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Instant Pot Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili

Try my Instant Pot Jalepeño Popper Chicken Chili the next time you want to change up your white chicken chili a bit: It’s simply a flavor explosion of a recipe! (Alternative slow cooker directions also included.)

What if I told you that you could combine everything you love about jalapeño poppers with the hearty goodness of white chicken chili — and, that you could even make it all so easy by using your electric pressure cooker? It’s just that simple, with today’s Instant Pot Jalepeño Popper Chicken Chili recipe.

chicken chili topped with green onions, cheese, and bacon bits

Today’s white chicken chili is the perfect end to a chilly day, and made a gray evening seem just a little brighter over here. If you don’t own an electric pressure cooker, it’s also easy to throw this kicked-up chicken chili into the slow cooker — so really, there’s no excuse not to make it! Using pre-packaged bacon bits quickly ups the smoky flavor at the end.

I do also recommend taking that flavor and visual interest up even further, with some chopped green onions & shredded cheese on each bowl. (I’ve happily had an endless supply of green onions all summer & fall, since the re-grown ones I planted outside went nuts this year.)

Instant Pot Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili

jalapeno popper chili ingredients

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 medium jalapeño peppers, seeds removed and diced (see Note)
1 Tbsp minced garlic (about six cloves)
1.5-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
16 oz chicken broth
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
8 oz block cream cheese
2.5 oz pack of bacon bits

Directions

scoop out jalapeno seeds

Cut up the onion, peppers, and garlic. When cutting the peppers, you can optionally remove their seeds and membrane to keep flavor while reducing the heat. Just cut off the stem, slice the jalapeños lengthwise, then scoop the seeds out and discard before dicing. See Note.

Trim the chicken, if necessary.

Set the Instant Pot to saute mode. Add the olive oil and heat briefly, then add the onion and saute for two minutes. Stir in the jalapeños and garlic and continue to saute for another three minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile: Open cans, rinse and drain the beans, and drain the corn. Take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator and leave it out on the counter to soften.

add ingredients to the instant pot

After your onion and peppers have cooked and softened, cancel saute mode and add the chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, chicken broth, ranch dressing mix, and seasonings to the pot.

Close and seal the lid of your pressure cooker. Cook chili on manual high pressure for 12 minutes.

Quick release the pressure, then leave the Instant Pot on keep warm.

Remove and shred the chicken.

Stir the cream cheese and half of the bacon bits into the pot of chili until cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated, then stir the shredded chicken back in.

Serve your jalapeño popper chili topped with the rest of the bacon bits. I also highly recommend topping each bowl with chopped green onion and/or shredded cheddar for optimum flavor (and to make it prettier!).

Alternative slow cooker directions

After chopping your veggies as outlined above, saute them in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until softened. Add the sauteed jalapeños and onion to your slow cooker, plus all other ingredients up to, but not including, the cream cheese & bacon bits.

Cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 4 hours), then proceed with the rest of the recipe steps above: Remove and shred the chicken while leaving your Crock-Pot on keep warm; stir in the cream cheese and bacon bits until cream cheese is melted; stir the chicken back in.

Note: I left the seeds in just two of the jalapeños today, but would likely leave all of them in next time for my own personal heat preference. You can remove the seeds and membranes for less heat, leave some or all of them in for a spicier chili, and/or cut down on the number of jalapeños if you are sensitive. I also like to use my little Ninja Express Chop food chopper to dice multiple jalapeños; it’s SO much easier.

Tempered heat, but all of the flavor!

Instant Pot Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili topped with cheese and green onions

This jalapeño popper chicken chili is very full of “stuff,” with lots and lots of hearty chicken & beans. If you like your chili a little more on the soupy side, simply add more broth and/or use less chicken. (I used a full 2 lbs in mine.) Note though that the total recipe time here includes the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure, which will be longer if you add more liquid.

The tangy cream cheese and ranch dressing mix really mellow out the spice from the jalapeños, giving you the flavor you want without the burn. Enjoy this filling chicken chili recipe on its own, or scoop it up with tortilla chips to give it an additional salty punch & crunch.

Instant Pot Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili, printable recipe

Instant Pot Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili

Try my Instant Pot Jalepeño Popper Chicken Chili the next time you want to change up your white chicken chili a bit: It’s simply a flavor explosion of a recipe! (Alternative slow cooker directions also included.)
Course dinner
Cuisine chili
Keyword chicken, chicken chili, chili, instant pot, instant pot chili, jalapeno popper chili, jalapenos, white chicken chili
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6

Equipment

instant pot

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 4 medium jalapeño peppers seeds removed and diced (see Note)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic about six cloves
  • 1.5-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 cans cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 16 oz chicken broth
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 8 oz block cream cheese
  • 2.5 oz pack of bacon bits

Instructions

  • Cut up the onion, peppers, and garlic. When cutting the peppers, you can optionally remove their seeds and membrane to keep flavor while reducing the heat. Just cut off the stem, slice the jalapeños lengthwise, then scoop the seeds out and discard before dicing. See Note.
  • Trim the chicken, if necessary.
  • Set the Instant Pot to saute mode. Add the olive oil and heat briefly, then add the onion and saute for two minutes.
  • Stir in the jalapeños and garlic and continue to saute for another three minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile: Open cans, rinse and drain the beans, and drain the corn. Take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator and leave it out on the counter to soften.
  • After your onion and peppers have cooked and softened, cancel saute mode and add the chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, chicken broth, ranch dressing mix, and seasonings to the pot.
  • Close and seal the lid of your pressure cooker. Cook chili on manual high pressure for 12 minutes.
  • Quick release the pressure, then leave the Instant Pot on keep warm.
  • Remove and shred the chicken.
  • Stir the cream cheese and half of the bacon bits into the pot of chili until cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated, then stir the shredded chicken back in.
  • Serve your jalapeño popper chili topped with the rest of the bacon bits. I also highly recommend topping each bowl with chopped green onion and/or shredded cheddar for optimum flavor (and to make it prettier!).

Alternative slow cooker directions

  • After chopping your veggies as outlined above, saute them in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until softened. Add the sauteed jalapeños and onion to your slow cooker, plus all other ingredients up to, but not including, the cream cheese & bacon bits.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 4 hours), then proceed with the rest of the recipe steps above: Remove and shred the chicken while leaving your Crock-Pot on keep warm; stir in the cream cheese and bacon bits until cream cheese is melted; stir the chicken back in.

Notes

I left the seeds in just two of the jalapeños today, but would likely leave all of them in next time for my own personal heat preference. You can remove the seeds and membranes for less heat, leave some or all of them in for a spicier chili, and/or cut down on the number of jalapeños if you are sensitive. I also like to use my little Ninja Express Chop food chopper to dice multiple jalapeños; it’s SO much easier.

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