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Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

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It’s official, we’ve fallen in love with this Instant Pot white chicken chili recipe.  It’s dairy-free, bean-free, whole30 compliant and it can be on the table in around 30 minutes. 

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

We’re chili lovers to begin with so it wasn’t a stretch for us to come up with a new chili recipe. Check out some of our other chili recipes:

Making it a whole 30 Chili

After a recent allergy diagnosis, I’ve been trying more dairy-free recipes and have contemplated trying a whole30.  Anyone out there tried/completed one?  I hope to start one soon but wanted to test out a few recipes ahead of time.  And maybe freeze them.  Because I think it would be much more manageable to completely redo your diet with advance planning. With that motivation, this Instant Pot white chicken chili recipe was born.

We love white chicken chili, but there are no beans allowed on whole30 so this recipe just subs out the beans with cauliflower. You can substitute cauliflower for a lot of things.  It works perfectly in this recipe because it helps to thicken the chili and adds nicely to the flavor profile.

Most chili recipes aren’t complete until you kick them up with some sort of strong flavor or spice so in this instance we turned to salsa verde. We’ve been working on a salsa verde chicken recipe lately and already knew they would pair nicely together. 

The salsa verde we use in this whole30 white chicken chili is our own homemade roasted tomatillo salsa verde.  However, there are jarred salsa verde brands that are whole30 compliant.  Our version is more on the mild side so if you like spicier chilis, feel free to buy a medium or hot version. Or, if making it at home, throw in an extra jalapeno plus some of the seeds. 

If you aren’t a fan of tomatillos and want something easier, just throw in a cup of green chiles or a couple of roasted poblanos.  

Whole 30 Instant Pot White Chicken Chili Recipe

What kind of chicken can you use for this chili?

We use chicken thighs in this recipe because we like how they cook in the Instant Pot pressure cooker better than chicken breasts. They don’t take long, they remain nice and tender, and pull apart really easily. But if you don’t have thighs on hand or want to use other kinds of chicken you certainly can.

A few suggested recipe modifications for other kinds of chicken

  • If you use chicken breasts then I would suggest you add a few minutes to the pressure cycle as they’ll likely need to cook just a little longer.
  • If you use rotisserie leftovers or some other sort of chicken leftovers (so, chicken that is already cooked) then I would not add the chicken until after the other chili ingredients are cooked. But, if this the case, the cauliflower should only take a one-minute pressure cycle to cook so adjust the cycle time accordingly. Then, after the nature pressure release,  blend and then add the chicken. If you’re adding cold chicken, give it time to warm up before serving.

How much chicken should you add?

I find there is plenty of chicken with 4 thighs (probably about 1-1.5 pounds of thighs).  However, we sometimes add in extra chicken thighs to cut up and save for chicken burrito bowls or quesadillas. 

Are there cauliflower alternatives?

Sure. As stated, we love the thickness and flavor the cauliflower brings to this chili, but if you’re not a fan you can always skip it and try potato instead.  The same directions should apply if you cut the potato into small pieces (and probably peel the potatoes). If you’re worried about keeping this as a whole30 Instant Pot White Chicken Chili, read here about why white potatoes are whole30 approved.

Toppings for your White Chicken Chili

No chili is complete without a few toppings. Am I right?!

Some of our favorite toppings for this chili are lime juice, cilantro, and avocado.  Obviously, if you are eating whole30 compliant, dairy and grains are out.  However, if not, feel free to also top with things like sour cream and tortilla strips. Or pretty much whatever you like.

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili — the easy steps

  • Add the ingredients to the Instant PotAdd all the chili ingredients to the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lidClose the Instant Pot lid
  • Close the ventClose the Instant Pot vent
  • Set for a 10 minute cycleSet a 10 minute cycle for your Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
  • Carefully open the vent after a 10 minute natural releaseOpen Instant Pot vent after a cool down cycle
  • Remove the chicken and chop it upWhite chicken chili - remove the chicken before blending
  • Blend the remaining ingredientsblend the chili ingredients
  • Mix the chicken back in and it’s ready to serve!
instant pot white chicken chili whole 30

Instant Pot Whole30 White Chicken Chili

A whole30 white chicken chili with no beans made in the Instant Pot.  
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Instant Pot, Whole30
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, chili, instant pot, whole30
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 210kcal


  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 chicken thighs (1-2 lbs)
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 head cauliflower


  • Pour broth in Instant Pot.
  • Add chicken things, salt, pepper, salsa verde, and cauliflower.
  • Close lid and seal vent.
  • Press the manual or pressure cook button and toggle to 10 minutes.
  • After pressure cycle, let natural release for 10 minutes, then release pressure.
  • Remove chicken and cut up or shred and immersion blend (or use potato masher) remaining ingredients to desired consistency.  Replace cut chicken back into the pot.
  • Serve.  Top with lime juice, cilantro, and/or avocado.


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1031mg | Potassium: 580mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 53.1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1.1mg

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  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    5 stars
    I have been in a rut making the same sweet potato chili for a few weeks and will make a change today! This white chili looks great and I love any excuse to use my Instant Pot.

    • Reply
      February 12, 2019 at 6:48 am

      Seriously, my Instant Pot is out on a regular basis! I even tried cake in it last week.

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