White Chicken Chili in the Instant Pot

This Instant Pot recipe is the one I tell people about when I tell them they need to get an Instant Pot.

I tell them about this recipe because it’s pretty much incredible; you throw frozen chicken breasts, dried beans, liquid and seasonings into the Instant Pot, push one button, and 40 minutes later you sit down to CHILI.


Just like chili that has been simmering away all day in a crock pot chili.

Just like chili that usually takes a few hours and advanced prep to make.

This is an Instant Pot White Chicken Chili where you don’t even have to have planned for it ahead of time. 

You can just be like, “oh, I want chili” and you reach into your freezer and pantry and you make chili in the same amount of time it takes to watch 2/3rds of the Gilmore Girls

Well, ok, maybe a full episode of the Gilmore Girls; don’t forget to allow time to let the IP come to pressure and then a natural release.

Then you can eat that chili while watching another episode of the Gilmore Girls.

(Ask me how I know the timing on this.)

This is the wonder of the Instant Pot, my friends. And this is the recipe that has saved my weeknight butt more times than I can count.

Can you make this chili with canned beans and thawed chicken?

Yep- just halve the time from 40 minutes to 20.

Can you make it with frozen chicken and canned beans?

Sure; that’s 20 minutes of pressure as well.

Can you make it exactly like the recipe says?


Can this chili save my life?

Honestly, it might. I wouldn’t be surprised.

White Chicken Chili in the Instant Pot



green bell pepper1 large
onion1 large
garlic3 cloves
jalapeno1 large


cumin2 teaspoons
paprika2 teaspoons
white pepper.25 teaspoons
table salt.5 teaspoon

Dry Goods

chicken broth2 cups
dried white beans1.5 cups


boneless, skinless chicken thigh2 pounds


You can use cannellini or Great Northern beans in this recipe. There’s no need to soak the beans beforehand. You may also substitute chicken thighs for chicken breast; the former won’t shred as easily but it will add a bit more flavor to the dish.

Make sure you wear a pair of rubber gloves while handling the jalapeno; the spicy oils can stay on your hands for a long time and cause irritation.

Allowing for the pot to come to pressure and then down from pressure, this recipe take about an hour to make; although there’s maybe 10 minutes of active time.

I love serving this chili with a generous amount of Greek yogurt (in lieu of sour cream), shredded cheese, and tortilla chips.

  1. Slice open the bell pepper and remove the ribs and seeds. Chop the bell pepper into small dice.
  2. Peel and dice the onion.
  3. Peel and mince the garlic.
  4. Cut away the stem of the jalapeno, then slice it open and scrape away the seeds. Mince finely.
  5. Add the vegetables to the Instant Pot.
  6. Add the spices to the Instant Pot, including the salt and pepper, and stir to combine until the vegetables are coated.
  7. Pour in the chicken broth, then add the chicken breasts and beans.
  8. Secure the lid and make sure the steam release valve is set to “seal”.
  9. Press the “Beans and Chili” button, or High Pressure for 40 minutes, then allow for a natural release.
  10. When the chili is done, open the open and stir to combine. Remove the chicken and shred, then place back in the pot.
  11. Serve the chili with your favorite toppings.

Prep Plan

Prep it for later:
1. Prepare the vegetables according to the instructions in Steps 1-4. Transfer vegetables to a resealable bag or container.
2. Add to the vegetable bag the chicken broth, spices, beans, and chicken.
(If using broth base, like bouillon cubes, add without the water, and write a quick label on the front of the bag or container about how much water to add at thetime of cooking. This saves space during storage, and helps the meal thaw faster!)
Prepared ingredients will store in the fridge for up to 4 days, and the freezer for up to 3 months.

You’ll need:
1 bag or container of prepared ingredients

Prepare from prepped:
1. Thaw ingredients as necessary.
2. Add the thawed ingredients to the Instant Pot and secure the lid.
3. Cook on “Beans and Chili”, or on High Pressure for 40 minutes, with a natural release.
4. Remove the chicken and shred, then add back to the pot.
5. Serve the chili with your favorite toppings.

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