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This time-saving, budget-friendly, easy Instant Pot Chili recipe is the perfect blend of ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and spices. Or make our amazing Stovetop Chili instead.
Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s made in one pot. We love the Instant Pot not just for the speed of making dinner, but because it comes together in one pot…just like our Instant Pot Whole Chicken, Instant Pot Turkey Chili, and our Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup.
- It’s perfect for feeding groups of people.
- It’s freezer friendly. (Check out all of our freezer-friendly soups.)
- You can cook it straight from frozen in the Instant Pot.
- It’s delicious!
Great chili has to have 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! Here are the main ingredients:
- Ground beef – You can substitute ground turkey or ground chicken.
- Petite diced tomatoes – You can substitute regular diced or crushed tomatoes.
- Seasonings: Chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
How to Make Chili in the Instant Pot
Here is a quick overview of how to make chili in the instant pot.
- Brown up the ground beef and onions.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Pressure cook the chili for 7 minutes.
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!
Instant Pot Cooking Times Chart
After testing hundreds of Instant Pot recipes, we have honed in on the best timing and methods for cooking different types of meals in the Instant Pot.
Topping & Side Dish Ideas
When it comes to what to serve with chili, it feels like the options are endless! Some even go as far as creating a chili bar. However, unless I am serving a group of people, I tend to keep things pretty simple in my house. Here are some fixings that go great with chili.
- Diced avocado
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Crushed corn tortilla chips
- Thinly sliced green onions
- Lime wedges, to squeeze on top
- Tip: My friend, Leigh, finely chops baby gherkin pickles and puts them on top. It’s actually really delicious!
Side Dish Ideas:
How to Freeze Chili
Freezing soups is one of my favorite ways to save my future self time. Chili is no different. There are two ways to make chili a freezer meal.
Method One: Fully Cook and Freeze
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.
Method Two: Cook Chili Straight from Frozen in the Instant Pot
You can dump your frozen meal directly in the Instant Pot and cook it from frozen.
- 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.
- Once you’ve dumped your frozen chili into the Instant Pot, saute it for 5 minutes to help it release some liquid.
- Cook frozen chili 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.
Cooking chili in a slow cooker is a convenient and delicious option. Here are some general guidelines:
Low Setting: If you cook chili on the low setting, it typically takes around 6 to 8 hours. This is a good option if you want to let it simmer all day and develop rich flavors.
High Setting: If you’re pressed for time, you can cook chili on the high setting for approximately 3 to 4 hours. The higher temperature will expedite the cooking process.
Yes, chili can be made on the stove. In fact, we have a Stovetop Chili recipe already written up for you!
The answer is YES! In fact, I had an aunt who made beanless chili for the kids anytime it was on the menu.
If you exclude the beans, we’d suggest either cutting the broth in half (just use 1 cup) or add in another 1/2 -1 pound of browned ground beef. That way the chili will still be thick and hearty.
Yes, these are easy substitutions that will make your chili a tad healthier.
Did you make this? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram at @thrivinghome so we can see your creations and cheer you on!
- 1–2 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
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Make It Now:
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes, and then quick release the pressure.
- 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:
- Not Fully Cooked: Follow Steps 1-3 (stop before pressure cooking it). Freeze the uncooked chili in a 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- To make on the stove, use our Stovetop Chili recipe instead.
- Petite diced tomatoes can be substituted with regular diced or crushed tomatoes.
- Beef broth can be substituted with chicken broth.
- Ground chicken or ground turkey can be substituted for the ground beef.
- If chili is a bit too liquidy, let it simmer until desired consistency.
Photography and video by Whitney Reist from Sweet Cayenne.