This recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Chili is a simple, wholesome Tex-Mex Chicken Chili made with chicken, beans, and a richly seasoned tomato base.
This recipe for Instant Pot Taco Chili is an easy, hearty Instant Pot Chicken Recipe, that has similar flavors to Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup. It comes together fast, with a slightly spicy base, and can be prepared with fresh or frozen chicken.
When it comes to hearty, flavorful dinner recipes that can be prepared with minimal, inexpensive ingredients, I love turning to this recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Chili.
Inspired by my recipe for, Crockpot Chicken Chili, this taco chili is a dump-and-go recipe that delivers intense flavor with minimal work and basic pantry staples.
Instead of being made with white beans and a creamy base like Instant Pot White Chicken Chili, this chicken chili features a rich tomato base that is seasoned with taco seasoning, lime juice, and beer for a Tex-Mex punch of flavor.
This Instant Pot Chicken Chili is filling, wholesome, and couldn't be easier to make! It needs to go on your dinner plans STAT.
Notes on Ingredients and Modifications
This recipe is made with really inexpensive, basic pantry ingredients. When pressure-cooked together, these simple ingredients develop an intense flavor that tastes as though the chili was cooked for hours and hours.
- Chicken: This recipe will work with fresh or frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
- Beans: Use pinto beans, red beans, kidney beans, or black beans for the recipe.
- Chicken Broth/Chicken Stock: It is best to use low-sodium store-bought or homemade chicken stock to control the level of sodium in the chili.
- Beer (optional) Liquid: Using a pale lager, such as Corona, adds a nice depth of flavor and tang to the chili, but you can certainly use additional chicken broth in place of the beer if you don't care to cook with alcohol or are gluten-free.
- Taco Seasoning: I use a homemade taco seasoning blend that is made with chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt, which adds just the right amount of flavor without any preservatives or additives.
- Garlic: For additional flavor, I recommend adding minced garlic to the chili as well.
- Corn: I love adding a bit of corn for some sweetness. You can use frozen corn kernels or canned corn that has been rinsed and drained well.
- Diced Tomatoes: I recommend using a combination of regular diced tomatoes and diced tomatoes with green chiles (AKA Rotel tomatoes), which adds flavor without making the chili too spicy for sensitive palates.
- Lime: Don't overlook finishing the chili with the juice of fresh lime. It really brightens up the flavor and makes these humble ingredients pop.
To make this Instant Pot Chicken Chili gluten-free, omit the beer and use additional chicken stock or broth, as beer does contain gluten.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Chili
This recipe could not be any easier to make. It is seriously a dump-and-go recipe that can be made with minutes of prep work.
- Combine the chicken stock, beer, taco seasoning, minced garlic, seasonings, corn, and beans in the inner pot. Give everything a mix just to combine.
- Add the diced tomatoes on top of the ingredients and then nestle the chicken breasts or chicken thighs into the liquid. It is okay if they are not fully submerged in the liquid.
- Place the lid on the inner pot and be sure the vent knob is in the sealing position. Set to cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes if using fresh chicken or 20 minutes if using frozen chicken.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes on its own. This is crucial to keep the chicken tender!
- After 15 minutes, you can release any remaining pressure if needed, by knocking the vent knob from the sealed to the venting position.
- Remove the chicken from the inner pot and place it on a cutting board and shred the chicken with two forks.
- Add the shredded chicken back into the inner pot and stir to combine.
- Squeeze the juice of a fresh lime over the chicken chili and stir again to combine.
How to Serve Taco Chili
This Instant Pot Taco Chili is fabulous topped with diced avocado, pickled jalapenos, cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, and/or tortilla chips. It also packs enough flavor on its own that you can serve the chicken chili without any toppings and still feel satisfied.
Storage/Ideas for Leftovers
Once the chili has cooled slightly, store the leftovers chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the leftover chicken chili in a freezer-safe container, leaving 1 inch of space for expansion, for up to 3 months in the freezer.
To stretch this meal a little further, I love serving leftover Instant Pot Chicken Chili over Instant Pot Rice or Instant Pot Baked Potatoes, as you only need a small amount of leftovers for a hearty meal.
Using Dried Beans
If you happen to have dried beans in the pantry, you can use the Instant Pot to prepare them for this chili, which makes this recipe that much more affordable.
Using my recipe for Instant Pot Beans as a starting point, combine 1 cup of dried pinto beans with 4 cups of water in the inner pot. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. After the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes. Drain the beans and use them to prepare the chicken chili as directed.
More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
- Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Breast
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
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Instant Pot Chicken Chili
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken stock
- ½ cup light lager beer or additional stock
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes
- 10 ounces diced tomatoes with green chiles (mild) AKA Rotel Tomatoes
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs fresh or frozen
- 1 lime juiced
- Combine the chicken stock, beer, corn, beans, taco seasoning, and minced garlic in the inner pot. Mix well to combine.
- Pour the tomatoes over the mixture in the inner pot. Do NOT mix. Nestle the chicken into the liquid.
- Place the lid on the pressure cooker and turn the valve to "seal." Set to cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes for fresh chicken or 20 minutes for frozen chicken.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes.
- After pressure has been released, remove the lid on the Instant Pot and remove the chicken from the inner pot to a cutting board. Shred chicken and then stir back into chicken chili. Squeeze fresh lime juice into the chili and stir again.
- Serve this chicken chili with cheese, sour cream, chips, cilantro, etc
This recipe was orginally published in 2018 and updated in 2023.