Pressure cooker
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Pressure Cooker White Chili with Chicken

Pressure Cooker White Chili with Chicken

Pressure Cooker White Chili with Chicken

Talking to myself about White Chicken Chili as I get ready for my super bowl party…

What’s that in the pressure cooker?

White chili.

White chili? What does that mean?

White chili means no red allowed. No red beans, no red chilies, no chili powder, no tomatoes.

No red? That’s crazy talk. What’s in it?

Chicken, white beans, spices, chicken stock, and lots of green chilies.

What in tarnation? Chicken? You call that mess chili! Reach for your iron, you lily livered, kale eating son of a donkey!

Whoa! Hey! Easy there, Tex. Here, try some.

Sorry, I get a little cranky when I’m hungry. I should eat something…oh, all right, pass it over. Hey! This tastes great! Do you have any more?

Here’s a bowl. Stir in a few shakes of chipotle sauce, it adds a nice, smoky heat.

Now, wait just a darned minute! You said no red stuff!

I did, didn’t I. Well, try some green habanero sauce instead. That is, if you can stand the heat.

You calling me a wimp? Give me that bottle.

Here’s a napkin. You’re dribbling.


Recipe: Pressure Cooker White Chili with Chicken



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Pressure Cooker White Chili with Chicken

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


Pressure Cooker White Chili with Chicken – white chili? Yes, white chili. And, it’s fast, thanks to the pressure cooker.



Brined beans

  • 1 pound dried great northern beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt

First batch of spices

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 16 ounces canned chopped green chiles
  • 4 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade) or water

2nd batch of spices

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. Sort, rinse, and brine the beans: At least 8 hours before cooking, sort the great northern beans, removing broken beans, stones, and dirt clods. Rinse the beans, put them in a large container, cover with 2 tablespoons table salt and 2 quarts water, and stir to dissolve the salt. Let the beans soak for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Brown one batch of the chicken on one side: Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat until it is shimmering (use Sauté mode in an electric pressure cooker). Add half the chicken to the pot (or as much as you can in a loose single layer), and put the rest aside in a bowl. Let the chicken sit in the pot without moving until it is nicely browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Remove the browned chicken and add it to the bowl with the raw chicken.
  3. Saute the aromatics, toast the spices: Add another tablespoon of oil to the pressure cooker pot and let it heat up for a minute. Add the onion and jalapeno, then sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Saute the onions and jalapeno, scraping the browned bits of chicken from the bottom of the pan, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Make a hole in the middle of the onions and add the first batch of spices. Let the spices sit until you can smell the garlic cooking, about 1 minute, then stir into the onions.
  4. Add everything to the pot: Add the beer to the pot and let it come to a boil. Stir in the the chicken, plus any juices in the bowl, then the beans, green chiles, and chicken stock.
  5. Pressure cook the chili: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes in an electric PC or 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally for about 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  6. Add the second batch of spices, season, serve: Remove the lid from the pressure cooker. Stir the second batch of spices into the pot, and bring the pot back to a simmer over medium heat (Sauté mode in an electric PC). Taste the chili for seasoning, and add salt, pepper, and more lime juice if needed. Serve the chili.
  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
Brining the beans

Brining the beans

Cubing the chicken

Cubing the chicken

Aromatics cooked, adding the spices

Aromatics cooked, adding the spices

Everything in the pot

Everything in the pot

Serve with a tasty beverage

Serve with a tasty beverage


  • Apologies to Terry Pluto for borrowing his “Talking to myself” style.
  • Thanks to Kenji Alt for the brown half the cubes on one side technique.
  • Depending on the age of the beans, I will get some “floaters” – shriveled beans that float on top of the liquid and don’t soften while cooking. I scoop them from the top of the chili and discard. (This happens less with beans from my local health food store, where they have a good turnover in their bulk section.)
  • I don’t have many choices here in Ohio when it comes to green chiles. If you can find fire roasted canned chiles, or Hatch chiles, get them. I’ve heard that fire roasted chiles are sold in the fee ezer case out West. If you can get them, use them instead of canned.
  • No pressure cooker? No worries. Cook the recipe in a dutch oven instead of a pressure cooker. The ingredients are the same, but increase the water in the liquids section to 4 cups. Instead of the “pressure cook the chili” step, bring the chili to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, then cook for 1 1/2 hours, partially covered. Add the second batch of spices, then simmer until the beans are tender, about 15 more minutes.
  • No time to brine the beans? Sort and rinse the beans, then add them to the pot, pressure cook on high for 35 minutes, and quick release the pressure. The chicken will be a bit overcooked, and fall apart in the chili, but it still tastes great.

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Turkey Chili with Chorizo and Pinto Beans
Pressure Cooker Pork Chili with Beans
My Other Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Jackie says

    we’re loving this white chili.I haven’t tried the brining method for beans yet. I have my own way of doing it and I’m afraid to change. We have hard water and live a mile high.It’s taken me a long time to master beans. Your recipes are great! I decided to reduce the liquid by a cup or so and I reasoned that it would be OK because I had soaked my beans for a very long time. This turned out delicious!

    • Thanks – I’m glad it works so well for you! Let me know if you try brining the beans at your altitude- I’m interested in how it turns out.

  2. Chris says

    I have to say, I’m making this for the third time tonight, its a real winner. I’ve been looking for a good white chili recipe for years, and this is it.

    I do have a couple of points:
    1. Your ingredients says 2 quarts water, 4 tblsp kosher salt for the brine. But step one of the directions says 3 quarts water, 1/4 cup salt. And the picture looks like the beans and water together total 2 quarts of displacement… Oh well, I went with the 2 quarts and 4 tblsp myself, and it worked out fine.

    2. The first time I made this I actually thought it was a little thin for chili, much more like chicken soup. The second time I left out the water, and I thought the consistency was perfect. Of course, the first time I also only brined the beans for 8 hours and thought they were very hard, while the second time I did a full 16 and they were great, so that may have helped too.

    In the end, I love this recipe, thanks Mike!

    Any idea what you would serve on the side with this? Red chili I’d do chili dogs or corn bread, not sure if there’s a good side for white chili…

    • 1. You’re right – 2 quarts water, 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) kosher salt. I updated the recipe.
      2. It does come out thin; that’s one of the downsides to pressure cookers. There’s no evaporation, so the result is always more soupy than thick. I’m surprised it worked at all when you left the water out, even with the 16 hour soak. My beans always need water to cook.

  3. Instead of browning the cubed chicken, cut a whole chicken up, and submerge it in the cooking liquid in step 4. Increase pressure cooking time to 20 minutes (24 minutes electric PC) with a natural pressure release in step 5. Remove the chicken pieces, shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones, and stir the shredded chicken back into the pot.

    Note: this will overcook the beans; that can’t be helped if you want to cook bone in chicken.

  4. Zack says

    I’m a little bit of a nutrition nut these days and you get the most nutrients and flavor from cooking on-the-bone. I’m wondering if I could pull some culinary genius out of you for this recipe. Any idea on how I could possibly cook the chicken whole? I feel like I’ll have to compromise to try what seems like an amazing recipe. Which I don’t mind!


  5. Rachelle Johnson says

    This was AWESOME. I also threw in a handful of lentils to use them up. We love good pressure cooker recipes!

  6. Mike,

    You Rock! . I have been looking a long time for a pressure cooker chili recipe that I can eat (I can’t have tomatoes), and this is it!

    Thanks for this site and for all of your work!

    • Donna R Ellis says

      I’m the same way about tomatoes. I became addicted to the white chili. But my sister bought me an insta pot and this is the first recipe I found for it! I’m soaking the beans tonight and I’m making this for tomorrow. When our temperatures are dropping. Perfect!

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