This Instant Pot White Chicken Chili is EASY, creamy, delicious, and topped with the yummiest garnishes for a meal that’s sure to be a hit on a cold night!
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I LOVE this White Chicken Chili, y’all! It is loaded with all of the good things (bacon, beans, corn, green chilis, and lime juice to name a few), made creamy thanks to a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, and topped with the yummiest garnishes (avocado, cilantro, lime, and MORE sour cream!) for a meal that the entire family is sure to love. The best part, though? This chili is made in the Instant Pot, making it a busy cook’s dream!
Instant Pot Chicken Chili
We love that this chili is made in the Instant Pot! We love the Instant Pot for so many reasons, but at the top of that list are the ease, versatility, and quickness that it brings to the kitchen. Soups, stews, and roasts that used to take hours on the stove or in the oven (making them impossible to make and serve on a weeknight) take a fraction of the time in the Instant Pot, and this chili recipe is no different. Saute a few of the ingredients together (in the Instant Pot), throw the rest of the ingredients in, and then let the pressure cooker work its magic and cook dinner for you!
While the list may look long, rest assured that this recipe is very easy. Here’s what you’ll need to make White Chicken Chili tonight:
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken – for this recipe, you’ll need about a pound and a half of boneless/skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
- Chicken Broth – you’ll also need 4 cups of chicken broth…homemade or store-bought both work great!
- Diced Green Chilis – one can of diced chilis will add a touch of flavor and spice to the chili – you can typically find these canned chilis in the Mexican food section of your local store, but if you can’t find any green chilis, a diced poblano pepper or jalapeno will work in its place.
- Bacon – BACON. Need we say more? This ingredient isn’t often found in white chicken chili recipes, but we think that a few strips of crispy bacon lend a delicious smoky, salty flavor to the chili!
- Onion and Garlic – feel free to use fresh onion and garlic here (our recommendation) or, if you’re short on time, 1 teaspoon of onion and garlic powder instead.
- Corn – to add just a tinge of sweetness to the chili, you’ll need 1 cup of frozen yellow corn, and…
- White beans – …to bulk up the chili a bit more, you’ll need 1 (15-ounce) can of creamy white beans.
- Sour cream – sour cream makes this chili deliciously creamy and adds a great tangy flavor to the finished dish, while…
- Lime juice – …the juice of one lime brightens up the soup and adds another layer of flavor.
- Spices – to season this chili, you’ll use a simple combination of salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin.
- Garnishes – now for the really fun part! Feel free to use as many or as few garnishes as you’d like…make it your own! A few of our favorite garnishes here are extra lime wedges, sour cream, avocado, and fresh cilantro. You could also add cheese, sliced jalapenos, hot sauce, or tortilla strips.
How to Make
This recipe is easy-peasy – here’s how you’ll make it:
- Cook the Bacon – set your Instant Pot to saute mode and cook the bacon in it. Once crisp, remove from the pot and set aside, then drain all but one tablespoon of drippings from the pot.
- Saute the Onion + Garlic – add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the Green Chilis, Seasoning, Chicken Broth, Chicken, Beans, and Corn – add the green chilis and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant, then add the seasonings and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken broth and add in the chicken, beans, and corn.
- Set to Cook – using the manual setting, place the lid on pot, making sure the valve is sealed, then set it to cook for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes is up, you can either let the pressure release naturally, or turn the valve to ‘venting’ and release the pressure manually.
- Shred the Chicken + Stir in the Sour Cream, Lime Juice, and Bacon – remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with two forks, then return it to the pot and stir in the sour cream, lime juice, and bacon.
- Garnish + Serve – garnish each serving with avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, and a lime wedge, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe includes a lot of powerhouse ingredients that come together to deliver a really well-balanced meal, so while White Chicken Chili is a filling, complete meal all on its own, feel free to serve it with cornbread, over rice, or scoop it up with your favorite tortilla chips if you’re looking to add a bit more starch.
It’s important to note that this recipe is more soup-like in texture with bold, chili-like flavors (as opposed to a thick traditional chili). The addition of sour cream does help to thicken up the White Chicken Chili, but if you’re looking for an even thicker chili, feel free to leave out some of the broth. If you really want a thick, creamy soup, you can blend half of the beans with the broth!
While there is a chili setting on *some* Instant Pot models, we actually prefer skipping it and setting the Instant Pot to manual for 15 minutes here. We find that this gives us more reliable results than choosing the pre-programmed chili setting.
While this shouldn’t happen (especially with a 15-minute pressure cook-time), if your chicken is undercooked, go ahead and put the lid back on, and set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure again for about 5 minutes.
We love serving this chili nice and hot all on its own (no extra sides needed!) or with toppings galore, including extra sour cream, lime wedges, cheese, avocado, jalapenos, and crushed tortilla chips.
White Chicken Chili Instant Pot
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 4-ounce can diced hot or mild green chilis, drained (depending on heat preference)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs*
- 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained*
- 1 cup frozen yellow corn*
- ½ cup sour cream*
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 avocado sliced, for garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
- 4 lime wedges from ½ lime, for garnish
- Additional sour cream for garnish
- Set your Instant Pot to saute mode and cook the bacon in it. Once crisp, remove from the pot and set aside, then drain all but one tablespoon of drippings from the pot.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the green chilis and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant, then add the seasonings and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken broth and add in the chicken, beans, and corn.
- Using the manual setting, place the lid on pot, making sure the valve is sealed, then set it to cook for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes is up, turn the valve to “venting” to manually release the remaining pressure.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with two forks, then return it to the pot and stir in the sour cream, lime juice, and bacon.
- Garnish each serving with avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, and a lime wedge and enjoy!
- If using rotisserie chicken: Use 4 cups of shredded chicken and cook the soup for 7 minutes on high pressure.
- To make this recipe dairy-free: replace the sour cream with an equal amount of coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk and 1 additional tablespoon of lime juice.
- To make this recipe Paleo/Whole30: Follow the dairy-free substitution and omit the beans and corn. You can either replace them with 2 1/2 cups of chopped veggies (zucchini, carrots, kale, or sweet potato would be great options), or simply reduce the broth by 1 cup.