Instant Pot Chili is made with ingredients like ground beef, aromatics, tomatoes, beans, and delicious spices. It's all cooked in one pot which makes this EASY Instant Pot Chili a cinch to clean up!
This recipe takes your typical low and slow-cooked chili and turns it into a pressure-cooked version with much faster results! It's just as flavorful as any classic recipe and is the perfect meal for cozy weekends and easy weeknight dinners.
As much as I love this recipe as it's listed, there is definitely room to be flexible with the ingredients. A different protein, added veggies, or play around with the spice level, it's all up to you!
Keep it warm all day and allow it to sit and allow the flavors to infuse over time. When you and your family are ready to eat, set out all your favorite toppings, like shredded cheese, avocado, and sour cream, and enjoy a hearty bowl with a side of tortilla chips or cornbread!
Making a big batch of pressure cooker chili comes in handy for leftovers throughout the week. It's also freezer-friendly, so you can portion it out and keep some for later on.
Why I Love This Family-Friendly Chili
- It's super simple to throw together a hearty, wholesome, and satisfying dinner quickly with ingredients you've probably already got in your kitchen.
- The pressure cooker eliminates the need for a low and slow simmer for hours but still maintains the awesome flavor.
- A one-pot meal makes for easy clean-up!
- Tons of leftovers for the week or freezing. Reheat a bowl for lunch or dinner the next day or use it on other things like breakfast nachos or hot dogs.
- Olive oil - Used to sauté the onion and green peppers to bring out their flavor and soften them a bit before browning the beef. Also used to keep the ingredients from sticking to the pot.
- Aromatics - Onion and garlic add an incredible amount of flavor to create the base of flavors for the chili flavors to build on. Layers of flavors which each ingredient is what makes chili so good.
- Ground beef - Use as lean as you'd like. I use anywhere from 90-95% lean but you can use what you like. You may want to drain the excess grease if there is a lot.
- Green pepper - A vegetable element with added crunch and great flavor. You can use red bell pepper if you'd prefer.
- Beef stock - If you have any homemade stock lying around, use it! Otherwise, any storebought beef broth will do. Low sodium is great if you're worried about salt levels.
- Can of diced tomatoes and juices - Don't drain the juices, you want to add them to the chili as well.
- Tomato sauce - The delicious tomato base of the chili is made up of tomato sauce along with canned tomatoes and broth. Look for a tomato sauce with little to no sugar, if preferred.
- Seasoning – Chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne for a little heat.
- Beans – Chili is pretty flexible in what kind of beans you use. This recipe calls for pinto and kidney beans which are a classic combination.
How to Make Chili in the Instant Pot
Prep: Gather the ingredients. Dice the onions and green peppers. Mince the garlic.
Step 1: Press [Sauté] on the Instant Pot and select more. Heat olive oil and add onions and green peppers and cook until soft.
Step 2: Brown the ground beef by breaking it up into small crumbles, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon as you stir. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Press [Cancel].
Step 3: Add beef broth to the pot and deglaze the pot by scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot with your spoon.
Step 4: Toss in your diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, ground cayenne pepper, and beans.
Step 5: Place the lid on the pot, set the valve to sealing. Press the [Pressure Cook] (or manual) button and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Release the pressure manually or allow it to naturally release.
Serve hot with everyone's favorite toppings and a basket of fresh crusty bread or a slice of cornbread!
Fun Tip: If you're serving guests, keep the chili on the warm function in the Instant Pot and layout the toppings. Have everyone serve themselves and decide how they want to garnish theirs!
- Shredded cheese like cheddar, Colby jack, or Monterrey Jack.
- Sour cream/Plain yogurt for a cool creamy topping.
- Avocado (or guacamole!) - Sliced, diced, or made into delicious guacamole!
- Sliced jalapenos for added heat.
- Red or green onions add a mildly pungent flavor.
- Crushed tortilla chips or strips for a salty crunchy garnish.
- Lime juice straight from fresh lime wedges is the perfect way to finish it off!
- Cilantro adds a vibrant fresh finish.
- Bacon is always a good idea! Whether it's made within the chili along with ground beef or crumbled on top, it's delish.
- Make this family-friendly meal even more kid-friendly by skipping the cayenne for a mild version.
- Swap the protein for a lighter version and use ground turkey or ground chicken instead.
- If you can't find smoked paprika, regular paprika will work just fine. You can also replace the smoked paprika with a couple of drops of liquid smoke if you have some.
- Easily make this recipe in a slow cooker using the low and slow method. Brown the meat, then dump in remaining ingredients and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
If you're done having bowls of leftover chili for lunch and dinner, think about using it on other things! We love it on nachos, chili dogs, and baked potatoes. Top your chili cheese fries or make a chili cheese dip. I'll also use it in chili mac for a quick weeknight dinner or use it for a taco salad bowl!
Keep any leftover chili stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can reheat on the stovetop on low over low heat or if you're just heating a single serving use the microwave.
Transfer the chili from the fridge to the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also use a freezer-friendly bag, making sure to squeeze out as much air as possible to avoid freezer burn.
If you find that you've added too much liquid or you like yours thicker than this recipe calls for, press [Saute] and let the liquid cook off. You can also use a rubber spatula to mash the beans to the side of the pot and stir.
Chili is a great make-ahead meal! The longer it sits the better it is, so you can make this up to the day before and reheat it just before serving. You can also make it earlier in the day and keep it warm all day.
Instant Pot Chili
- Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 green pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 and ½ cups beef stock
- 1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes, and juices
- 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- 3 (15.5 ounce) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- sour cream
- shredded cheese
- cilantro or green onions
- Turn the Instant Pot to [SAUTE], then select More. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot. Add onion and green peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Drizzle more olive oil (if needed) to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the pot.
- Then, add the ground beef and cook until browned (about 5 minutes), breaking up the beef with a spatula as you stir. Add garlic, salt and pepper, then stir. Press [CANCEL].
- Deglaze the pot with beef broth, using a rubber spatula to scrape any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, ground cayenne pepper (if using), and beans.
- Place the lid back on the pot, making sure the knob is turned to the sealing position. Press [PRESSURE COOK] or Manual for 15 minutes on High Pressure. Release the pressure either manually or allow it to release naturally.
- If you wish to thicken up the chili, press [Saute] to cook off some of the liquid for a few minutes; or use a rubber spatula to mash the beans to the side of the pot and stir.
- Serve hot with your choice of toppings such as sour cream, shredded cheese, and cilantro.