Instant Pot White Chicken Chili (Nightshade Free + Stovetop Option)

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Instant Pot white chicken chili is a hearty gluten free meal with lean protein and veggies, but no nightshades! Make the recipe in a pressure cooker or on your stovetop!

overhead: 3 bowls of Instant Pot White Chicken Chili garnished with fresh cilantro and scallions

Cheers to you- we made it to week 2 of nightshade free recipes month!

BTW, it’s never too late to jump in and catch up on what you’ve missed. Just start with our intro to nightshade free recipes, and then hop over to what are nightshades for the deets. One final stop… grab our meal plan of nightshade free anti inflammatory recipes. WHEW- you’re caught up.

QUESTION: When the weather turns chilly, do you reach for the chili? Because it’s practically a statewide requirement where I live. Besides, depending on the ingredients, a good bowl of chili can do a lot more than just warm you up. It can fuel the body with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and so on.

Now, if you’re thinking that chili has tomatoes and peppers, and those are nightshade veggies, you are correct,

But.. THIS is nightshade free chili, so NO peppers or tomatoes are required, but it’s delicious even without them!

close up side view: bowl of white chicken chili

Instant Pot white chicken chili

Oh, and did I mention that it’s SUPER easy to make, too?  You have TWO options! 

Pressure cooking = big, quick win, OR stove top = super simple, and fewer dishes to wash. It’s a win either way!

Another bonus of this recipe is how economical it is to make! Super budget friendly. 🙂

So, how DO you make nightshade free chili?

Well, first of all, this is a white chili, which has a completely different flavor profile than a tomato based chili recipe like this slow cooker beef chili.

The base for this recipe is a creamy white sauce, similar to a French bechamel sauce. The difference is that we aren’t using flour to thicken it. Coconut milk and some simmering handle thickening the liquids.

Simply put, it’s almost like a creamy thick soup base more than anything. As a result, it doesn’t need the spicy heat, and that means, no peppers are necessary. It’s just that delicious on its own.

Although, there is one super special, nightshade free ingredient that helps to mimic the smoky flavor of chili peppers; liquid smoke!

ingredients for nightshade free chili in prep cups and on subway tile background

Ingredient notes

  • Chicken– You have a couple of options for the protein. Either use fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts, or for a quicker option, buy and shred rotisserie chicken.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: There are a lot of seasonings and sometimes even preservatives (nitrates) in store-bought rotisserie chicken. So, you’ll want to be sure to get one that is gluten-free and nightshade free, if necessary.

    If you ARE going to use the rotisserie chicken, shred it, toss with liquid smoke, then add it with the broth after sautéing the vegetables.

  • Veggies– There are just a few basic veggies in this chili, and honestly, they are easy to swap for almost anything you prefer. I use celery, onion, garlic, carrots, and corn. If you want to, you could even add some white or black beans.

    Because I know that many people have trouble tolerating corn, that’s an optional ingredient you won’t find in the ingredient list of the recipe card. It’s mentioned in the notes section, though.

  • Liquid smoke– Here it is, the magic ingredient that mimics the smoky flavor of chili peppers. Y’all, it really does make a huge difference! Without the smokiness, you might think you’re just enjoying a cup of creamy chicken vegetable soup. Which is pretty close to what it is.

    NOTE: If you plan to use rotisserie chicken, you may want to use 1/2 teaspoon less liquid smoke. This is because there are usually some pretty vibrant seasonings in store-bought rotisserie chicken.

    Too much liquid smoke may overpower those other spices. A little goes a long way! You can always add more later if you feel like it needs it.

Video: How to make Instant Pot Chicken Chili

Rather than walking you through all of the steps here, check out this video. You’ll see exactly how to make Instant Pot white chicken chili. Oh, and instructions for making it on the stove top are in the recipe card as well.


1. Season, sear, and partially cook the chicken.

The reason we’re partially cooking the chicken is so that we can shred it to toss with liquid smoke. That allows time for the chicken to absorb that smoky flavor before it goes into the pressure cooker.

shredded chicken breast meat in pressure cooker

2. Saute the vegetables.

If you’re using corn, it’s already cooked, so just wait and add it to the pot when you add the broth.

overhead: ingredients for nightshade free chili in Instant Pot

3. Return the shredded chicken to the pot with stock and seasonings.

ingredients in Instant Pot for chicken chili

4. Give it a stir, then it’s time to pressure cook again!

This is when all of the flavors will marry together in the Instant Pot for white chicken chili harmony! Haha.

5. Add non dairy milk / cream, and simmer.

6. Ladle into bowls, add optional garnishes and serve!

overhead photo: spoon in bowl of nightshade free white chicken chili

Now, don’t even try to convince me that nightshade free chili doesn’t look and delicious. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and tasted it.

Your turn.

Stay in the sunshine and out of the nightshade, my friends.


overhead: 3 bowls of Instant Pot White Chicken Chili garnished with fresh cilantro and scallions

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili (Stovetop + Nightshade Free Option)

  • Author:
    Lindsay Cotter

  • Prep Time:
    15 min

  • Cook Time:
    25 min

  • Total Time:
    40 minutes

  • Yield:
    4 servings

  • Diet:
    Gluten Free


Instant Pot white chicken chili is a hearty gluten free meal with lean protein and veggies, but no nightshades! Make the recipe in an IP or on stovetop!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (see notes for a quicker option)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp liquid smoke (optional, see notes)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (3 cloves) 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrot (see notes)
  • 8 ounces chicken or vegetable broth, 1/4 cup more if adding extra veggies
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tsp white or black pepper (white pepper for extra kick)
  • 1/3 cup non dairy or coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp sour cream or full fat greek yogurt (optional) 
  • 1/4 tsp onion salt (optional)


Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Press saute button on Instant Pot to preheat and season chicken breasts evenly with 1/2 tsp salt.. When the inner pot is hot, add olive oil and place chicken breasts in Instant Pot. Cook first side for 5 minutes, then flip breasts over and cook for another 5 minutes.. 
  2. Turn off the pot and use two forks to shred the meat, add liquid smoke to the pot and toss to coat the chicken. Remove chicken from pot and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  3. Next, turn the Instant Pot back on to the saute setting and add in onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes or until carrots are softened.
  4.  Return shredded chicken to the pot with the vegetables. Add the broth, oregano, cumin, lime juice, salt and pepper, then stir to combine.
  5. Close lid and use manual setting to pressure cook on high for 5 minutes, then perform a natural release of pressure (which will take an additional 10 minutes or so, then it will unlock).
  6. After pressure releases, open the pot and set the unit to keep warm. Stir in milk and optional sour cream and extra seasoning (1/4 tsp onion salt, or sea salt and pepper, if desired). 
  7. Keep warm for 5-10 minutes. For thicker chili, stir in cornstarch or arrowroot slurry**. Garnish with cilantro, green onion, and optional shredded cheese, then serve.

Stove Top Instructions

  1. Cook chicken breasts for 5 minutes per side with olive oil in a 6-quart pot / dutch oven over medium high. 
  2. Then, follow the same instructions as the Instant Pot version, except after you add the broth, spices and chicken to the pot, bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes on medium low. 
  3. Stir in the milk and optional sour cream last and simmer (do not boil) for an additional 5 minutes to combine. Season to taste. 
  4. Garnish with cilantro, green onion, and optional cheese.


Recipe suggestions and substitutes

  • For a quick version, buy premade rotisserie chicken (make sure it’s gluten free without additives). Shred it, toss with liquid smoke, then add with the broth after sautéing vegetables.
  • Liquid smoke mimics the flavor of smoky chilis without adding nightshades. It’s optional, but makes a WORLD of a difference.
  • Spicier version with nightshades, add 8 ounce canned drained green chiles and/or 1 tsp chili powder.
  • Thicker version – Mix in slurry at the end of cooking . Mix 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot to equal parts cold water, mixed. 
  • Extra veggies! For additional texture, add 1 cup fresh (cooked) or frozen corn kernels with the other veggies.
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: instant pot white chicken chili, Instant Pot chicken chili, nightshade free chili, gluten free, low carb

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this recipe for Instant Pot White Chicken Chili!


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