Making Instant Pot white chicken chili is so quick and easy, you’ll wonder how you got along without this recipe. Plus, it’s dairy free!

Image of Instant Pot White Chicken Chili in a black bowl with two handles. White chili is garnished with lime, cilantro, jalapeno and tortilla strips.

It seems like everyone has a favorite recipe for chili, doesn’t it?

There must be hundreds of ways to make chili, each recipe as individual as the cook making it. Sometimes I wonder what the qualification is, what actually makes it chili.

Is it the beans? No, there are so many recipes without beans. In fact, some cooks would adamantly insist that beans ruin a good chili.

Is it the meat? No, there are recipes containing ground beef, sirloin, beef chuck (try this amazing slow cooker Texas style chili), chicken, turkey, or no meat at all!

Is it the seasonings? Maybe we’re getting a little closer with this one, but the spectrum of spices used in chili is pretty broad, too, with varying levels of heat. 

Perhaps that’s why chili cook-offs are so popular. Everyone believes that their recipe for chili is the best! And you know what? If you like the chili you made, maybe it is the best! It’s certainly the one made for you! That’s what I love about cooking, the chance to be creative, making whatever you’re cooking your very own masterpiece! It might not win first place at the cook-off but if your family loves it, I’d say that’s a win!

True confession: I have several recipes for chili on my site! In fact, one of the very first posts I wrote, way back in 2011, was for white chicken chili (and the photos haven’t been updated since!). My love affair with white chicken chili goes way back.  So why another recipe? I wanted to give you guys a recipe for Instant Pot white chicken chili. Using a pressure cooker speeds the process with delicious results. I’m sure you’ll agree!

Tip: If you need a slower version that will cook while you’re gone, try slow cooker white chicken chili.

Making Instant Pot white chicken chili is so quick and easy, you'll wonder how you got along without this recipe. Plus, it's dairy free!

About this Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Usually chili involves lots of simmering to meld those delicious flavors. With a pressure cooker, you’ll achieve the same result in a lot less time.

To make this easy chili, you’ll briefly sauté the onions in the Instant Pot, and then add whole boneless skinless chicken breasts, salsa, cumin, oregano, and cayenne to the pot. The Instant Pot comes to pressure and the chicken cooks for 14 minutes. After that, you can release the pressure, take the chicken out to shred, and add a couple cans of white beans and corn.  Super easy, right?

I wanted to make this recipe dairy-free. Often white chicken chili is loaded with Monterey Jack cheese, which is so yummy, but probably not so kind to our waistlines. But I love the creamy texture that the cheese provides. 

Here’s my secret to making this chili creamy without adding cheese: I puree a can of white beans, using my immersion blender. Add the puree to the chili and voila! Creaminess without the calories. 

Image of Instant Pot White Chili with garnishes.

How to make this chicken chili your own:

Making chili gives everyone lots of opportunity to get creative. There are so many ways to make it your own. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • As I mentioned, this recipe is non-dairy, no cheese at all. If you think white chicken chili just isn’t right without cheese, go ahead and add it! You can’t have too much creaminess, right?
  • To eliminate a step, you could use rotisserie chicken. Remove it from the bones and use it instead of the boneless skinless chicken breasts, no pressurized cooking necessary. Just heat it all up together. You can do this using the “Sauté” function on your Instant Pot, or you can use your stovetop and a large pot.
  • Like it a little spicier? Or less spicy? I use medium salsa for mine but you can use mild, hot, or even salsa verde. Kick up the heat with more cayenne.
  • This recipe calls for “white beans”. Choose from great northern beans, cannellini (white kidney beans), navy beans, or baby limas. You could even use dry beans cooked in your Instant Pot before you begin this recipe.
  • Make it your own with toppings. I love to garnish my bowl of chili with a dab of sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt, and a sprinkling of chopped fresh cilantro. Other toppings that would be delicious are: shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sliced jalapeño peppers, tortilla strips, or avocado. I’m sure you could add to the list. 

Image of pressure cooker white chili in a black bowl with garnishes.

How to store and reheat white chili:

I like to make a big batch of white chicken chili and stow it in the fridge for those times when I know I’m not going to have time to cook. I usually let it cool a bit, and put it into an airtight container. It will keep for up to four days in the fridge. Reheat it in a pan on the stove or warm a bowl of chili up in the microwave.

White chicken chili also freezes well. I put it into serving size portions in freezer containers, let it cool in the refrigerator first, and then place it in the freezer. For best results, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and reheat when ready to serve. It will keep in the freezer for a couple of months. So handy!

Love Instant Pot recipes?
I do, too! Try these recipes:


Image of pressure cooker white chili in a black bowl with garnishes.

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 53 minutes

Making white chicken chili in your Instant Pot is so quick and easy, you'll wonder how you got along without this recipe. Plus, it's dairy free!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa (I used medium)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • I teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 3 (15.8 oz) cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed, divided
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can of yellow corn, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes: shredded Monterey jack cheese, sour cream or plain greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeno peppers, tortilla strips


    1. Using the saute setting in your Instant Pot, cook onions 3-4 minutes or until translucent. 
    2. Add chicken breasts, broth (see note), salsa, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Secure lid, turn valve to seal.
    3. Cook on manual, high pressure, for 14 minutes. 
    4. When the timer goes off, turn valve to vent to quick release the pressure. Check chicken breasts with an instant-read thermometer. Internal temperature should be at least 165ºF. Remove chicken breasts to a plate to cool slightly. . 
    5. Add 2 cans of great northern beans and corn to chili, to warm through. Meanwhile, shred cooked chicken using two forks; add to chili.
    6. Puree third can of great northern beans, using an immersion blender or mashing in a bowl with a fork. Add to chili.
    7. Keep warm until ready to serve. Garnish with desired toppings. 


This chili has a soup-like consistency. If thicker chili is desired, start with 2 cups broth, and add more as needed.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 1009mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 47g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: I just adore the warm flavors of white chili, but what I really love is how easy this is to make! I love that you don’t have to cut the raw chicken into cubes before you cook it. 
Husband’s take: Ben loves any and all white chili recipes and this one is no exception!
Changes I would make: None at all are necessary, but have fun with some of the adaptations we mentioned!
Difficulty: So super easy!