Pressure Cooker White Chicken Chili

Pressure CookerChickenChili

This White Chicken Chili is proof that chili doesn't have to be red and beefy to be delicious. Plus, this version is ready in a fraction of the time thanks to the pressure cooker!

Photography Credit: Coco Morante

Generous amounts of shredded chicken, tender cannellini beans, and vegetables (just green ones, please!) give this white chili its unique appearance.

Don’t be fooled by the lack of color, though! Its flavor runs the full spectrum of hearty, creamy, tangy, and well-spiced (but not too spicy!), so it’s both adult- and kid-friendly.

White Bean Chicken Chili

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White chili can be brothy or creamy, with a ton of toppings or served with just a handful of fresh cilantro and some warm, charred tortillas. This one has a touch of dairy, but it’s not super thick. You can make it and dress it up any way you like.

This version is a riff on Elise’s White Chili. Made in an electric pressure cooker with cooked beans (canned or homemade) and boneless chicken, it’s fast and simple!


When using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, it’s best not to cook dairy under pressure since it has a tendency to curdle and then make a mess when the pressure is released. (New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.)

Therefore, this chili is cooked first without dairy, and then you stir in a big dollop of sour cream at the end. By adding the dairy ingredient after cooking, you avoid any unfortunate pressure cooking issues and still end up with a creamy chili, too.

Of course, you can leave it out entirely to make the dish dairy-free! If you go that route, I’d recommend a squeeze of fresh lime juice to add some tanginess.


This chili is good served on its own, but you can also jazz it up with some toppings if you like! Some of my go-to’s are a sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese, crumbled corn chips, diced yellow onions, chopped fresh cilantro, and sliced jalapeños.


Most often, I serve chili with a stack of warmed tortillas or a wedge of cornbread. Rice is good too—you can ladle the chili right over it for a one-bowl meal.


Pressure Cooker White Chicken Chili Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

You can also make this recipe using leftover shredded or diced cooked chicken or turkey. Reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes at high pressure.

For a thicker chili: After the chili is cooked, stir in 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water. Use your pressure cooker’s Sauté setting to simmer the chili for a minute or two until it thickens.

For a dairy-free chili, leave out the sour cream.

For stovetop pressure cookers: Sauté the vegetables, herbs, and spices as directed, over medium heat. Cook the chili for 8 minutes at high pressure, perform a quick or natural pressure release, then continue with the recipe as written, shredding the chicken and adding it back to the pot with the sour cream and cilantro.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (leave the seeds in if you like it spicy)
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups homemade beans)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Special equipment:

  • 6-quart electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot


1 Sauté the garlic and vegetables: Select the sauté setting on your pressure cooker and heat the olive oil and garlic for 2 minutes, until the garlic is bubbling.

Add the bell pepper, jalapeños, celery, and onion, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.

Best White Chicken Chili saute the garlic White Bean Chicken Chili saute the veggies White bean chicken chili add the peppers

2 Add the spices, beans, and chicken: Add the cumin, oregano, coriander, cayenne, and salt and sauté for about 1 minute more, until aromatic.

Pour the beans over the vegetables, layer the chicken pieces on top, and pour in the broth. Do not stir. 

Easy White chicken chili

3 Pressure cook the chicken: Secure the lid on your pressure cooker in its sealing position. Cancel the sauté program, then select the manual setting and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.) 

White chicken chili in the instant pot set the cooker

4 Release the pressure: Perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure cooker’s lid to its vented position, or let the pressure release naturally.

At this point, you can also leave the chili on your pressure cooker’s Keep Warm setting for up to 10 hours, then continue with the recipe when you’re ready to serve.

Easy White Chicken Chili release the pressure

 5 Shred and season the chicken: When the pressure has fully released, open the pot and use a pair of tongs to remove the chicken to a carving board or dish. Using a pair of forks, break up the chicken into shreds.

Add the shredded chicken back to the pot along with the sour cream and cilantro and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

White bean chicken chili cook the chicken and veggies Creamy White Chicken Chili shred the chicken Best White Chicken Chili add the sour cream and cilantro White chicken chili in the instant pot combine all the ingredients

6 Serve the chili: Ladle the chili into bowls. Serve hot, with tortillas or cornbread on the side.

Creamy White Chicken Chili serve the chili

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Coco Morante

Author of The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook and The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook. A self-taught cook and classically-trained soprano, Coco Morante writes and sings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their beagle. For more recipes, visit her blog, Lefty Spoon.

More from Coco

60 Comments / Reviews

No ImagePressure Cooker White Chicken Chili

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Shaun

    Until yesterday, I had never even heard of Chicken Chili. I tried this recipe as a way to learn something new and because I am new to Instant Pot and trying to use it more to develop a list of easy recipes I will often use. This recipe will go to the top of the list. It is excellent, my wife and children loved it too. With the Jalapenos, I left one with seeds and de-seeded the other to bring the heat down. This recipe is spicy, and has a good amount of heat – just like you want in a good bowl of Chili. This is going to be in rotation frequently in late Autumn and during winter. The Instant Pot makes it so quick, I whipped up a batch, put it in a container to freeze for another day, and then made another batch for dinner.


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  2. Rebecca

    My fiancé literally never complements my cooking. After the first bite of this he said “wow, that’s really good,” and it continued on from there! Excellent flavor! Thank you for the recipe


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  3. Rosemary

    Wonderful, easy, & delicious one pot meal! So filling & satisfying! This recipe is a keeper for sure! Thank you for sharing!


  4. Jolanta

    This recipe was absolutely delicious!! I could have never imagined the taste explosion by just simply doubling up on the garlic and spices. Wonderful combination of ingredients – everything worked so well together, not to mention the fresh coriander at the end. Thank you for the recipe!!


  5. Sara

    I love this recipe! Even if you have to modify it because of not having all the ingredients, it turns out delicious. ❤️ I’m making it for the second time this week and we’ll be eating it over rice for a couple of nights! Cheap & healthy!


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White Chicken Chili in the pressure cookerPressure Cooker White Chicken Chili