This Instant Pot white chicken chili (with bonus slow cooker directions!) is so easy, so fast, and so delicious with a unique and tasty flavor profile that pops with pizazz!
You may be wondering what on earth I am doing posting a white chicken chili recipe when a) I already have a proclaimed favorite in the archives and b) it’s the week of Thanksgiving when most of you are only focused on turkey, rolls, and pies.
I get it. I’m kind of wondering the same thing. Even though I’m knee deep in Thanksgiving day menu planning and prep myself, for some reason, my family still thinks they need to eat other days this week beside Thursday.
Hmm. Weird. And slightly annoying.
And while cold cereal and scrambled eggs are definitely going to have to fit the bill at some point, selfishly, I can only stomach dinner like that once in a blue moon. Sorry kiddos. You probably thought all this time I agonized over weekly menu planning and getting dinner on the table for you. But it’s actually all been for me. I love good food and I cannot lie.
We have a very casual tradition of eating chili the week of Thanksgiving. I don’t know how it started. It just kind of did, and we’ve stuck with it. I have to admit, it’s kind of an awesome, albeit accidental, tradition. Chili, in all its forms, is a super easy meal to throw together, which is kind of nice on a week when many of us are up to our elbows in pie.
In this case, I’ve Instant Pot-tized white chicken chili so it is even easier and pretty much hands off. Varying from my go-to white chicken chili a bit, this Instant Pot white chicken chili (with a hearty dose of black beans) gets a zesty boost from a bunch of dried herbs and a creamy kick from softened cream cheese.
The ingredient list may seem long, but it literally is as simple as tossing 99% of the ingredients in the Instant Pot (or slow cooker), setting the time, and walking away.
I’ve given some notes in the recipe about why exactly I thought it was necessary to add dry milk, among other things, to a chili recipe (some of you are saying “what in tarnation” but just trust me here). The short and simple story is that it’s all about flavor and creaminess.
A while ago, I had a friend tell me about a popular slow cooker white chicken chili she made that was super delicious. She asked me to try (pretty please) and create a more homemade version, because while she loved the chili enough to make it on repeat, she never keeps ranch dressing mix on hand.
You can’t issue a challenge like that to me and not expect me to take it very, very seriously.
As in, I started my first batch of white chicken chili about 36 minutes after our conversation. It took just a try or three to get amazing results with every day pantry staples (and get it just right for the Instant Pot). Those extra, somewhat unusual seasonings for chili give this Instant Pot white chicken chili a burst of flavor pizazz you won’t get otherwise.
It is crazy delicious and such a great, easy, no-fuss meal. Find room in your heart for another white chicken chili recipe! You won’t regret it.
The Best Cornbread
Any and all chili toppings your heart desires 🙂
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Five Years Ago: Pumpkin Pie Sheet Cake
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I use low sodium)
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes (see note)
- 4.5 ounce can green chiles
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounce can Great Northern/white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk (trust me on this one; see note below)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large or 3 medium)
- 8 ounce package cream cheese, light or regular, cut into 6-8 pieces
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
- Toppings of choice (fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, diced avocado, sour cream, fresh limes)
- Instant Pot Directions: To the insert of a 6- or 8-quart Instant Pot, add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, green chiles, black beans, white beans, dry milk, chili powder, salt, parsley, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dill, and black pepper. Stir or whisk well to combine.
- Nestle the chicken and cream cheese cubes into the chili (it’s ok if it isn’t fully submerged). Secure the lid on the Instant Pot, make sure the valve is set to seal, and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes (select Manual or Pressure Cook and dial up or down to 15; the IP will start on its own).
- Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes then quick release the remaining pressure. Remove the chicken to a cutting board or plate and shred or cut into small pieces. Stir the chili to incorporate the softened, melty cream cheese.
- Add the corn and shredded chicken back into the Instant Pot; stir to combine and let sit on warm to heat through. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve the chili with toppings of choice!
- Slow Cooker Directions: To the insert of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker, add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, green chiles, black beans, white beans, dry milk, chili powder, salt, parsley, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dill, and black pepper. Stir or whisk well to combine.
- Nestle the chicken and cream cheese cubes into the chili (it’s ok if it isn’t fully submerged). Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board or plate and shred or cut into small pieces. Stir the chili to incorporate the softened, melty cream cheese.
- Add the corn and shredded chicken back into the slow cooker; stir to combine and let sit on low or high temp to heat through. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve the chili with toppings of choice!
If you don’t want to mess with taking out the chicken and shredding, you can cut the chicken into small pieces before adding to the Instant Pot at the beginning (and probably take a few minutes off the cooking time).
I know it seems odd to use dry milk in a chili recipe, but the dry milk (plus a bunch of the other seasonings like parsley, dill, etc) are meant to replicate packaged dry ranch dressing mix. I never have that on hand, so I wanted a quick homemade substitution.
Chili powder brands vary greatly in spicy heat, so reduce the amount in the recipe if the chili powder you use is spicy and/or you want a milder tasting chili.
Once the corn and chicken is stirred into the chili, it can stay on warm (in the Instant Pot or slow cooker) for several hours before serving.
Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (loosely based on this recipe – there’s a lot of versions like this online)