Instant Pot Chili
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This is seriously the best Instant Pot Chili! It’s hearty, flavorful and so easy to make.
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!
This Instant Pot chili recipe is made with ground beef and a rich tomato base that’s layered with spices and seasonings. It’s thick and hearty, just how a delicious chili should be. I like my chili with beans, but not too many. If you prefer your chili without beans, you can simply leave them out and double the amount of meat.
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!Kristin
- Onion and Garlic. These aromatic ingredients create a flavorful base for this Instant Pot chili.
- Ground Beef. Use 90% lean ground beef for a leaner chili. You can also use 80% lean ground beef, but you should drain off the excess grease after browning the beef. Ground turkey also works well in this recipe.
- 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. Want to add even more vegetables? Try diced carrot or sweet potato.
- 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 add a lot of flavor. Fire roasted diced tomatoes are a good substitute if you can’t find crushed.
- 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 red kidney beans and black beans, but pinto beans also work well.
How to Make Instant Pot Chili
This Instant Pot chili is fast to prep and then the Instant Pot does the rest, leaving you free to do whatever else you need to do. If you’re new to cooking with an Instant Pot, you’ll find my Instant Pot Manual helpful for getting started.
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.
Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Then quick release the remaining pressure.
If the chili isn’t thick enough after pressure cooking, you can simmer it for a few minutes in the Instant Pot using the sauté function. Then 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.
Avoiding the 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 chili tastes just as good, if not better, on the second and third day. It also freezes wonderfully.
- Refrigerator: Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
- To Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To Reheat: Reheat in a covered pot on the stove over medium heat, or reheat individual servings in the microwave.
The best part about sitting down to a steaming bowl of chili is that you get to load it up with your favorite toppings. Try shredded cheese, sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips, avocado, red onion, green onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, sliced jalapeño, or chopped fresh tomatoes.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
If you’ve been following Kristine’s Kitchen for any length of time, you know I love Instant Pot Recipes! Here are a few more of my favorites.
You might also enjoy these Instant Pot Ground Beef Recipes.
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, or fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 15 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Press Sauté to turn on the sauté 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. Drain off excess grease as needed.
- Stir in the garlic and then press Cancel to turn off the sauté function.
- 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 move 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 moving 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. If it isn't thick enough, simmer it using the sauté function for a few minutes to thicken it up. Serve with toppings, as desired.
- If you use 80% lean ground beef, drain off any excess grease 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.