INSTANT POT CHILI: Chili made easy in your pressure cooker is THE BEST! This recipe is the absolute perfect comfort food, packed with flavor, texture, color and a tiny bit of spice. Perfect dinner or party food!
This Instant Pot Chili recipe has been in the works for a long time. Many of you have asked for a pressure cooker version of your (and my!) favorite chili recipe and I finally delivered. I have to admit that I avoided making a pressure cooker version of one of my favorite recipes EVER because I didn’t believe it could ever live up to its namesake. But it totally does, you guys.
I am so in love with my Instant Pot and the secret magic that goes on inside those little pressure-cooking walls. My first bite of this Instant Pot Chili made my head spin in circles. It tastes like it cooked low and slow for ages, but it is ready to eat in less than an HOUR! This is such a great recipe. You are going to LOVE IT.
WATCH THIS SUPER QUICK VIDEO TO SEE HOW EASY IT IS TO MAKE CHILI IN AN INSTANT POT!
Enjoy the step-by-step video tutorial we have created for this recipe! Our goal is to make your time in the kitchen as easy as possible and to ensure that your version of this recipe is a success. See our full collection of cooking and baking videos on YouTube!
HOW TO MAKE CHILI IN AN INSTANT POT
Making chili in a pressure cooker has never been easier! There is now a CHILI setting that puts those little magic men who live inside your Instant Pot to work. After just 20 minutes of cooking time, this chili comes out perfectly and tastes like it has been simmering on the stove top all day long. Follow these easy steps to make the easiest, yummiest Instant Pot Chili you’ll find!
Set your Instant Pot to the saute function. Add the olive oil and heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, parsley and jalapenos (if using and I highly recommend that you do!) and saute for 3 minutes.
Add the ground meat (use beef, pork, turkey or even venison!) and cook until it is no longer pink and drain, if needed.
Add the spices! Stir the chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper into the meat and veggie mixture. Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans to the pot. Place the cover on the pot and set the timer to 20 minutes on high pressure (use the CHILI setting!). It will take the Instant Pot approximately 10 minutes to build up pressure before it begins cooking. Only 30 minutes of cook time, folks!
When cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Remove the cover and serve the delicious chili immediately. Top with shredded cheese and sour cream, if desired!
TIPS: MAKE THE BEST INSTANT POT CHILI
Use fresh ingredients for the best tasting chlii.
Typically, fattier meats such as beef will produce a chili with more flavor.
Decrease the amount of tomato juice used in the recipe for a less "saucy” chili and for a more thickened version of the comfort food.
Go as crazy as you’d like with the toppings! Jalapeno slices, extra cheese, sour cream, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, sliced green onions.. the world is your oyster!
Spice up the recipe by adding hot sauce, an extra jalapeno pepper, more cayenne pepper and by replacing the beans with seasoned black beans!
Speaking of spice, do not let the jalapenos called for in the recipe scare you. It does not produce a super hot chili, but instead a mildly zingy and perfect chili recipe!
HOW TO MAKE CHILI IN A SLOW COOKER/CROCKPOT
The ingredient list is the same between the best Instant Pot version of chili and the best crock pot version of chili. Follow the link for exact ingredient amounts!
In a large skillet, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat until it is no longer pink. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain the excess grease from skillet, but do not clean it out.
Add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, parsley and jalapeño peppers (if using) and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.
Add the meat and veggie mixture to the slow cooker. Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans to either the skillet or slow cooker, depending on which you are using. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Serve warm with cheese and sour cream.
WHAT MAKES THE BEST CHILI RECIPE?
In my opinion, an exceptional chili recipe cannot be super thick but not runny, either. It should be the perfect consistency, it should cook low and slow to bring out the flavor in the ingredients and it also should have a bit of zing. It absolutely must include the following ingredients: beans, meat (lots of it!), tomato sauce/juice and a bit of spice (I love adding jalapenos, but they’re not for everyone).
WHAT BEANS ARE BEST IN CHILI?
I love using pinto and red kidney beans because they are hearty and sturdy. Occasionally I will get crazy and add black beans, but for this recipe stick with the pinto-kidney combo!
DO YOU DRAIN CANNED BEANS FOR CHILI?
I always drain my beans to avoid adding extra salt and starch and I think the liquid gives it a different flavor. However, you are not going to seriously damage the recipe if you add the liquids from the cans. I know people who love it!
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER CHILI
If you have leftovers, and it's very possible that you will because this makes a large batch, please check out these delicious recipes to help use them up:
HOW TO FREEZE CHILI
Freezing chili is super doable and easy! Pour it into a container that seals tightly OR into resealable freezer bags. If you use bags, flatten them out and remove as much air as possible before sealing. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you are ready to enjoy the chili, let it thaw completely and reheat on the stove top or in a slow cooker until it is warmed to desired temperature.
INSTANT POT BURN NOTICE
If you see that dreaded burn notice flash on your Instant Pot, do not fret! Know that your pressure cooker is keeping a good eye on your food. It has sensed that the temperature toward the bottom of the pot is too high and has therefore turned it off momentarily. It is giving you a chance to fix the problem! This can happen especially with thick sauces or chilis because of the heaviness of the contents inside the pot. It can also happen if there is not enough liquid inside the pot.
If you see the burn notice, press CANCEL as soon as possible. Do an immediate quick release and wait for the silver float valve to drop. Transfer the inner pot to a hot pad holder. Scrape any bits of food that may have adhered to the bottom of the pot using a spoon.
If there are no burned bits:
Add 1/2 cup of liquid to the recipe that will thin out the consistency. If the recipe contains beef or chicken broth, add more of the same. If no broth is used in the recipe, add water.
Stir the contents of the pot thoroughly and resume cooking.
If you see burned pieces in the mixture:
Pour the contents into a saucepan and clean out the pot using soap and water, making sure any charred pieces of food are removed from the bottom of the pan. Remove visible pieces of burnt food and pour it back into the pot.
Stir the contents of the pot thoroughly and resume cooking.
HOW TO AVOID SEEING THE DREADED BURN NOTICE ON THE INSTANT POT
Stir heavy sauces or soups just before placing the cover on the pot for cooking. You will want the heaviest ingredients toward the top in order to ensure they don't stick to the bottom and burn.
Make sure your pot contains enough liquid! Add extra beef broth or chicken broth if it is already an ingredient in the recipe. If the recipe does not contain a thin liquid (e.g., a recipe that requires a trivet), add 1 1/2 cups of liquid to the bottom of the Instant Pot before cooking.
I have never used an 8-quart IP, but from what I have read this size is much quicker to burn than the 6-quart version. The 8-quart Instant Pot may require more liquid than the 6-quart does.
HOW TO CLEAN AN INSTANT POT
Keep your Instant Pot shiny, clean and scent-free by following these simple steps:
EXTERIOR - Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down any grease or gunk on the outside of the Instant Pot. Use a brush or the edge of a clean cloth to reach inside the rim to remove food that may have gotten stuck in the grooves. The exterior “housing” should never ever be immersed in liquid or run underwater.
INNER POT - The stainless steel inner pot can be hand-washed OR run through a dishwasher. See below tips for deep cleaning when needed.
COVER - The inside of the IP cover can usually just be wiped down with a clean cloth after use. If there is food stuck to the inside of the cover, remove the sealing ring and run the cover under hot water and scrub with a brush or cloth.
SEALING RING - The sealing ring can be easily removed from the Instant Pot and hand-washed with warm, soapy water OR run through a dishwasher when needed.
TRIVET - The trivet that is inserted into the Instant Pot can be scrubbed with a brush, hand-washed with warm, soapy water or run through a dishwasher.
DEEP CLEAN - If the inner pot starts to show signs that it needs a deep cleaning (cloudiness or discoloration), pour either 2 cups of white vinegar OR 2 cups of water plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the pot. Place the cover on the pot and set to STEAM for 3 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and remove the cover. Remove sealing ring and inner pot and allow to air dry.
BEST RECIPES TO MAKE IN AN INSTANT POT
The list of recipes you can make in an Instant Pot is endless! It can act as a slow cooker, saute pan, steamer, rice maker, yogurt maker and pressure cooker. It can cook soup, chili, pasta, meat, potatoes, veggies, cake, beans and so much more. Here are a few of my favorite Instant Pot recipes:
WHAT TO SERVE AT A PARTY
I LOVE party food, so you have come to the right place if you are looking for recipes to make for your next gathering. Chili is the perfect party food, but here are some other options that will be easy, delicious and crowd-pleasing!
Fruit Pizza - The classic, crowd-pleasing Fruit Pizza has a cookie dough crust, dreamy cream cheese frosting and a colorful top layer of fruit and a tasty glaze. Great appetizer/dessert for parties of any kind, any time of the year!
Taco Ranch Pasta Salad - This delicious pasta salad gets totally devoured at gatherings, no matter the season.
Sausage Cheese Dip - Sausage Cheese Dip is easy to make (let your crockpot do the work for you!), cheesy, flavorful and totally irresistible! Serve as an appetizer at your next party and it won’t last long. Only 6 ingredients required for this delicious party food!
7-Layer Taco Dip - This is the best 7-Layer Taco Dip you'll ever meet! It's the perfect appetizer and party food and it is always the first thing to get devoured.
Crockpot Meatballs - These require only a few ingredients with only a few minutes of prep. They are SO EASY to make, totally packed with delicious flavor and great for game-day parties or holidays. Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you!
Spinach Artichoke Dip - This hot Spinach Artichoke Dip is a party staple! People always get excited about this dip and its so easy to make! It’s a filling, cheesy snack or appetizer that you can put on pita squares, crackers or chips. Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you!
MEALS TO MAKE FOR NEW PARENTS
The last thing new parents want to think about after bringing their brand new baby home from the hospital is DINNER. Dropping off a homemade dinner for a new parent is something they will be forever grateful for. Don't limit making dinners for just new parents! If you know someone who has spent time with a loved one in a hospital or if a loved one has passed away, homemade meals are so appreciated. When times are tough, meals are valuable. Homemade chili is a great meal to bring to anyone in need, but here are a few ideas for meals to drop off:
Thank you so much for reading, friends! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Please leave a comment and feel to reach out and say HI!