Instant Pot Chili


Which Instant Pot should you buy? See my guide.


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.

Close up of hearty ground beef chili made in an Instant Pot.

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.

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.

Beef chili in a ladle over an Instant Pot pressure cooker.

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 sweet 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.

Chili Ingredients

  • 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

  1. Sauté onion in olive oil using the Instant Pot’s sauté mode.
  2. Brown the ground beef in the Instant Pot. Add the garlic to the pot and stir, then turn off sauté.
  3. Add the remaining chili ingredients, except for the tomatoes and beans. Stir well and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and beans on top of the other ingredients and do not stir them in.
  5. Pressure cook the chili on high pressure for 15 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release.
  6. Quick release the remaining pressure, stir and serve with your favorite chili toppings.

Two bowls of Instant Pot chili, with toppings and a spoon.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Chili Toppings

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.

A white bowl filled with Instant Pot chili with sour cream, shredded cheese and cilantro as toppings.

More Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Chili

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.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword beef chili, instant pot chili, instant pot chili recipe, pressure cooker chili
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Natural Release10 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 374kcal

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 2 tablespoons 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1326mg | Potassium: 1459mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1898IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 8mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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