Photo of dumplings on white chicken chili in a Dutch oven

Instant Pot Dutch Oven White Chicken Chili

Honestly, I was never terribly interested in white chili with chicken in my whole life. Then I tried one last fall when my wife’s department made one for a chili cook-off at work. It was awesome, and took second place overall.

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I looked at a ton of recipes and scraped ideas here and there and pieced together something I thought would be delicious. I just flat out stole the America’s Test Kitchen recipe for the dumplings. The video is here if you want to watch it.

In the end, I made my wife mad that my first attempt at a white chicken chili was better than hers, but I heard no complaints while eating it any time I’ve made it.

It’s quick and pretty easy. I think the hardest part for me was figuring out temperatures for the Instant Pot Precision Dutch Oven, which I had never used before on my first attempt. I think I have it fairly dialled in now though. If you’re using a regular Dutch oven, just ignore the temperatures and aim for the “simmer” time in the directions instead.

Instant Pot Dutch Oven White Chicken Chili

A rich, creamy white chicken chili made in the Instant Pot Precision Dutch Oven, topped with buttermilk cornmeal dumplings.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk, chicken, chili, cornmeal, dumpling, dutch oven, hearty, white chili
Author: Chris Pollard


  • 1 Instant Pot Precision Dutch Oven (or a regular Dutch oven on stovetop/oven)
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Mixing bowl large
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Oven


For the chili:

  • 1 med onion diced
  • 1 green or poblano pepper chopped
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1 tsp Tajin
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth (1 quart carton)
  • 1 can white kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white navy beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn drained
  • 1 can Rotel with Chiles
  • 1 package powdered ranch dressing mix
  • 2 lb Chicken breasts
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (or squeeze 2 limes)

For the cornmeal dumplings:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ cup cold buttermilk
  • ½ cup butter melted and cooled slightly


White Chicken Chili:

  • Set Instant Pot Dutch oven to saute, 400⁰. Saute onion and pepper in olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, black pepper, and the Tajin. Add garlic when transparent.
  • Add broth, beans, corn, Rotel, seasoning. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Add chicken to pot, submerged.
  • Set Instant Pot Dutch oven to 350⁰F (M2 mode). Cover, bring to boil and simmer about 15 minutes. Reduce temp to 220⁰ for the next 15 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and shred. (Cut to a large dice with knife works too.)
  • Add cream cheese and lime juice, simmer about 5 minutes until combined. Add chicken back into pot.
  • Season to taste and simmer another 30 minutes.
  • Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, etc as you like.
  • OR make these amazing cornmeal dumplings!!

Cornmeal Dumplings:

  • Whisk together dry ingredients.
  • Add butter to buttermilk. Butter will clump up and look a bit mealy. This is fine!
  • Add to dry ingredients and mix to incorporate.
  • Scoop dough on top of chili using 1/4 cup measuring cup.
  • Bake at 450⁰ for about 18-20 minutes on middle rack, until golden brown on top.


Adding an extra little squirt of lime juice when serving adds just a little more zing to the dish, but it’s entirely optional.
If you want an extra liquidy chili, you can add an extra cup of chicken broth when preparing. (5 cups vs. 4) The dumplings DO absorb some liquid when cooking, but I upped the liquid content from an original 3 cups the first time I made it, because it wound up a touch too thick with the dumplings. 

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