Instant Pot Chicken Chili is a simple, wholesome Tex-Mex Chicken Chili made with chicken, beans, and a richly seasoned tomato base. Thanks to the Instant Pot, this dump-and-cook simple recipe comes together fast and can be prepared using either fresh or frozen chicken.
Why You Will Love Instant Pot Chicken Chili
- Flavorful Recipe. 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.
- Easy Instant Pot Recipe. Inspired by my recipe for Crockpot Chicken Chili, this taco chili is a dump-and-cook recipe that delivers intense flavor with minimal effort.
- Inexpensive Recipe. Instant Pot Taco Chili is made with basic pantry staples. In fact, you can even replace the chicken with beans for an even more economical meal.
- Adaptable. I have made this recipe in a million different ways, using what I have on hand. The beans, chicken, and tomatoes can all be swapped out to use what you can on hand.
- Crowd-Favorite. Everyone enjoys the Tex-Mex flavors in this Taco Chili. It is a kid-friendly favorite dinner recipe.
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 chicken broth, homemade chicken broth, or Instant Pot 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.
- Gluten-Free: To make this Instant Pot Chicken Chili gluten-free, use gluten-free beer or omit the beer and use additional chicken stock or broth in its place.
- No Instant Pot? Use my recipe for Crockpot Chicken Chili for the same delicious flavors.
- Don't like Diced Tomatoes? Use crushed tomatoes in their place. Or salsa for a bit of additional flavor.
- Start with Dried Beans: 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.
- Keep it Vegetarian: Double the amount of beans, omit the chicken, and use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
Tips to Remember
This recipe could not be any easier to make. It is seriously a dump-and-go recipe that can be made with just minutes of prep work. There are only a few things to keep in mind when making this recipe to ensure the best results. For the full recipe be sure to refer to the recipe card.
Tip #1 Don't stir the tomatoes! To prevent a burn notice, it is best to stir the stock, beef, seasonings, beans, and corn together in the inner pot. THEN pour your tomatoes overtop the ingredients and top with the uncooked chicken.
Tip #2: Allow for a natural pressure release. Once the cooking time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes on its own. This just means to leave the Instant Pot alone and don't try to force the lid open or open the venting knob on the pressure cooker. This is key to keeping the chicken tender!
Tip #3: Don't forget the lime juice. To make the flavors in this Tex-Mex chicken chili pop, squeeze the juice of one fresh lime into the chicken chili right before serving. The acidity will balance out the flavors and make your tastebuds dance.
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.
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.
Storage/Ideas for Leftovers
Instant Pot Tex-Mex Taco Chili's flavor only gets better as it sits in the refrigerator, making this a great meal to prep in advance.
- Refrigerate: Store the leftover cooled chicken chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freeze: Allow the chili to cool, transfer to a freezer-safe container leaving 1 inch of space for expansion, and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: If needed, defrost the chili in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat individual servings in a heat-safe bowl in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
- Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Breast
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Instant Pot Marry Me Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
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If you tried this recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Chili, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
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.
- Remove the chicken from the inner pot to a cutting board. Shred chicken using 3 forks until it is in bite-sized pieces.
- Add the shredded chicken, along with the juice of a fresh lime into the inner pot, and stir to combine.
- Serve this chicken chili with cheese, sour cream, chips, cilantro, etc