Creamy, white bean chili with a jalapeno popper twist – this Instant Pot Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili is my new favorite chili on the block and a “MUST TRY NOW” kind of recipe. Mildly spicy with a load of toppings, this one is a winner!
Boggles my mind how many things my kids refuse to eat, yet when those ingredients are combined in chili form and covered with cheese and chips, suddenly those scary tomatoes and peppers “are good enough to be in a restaurant!”
This Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili was a HUGE hit with every member of my family!
I'm not gonna lie, we went through a bag of chips because they ate it more like a chip dip than a soup, but still! When my kids are saying, “more chili please” all I have to say is “YES! And here are 3 more handfuls of tortilla chips.”
It also led to a very interesting discussion:
- “Why is chili called “chili”, mom? Shouldn't it be called “hotty” since it's hot?”
- Cue older sister scoffing with the following counsel, “A hottie is someone who is really cute and soup is not cute.”
- Son: “So maybe “warmy”?
- Cue another sister scoff, then an overprotective mother (me) cutting her off and saying, “Maybe it's called chili because people eat it when it's cold.”
- Logical son cuts in with, “It's probably because it uses chili powder. And aren't jalapenos a green chili? I saw that on a seed packet.”
SCHOOLED BY AN 8-YEAR-OLD.
Don't you just love family discussions? THIS is why we have family dinner people!
See what fun a simple bowl of Jalapeno Chili can create? It's magical.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN CHILI
- SUPER CREAMY WITHOUT LOADS OF CREAM: This recipe uses dried beans which instantly makes it more creamy than tossing in a can of beans. Take a few ladles of the cooked chili and blend it with a little bit of cream cheese, and suddenly it feels like you threw a whole block or two of cream cheese in it!
- HEALTHY CHILI: Despite the fact that I like to get carried away with the cheese and chips toppings, the health factor still applies because this bowl is loaded with lean protein, lots of fiber, and oodles of veggies.
- EASY PEASY: Throw it in the pot and walk away. Don't be tempted to saute the peppers and onions first. Trust me, I've tried it, there is not a big flavor difference here!
- MAKES A BUNCH: You'll be eating well all week long. If it's more than you can eat yourself, well then, make a neighbor's whole day and share.
- BACON! The addition of bacon to chili sounds weird, I know! Until you remember that this is Jalapeno Popper Chili, then it feels so right and tastes soooooo GOOD!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN CHILI IN THE PRESSURE COOKER
- Soak the beans for 6+ hours
- Throw everything in the pot to cook – it will be full (but not too full)
- Pressure cook then allow for at last a 10-minute pressure release
- Remove the chicken and shred
- Puree a few ladles of chili with the cream cheese and pour it back into the pot
- Stir in the chicken and corn; serve!
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST WHITE CHICKEN CHILI
- SOAKING THE BEANS: Okay, even though this step is painless and easy, I know that it might be annoying, so here is my reasoning: I prefer to soak the beans because it results in a more even cook on the beans. When I didn't soak them, I had some that were soft, and others that were borderline too firm. Soaking the beans fixed this problem. That's my advice, take it or leave it!
- CUSTOMIZE YOUR SPICE LEVEL: If you remove the ribs and seeds from the jalapenos, this chili is quite mild. Make it spicier by leaving some or all of the seeds in and add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. To make it even milder, you can decrease the number of jalapenos and half the amount of chili powder.
- SWAP DRIED BEANS FOR CANNED: Using dried beans really adds to the creaminess of the chili, but if you'd like to use canned, decrease the cook time to 7 minutes, then stir a can or two of beans in at the end with the corn. Add extra cream cheese to make it more creamy if you'd like.
- WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE: No, I'm not whipping the cream cheese (I get asked this a lot when I mention “whipped” cream cheese). Philadelphia Cream Cheese makes a whipped product and IT IS WONDERFUL! It melts into the chili much better than the block of cream cheese. If the block is all you can find, it will work just great.
- PUREE A FEW LADLES: To decrease how much cream cheese we need to add to the chili, simply scoop a few ladles of chili into a blender with the cream cheese. This will ensure that the cream cheese is fully blended into the soup (so it won't look grainy) and the puree will thicken it beautifully.
- PRESSURE RELEASE TIPS: Since the pot will be quite full and beans tend to foam, let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes before quick releasing all the pressure. If it still spurts foam, flip it closed again and wait another 5 – 10 minutes.
HOW TO STORE, REHEAT, AND FREEZE JALAPENO CHICKEN CHILI
- Store: Cool leftovers and store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Warm leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot.
- Freeze: Scoop leftovers into a freezer-safe ziptop bag and freeze flat for up to 3 months. Sometimes when dairy thaws it turns a bit grainy, but I have not had that problem with this chili. When ready to eat, let thaw overnight in the fridge then reheat as directed above.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS FOR CHICKEN CHILI
- Start beans soaking the night before or the morning of.
- Have onions, jalapenos, and bell pepper diced and ready in the fridge.
- This chili reheats well so you can make it in advance, and reheat it when you're ready for it.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHILI
VARIATIONS OF JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN CHILI
- White Chicken Chili: For a more traditional “white” chili, decrease the amount of chili powder.
- Spicy Chili: Kick up the heat with the addition of the jalapeno pepper seeds, cayenne pepper, or add a dash of hot sauce to individual bowls.
- ULTRA Creamy Chili: Throw a full 8-ounce block of cream cheese into the chili for the ultimate jalapeno popper experience.
Are you ready to enjoy a whole new chili experience!?
Look, I get it. Everyone has their own go-to or “famous chili” recipe. You might have even said the words, “I have found the perfect chili recipe, I don't need to try any other version.”
But can you trust me on this one? It really is a “go down in the history of awesome chili recipes” kind of recipe. I wouldn't even dare post another chili recipe if I didn't think it would “rock the boat” in the most amazing way.
Give it a try very soon and come on back to let me know what you thought!
MORE INSTANT POT CHILI RECIPES
- Instant Pot Triple Bean Chili (my first chili love)
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili (the best “white” version I've ever had)
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT JALAPENO POPPER WHITE CHICKEN CHILIPrint
Instant Pot Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili
Ultra creamy Instant Pot Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili – filling and healthy!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup chopped sweet or yellow onion
- 3 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (seeded if you don’t want the spiciness)
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 12 oz dried white navy beans or Great Northern beans (see note)
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips or chicken tenderloins
- 4 oz whipped cream cheese (see note)
- 1 cup corn kernels, canned or frozen
For serving: cooked, crumbled bacon, diced avocado, shredded pepper jack cheese, crushed tortilla chips, pickled jalapenos, sour cream
- Cover beans with water and let soak at least 6 hours or up to overnight (see note if you want to skip this step). Rinse and drain beans and set aside.
- Add onion, jalapenos, red bell pepper, spices, can of diced tomatoes, and chicken broth to the pressure cooker pot and stir.
- Add beans; stir. Add the chicken last so it’s on top of the beans. This will help to keep the beans well submerged so they cook evenly.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
- Remove chicken and shred into bite-size pieces; set aside.
- Ladle 3 – 4 scoops of soup into a blender. Add the cream cheese and blend until smooth. Pour back into the pot.
- Stir in chicken and corn.
- Taste and season with extra salt if desired.
- Serve hot topped with cheese, avocado, bacon, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, and/or jalapenos.
- It’s possible to skip the bean soaking step if you use small white navy beans. The issue with not soaking them is that some may be fully cooked while others are more firm. If this doesn’t bother you, you can skip the soak.
- Using dried beans makes the soup thicker and creamier without the need to add a lot of cream cheese. If you prefer to use canned beans, decrease the cook time to 7 minutes and stir the beans into the pot after the soup is cooked.
- Blending a few ladles of the soup makes it naturally creamier and also helps the cream cheese to be better incorporated. If you’d like to skip the blending step, simply stir the cream cheese into the pot. The cream cheese may look a little grainy, but it won’t affect the taste.
- I like to use Whipped Cream Cheese because it melts and blends into the soup easier. If you can’t find it, use regular cream cheese.
- As written, this chili is mildly spicy. You can decrease the spice level further by decreasing the number of jalapenos and halving the chili powder. If you want it spicier, leave the jalapeno seeds in and add ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Keywords: Instant Pot Chili, Jalapeno Popper, Healthy Chili