Fast and easy prep white chicken chili with a smooth, creamy texture, and out of this world flavor!
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Winter hikes & (kid friendly!) warm chili
I’ve learned that if I just don’t get out in it, I become a big grump by February my friends. So we pull on the winter gear and trudge through the snow, no matter how deep it is. Every weekend. Some winters we can barely tolerate 20 minutes the cold is so bitter and the snow is so deep. Other winters, like this year, we are left wondering if this really is still Michigan or not with the mild(er) temps and small dusting of snow! No matter the winter, a warm bowl of chili is always a good idea during the darkest months of the year!
An old recipe made (so!) much easier!
White chicken chili has been one of my favorite slow cooker recipes for years. The creamy broth base is super kid friendly, and my version is not only packed with chicken, but boasts a load of veggie variety that contributes to it’s amazing flavor. With busy schedules that come with the territory of having older kids and not as much time at home, I was finding that I wasn’t making my favorite white chicken chili as much because it did feel a bit time consuming!
Enter the Instant Pot, and an easy peasy secret to the creamy broth!
When I wrote that recipe, oh so many years ago, the Instant Pot was not even a thought! Since my trusty IP has become my go-to for our favorite regular chili, I decided it was time to give my favorite white chicken chili a face lift – Instant Pot style! And since I don’t always have time to make the cream of chicken soup for the creamy base, a little coconut milk and potato starch did the trick so well!
Dump it all in!
Other than a quick little saute to pull some flavor and sweetness out of the veggies in the beginning, this recipe is a dump and go! *Cue the busy mom applause!* The beauty of the Instant Pot is quick cook times and flavorful, juicy meat outcomes, and this recipe does not disappoint. Simply put all of the ingredients into the IP after sauting the veggies, place the raw chicken breasts on top, and when the Instant Pot is done pressure cooking, you’ll have easy to shred chicken to stir into your chili!
A note on the heat (and to bean or not to bean!)
This recipe is mild in heat and very kid friendly. I left the jalapeno as optional in case your kids are sensitive to heat. I use just one jalapeno in mine, and while I’d love a bit more heat to my bowl, I want my kids to inhale the chili too! I tend to add a hit of cayenne or chili flakes to my bowl to heat it up. One of my tricks to “cooling down” a bowl of chili for little ones is to be sure you top the chili with sour cream. The cool, fatty dairy cuts the heat well. You can use coconut yogurt or coconut milk if you are dairy free. This recipe as written does not contain beans, but if you want to add some white beans, you may!
Storage and school thermoses!
This white chicken chili freezes really well! I love that this hearty chili can be packed in school thermoses on a cold winter day! They play so hard outside at recess! You can pack a side of cheese or sour cream to add on top in the thermos too. To freeze the chili, cool the chili to room temperature, and store in freezer safe containers.
Easy Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- 3 tbsp ghee to cook in butter, coconut oil, olive oil, or tallow/lard work too
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper diced
- 1-2 small jalapenos optional if you like the heat
- 5 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tbsp potato starch Not potato flour. Tapioca or arrowroot would work here too
- 2 tsp taco season I use my own DIY blend
- 2 to matillos diced
- 2 small zucchinis large dice
- 1 – 4oz can green chilis
- 1 cup bone broth
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 3 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts 1 lb
- Sea salt/pepper to taste
- Cilantro, lime wedges, and avocado slices per preference to garnish (optional shredded raw cheese or sour cream if you tolerate that)
- Turn the Instant Pot on to “saute” and melt the ghee. Saute the onion and bell peppers with a pinch of sea salt for about 5-7 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Turn the Instant Pot “off,” and stir in the taco season and potato starch until the veggies are coated. Stir in the tomatillos, zucchini, broth, and coconut milk, and then set the chicken breasts in the liquid.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot, and close the valve. Turn the IP on to “Soup,” and bring the time down to 20 minutes. The IP will take about 5 minutes to come to pressure before counting down the 15 minutes. When the 15 minute timer is up, turn the IP off and let it naturally release for 5-10 minutes before releasing the rest of the valve pressure.
- Take the chicken breasts out of the IP, shred them with a fork, and then return the shredded chicken to the IP, stirring the chicken into the chili. Season the chili to your taste and garnish each bowl with cilantro, lime, and avocado slices per your preference.
Does this freeze well? Thanks!
Hi Sarah! I haven’t tried freezing this one! I’m usually not a huge fan of cooked chicken frozen but in a soup that might be different!
This is one of my new favorite recipes! I have made it at least six times in the past few months. I always add 2ish cups of cooked navy beans, if they’re still a touch hard (I cook my own dried beans) I add them with the rest of the ingredients and 1/4-1/2cup extra broth. It turns out amazing every time. My spicy hating kids, coconut hating husband, and flavor craving self are all satisfied with this meal.
So glad you and your family have enjoyed this recipe Laurie! The bean addition is great!
How would you adjust the recipe if you were using already-roasted chicken? Thanks!
Hi Darlene! You really could just do it stovetop for all of the sautéing and then add the chicken in and bring to simmer and it would be done. For the IP I think it would almost take longer!
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