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Best Instant Pot Chili

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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 Chili BowlInstant Pot Chili is the best meal you can make in your pressure cooker. This recipe is incredibly easy and also fool-proof. I love making this Instant Pot Chili at least a few times a month, it always turns out mouth-watering. I love how hearty and flavorful it turns out all the time. 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 corn bread 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.

Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? Check these out:

Instant Pot Chili Ladle

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 are 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 more soupy?

If you prefer a more soupy chili, increase the liquid content by one or two cups, or after the chili is done, with the Instant Pot 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.

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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 the Instant Pot Chili 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 more soupy.

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 more tangy.

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.

Instant Pot Chili Recipe

How to brown the beef for Instant Pot Chili recipe?

Searing the beef in the Instant Pot may be challenging, because of the surface of the pot. There are three easy methods that you can use, and just use which ever 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 Instant Pot much easier. Second, it tenderizes the beef, for the same reason, since the beef retains more moisture, its 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 the quick and easy method.

Here is a step-by-step video for the Instant Pot Chili Recipe:

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

Instant Pot Chili Bowl
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4.88 from 8 votes

Best Instant Pot Chili

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!

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.
Recipe Notes

Use more or less, depending how spicy you want the chili.

Made this Recipe?

Show me what you made on Instagram and tag me at @sweetnsavorymeals or hashtag it #sweetandsavorymeals.

Instant Pot Chili Bowl with Cornbread
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!

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30 comments on “Best Instant Pot Chili”

  1. Looks amazing! Have to make this for my husband!

  2. 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!

  3. This chili looks so comforting!

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

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

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

  7. 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 !

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

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

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

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

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

  20. Pingback: 17 Instant Pot Chili Recipes - Two Healthy Kitchens

  21. Can I just brown the beef in a separate pan?

  22. 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. =)

  23. 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!

  24. 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 😁

  25. 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

  26. What size was your Instant Pot?

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