White Chicken Chili (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker): Creamy chili with tender chunks of chicken, white beans, and plenty of spices and flavor, all cooked quickly and easily in the instant pot, or slow cooked all day in the crock pot.
Imagine walking into a kitchen that smells of sautéed onions and garlic mixed with green chilies. Then imagine the taste of eating a creamy beans with moist tender chunks of chicken. That’s what you’ll get with this white chicken chili recipe. It’s warm and cozy and will make you feel like your wrapped in your favorite blanket. Eating this white chicken chili will warm you from the inside out.
This recipe for white chicken chili offers instructions for cooking slow or fast, but either way you make it, your hands will be freed up to frees up your hands to do more of your favorite things while cooking some great comfort food. Slow cooker white chicken chili, or instant pot chicken chili are so easy you won’t have to spend the day cooking, but instead enjoy your family, and still have your dining table will be bursting with flavor and satisfaction.
How do you make white bean chicken chili?
Making white chicken chili is not complicated. In fact, just like a traditional tomato based chili you have a choice of cooking the chili:
- On the stove top
- The crock pot
- Or Instant pot.
The steps are generally the same as well. The key is to allow your chili to simmer so the flavors can meld and you get that super complex bite, without hard work or tons of time.
The three methods are:
White chicken chili on the stove top:
- Saute the veggies to start tenderizing them and to bring out their natural sweetness and flavors. Then add the chicken and cook through. Chicken should reach an internal temp of 165 degrees to be considered safe. Or just look at it and check that it is not pink on the inside.
- Add beans, spices and stock to a separate stock pot. Chili is known for its spices and loads of flavor in each bite, but feel free to customize the spices to your preference, and heat tolerance.
- Add the chicken mixture to the stock pot. Let simmer, you want to give it a chance for the spices to meld, and the flavors to develop.
- Add sour cream and cheese at the very end. If you add it too early it will curdle and become lumpy.
- Finally, customize with your favorite toppings, and enjoy
White chicken chili crockpot method:
- Add everything but the sour cream and cheese to a slow cooker. Make sure the chicken is fully defrosted, as slow cookers cook low and slow, and you don’t want the chicken sitting at an unsafe temperature for too long as it defrosts. If you have to cook from frozen, use an instant pot.
- Cook on low for about 8 hrs, remove chicken and shred.
- When done shredding, add the chicken back into the pot, then add cream and stir. Taste and adjust spices to your preference.
- Serve with toppings
White chicken chili in the instant pot:
This is my favorite method because it is fast and easy. The instant pot pressure helps the spices blend and meld faster, and leads to more complex flavors in a shorter time period.
- Add everything to the instant pot except the sour cream and cheese
- Cook with a sealed valve for 20 min
- Do a quick release and remove the chicken and shred
- Add the chicken back in and add sour cream and cheese, and like always, taste to make sure you like the flavors, and adjust the seasonings as needed
- Top and enjoy.
I love the crockpot and the instant pot. They require less vigilance and are oh so yummy. And with the instant pot, BONUS, it’s done in under an hour.
What spices do you put in white chicken chili?
With a white chicken chili the flavors you’re looking for are a Southwest-ish combination. You’ll typically find a combination of:
- Green chilies
- Bay leaves
- And some type of kick. For example I use cayenne pepper.
You’ll be able to heat up your home either with a warmth from the bowl, or from the spicy peppers. Both ways it’s guaranteed to be spot on.
What’s white chili?
With white chili there’ll be some characteristics that are fundamentally different than a traditional beef chili. For example:
- The prominent meat is chicken, rather than beef
- The beans are white beans instead of kidney
- And it has a cream base rather than a tomato.
This white chicken chili will hit the spot with all it’s creamy goodness. And it is closer to white in color, though I like a lot of spice so mine is usually kind of an orange color with white beans.
How do you thicken chicken chili?
With this white bean chicken chili recipe the best way to thicken the recipe is to:
- Reserve some beans and cooking liquid.
- Blend the beans.
- Add to the soup.
White beans have a great creamy texture and are great for blending and thickening.
With this chicken chili the combination of the sour cream, cheddar cheese, and the white beans makes for a luciously creamy thick soup. It’ll become a family favorite for sure.
White Chicken Chili
- 3 pounds chicken breast boneless skinless
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 tablespoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons garlic minced
- 45 ounces white beans drained, 3 cans
- 8 ounces chopped green chiles hot or mild, depending on your preference (2 cans)
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 4 cups shredded cheese half Monterey Jack, half white cheddar
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 Tbs cilantro leaves chopped
Instant Pot Directions:
- Place the chicken breasts into the pressure cooker.
- Add everything else EXCEPT the cheese, sour cream, and cilantro
- Cover with the lid and set valve to sealing position.
- Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes followed by a quick pressure release.
- Remove the chicken from the pot, and shred the chicken
- Shred the chicken add back into the pot.
- Add the cheese and sour cream and stir well, serve with desired toppings.
- Taste, and season with salt and pepper if desired
- In a large skillet, add a little oil and onions with all the spices. Saute the onions to start tenderizing them and to bring out their natural sweetness and flavors.
- Add the chicken to the skillet and cook through. Chicken should reach an internal temp of 165 degrees
- Add beans, green chilies, spices and stock to a separate stock pot. And turn onto a medium high heat.
- Add the chicken mixture to the stock pot. And cover.
- Let simmer for 1-2 hours, you want to give it a chance for the spices to meld, and the flavors to develop.
- Add sour cream and cheese when done simmering, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
- Garnish and enjoy.
- Add everything into the slow cooker except the sour cream and cheese.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4
- Remove chicken and shred it
- Add chicken back in with sour cream and cheese, and cook an additional 30 minutes.
- Garnish and serve.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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