This Instant Pot Chili Will Reignite Your Passion for Pressure Cooking | Yummly

This Instant Pot Chili Will Reignite Your Passion for Pressure Cooking

This easy Instant Pot Chili recipe will remind you why you fell in love with the Instant Pot in the first place.

Everybody loves new relationship energy: that heady feeling at the start of a romance, when you’ll take advantage of any pretext to spend time with your new paramour and try new things together. It was that way for me and my Instant Pot. The first months of being an Instant Pot owner were filled with thrilling experimentation. What’ll happen if I pressure cook hard-boiled eggs? Should I try out that easy recipe for Instant Pot butter chicken? Cheesecake?! YES!

The thrill of those early days fades over time. Now that we’re a few years into our relationship, the pressure cooker has been demoted from exciting new romance to reliable kitchen stalwart, relegated from the countertop to a lower cabinet (next to my dusty spaetzle grater and neglected waffle iron), emerging every couple of months when I need a new batch of bone broth.

That is, it was … until I tried this Yummly Original recipe for Instant Pot Chili, which has restored my waning Instant Pot enthusiasm. This is a chili for the ages, rich with browned ground beef and beans and spices. Yes, you could make chili on the stovetop, but to get the same depth of flavor, you’d need to simmer for hours, stirring and fretting the whole time. With the Instant Pot, after a quick chop and saute, you’ll cook the chili at high pressure for just 15 minutes. Most of the time in the recipe is hands-off and requires no supervision. Chili like this could be the spark that puts the heat back into your love affair with the Instant Pot. Worst case, you’ll end up with a delicious and simple weeknight meal. 

Jump ahead to:

Instant Pot Chili FAQs >>

Step-by-step guide to Instant Pot Chili >>

Get the recipe: Instant Pot Chili >>

Instant Pot Chili FAQs

Before we dig in, here are some answers to your simmering Instant Pot Chili questions 

What’s the main protein in the Instant Pot Chili?

Alongside beans, our pressure cooker chili recipe calls for lean ground beef as a flavor backbone; we’ll wring every ounce of flavor from a relatively small amount of meat. If you’re not a beef fan or avoiding dietary cholesterol, try subbing in ground turkey or even a vegetarian meat substitute. You may need to add in a little savory umami to make up for the missing beefiness: maybe some soy sauce or nutritional yeast?   

Wait, there’s beans!? 

Yes, beans. Although people from Texas may disagree, we love a tender legume in our chili pot. 

What’s a chili bean? 

A chili bean is a bean that’s canned in mild chili sauce. At my local store, there were a few varieties available — I like pinto beans or black beans, especially since we’ll use a whole can of kidney beans as well. 

Photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

Won’t the canned beans get mushy? 

They don’t, in fact. The pressure cooking phase is short enough that even pre-cooked canned beans don’t break down. They just absorb the chili flavor from their pot mates. 

What if I like it spicier? 

Our recipe calls for a mild chili powder spice mix as well as cumin and oregano, and derives some pleasant heat from the chili beans and the tomatoes with green chile. If you want more seasoning, feel free to add a dollop of chopped chipotle peppers in adobo or a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper or other chili powder. But remember, thanks to the laws of thermodynamics, you can’t take spiciness out once you’ve mixed it in. Be judicious; you can always add hot sauce or sliced jalapeño at the table. 

Photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

How long is this going to take anyway? 

A little more than an hour total time, with much of the cooking time unsupervised thanks to the set-it-and-forget-it Instant Pot technique. 

How do I store leftover Instant Pot Chili?

In a tightly covered plastic container, you can keep cooked chili in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It also freezes very well: Put the chili in some self-sealing freezer-safe bags with all the excess air forced out. Frozen chili will last for 6 months or more. 

Photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

Can I reheat chili in an Instant Pot?

You can use the saute function on low to reheat leftover chili in the Instant Pot. I’m not sure it’s that much easier than reheating it on the stovetop or the microwave, but the heart wants what it wants.  

Step-by-step guide to Instant Pot Chili

Follow these steps for a simple weeknight dinner you'll want to add to your regular rotation

Step 1: Prep time!

Chop an onion and a couple cloves garlic. Crack open the cans you’ll need. Drain your kidney beans and measure out your beef broth.

Step 2: Use the Saute function to build a foundation of flavor

Set your Instant Pot to Saute / High, add olive oil, and put some color on your ground beef; the deeper the color, the more bits that’ll stick to your pan. That “fond” will provide incredible flavor as it dissolves into the chili. Fry up onions and garlic and then cancel the Saute and let your dry spices toast in the residual heat. 

Photograph by Rachael Nusbaum

Step 3: Deglaze

Add beef broth to the liner and scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula. Leave no fond behind! 

Step 4: Layer in the remaining ingredients

After stirring the beef back in, layer in the remaining ingredients in the order specified, with the diced tomatoes on top. Don’t stir — the order is designed to maximize the pressure cooking potential without triggering the dreaded burn notice. 

Step 5: Pressure Cook! 

Pressure cook for 15 minutes on high and then natural release for 10 minutes before you quick release the rest of the pressure. 

Step 6: Concentrate and brighten the flavors

Add tomato paste to some of the cooking liquid and add that mixture in while you saute for another few minutes to thicken up the chili.

Step 7: Garnish and serve

Cheddar Cheese? OK! Sour cream? Check! Green onion? Yep! Whatever else you like on your chili? Go wild! 

Get the recipe: Instant Pot Chili 

Ready to renew your Instant Pot vows and dig into a classic Chili con Carne? Click on the recipe link below to see all the details for this terrific Instant Pot Chili. 

Yummly Original

For more bowls of chili, dishes of varying spice levels, and Instant Pot love, check out the articles below.

30 Championship-Worthy Chili Recipes

Whether you’re a serious chili cook-off contestant or you just crave comfort in a bowl, here are 30 chili recipes to make — and debate

20 Spicy Dinners for Chili-Heads and Fire Lovers

Feel the heat with these fiery dishes, ranging from mildly spicy all the way to “I can’t feel my tongue”

Instant Pot Soups and Stews That’ll Bowl You Over

It's getting chilly, so warm up with hearty meals straight from your pressure cooker. We’re excited to spoon-feed you some of the best Instant Pot soup and stew recipes on Yummly!