Instant Pot Chili

instant pot chili in a bowl with tortilla chips on the side

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Pressure Build: 15 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 2 quarts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
380 Calories
18g Fat
25g Carbs
31g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 380
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 959mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 18mg 89%
Calcium 119mg 9%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 965mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Instant Pot makes a hearty beef and bean chili a breeze to cook. This classic chili is ready in less than an hour from start to finish, and it tastes as if it simmered for hours. With an Instant Pot, you'll have a delicious, belly-warming bowl of red in record time, making it a family-friendly meal that you can enjoy any night of the week. A variety of canned beans and fire-roasted tomatoes give this chili amazing texture, flavor, and color.

The chili is versatile as well. The recipe calls for canned kidney beans and black beans, but feel free to use whatever kind of canned beans you have on hand in your pantry. Great northern beans, pinto beans, and cannellini beans are all excellent choices. 

No Instant Pot? You can use another brand of electric pressure cooker or a stovetop pressure cooker to make the chili. If you are using a stovetop pressure cooker, subtract about 5 minutes from the total time. Follow the manufacturer's directions for added liquids and precautions.

Serve the chili with a pan of freshly baked cornbread, flaky biscuits, crackers, or tortilla chips. Add a side salad or homemade coleslaw for a well-balanced, satisfying meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef

  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced fire roasted or regular tomatoes

  • 8 ounces tomato sauce

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish, optional

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, for garnish, optional

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, for garnish, optional

  • 1 medium avocado, diced, for garnish, optional

  • 1 cup sour cream, for garnish, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for instant pot chili

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  2. Select the sauté button on the Instant Pot and add the cooking oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onions. Cook the onions for 3 minutes, or until they are slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds longer.

    onions cooking in the Instant pot

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  3. Add the ground beef to the pot and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the meat is no longer pink. If desired, drain and discard excess fat.

    ground beef in the instant pot for chili

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  4. Add the beef broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Without stirring, layer the beans, the seasonings, tomatoes, and tomato sauce.

    layered ingredients in the instant pot for chili

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  5. Cover the Instant Pot and make sure the steam vent is set to "sealing." Choose the manual or pressure cook setting (high pressure) and set the timer for 15 minutes. When the time is up, do a quick release and switch to simmer. Continue to cook uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes, frequently stirring, until the chili is thickened.

    instant pot chili

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  6. Ladle the chili into bowls and top with your favorite garnishes.

    chili in a bowl with tortilla chips on the side

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate leftover chili in a shallow covered container within 2 hours, and eat within four days.
  • to freeze chili, transfer portions to freezer containers or zip-close freezer bags and freeze it for up to six months.

Tips

  • Tomatoes and tomato sauce tend to stick to the bottom and could give you a burn error, so layer them on top without stirring.
  • Besides cooking to evaporate excess liquids, there are a few other ways you might thicken a pot of chili. Mashing some of the beans can add thickness. Or, to keep with the Southwest flavors, add a tablespoon or two of masa harina or cornmeal to the chili and simmer it for 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Recipe Variations

  • For spicier chili, add about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper or add 1 minced jalapeno pepper.
  • For extra color and flavor, add about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of corn kernels to the chili after the quick release.
  • For additional flavor, sauté about 1/2 to 1 cup of diced bell pepper along with the onion.
  • Make the chili with ground turkey instead of ground beef.

Why Did My Chili Burn in the Instant Pot?

Tomatoes and tomato sauce tend to stick to the bottom and could give you a burn error. To keep the chili mixture from burning, make sure to layer the tomatoes and sauce on top of the beef, beans, and broth, and avoid stirring.

What Is the Instant Pot Chili/Bean Setting?

The bean/chili setting on the Instant Pot cooks at high pressure and can be set to "more," which is 30 minutes, or "less," which will cook for 25 minutes. You may choose the bean/chili setting and do a quick release after 15 minutes.

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