Instant Pot Chili is a classic beef and bean chili recipe made fast! This easy recipe for chili is made with beef, beans, and rich tomato sauce for a hearty chili that tastes like it has been simmering all day long!
Why Instant Pot Chili Is The Best
One of my favorite meals growing up was my mom's slow cooker chili. It was an easy meal to make but took hours to cook.
I took her traditional recipe for Beef and Bean Chili and changed it up to work in the Instant Pot--making it super quick and easy, yet just as delicious!
The best part about making chili in the Instant Pot is that it takes a fraction of the time to develop incredible flavor. It is ready in less than an hour from start to finish, making it perfect for any night of the week.
In fact, I personally think that the Instant Pot does a superior job of developing the flavor in chili--even better than a chili that has simmered for hours on the stove. The instant pot truly locks in all the flavor, making this the easiest, most flavorful chili you will ever eat!
Ingredients for Instant Pot Chili
- Ground Meat: Any type of meat works. You can use ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground bison. Any fat percentage works, but keep in mind, that when using anything with more than 10% fat content, you will need to drain off the excess grease after browning up the meat. For the best flavor, I recommend using an 85/15 and drain off the excess grease.
- Chili Seasoning: This is the BEST blend of spices that pack a lot of flavor into any chili recipe. You probably have all the spices on hand to whip up this seasoning mixture in a matter of minutes.
- Crushed Tomatoes: Instead of using diced tomatoes, my family prefers the texture of crushed tomatoes. However, feel free to use diced tomatoes in place of the crushed tomatoes.
- Beef Stock: The beef stock is not traditional in my classic chili recipe, but you need that thin liquid for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. And the beef stock adds to the rich flavor of this chili.
- Beer: I love to add a light beer to this chili. It gives the chili a rich depth of flavor and a bit of tang. Select a light amber or lager beer to use in this chili. If you are not a fan of beer, feel free to use a dry red wine or additional beef stock in its place.
- Beans: I recommend kidney beans for this traditional chili. Canned beans work best to make this super quick and easy, but feel free to use cooked Instant Pot Kidney Beans.
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute and let heat. Note: If using lean ground beef, you may want to add in a couple of teaspoons of oil before adding the meat. Ground meat with at least a 15% fat percentage, will render off enough fat that you do not need to add in any oil to the inner pot.
- Once the instant pot is heated, add in the ground beef and chopped onions and saute the beef until browned.
- Add in the garlic and saute for 1-minute longer until the garlic is just toasted and turn the Instant Pot off. You really don't want to saute the garlic longer than a minute, as it can burn quickly.
- Remove the inner pot and drain off any grease that was rendered from the meat to prevent the chili from being too greasy and then returne the inner pot back to the base.
- Add in the beer and beef stock and use a wooden spatula or spoon to scrape off the bottom of your inner pot. It is really important to take the time to scrape up the browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot! This step will help you avoid the burn notice!
- Add in the chili seasoning, beans, and crushed tomatoes and give a gentle stir to incorporate.
- Set to cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally. I don't recommend doing a quick pressure release when making chili because of the volume of liquid in your inner pot. It could easily spew out the vent knob, leaving a huge mess. If you have to release pressure before it naturally releases on its own, wait at least 10 minutes.
- To really amp up the flavor in this simple chili recipe, add in Worcestershire Sauce right before serving.
- Dish up the chili and serve as desired.
This instant pot chili can be served plain or with toppings as desired. My family prefers shredded cheese and corn chips, but diced avocado, diced onions, and sour cream all make great options for topping your chili. And of course, adding a side of cornbread muffins is never a bad idea.
Leftover Instant Pot Chili can be stored, once cooled, in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To freeze leftover chili, place the cooled chili into a freezer-safe container, leaving a bit of room for expansion, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator and warm up as desired.
To reduce the sodium content, use low-sodium beef stock, no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, and cut the salt in half in the homemade chili blend.
Yes, you can make this Chili with frozen ground beef! I recommend, following my instructions for cooking frozen ground beef in your instant pot. Once your frozen beef has been cooked, remove it from the Instant Pot and crumble it up into bite-size pieces. Place all the crumbled meat, and the remaining ingredients for the chili into the Instant Pot and cook for 15 minutes on high pressure.
As I have shared in Instant Pot 101 and my guide to Instant Pot Functions, the functions on your instant pot are set as guides--your pressure cooker has no way of knowing if you used dried beans, canned beans, or frozen meat. I RARELY use any of these functions, but instead default to cooking on high pressure and manually adjusting with the manual or pressure cook button on a pressure cooker.
No. As written, this recipe uses beer and Worcestershire sauce, both of which contain gluten. To make gluten-free chili, use additional beef stock in place of the beer and gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.
If you are adding beer to this chili, use a light lager, like Coors Light, Corona, or Bud Light. I don't recommend using a dark or amber beer as the flavor may overtake the chili.
More Classic Recipes for the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Lasagna
- Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Mexican Lasagna
- Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
- Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana
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If you enjoyed this Instant Pot Chili, I would love for you to leave a comment and a review below.
Instant Pot Chili
- 2 pounds ground meat (I recommend 85/15 ground beef)
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup beer
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 tablespoons Chili Seasoning Blend
- 4 cups cooked kidney beans or 2 (15 ounce) cans rinsed and drained
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Turn your instant pot to the saute function and allow it to heat up until it reads "Hot."
- Add in the ground beef and diced onions and cook until the meat begins to brown and the onions start to soften, breaking up the meat as it browns. This is about 5 minutes.
- Add in the minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes longer, or until the meat is fully browned. Turn Instant Pot OFF.
- Drain off any excess grease and return inner pot to Instant Pot.
- Add in beer and stock and scrape up the browned bits off the inner pot. This step is REALLY important--if you leave too many browned bits on the inner pot, your pressure cooker may not come to pressure correctly.
- Add in the chili seasoning, beans, and crushed tomatoes, and stir well. Place lid on instant pot with valve closed to "sealing."
- Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes by selecting manual or pressure cook and using the +/- buttons to adjust the time.
- Let pressure release naturally--about 15-20 minutes. Remove lid and stir in Worcestershire sauce and serve chili up with desired toppings.
This recipe was originally published in 2019 but was updated in 2021 with new step-by-step photos.