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.
Creamy White Chicken Chili
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!
How to Make White Chicken Chili in the Instant Pot
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.
To make this with dry beans instead of canned, pressure cook 1 cup dry white beans (such as navy beans) on their own first using these directions for our fast, no-soak beans. Then add the cooked beans to the chili when they are called for in Step 2.
Favorite Toppings for White Chicken Chili
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.
What to Serve With White Chicken Chili
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.
More Great Chili Recipes!
- Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili
- Spicy Vegetarian Chili
- Pressure Cooker Ground Beef Chili
- Chili Con Carne
- Chili Mac and Cheese
Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
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 ribs celery, 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
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Serve the chili:
Ladle the chili into bowls. Serve hot, with tortillas or cornbread on the side.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 28g||35%|
|Saturated Fat 9g||44%|
|Total Carbohydrate 30g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 7g||26%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 20mg||101%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|