Delicious Instant Pot Chili Recipe

I recently stumbled upon a mouthwatering recipe for Instant Pot Chili that I simply had to share. This recipe not only delivers on the promise of rich and flavorful chili, but it also takes advantage of the convenience and efficiency of the Instant Pot. With just a few simple ingredients and a quick cooking time, you can have a comforting bowl of chili ready to devour in no time. Prepare to indulge your taste buds with this delicious Instant Pot Chili recipe.

Overview of Instant Pot Chili

What is Instant Pot Chili?

Instant Pot chili is a flavorful and hearty dish made with a combination of meat, vegetables, spices, and beans, cooked quickly and easily in an Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is a multi-functional electric pressure cooker that allows for fast and efficient cooking, making it a perfect tool for preparing chili. This popular one-pot meal is perfect for cozy nights in, potlucks, or game day gatherings.

Advantages of Using an Instant Pot for Chili

Using an Instant Pot for making chili offers several advantages. Firstly, the pressure cooking function of the Instant Pot allows the chili to cook in a fraction of the time compared to traditional stovetop or slow cooker methods. This saves valuable time, especially for busy individuals and families. Secondly, the Instant Pot’s sealed cooking environment helps to lock in flavors, resulting in a more delicious and intense chili. Lastly, the Instant Pot’s versatility allows for sautéing, pressure cooking, and even keeping the chili warm for extended periods, making it a convenient appliance for preparing and serving chili.

Ingredients commonly used in Instant Pot Chili

The ingredients used in Instant Pot chili can vary depending on personal preferences, but some common ingredients include:

  • Ground beef or turkey: Lean ground beef or turkey is often used as the base protein in chili recipes.
  • Beans: Kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, or a combination of different beans are commonly used for added texture and protein.
  • Vegetables: Onions, bell peppers, garlic, and tomatoes are frequently added for flavor and freshness.
  • Spices: Chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper are classic spices used to create the signature chili flavor.
  • Liquid: Broth or stock, tomato sauce, or diced tomatoes are used to provide the necessary liquid for cooking the chili.


Gathering Ingredients

Before starting the preparation, ensure that all the necessary ingredients are on hand. This includes the meat, vegetables, beans, spices, and any other add-ins for the chili. Having everything ready will make the cooking process much smoother and enjoyable.

Preparing the Meat

If using ground meat, such as ground beef or turkey, brown it in the Instant Pot on the sauté mode until fully cooked. Break it up into smaller pieces using a wooden spoon or spatula to ensure even cooking. If using other cuts of meat, such as stew meat or shredded chicken, they can be added directly to the Instant Pot without browning.

Chopping Vegetables

While the meat is cooking, it’s a good time to chop the vegetables. Dice onions, bell peppers, and mince garlic according to the recipe’s instructions. The size of the vegetable pieces can vary depending on personal preference.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Sautéing the Meat

Turn on the sauté mode of the Instant Pot and add the cooked ground meat if using, or the raw meat if searing it in the Instant Pot. Cook until the meat is browned, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. This step helps to enhance the flavor of the meat and create a delicious base for the chili.

Adding Vegetables and Spices

Once the meat is browned, add the chopped onions, bell peppers, and minced garlic to the Instant Pot. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables are slightly softened. This allows the flavors to develop further. Next, add the spices such as chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Stir well to coat the meat and vegetables with the spices.

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Adding Liquid and Beans

Pour in the desired amount of liquid, such as broth or stock, tomato sauce, or diced tomatoes. This provides the necessary moisture for the chili. Drain and rinse the beans, then add them to the Instant Pot. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

Setting the Instant Pot

Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and ensure the valve is set to the sealing position. Select the pressure cooking function and set the cooking time according to the recipe. The cooking time for chili in the Instant Pot typically ranges from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the ingredients and desired tenderness of the meat.

Natural Release vs. Quick Release

After the cooking time is complete, there are two methods for releasing the pressure in the Instant Pot: natural release and quick release. Natural release involves letting the pressure decrease naturally over time, which can take around 10 to 15 minutes. Quick release involves manually turning the valve to release the pressure immediately. The chosen release method will depend on personal preference and recipe instructions.

Adjusting Seasonings

Once the pressure is released, carefully open the lid of the Instant Pot. Taste the chili and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Add additional salt, pepper, or spices according to personal preference. Stir well to incorporate any additional seasonings.

Serving Suggestions

Instant Pot chili can be served in a variety of ways. It can be enjoyed on its own as a comforting bowl of chili, or paired with other accompaniments such as rice, cornbread, tortilla chips, or a side salad. Top it with additional garnishes and toppings for added flavor and texture.

Tips and Tricks

Choosing the Right Cut of Meat

When selecting meat for Instant Pot chili, it’s important to choose cuts that are suitable for pressure cooking. Lean ground meat, stew meat, or chicken breasts are popular options as they tend to cook quickly and evenly.

Using Fresh or Canned Beans

Both fresh or canned beans can be used in Instant Pot chili. Canned beans are convenient and require no additional preparation, while fresh beans may require soaking or precooking before being added to the chili.

Adjusting the Spiciness Level

To adjust the spiciness level of the chili, the amount of chili powder, cayenne pepper, or other spicy ingredients can be increased or decreased. It’s always a good idea to start with a smaller amount and gradually add more to achieve the desired level of heat.

Thickening the Chili

If the chili needs to be thickened, this can be done by simmering it on the sauté mode uncovered for a few minutes. Alternatively, a slurry made from cornstarch or flour can be added to the chili and cooked for a few minutes until it thickens.

Making it Vegetarian or Vegan

Instant Pot chili can easily be made vegetarian or vegan by omitting the meat and using additional vegetables, such as diced sweet potatoes or mushrooms, for added texture and flavor. Vegetable broth can be substituted for the meat-based broth, and additional beans can be added for protein.

Batch Cooking and Freezing

Instant Pot chili is a great dish to batch cook and freeze for later use. Simply double or triple the recipe and freeze individual portions in freezer-safe containers. This allows for quick and convenient meals on busy days.

Variations and Ingredient Substitutions

Ground Beef Chili

To make ground beef chili, simply replace the ground turkey or other meat with an equal amount of ground beef. This variation creates a rich and hearty chili with the classic flavors that many people love.

Turkey or Chicken Chili

For a leaner option, ground turkey or shredded chicken can be used instead of ground beef. This creates a lighter chili that is still full of flavor and protein.

See also  Quick and Tasty Beef Stew Recipe

Vegetarian Chili

To make a vegetarian chili, omit the meat and add additional vegetables such as diced sweet potatoes, zucchini, or mushrooms. This variation is packed with plant-based protein and is a delicious option for vegetarians and vegans.

White Bean Chili

White bean chili is a variation made with white beans such as cannellini or Great Northern beans. This lighter-colored chili is usually milder in flavor and pairs well with chicken or turkey.

Black Bean Chili

Black bean chili is made with black beans as the main protein source. This variation has a slightly different flavor profile and a darker color compared to traditional chili.

Adding additional vegetables

Feel free to add extra vegetables such as corn, carrots, celery, or spinach to add more nutrients and flavor to the chili. These vegetables can be added during the sautéing step or along with the beans and liquid.

Instant Pot vs. Traditional Chili Cooking

Time-saving and Convenience

One of the main advantages of using an Instant Pot for making chili is the time-saving factor. With the use of pressure cooking, the chili can be cooked in a fraction of the time compared to traditional stovetop or slow cooker methods. This is especially useful on busy days when time is limited.

Enhanced Flavor and Texture

Another advantage of using an Instant Pot is that it helps to lock in flavors, resulting in a more delicious and intense chili. The pressure cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, creating a depth of flavor that develops over a shorter cooking time. Additionally, the Instant Pot helps to soften and tenderize the meat, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Clean-up and Kitchen Efficiency

Using an Instant Pot for cooking chili also makes for easy clean-up. Since everything is cooked in one pot, there are fewer dishes and pans to wash afterward. This saves time and effort in the kitchen, allowing for more time to enjoy the chili and less time spent on clean-up.

Serving and Garnishing

Suggested Toppings

Instant Pot chili can be garnished with a variety of toppings to add extra flavor and texture. Some popular toppings include shredded cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, diced avocado, or a squeeze of lime juice. These toppings not only enhance the presentation but also offer different flavors that complement the chili.


Chili can be enjoyed on its own, but it also pairs well with various accompaniments. Some popular choices include cooked rice, cornbread, tortilla chips, or crusty bread. These options provide additional substance and texture to the meal.

Pairing with Drinks

When it comes to pairing drinks with Instant Pot chili, there are several options to consider. A classic choice is a cold beer, which complements the richness and spiciness of the chili. For non-alcoholic options, consider serving the chili with iced tea, lemonade, or a refreshing citrus-infused water.

Health Benefits of Instant Pot Chili

Protein and Nutrient-rich

Instant Pot chili is a protein-rich dish, especially when made with lean meats and beans. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, as well as supporting overall growth and development. Additionally, chili is a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall health and well-being.

Promotes Digestive Health

Many ingredients used in chili, such as beans, vegetables, and spices, are beneficial for promoting digestive health. Beans are rich in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain regular bowel movements. Vegetables add additional fiber and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Spices like garlic and cumin have been linked to improved digestion and gut health.

Weight Management

Making chili with lean meats and including plenty of vegetables can be a healthy choice for those aiming to manage their weight. Lean protein helps to keep you feeling full for longer, reducing the temptation to overeat. The fiber from beans and vegetables also contributes to a feeling of fullness and supports weight management efforts.

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Heart-Healthy Ingredients

Instant Pot chili can be made with heart-healthy ingredients. Lean meats, such as ground turkey or chicken breast, are low in saturated fats, which can contribute to heart disease. Beans are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol levels. Including vegetables like bell peppers, which are rich in antioxidants and potassium, also supports heart health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use frozen meat?

Using frozen meat in the Instant Pot is possible, but it may affect the cooking time. It is generally recommended to thaw the meat before cooking to ensure even and safe cooking. If using frozen meat, adjust the cooking time accordingly, as it will take longer for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.

Can I use dried beans instead of canned?

Dried beans can certainly be used in Instant Pot chili instead of canned beans. However, they require pre-soaking and longer cooking times. It is important to consult a reliable recipe or cooking guide for specific instructions on cooking dried beans in the Instant Pot.

What can I do if my chili is too spicy?

If the chili turns out spicier than desired, there are a few ways to tone down the heat. One option is to add a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt to cool down the spice level. Another option is to add a sweet element, such as a teaspoon of sugar or a drizzle of honey, to balance out the spiciness. Adding more liquid or serving the chili with a side of rice or bread can also help to mellow the heat.

Can I make it in a slow cooker instead?

Yes, Instant Pot chili can be adapted for slow cooker cooking. The general process remains the same, but the cooking time will be longer. Brown the meat and sauté the vegetables on the stovetop first, then transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

How long can I store leftovers?

Leftover chili can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for longer storage. Properly frozen chili can typically be kept for up to 3 months. However, it is always recommended to use your best judgment and follow safe food handling practices when storing and reheating leftovers.


Enjoy the Flavors of Instant Pot Chili

Instant Pot chili is a delicious and convenient dish that can be enjoyed by anyone, from busy families to chili enthusiasts. With the advantages of time-saving cooking, enhanced flavors, and easy clean-up, the Instant Pot has become a favorite tool for making chili. It allows for endless variations, whether using different meats, beans, or vegetables, and can be easily adapted to cater to specific dietary needs or preferences.

Experiment and Customize Your Recipe

Don’t be afraid to experiment and make the chili recipe your own. Adjust the spices, add extra vegetables, or try different types of beans for a unique and personalized creation. The Instant Pot provides a versatile and efficient cooking method, allowing for endless possibilities in the world of chili.

Share and Inspire Others

Chili is a dish that brings people together, and sharing your Instant Pot chili creations with friends and family is a wonderful way to spread joy and inspiration. Whether it’s a cozy dinner or a gathering with loved ones, Instant Pot chili is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So gather your ingredients, fire up your Instant Pot, and let the delicious aromas fill your kitchen as you create a comforting bowl of chili that will warm both the body and the soul.

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