Best Instant Pot Chili [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Instant Pot Chili is the best and one of the easiest meals you can make in your Instant Pot. Hearty and loaded with flavor with the perfect texture!

Instant Pot recipes are very easy to make and usually reduce the cooking time by a lot. They are convenient and delicious and it only made sense to add a good chili to my collection. Other favorites include the famous and juicy PulledPork, Ribs and Baked Beans.

Instant Pot Chili Bowl

Easy Instant Pot Chili Recipe

Instant Pot Chili is the best meal you can make in your pressure cooker. This recipe is incredibly easy and also fool-proof. We love making this delicious recipe at least a few times a month. It always turns out mouth-watering, hearty and flavorful.

I will give you all my tips for making the perfect pot of chili bean. Top it with some fresh avocados, sour cream and serve it with a hefty amount of cornbread on the side!

This chili is the perfect comfort food and that type of recipe that you call “a keeper”! The leftovers taste even better and also this is that type of meal that freezes very well.

The Best Instant Pot Chili recipe

Is chili supposed to have beans in it?

“Texas chili” or otherwise called “Chili con carne” does not have beans, it usually is chili with peppers and meat.  The more commonly known “chili”, is a spicy stew containing usually chili peppers, beef, tomatoes, and beans.

What is the best kind of beans for chili?

I love adding one of these or a mix of them: Black Beans, Dark Red Kidney Beans or Pinto Beans.

How do I make my chili soupier?

If you prefer a more soupy chili, increase the liquid content by one or two cups, or after the chili is done, with the IP on Sauté, add more liquid, and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add as much as you want, until you get to the consistency that you like.

How do you make chili thicker?

After you cooked the Instant Pot Chili and you realize you want it thicker, you can cook it on Sauté with the lid off for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces. Another option is to add a cornstarch slurry, which works instantly and I am describing in my recipe.

Also, it is recommended after you prepare this dish to leave it overnight in the fridge. This way the beef will absorb even more liquid, it will become thicker and also the flavors get a chance to develop more. Moral of the story, make more so you have delicious leftovers the next day.

Crushed tomatoes versus tomato sauce:

Using crushed tomatoes is key as the tomato sauce will add more liquid to the pot and will make the chili soupier.

Should I add cocoa powder, espresso or cinnamon to chili?

These ingredients are so-called flavor enhancers, so if you have some on hand you can either add 1 espresso shot, or 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. They will enhance the flavor of the chili and give it an earthy tone.

Add any these before you add the crushed tomatoes. Do not use all of the flavor enhancers, just pick one. Or combine the cocoa with the cinnamon or the espresso with the cinnamon.

Should I add apple cider vinegar to the chili?

If you would prefer a more tangy taste to your chili, adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or even balsamic vinegar at the end, once its cooked, it will enhance the tomato flavor and make it tangier.

How do you sweeten up a chili?

When you taste and adjust for salt and pepper, if you are looking for a sweeter chili, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar.

How to freeze Instant Pot Chili Soup?

First, let the chili cool completely. Divide the cooled chili into small portions that you can consume in one meal. Scoop each portion into a container or freezer safe ziplock bag, leaving about 1/2 inch of empty space at the top.

Freeze the chili at or below 0 F for as long as four months. Before serving, thaw chili in the refrigerator. Add it to a pot on low-medium heat, and reheat it to a rolling boil, keeping the pot covered to retain moisture. Season as needed.

Ultimate Instant Pot Chili Recipe

How to brown the beef for Instant Pot Chili recipe?

Searing the beef in the pressure cooker may be challenging, because of the surface of the pot. There are three easy methods that you can use, and just use whichever you prefer more:

  1. The baking soda method: mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water until it’s dissolved. Add the mixture to the ground beef and using your hands mix it in. After that, let the beef rest for 20-30 minutes. This is a trick that my mom (and obviously many other cooks) use in many recipes that ask for ground beef. First, it helps the beef retain the moisture, which makes searing and browning in especially in the IP much easier. Second, it tenderizes the beef, for the same reason, since the beef retains more moisture, it’s fluffier and more tender once cooked. I love to use this trick also when cooking Salisbury Steaks!
  2. The sear and reserve method – once your Instant Pot is hot and ready to sear the beef, add it to the pot and DO NOT stir for 4-5 minutes. This way the beef gets a chance to really get golden brown on the bottom layer. At this point the beef released moisture, carefully remove the pot from the IP and drain the excess fat into a small bowl, it will be later added back to the pot. Add back the pot to the IP and using a wooden spoon break down the meat and continue cooking.
  3. If you don’t really care how browned is your beef, follow the instructions on #2 and use the easy way out. Which means, after the 5-minute mark, just start breaking apart the beef and continue cooking it in the moisture that is being realized. This is a quick and easy method.

Easy Instant Pot Chili Recipe

HOW TO MAKE CHILI IN A SLOW COOKER OR CROCK POT?

Making this recipe in the crockpot is similarly easy and amazingly delicious. We do have the slow cooker version of it, and can be find by clicking into this link.

BURN NOTICE ON INSTANT POT

We’ve had a few questions in regards to the burn notice on the pressure cooker.

This can be due to a few factors. However, it is probably due to the ground beef lacking fat or that you’ve walked away and left the meat to burn. Therefore, prior to browning the meat on the pot ensure there is nothing stuck to the bottom of the pot.

As it will continue to cook and confuse the pot to thinking that something is burning. Hence, it is important to clean your pot well after every use. Also, try not to use ground beef that is too lean.

If you get a burn notice after the chili has been combined, then this is probably due to the fact that you didn’t thoroughly stir everything together. Also, it could be because there something stuck to the bottom of the pot. Try stirring well to avoid this issue.

Tools and Ingredients I used to make this Instant Pot Chili Recipe:

Watch Recipe Video:

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4.92 from 12 reviews
Best Instant Pot Chili
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 bowls
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds  ground beef 
  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil 

Spices:

  • 1 tablespoon  onion powder 
  • 1 tablespoon  garlic powder 
  • 1-2 tablespoons  chili powder* 
  • 1 tablespoon  ground cumin seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon  dried oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon  dried thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon  smoked paprika  (optional)

Rest of Ingredients:

  • 1  medium onion  (diced)
  • 6 cloves  garlic   (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons  tomato paste 
  • 3 cans  of 15oz each red kidney beans  (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 1/3 cups  beef broth or chicken broth  (low sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon  soy sauce 
  • 1 can   of 28oz crushed tomatoes 
  • 3  bay leaves 

Garnish:

  •  Sour cream 
  •  Jalapeno pepper  (diced and seeded)
  •  Cheddar cheese 
  •  Avocado 
  •  Parsley  (chopped)

Cornstarch Slurry:

  • 2 tablespoons  cornstarch 
  • 2 tablespoons  water 

Instructions

  1. Add all the spices and dried herbs listed under the "Spices" section of this recipe to a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  2. Read the post above and decide what method you prefer to use for browning the beef. I used #2 this time. Select Sauté and once your IP reads Hot, add the oil, make sure you tilt the pot so the oil covers the whole surface.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the beef to the pot and DO NOT stir for 4-5 minutes. Gently, remove the pot from the IP and pour the excess fat into a small bowl. Return back the pot to the IP, using a wooden spoon, break down the beef and continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly until the beef is browned well.
  4. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Add the mixed Spices to the beef, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Now you need to deglaze the pot, when you sear the beef lots of bits and pieces stick to the bottom of the pot, which can later contribute to burning and your pressure cooker won't pressurize.
  7. Add 1/3 cup of beef broth to the pot and using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot until it is clean. Cook the beef in the broth for 5 minutes, to reduce the moisture.
  8. Add the tomato paste and reserved beef juices, stir to combine.

  9. Add the washed and drained beans and gently stir to combine.
  10. In a small bowl combine remaining 1 cup of broth with the worcestershire sauce and soy sauce and add the mixture to the pot. Gently stir to combine.
  11. Add the crushed tomatoes on top of the meat and DO NOT stir as tomatoes can stick to the bottom of the pot and prevent it from coming to pressure.
  12. Add the bay leaves.
  13. Close the IP with the lid. Turn the steam release vent to 'sealing' and using the manual setting, set it to cook for 12 minutes at High Pressure.
  14. When the cook time is up, allow the pressure to reduce on its own without opening the steam release vent for 15 minutes, this is called Natural Pressure Release. After 15 minutes gently release the rest of the pressure by opening the vent.
  15. Open the lid and discard bay leaves. Gently stir the chili.
  16. If you prefer the chili thicker: turn on the Sauté function, use the 'adjust' button to turn it the medium heat setting.
  17. In a small bowl mix cornstarch with water until dissolved and add it to the pot. Gently stir to combine and let it simmer for 5 minutes until it thickens.
  18. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  19. Serve hot with cornbread, sliced avocado, sour cream and parsley.
Calories: 392 Carbohydrates: 15 Protein: 23 Fat: 27 Saturated Fat: 9 Cholesterol: 80 Sodium: 446 Potassium: 740 Fiber: 3 Sugar: 5 Vitamin A: 800 Vitamin C: 9.5 Calcium: 82 Iron: 5 g
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 Instant Pot Chili Recipe

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Comments

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Nutmeg Nanny

Looks amazing! Have to make this for my husband!

Reply

Jen

I wish I could reach right in and grab the spoon in your photo! I have a weakness for chili, it's one of my favorite comfort foods. Yours looks delicious!

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Delaney | Melanie Makes

This chili looks so comforting!

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eat good 4 life

I love my instant pot. This is one of the recipes we get to make the most. So easy and filling.

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Katerina @ diethood .com

I love the instant pot!! My family would love this chili!! Looks incredible!!

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Sabrina

You have the best tips for everyone to customize this to their liking! So awesome!

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Linda @ With A Blast

This looks so good ! I know my hubby would love this chili, will get the ingredients I don't have tomorrow on our weekly grocery shopping trip !

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Trang

My husband loves chili and the instant pot, so this would be the perfect dish for him to make ;) and I can just sit back and enjoy!

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Nancy Lustri

Can you believe I've never had chili made from the Instant Pot? I've made it in a slow cooker and it turned out great. I've only heard good things about the Instant Pot and what it produces so your recipe must be delicious!

Reply

It is so good!

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Jenn @ EngineerMommy

I love the instant pot. It's my fave kitchen gadget. This chili sounds amazingly delicious. PErfect comfort food for the cold weather.

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Carol Cassara

This is definitely packed with flavor and perfect for the cold weather! I also appreciate all the tips that you shared! It looks amazing and it's easy to make!

Reply

Marysa

I would love an Instant Pot! This recipe sounds so delicious and hearty. I would like to make a big batch of this so we can save the leftovers.

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Heather

This looks and sounds incredibly yummy! We are huge chili fans. I love the avocado topping!

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Ricci

I keep seeing all these yummy Instant Pot recipes and now I think I need one! That chili looks AMAZING!!

Reply

Up Run for Life Healthy Lifestyle Blog

I really want to add an instant pot to my appliance collection. There are so many great recipes and the meals cook without constant watching. I haven't had chili in a very long time.

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Amy h

I've only used my InstaPot twice. I still have a slight fear of it. LOL. But, this does look amazing, and I love a good chili. I'll have to try it.

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Jenny

This looks so delicious! I only have a crockpot, but now I am hoping to get an instant pot soon so things will be a little quicker for a moms busy schedule!

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Ada

I love making things in my InstantPot. It's so easy and it always turns out really good.

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Alvian Istrate

Love it, I tried it its delicious, thank you !

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Mike

Can I just brown the beef in a separate pan?

Reply

Yes, sure.

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Martin Kashino

Followed the recipe almost exactly last week. Only made two additions: added 1 shot of short espresso and 1/2 a ghost pepper I grew last summer. Very tasty chili with a nice combination of spices. I'm making it again tomorrow. =)

Reply

Nicole

Delicious! This was easy and the flavour is devine! A few modifications I found successful: only used one can of kidney beans- it was enough for me! Also added a can of corn- yum! Lastly, once the pressure released I added diced mushroom and yellow pepper and let them simmer to cook while the chilli reduced a little. YUM, thank you!

Reply

Melanie Duguay

Oh my!!!!!!! I’m new to Instant Pot and I love it!!!!! This recipe was easy to follow and the result is phenomenal. Delicious!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing ?

Reply

I am so glad that you liked it! Thank you for letting me know!

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Pres Rice

I am very impressed with the way you explain your process - very complete. I like the enhancements you suggest, I use the coco, cinnamon, and vinegar - all ingredients (sparingly) - thanks

Reply

Peter

What size was your Instant Pot?

Reply

6qt

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Holly Wachlin

Hi there! I was wondering if I could make this with dried beans instead of canned and how that might change the cooking process in my instant pot? Thanks :) 

Reply

No, as they require way more water to cook. I recommend you cook the dry beans first, 1 lb of dry beans plus 8 cups of water, salt and pepper. Pressure cook for 25 mins and NPR 20 mins. Drain and rinse the beans under cold water. Clean the pot and make the chili.

Reply

Joana Smith

so easy to make and so delicious! Can eat it every day all day! :)

Reply

Ellona

Fun dish, and loaded with flavors. My husband really loved it, especially in the Instant Pot it was quicker and faster. Nice recipe, will def. repeat it!

Reply

Happy that you liked it!

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Sherry

This turned out fantastic, not too spicy but full of flavor. My new favorite chili recipe. The only changes I made were less fresh garlic and only one can of cannellini beans. I was worried about the large amount of spices but it was just right. Thanks for this great recipe.

Reply

Hi Sherry, I am so excited that you loved the recipe :) thank you for the feedback!

Reply

Dawn

I made this for our annual chili cookoff at work on Halloween. I followed your recipe, though used a variety of beans and meat, cooked in my InstatPot then heated the next day in a slow cooker. Out of the 16 chilis submitted, I won first place (bragging rights!), by quite a large margin. Thanks for sharing your recipe! It is a keeper!

Reply

Hi Dawn, I am so excited that YOU and EVERYONE else loved this recipe. For sure its a keeper, thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback!

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Dar B

I have an 8qt. Can I dubl recipe, if so, do meat in 2 batches? Will it fit?

Reply

You should be able to double it, yes, do the meat in batches.

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Judy

I just bought a instant pot mini (3 quart) and I really want to try your recipe to break it in! Do I just reduce your recipe in half?

Reply

yes, just reduce by half, you might have to taste and adjust for the spices.

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April

Kinda felt like I could have cooked it in the stove there were so many steps 

Reply

Hi April, you can cook on the stove almost any recipe that is made in the Instant Pot. However, for great flavor, a chili is cooked for a long period in the slow cooker, or on the stove. This recipe cuts the time by a lot. Also, it doesn't have many steps.

Reply

Alison

Made this in my IP and didn't have any fat from browning (chose #2) probably because I used 90/10 sirloin. I had to add a little extra beef broth for the deglazing which worked out just fine. I sautéed at the end to thicken. I also didn't use any beans. The spices were perfect and the chili came out quite tasty. I topped with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and sliced avocado. My husband added crushed tortilla chips into his bowl. Thanks for the recipe, we'll make this again.

Reply

Rob

Instead of corn starch, I use a slurry made with masa harina for more flavor.

Reply

Melissa

Could i use dry beans instead of canned? And if so do I cook the beans first or can I just cook them all together at once in the instant pot?

Reply

No, you can't. You will have to cook the beans first and after that use in this recipe.

Reply

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