Recipe: Pressure cooker white chicken chili by Amanda Long

White chicken chili, a dish low in fat and high in protein.

White chicken chili, a dish low in fat and high in protein.

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This is one of the most popular recipes in my Pressure Cooking Facebook group, Modern Pressure Cooking. The most popular recipe, though, is enchilada pasta. You can find it on my website or join the group.

Not familiar with pressure cooking, or think it’s back in the day with the unstable pots that sometimes exploded and wreaked havoc? Well, this isn’t at all that pressure cooking. This is modern day safe pressure cooking. I use an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. You can learn more on my website, But if not, you can also make the recipe below on the stove top, instructions provided.

Why do I love pressure cooking? Because I can set and forget. I can cook a huge farmer’s market artichoke in four minutes! Not kidding. I can make beef chili that tastes like it cooked for hours in under 30 minutes. Again, not exaggerating.

Homemade marinara or Bolognese? Twenty minutes! And I promise it tastes like it simmered for hours.

A whole roast in 50-60 minutes versus 2 1/2-3 hours in the oven or more than four hours in a slow cooker. Homemade chicken stock or bone broth in 30 minutes. Steel-cut oats in 10 minutes. You can cook a whole chicken in 20 minutes. Seriously, the list goes on. You can find more information on my website.

One of the key flavors in this recipe is the chipotle powder. It can be a bit spicy, but there’s something about the spicy and smoky flavors that just kick it up a notch (as Emeril would say). The kick of flavor is bold, spicy, smoky and deep. It makes all the difference in this recipe. Not one for spiciness? You can use smoked paprika in place. Or use a combination of smoked paprika and a little of the chipotle powder for flavor (2 teaspoons of chipotle powder).

The other flavor that’s important is the poblano pepper. It’s a larger, mild variety of chile. The same chilies used in chile rellenos. When dried, they’re called ancho chiles. Try roasting the poblano on the grill or in the oven, then chop them up creating another layer of flavor.

I made this recipe once for my sewing group girls and it was a hit. We made maxi shirts and ate white chicken chili. One of the ladies had celiac and even she could eat the chili, which made her really happy. If you’re gluten-free, or know someone who is, this is a great recipe. Low fat, lots of protein and filling. All the kids ate it, too.

A note for using dried beans: Make sure you soak the beans at least an hour before cooking. In a pressure cooker you can get by without a soak if you’re in a hurry, but a minimum of one hour is needed.

Soaking the beans overnight will cut down the cook time by 10 minutes. But I like how using dried beans soak up the flavors without the longer soak time so I soak them for an hour. You can used canned beans if you don’t want to deal with dried beans. Dried beans are worth it and in the pressure cooker dried beans are no trouble and little effort.

Terms to know:

HP — High Pressure

NPR — Natural Pressure Release (wait until the pressure releases on its own).

QPR — Quick Pressure Release (flip the valve to immediate release the pressure).

You will use more water in the stove top version versus in the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker White Chicken Chili


1 1/2 cups great northern beans soaked one hour in warm water

2 pounds chicken mix of breast and thighs

Water (see instructions)

2 medium pasilla/poblano chilies

1 medium white onion

2 teaspoons chicken bouillon

1 tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons coriander

1 tablespoon chipotle (use half if you like less spice)

3 cloves garlic

1 bunch cilantro

1 teaspoon turmeric


Saute chicken. Add two cups water. Cook HP for eight min.

Remove the chicken and the liquid (broth) from the pressure cooker and set it aside. Add some oil and sauté the onion and peppers until translucent.

Add in the broth (from cooking the chicken), two cups water, bouillon, beans and spices to the pot. Cook HP for 25-30 minutes then QPR.

Add shredded chicken and stir. Add more water and bouillon if you want more liquid. Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, onion, cilantro, Cotija and sour cream.

Using canned beans: You can use canned beans in place of dried. In this case, sauté the onions and peppers until translucent. Add all the ingredients and HP cook 12 minutes, NPR 10 minutes and serve.

Stove top directions

Soak beans overnight.

Saute chicken until browned and remove to a plate. Add onion and peppers and saute until softened. Add two cups water and chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked through 15-20 minutes. (Set aside and shred chicken).

Add beans and two cups of water, bullion, beans and spices. Cook for 1-1/2 hours until beans are cooked. Add the chicken back in heat for five minutes and serve.

(If using canned beans, skip the bean cooking part, and just warm the beans for five minutes and serve).

Amanda Long is passionate about cooking and runs a Pressure Cooking Group on Facebook at, and you can find her recipes on


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