Instant Pot Chili

By Polly Conner
October 20, 2021

This time-saving, budget-friendly Instant Pot Chili is the perfect blend of ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and spices. Or make this chili on the stove top using this recipe instead.

Instant Pot Chili with toppings

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Using just one pot, you’ll brown up the meat and pressure cook all of the ingredients until you have a flavorful soup. It’s perfect for groups of people or a weeknight family meal. Use our freezer meal instructions to turn it into a make-ahead meal for later. You can even cook chili straight from frozen in the Instant Pot!

What Ingredients Do I Need?

Great chili has to be packed with a depth of flavor. That doesn’t come with just a few ingredients. Don’t be intimidated by this long list though. You likely have the majority in your pantry!

  • Cooking oil (we prefer avocado oil)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ground beef (sub: ground turkey)
  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Tomato sauce
  • Beef broth
  • Tomato paste
  • Petite diced tomatoes (sub: regular diced, crushed tomatoes, or fire-roasted tomatoes)
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
Chili made in the Instant Pot

How Long to Cook Chili in the Instant Pot

Now here’s the key to delicious Instant Pot Chili: Great timing! If you follow our recipe, you’re good to go. But…be sure to download and print off our Instant Pot Cooking Times Chart that we spent two years developing for our cookbook.

This guide will help you pressure cook both fresh and frozen meals perfectly! It’s our gift to you!

Since the ground beef is already browned, similar to our Mexican Soup Recipe, the chili will only need 7 minutes at high pressure to cook.

A spoon scooping out Instant Pot chili

Can You Freeze Chili?

It’s no secret we are big fans of freezer meals around here. In fact, we have 2 freezer meal cookbooks1 Hour Freezer Prep Sessions, and even a round-up with 70+ freezer meal recipes that you will love!

So, we definitely have freezer meal instructions for this recipe.

Freezing soups is one of my favorite ways to save my future self time. Chili is no different. Here is how to make it a freezer meal…

Option 1: Fully Cook and Freeze the Chili

Freeze For Later: Fully cook and cool the chili as instructed. Freeze in an airtight freezer bag or in smaller containers if making a freezer meal for 1-2 people.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw chili completely. Warm it up on the stovetop, in the microwave, or in the Instant Pot using the lowest “Saute” setting.

We like freezing chili and soups in 2 cup portions in Souper Cubes (see pic below). After freezing, you can easily pop out the cubes and store them in a large freezer bag to have on hand for quick lunches.

Option 2: Prep the Meal to Be Fully Cooked Later

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-3 (stop before pressure cooking it). Freeze the uncooked chili in gallon-sized freezer bag and place it in a round container while freezing (so it freezes in the shape of the Instant Pot). You can remove the container once it’s frozen.

Prepare From Frozen: If it wasn’t fully cooked, then Saute the soup in the Instant Pot for 5-10 minutes to release some liquid. Turn off the Saute function. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes, and then quick release the pressure.

Can I Cook Chili Straight from Frozen in the Instant Pot?

Instant Pot freezer meals. This is what we do! Not only have we written an entire cookbook of freezer meals for the Instant Pot, but we have tested and re-tested hundreds of recipes over the years. 

When you combine the magical powers of the Instant Pot AND freezer cooking, you practically set yourself up for hands-free cooking. That’s because you can dump your frozen meal directly in the Instant Pot and cook it from frozen! Like we mentioned above, here’s how to cook chili straight from frozen in the Instant Pot:

1 – Be sure your chili is frozen in a circular form. This will help it easily fit into the pot when you want to cook it. I oftentimes use my Instant Pot steel bowl as a mold for my freezer meal. See the picture below of our Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce as an example of an Instant Pot Freezer Meal.

2 – Once you’ve dumped your frozen chili into the Instant Pot, saute it for 5 minutes to help it release some liquid.

3 – Cook for 12-17 minutes on high pressure. If it’s not fully thawed after this time, break it up with a spoon and pressure cook it for a few more minutes.

a freezer bag in the Instant Pot

What to Serve with Chili

Topping Ideas:

  • Diced avocado
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Crushed corn tortilla chips
  • Thinly sliced green onions

Side Dish Ideas:

Print

Instant Pot Chili

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 7
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This time-saving, budget-friendly Instant Pot Chili is the perfect blend of ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and spices. Or make this chili on the stove top using this recipe instead.


Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (sub: ground turkey)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” on high. Pour the oil into the pot and heat until shimmery. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes, until softened, stirring in the garlic during the last 30-60 seconds of cooking.
  2. Add ground beef to the pot and cook until no more pink is visible. Drain excess fat if necessary. (Tip: Place a metal colander over a large bowl and drain the meat. Then discard the cooled grease into the trash later.)
  3. Stir in the kidney beans, black beans, tomato sauce, broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  4. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes, and then quick release the pressure.
  5. Taste and adjust salt and pepper amounts. Serve topped with your favorite chili toppings, like shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, green onion, or any other favorite toppings.

Freeze For Later: Two options for freezing:

  1. Not Fully Cooked: Follow Steps 1-3 (stop before pressure cooking it). Freeze the uncooked chili in gallon-sized freezer bag and place it in a round container while freezing (so it freezes in the shape of the Instant Pot). You can remove the container once it’s frozen.
  2. Fully Cooked: Follow Steps 1-4 and let the chili fully cool. Place in a gallon-sized freezer bag and then set it in a round container while freezing (so it freezes in the shape of the Instant Pot). You can remove the container once it’s frozen.

Prepare From Frozen: Two options for preparing:

  1. Not Fully Cooked: If it wasn’t fully cooked, then Saute the soup in the Instant Pot for 5-10 minutes to release some liquid. Turn off the Saute function. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes, and then quick release the pressure.
  2. Fully Cooked: Saute the soup in the Instant Pot for 5-10 minutes to release some liquid. Turn off the Saute function. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, and then quick release the pressure.

Notes

If soup is a bit too liquidy, let it simmer until desired consistency.

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