a pan on the stovetop or in your Instant Pot.
Freezing this recipe
This is a great meal prep recipe! If you plan to freeze this Instant Pot white chicken chili, make sure that it has cooled completely before freezing. Then, transfer the chili to airtight glass containers or freezer-safe Ziploc bags for up to 3 months.
The night before you want to serve it, remove the chili from the freezer and transfer to the refrigerator to thaw. You can reheat the chili in a saucepan on the stove or it can be reheated in your Instant Pot! Either reheat using the simmer or sauté setting, or slow cook it on low power for 3-4 hours.
More Tex Mex recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on packing this chili up for lunch or storing it in the freezer.
- And of course I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box!
Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium-sized red onions, diced
- 3 medium-sized chicken breasts
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (4.5 oz/127mL) can green chiles
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
- Lime wedges
- Sliced jalapeno peppers
- sour cream
- Sliced avocado
- Add everything to Instant Pot in the order listed above except for toppings, green pepper, lime juice and cilantro. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 5 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-20 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook the 5 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon, then open lid when pressure gauge has dropped and lid opens easily. Shred chicken breasts, then stir in lime juice, green pepper and cilantro.
- Serve in large bowls then top with desired toppings. Enjoy!
- NOTE: This soup will keep in the fridge up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze it in small glass bowls (individual serving size is best) and reheat each bowl in the microwave for 7-8 minutes, stirring once halfway through.