Best Instant Pot Chili [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
4.96 from 22 reviews

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! Also, watch the short video tutorial attached and see how to make this recipe without the mess!

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 Pulled Pork, Ribs, and Baked Beans.

Image of instant pot chili bowl topped with sour cream and a slice of lime.

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 beans. 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.

Image of how to make instant pot chili.


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.

Image of instant pot chili ingredients.

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.

Picture of pressure cooker chili.


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 of 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 it’s cooked, it will enhance the tomato flavor and make it tangier.

Photo of instant pot chili.

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.

Photo of cooked chili in the instant pot.


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 to 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. This 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.

Picture of instant pot chili in a bowl.


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


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:

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4.96 from 22 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



Rest of Ingredients:


Cornstarch Slurry:



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


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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Image of instant pot chili recipe.

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Nutmeg Nanny

Looks amazing! Have to make this for my husband!



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!


Delaney | Melanie Makes

This chili looks so comforting!


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.


Katerina @ diethood .com

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



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


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 !



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!


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!


It is so good!


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.


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!



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.



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



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


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.


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.



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!



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


Alvian Istrate

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



Can I just brown the beef in a separate pan?


Yes, sure.


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. =)



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!


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 ?


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


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



What size was your Instant Pot?




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 :) 


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.


Joana Smith

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



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!


Happy that you liked it!



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.


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



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!


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!


Dar B

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


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



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?


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



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


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.



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.



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



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?


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



Loved this! I seared the beef in a separate cast iron skillet, then added to InstaPot, and followed remaining steps. I included cinnamon and cocoa. And I stirred in about 1 TBS brown sugar, post pressure release. Topped with sliced avocado, diced onion, Cheddar cheese. Crushed red pepper. AMAZING. THIS IS A KEEPER.



Hi should I increase the broth for an 8 qt? Can you make it ahead and leave on keep warm?


sure, it can stay on warm for a few hours!



This is my go to chili recipe... or favorite!



It was right there in your amazing instructions...don’t use meat that is too lean. I missed that part and sure enough I got the burn error. I think I was able to salvage it though. Still I am mad myself for missing that critical part of this recipe. Thank you for the detailed instructions. The flavor is certainly there!


Hi Kelly, and thanks for the notice. Yes usually using a bit fattier meat is better. Hope you liked it and had a great dinner! Thanks


Craig M. Thompson

I'm making this beauty tonight for my family. There were lots of steps , but I hope it is all worth it...we'll see. It looked delicious. So I'll know in 30 minutes 🤔......



Well, I made this chilli, I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that it was delicious, but then you and everyone that has attempted to make this chilli knows. The Bad news is that after supper, and as I was waiting for the chilli to cool down. And if finally did I attempted to carry my invert of my instant pot, and put it on my kitchen table. Turned around to get a cover fir my invert and the next thing I heard a very Large CRASH💥. Let's just say I had this wonderful chilli from literally from wall to wall. Ps. Have you ever saw a grown man cry😱🥺?


Wow, sorry to hear that :(. I guess you can give it one more try, and hope it will not happen again:))).



My family loved this recipe! I used 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, chicken bullion, and added a small can of tomatoe sauce. But otherwise followed the recipe exactly, without using any recommended enhancements. My picker eater children even liked it with cheeses on top.


Glad you loved it! Thanks for your feedback!



What is the serving size?


About 2 1/2 cups



Amazing recipe! Best I have found. I can't stop sharing it with family and friends. This is the second time I have made it and it's just as good as the first time. The only adjustments I made were adding 1 can of black beans, 1 can of red kidney beans and 1 can of peaches and cream corn (I like the sweet flavour it adds) instead of using just red kidney beans. I also use ground turkey instead of beef (due to a beef allergy) it works so well with ground turkey. I love that the spices can be pre-mixed ahead of time. Quick and easy meal! The tips are fantastic!


Thanks Ann for your feedback. Glad you loved it!



This is our favorite chili recipe. So easy and quick in the instant pot. We make a big batch on Sunday and eat it all week. Yum!


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

This Instant Pot Chili needs to happen at my house very soon!!



This is a really amazing chili! Thank you so much for the tips!


Jacque Hastert

Instant Pot Chili is one of the best meals year round! I can't wait to make this next week, as I just added it to my menu.


Sara Welch

Tried this for dinner last night and it was the perfect comfort food; so much flavor in one bowl! Looking forward to left overs again this evening!



This chili is finger-licking delicious and I love that I can make it in my IP!


Lindsay Michael

Great recipe!! Easy to follow and delicious. A family favorite.


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