Instant Pot Chili
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This is the best Instant Pot Chili recipe, and it’s so quick and easy to make in your pressure cooker! This hearty beef chili recipe is perfect for weeknight meals, Sunday dinner, and entertaining.
If you’re looking for an award winning chili recipe, this is just the chili for your cook-off! This Instant Pot Chili is thick and hearty, with the best rich chili flavor. The best part is how easy it is to make this chili in your Instant Pot!
One of my favorite foods to cook in my Instant Pot is chili. The Instant Pot is amazing at making the best chili. The flavors in this Instant Pot chili are so rich and deep, you’d think the chili had simmered for hours on the stove. But you can have it ready in an hour, start to finish!
For more delicious Instant Pot chili recipes, try my Instant Pot White Chicken Chili and Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili. Here are more of the best Instant Pot recipes.
This chili recipe is made with ground beef and a rich tomato base that’s layered with spices and seasonings. I like my chili with beans, but not too many. This chili is thick and hearty, just how a delicious chili should be.
I consider this chili a healthy meal because it’s made from scratch with wholesome ingredients. You can make this pressure cooker chili even healthier by using ground turkey, or try my turkey chili recipe. I’ve added a chopped bell pepper to this chili recipe because I like to sneak in extra veggies whenever I can. You can add more vegetables if you like – I bet no one will even notice!
Serve your Instant Pot Chili with my favorite homemade cornbread, whole wheat biscuits or yeast rolls.
How to Make Instant Pot Chili
If you’re new to cooking with an Instant Pot, you’ll find my quick Instant Pot manual helpful for getting started. This chili is fast to prep and then your Instant Pot does the rest, leaving you free to do whatever else you need to do.
- Onion and Garlic. These are sautéed in olive oil, and are a flavorful start to this chili recipe.
- Ground Beef. I prefer to use 90% lean ground beef because it makes for a leaner chili. You can also use 80% lean ground beef, but you should drain off the excess fat after browning the beef.
- Bell Pepper. The bell pepper almost melts into the chili and it’s a great way to add extra veggies to your meal. I usually use a red bell pepper, but any color will work.
- Spices and Seasonings. This chili is made with a delicious blend of spices. When you make chili, it’s not a time to be shy with the seasonings, so you’ll find a generous amount in this recipe. You can adjust the amount of chili powder to your desired level of spice.
- Brown Sugar. I add just a little bit of brown sugar to this Instant Pot chili. The brown sugar is my secret ingredient that makes this chili so good because it balances out the savory flavors. You can leave the sugar out if you prefer.
- Tomato Paste and Crushed Tomatoes. Tomato paste helps to thicken the chili. I recommend using fire roasted crushed tomatoes because they make the best chili!
- Broth. You can use beef broth for a classic all beef chili, or substitute chicken broth. I recommend low sodium broth so that you can control the amount of salt in your recipe.
- Beans. I find two cans of beans to be just right in this chili. I used kidney beans and black beans, but pinto beans also work well in chili.
Easy Pressure Cooker Chili Steps
- Sauté onion in olive oil using the Instant Pot’s sauté mode.
- Brown the ground beef in the Instant Pot. Add the garlic to the pot and stir, then turn off sauté.
- Add the remaining chili ingredients, except for the tomatoes and beans. Stir well and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and beans on top of the other ingredients and do not stir them in.
- Pressure cook the chili on high pressure for 15 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release.
- Quick release the remaining pressure, stir and serve with your favorite chili toppings.
Should I use the Instant Pot Chili Setting?
I always recommend using the Manual or Pressure Cook button because then you can set the cook time yourself. The preset programs, such as the Instant Pot chili setting, are simply preset pressure cooking times. They don’t do anything else special.
Instant Pot Burn Message
If you’ve ever gotten the Instant Pot burn message, you know that it can be frustrating because you just want your dinner to cook the way it’s supposed to. I have never gotten a burn message when cooking this Instant Pot chili, and there are two things that you can do to make sure you don’t get one either:
- Scrape up any browned bits of food that are stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot. When you add the broth to this recipe, stir and use a spatula or spoon to scrape up any bits of onion, beef or garlic that may have gotten stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and beans last, on top of the other ingredients, and don’t stir them in. Starchy foods such as beans can cause you to get the burn message if they are at the bottom of the Instant Pot. This isn’t a problem when cooking beans from dry, such as Instant Pot black beans, because of the extra liquid in the pot.
The best part about sitting down to a warm bowl of chili is that you get to load it up with your favorite toppings. Some favorite chili toppings include shredded cheese, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, avocado, red onion, green onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, jalapeño, tomatoes, and chopped bell pepper.
Tips for this Instant Pot Chili Recipe
- Be sure that you don’t stir in the beans and tomatoes before pressure cooking. If you stir them in you are more likely to get the burn message.
- Depending on which chili powder you use and how spicy you like your chili, you can adjust the amount of chili powder. I use a milder chili powder and find 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons to be the perfect amount for a mildly spicy chili.
- You can add more vegetables to this chili recipe. Try chopped green bell pepper, chopped or shredded carrot, or cubes of sweet potato.
- This Instant Pot Chili is thick right after pressure cooking, but if you want it even thicker you can simmer it using sauté mode for a few minutes.
- This chili tastes even better on the second and third day. You can store leftover chili in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. This chili freezes really well.
- Want to make this in the slow cooker? Try my slow cooker chili recipe.
Find more of the best Instant Pot ground beef recipes here!
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Goulash
- Instant Pot Pasta with Sausage
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Pork Chops
Instant Pot Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef, 90% lean recommended*
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder, see note
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 14.5 ounce can (1 ¾ cups) low sodium beef broth or chicken broth
- 28 ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 15 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Press Saute to turn on saute setting on Instant Pot. Add the olive oil and heat until hot. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, until onion starts to soften.
- Add the ground beef and cook, stirring to crumble the meat, until beef is browned, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and then press Cancel to turn off the pot.
- Add the bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, pepper, tomato paste and broth to the pot. Stir and scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and beans on top of the other ingredients and DO NOT STIR the tomatoes or beans in. This will help to prevent you from getting a burn warning during pressure cooking.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. The Instant Pot will take some time to reach pressure and then the cook time will start counting down.
- When the cook time ends, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes by leaving the Instant Pot alone. Then quick release the remaining pressure by carefully turning the steam release valve to the venting position using the handle of a long spoon. Once the steam finishes escaping and the pin drops down, open the Instant Pot lid.
- Stir chili and serve with toppings, as desired.
- If you use 80% lean ground beef, drain off any excess fat after browning the beef.
- Depending on which chili powder you use and how spicy you like your chili, you can adjust the amount of chili powder. I use a mild chili powder and find that 2 tablespoons makes a mild chili and 2 1/2 tablespoons makes a mildly spicy chili.
Well, I grew up in Texas. Both my mom and dad could make a mean pot of chili. I made this recipe and it was delicious. It had a few ingredients that I don’t ordinarily use in chili but I used them. My other half is not a huge fan of chili and he really enjoyed this. I think the brown sugar tamed down the spiciness or something. Most of all, the fact that it was so fast was just awesome. Thank you!
I made this chili recipe and it was a huge hit for the whole family … even my son’s girlfriend who is very picky! I had to use diced fire-roasted tomatoes instead of crushed (as I couldn’t find crushed fire-roasted), and it was an absolutely fine substitute. My family has been LOVING all of your instant pot recipes, THANK YOU!!!
How much would this fill an eight quart pot? I’m trying to figure it if I can increase it for my large family.
I think a double recipe will fit in an 8 quart pot.
Thank you so much! That’s what I was hoping for.
I can confirm it fits! I made a double batch in my 8 quart pot yesterday and it filled up to the 2/3 (maximum) line, but didn’t go over. Delicious chili! 🙂
This recipe sounds so good! Do you think I could double it in my 6 quart instant pot?
I haven’t tried, but I think a double recipe will fit in a 6 quart. Just be sure to not exceed the max fill line. 🙂
I don’t think it would fit… I made a double batch in my 8 quart pot yesterday and it went up to the 2/3 (maximum) fill line.
Thanks for sharing!
I made this Chili last night. It was fantastic and easy to made. I substituted Ground Chicken for the ground beef but otherwise as per the recipe. I don’t cook often as my husband usually does. He’s away for work so I am trying new recipes.
First time I have ever rated a recipe although I have used and enjoyed many online recipes. Born and raised in Houston, TX I have had more than my fair share of chili in my 55 years. I followed this recipe for Instant Pot as published and my wife, my mother-in-law and my self found it too sweet. We all agreed it is has a great chili taste other than the sweetness.If you like you chili on the sweet side it is great. If you want a more authentic chili try it without the brown sugar (my plans when I cook it again) and it should be good. Not real spicy so add some hot sauce or red pepper if you like it spicy. I purposely made it less spicy for my mother-in-law and my wife and I add “heat” to our preference.
Also, per Kristine’s instructions dont stir in the beans and tomatoes, pour them on top and leave it alone. I got a burn message on my istant pot because I failed to follow her recommendation, my bad.
Great and easy to follow recipe.
Thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe, and glad you are able to adapt it to suit your tastes. 🙂
I made this tonight and got the ‘food burn’ notification. After “troubleshooting” it, I pressure-cooked for 15 minutes and the fish came out way too thick and the beans were still too hard. Put it back in for 10 minutes only to get another warning that it’s burning and the beans were still too hard after. Any idea what I did wrong?
Did you use dry (uncooked) beans? This recipe calls for canned beans, which are already cooked and thus not hard to begin with so they shouldn’t be hard after pressure cooking.
First successful meal for me in the instant pot! We LOVED it! All the helpful tips made it possible! Delicious!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I just made the instant pot chili recipe! My husband and I thought it was the best chili ever! Thank you!!
I didn’t add the brown sugar though!
I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Can I substitute dry beans for both kidney and black beans? If so, do I need to add more liquid and/or adjust my cooking time?
Yes, you would need to add quite a bit more liquid and increase the cooking time by quite a bit if using dry beans. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend the best cook time and liquid/dry bean amounts without doing some recipe testing. My advice would be to either look at recipes for cooking dry black beans and kidney beans in your Instant Pot and either use them as a guide to adapt this recipe, or cook the beans separately and then add the cooked beans to this recipe.
I think this is one of the best recipes for chili beans.
My family and I really enjoyed this! Delicious!! Such depth of flavor and just the right amount of heat from the chili power. And…this was the first Instant Pot recipe I made in over three years! Kristine, your Instant Pot manual gave me the courage and knowledge to try it again. 🙂 Now I’m looking forward to trying your other Instant Pot recipes!
This sounds delicious and easy to make! I am planning on making tonight on the instant pot. I don’t like thick chili. How do I make it loose like the pic of your slow cooker chili recipe. Much appreciated.
You could add more broth to make it thinner. I hope you love it!
This was our very first recipe using an Instant Pot! Not only was the chili we made last night so delicious, the clear and easy-to-follow instructions with tips (e.g. placing the starch on top without stirring to avoid the burn message) made our first experience using the Instant Pot completely stress-free and we now feel we have the confidence to explore other recipes and continue cooking with this life-changing kitchen gadget. Thank you so much, Kristine!!!
I would like to make this with 2 lbs. of ground beef and leave out the beans. Do you recommend that I add more broth or crushed tomatoes?
You don’t need to make any other changes, other than adding the extra pound of ground beef and leaving out the beans. Enjoy!
I don’t usually leave reviews, however, this was the most DELICIOUS Chili recipe I have ever found online! It is everything you hope for in a Chili, thick, rich, full of flavour, ingredients I’ve almost always got on hand, and a hit with the family! I cut down on the Chili powder and cumin as our family doesn’t like a lot of spice but kept the others as per recipe. Great for dunking bread! Thank-you so much for this!
So good! My household doean’t enjoy spicy food so for a first try I halved the spices. That let us enjoy a hint of the full-sized amount of brown sugar. I loved it. I used ground chicken and frozen mixed peppers because that’s what was on hane, and it turned out fine. Will make again!
I made this chili and it was the best. Just started a wellness plan and this fit the plan. I am thrilled to have this as a new recipe. I served the chili on baked potatoes with cheese and sour cream. We later had left overs with just sour cream and cheese. My teen even loved it. I have added this to my repeat menu planning schedule. Thank you Kristine.
I hate to be negative Nancy but I tried this recipe 2 times. Burn notice both times.
I’m sorry that happened to you. Let me try to troubleshoot a bit to see what might be going on. What size Instant Pot are you using? The 8 quart can be more prone to give a burn notice. Did you scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot after stirring in the broth? It’s also very important to add the crushed tomatoes on top of the other ingredients and not stir them in. For more help, see my post all about the Instant Pot burn notice.
I had the same problem and I followed the recipe exactly as written.
I am a lazy bachelor who can’t be bothered to cook 99.99% of the time. I order food or eat frozen. I also have acid reflux, so avoid overly spicy foods.
I found this easy to make in my insta pot.
Changes I made…
* I got the wrong spices, so I had to make chili powder from an online recipe. I lacked cumin, sadly, so that got left out. I will probably just buy chili powder next time, but it’s easy to make
* I substituted garlic powder for clove, and it did not tasted overly garlic
* I used one can of black beans, and one can of ranch style
* I just use black pepper on top once it was cooked, so I could season to taste
* I added chili fritos on top which was great
Even though I like it mild, I would have used more chili powder than 2 Tbsp, but not much more, so I think the base recipe makes sense!
I used to spend hours in my younger days making chili from scratch the old fashioned way, with a recipe I had perfected over time. Due to work schedule and spine issues I gave up cooking. I recently retired and was given the famous Instant Pot as a gift by my daughter when I mentioned wanting to start cooking again. I have found many of Kristines recipes to be perfect & this chili is no exception! My husband and I loved it! The Instant Pot saves so much time & mess from the way I did it years ago & it is just as delicious. I increased the amount of Chili powder to give it a little more kick and used 1 can of kidney beans and 1 can of tri-blend beans, black, red & pinto, perfect. Followed directions about stacking tomatoes and beans on top, so no burn notice and after the final forced release I did switch it over to sauté for about 5 minutes to thicken it a bit.
Highly recommend this chili recipe and suggest trying it as is the first time and then adjust the spices and beans next time to taste if it isn’t exactly to your liking. You can add or remove the brown sugar, add red pepper flakes or hot sauce, whatever your family likes best. My husband and I loved it almost as is, I added 1/2 TBS more chili powder and changed up the 2nd can of beans to the tri blend because I couldn’t decide which to get! Great recipe Kristine, ? thank you!
The BEST CHILI RECIPE EVER! My kids AND my grandkids love it and I make it often because of that! Wouldn’t change a thing!
Made it today. Put a bit less of Chili Powder (1 Tsp), used petit diced tomatoes (didn’t have stewed tomatoes) and it turned out pretty good. A little bit more liquid than I prefer which is easily adjustable for the nest time but the taste was really good. Definitely a keeper.
Thank you for all your recipes. Everything I tried so far worked out and tasted great! Keep up a good work!
I’ve never made Chili before, but my husband loves it when we go out. I recently got him a bowl “to go” from a dinner I was at, and although he ate it, it was way too hot and spicy for his tastes. I felt so bad about it, I promised to make him Chili from scratch.
The search for a recipe began. Too many spices or ingredients, too much time, etc. FINALLY, huzzah, I found your recipe! I decided to make it because of the ease of the IP.
I made it tonight and it was WONDERFUL! Being that neither of us can take a lot of heat, and spiciness, I only put in 1 Tablespoon of the Chili powder and 1 teaspoon of Cumin. It actually came out very mild, and both of us agreed that we needed to put a bit more spice in it! Amazing.
The only changes I made was using Meatloaf mix for the 90% ground beef. I won’t do that again because I didn’t pull out enough of the grease after cooking the meat. It made the Chili too watery/greasy and I ended up using some corn starch to thicken it. I also changed the brown sugar to coconut sugar because my husband is Diabetic and it’s OK for him to use.
Next time, I’d leave out the (orange) pepper I used. The skins kept coming off on our spoons, and didn’t add much to the Chili, IMHO. I saved some slices and we ate them raw as a side and they were great.
We also added sour cream and it was perfect.
Thanks, Kristine, for this recipe. It’s a keeper, like most of your recipes. Yes, I’m a follower and a fan. 🙂
This recipe calls for tomatoes and tomato paste – these ingredients probably cause more burn errors than any other recipe items across all recipes. For example in the recipe above. Deglaze the pot after the onion and meat Saute. Cold liquids or room temp will aid in the release of the fond on the bottom of the pot. The layer sequence would be broth, ground beef then add the rest of the ingredients, saving the tomatoes and paste for last. Do not stir, you want the broth and meat at the bottom creating a barrier from the tomatoes. Personally, I’d hold out the bell pepper as the pressure cooking over cooks them. I do a quick release immediately, stir and add the bell pepper and then let it sit on keep warm for 10-15 mins before serving.
This is a great recipe, just a few tricks will help avoid the “Burn Error”.
Thanks Ted. I also have a page on how to handle the Instant Pot Burn error.
Delicious!!! Have made this several times, always comes out perfectly. Thank you for this great easy recipe!
How much chili powder would I use if it’s dark chili powder?
It depends on how spicy you like your chili. Dark chili powder is spicier than light chili powder, so you can reduce the amount if you want a less spicy chili.
This was such an easy and tasty recipe. I also froze left overs in my Souper cubes for an even quicker dinner. Thank you.
What would you recommend if you wanted to make this chili with chicken breast and quinoa (instead of beef)? Would you brown chicken, and add ingredients the same way – maybe the quinoa and then the crushed tomatoes and beans? A little more liquid for the quinoa? I’ve been looking at a number of beef/chicken instant pot recipes and I think this is what I might need to do, but thought I’d ask someone and your posts look like you’re the right person to ask. Thanks.
Without testing this recipe myself with quinoa and chicken breast, it’s difficult to advise on how to change the cook time and liquid amount. Quinoa cooks in just 1 minute in the instant pot and the chicken would take longer to cook through, so if you want to make quinoa chili it might be better to cook it on the stove. You could start with this quinoa chili recipe and add chicken to it. I’d brown the chicken and then simmer it in the chili until cooked through. Good luck!
Hi Kristine, Thank you for your feedback! I did try a chicken quiona chilli recipe that is very similar to this one but for a slow cooker. This was the only recipe I found similar to what I had – I browned the chicken first and it worked really well. After you just pulled it apart with a fork – I used 3 chicken breasts, each cut in two (like a butterfly cut). I only had a 1/4 c of quinoa though. I had lentils and thought I’d experiment with them. I put in the quinoa that I had and didn’t even see it after it was cooked – I assume it just blended in since it was so little. I added a cup of lentils. I also used 2 c of chicken broth – at first I thought it might be too much but I’m sure the lentils needed it. I put it on pressure cook using the bean/chilli button which was for 30 min. It was really yummy – the only thing is that the lentils needed more time. I’ll skip those next time and make sure I have quinoa and try it out. I thought I’d let you know that using chicken instead of beef does work nicely. My husband loved it and didn’t mind the lentils. I guess I’m a little more picky. haha Just trying to figure out how to cook more meals in the instant pot with what I have. I appreciate our guidance. I’ll check out the chicken and quinoa recipe and see how it compares to what I have.
I’ve been making this recipe frequently for 2 years and came back to rate it. It is delicious and my favorite chili recipe! I use a whole 6 ounce can of tomato paste (I didn’t want the rest of the can to go to waste) and a quart of my home canned tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes. Other than that, I follow the recipe and have not gotten a burn notice in my 6 quart Instant Pot. Thank you for this great recipe!
My husband is notoriously fussy about some things and chili is definitely one. When I asked him if he liked it, he said, “It’s pretty good as far as chili goes.” That’s high praise coming from him, lol. He said he’d also eat some for lunch tomorrow which is always a sign he likes it!
I added a couple things to enhance the flavors: 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika— I probably could have added more— and 1/2 tablespoon of New Mexico chili powder because I needed to use it up. It was really good and not too spicy for my boys. I will definitely make this again, thank you!
Hello Kristine, I’ve made it now 3 times, one time I even added a can of corn, and it comes out perfect every time! Thank you! I have this recipe saved on my home screen, my family loves it, even my m.i.l. 👍👍