Instant Pot Chili is the ultimate chili recipe! Using the Instant Pot, this classic beef and bean chili develops the most insane flavor in record time! It is going to quickly become a family-favorite recipe!
Inspired by my recipe for Crockpot Beef and Bean Chili, this Instant Pot Chili delivers the same classic flavors FAST! Serve this pressure cooker chili with a side of Homemade Cornbread and deliver the ultimate comfort food recipe!
Why This Instant Pot Chili Recipe is the Best
- Classic Chili Made Fast. Chili is one of those recipes the longer it simmers, the better it tastes. However, with this recipe for Instant Pot Chili, you can have a flavorful beef and bean chili on the table in less than an hour, without sacrificing ANY flavor!
- Unbelievable Flavor. 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 or in a crockpot. The pressure cooker locks in all the flavors, heightening each ingredient. It is just so good!
- Award-Winning Recipe. I have had many readers share with me that this Instant Pot chili has won them neighborhood cook-offs and even state competitions. I think the combination of the best chili seasoning blend, light beer, and Worcestershire sauce make this simple recipe memorable! It is simply one of the best chili recipes ever!
- Adaptable. While the recipe is perfectly spiced and seasoned as written, I do give you options to use different types of ground meat, omit the beer, and spice it up, so you can make this chili your own.
Note on Ingredients Needed
- Ground Meat: For the best flavor and texture, I recommend using 85/15 ground meat. While ground beef is the classic choice, you can also make this recipe using ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground bison.
- Chili Seasoning: This is the BEST blend of chili seasonings that packs 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.
- Aromatics: Adding a yellow onion and minced garlic really helps to build a great base for this flavorful chili.
- Crushed Tomatoes: Instead of using diced tomatoes, use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, for a rich, thick chili.
- Beef Stock: Beef stock is not traditional in most recipes for chili, but you need that thin liquid for the Instant Pot to come under pressure. And the beef stock adds to the rich flavor of this chili! Just be sure to use low-sodium broth to control the overall sodium in the dish.
- Beer: I love to add a light lager beer, such as Coors or Corona, along with the beef broth, as the beer gives the chili a rich depth of flavor and a bit of tang. Feel free to use additional beef broth in place of the beer if desired.
- Beans: Use dark or light red kidney beans. And while canned beans work keep this recipe super quick and easy, you can start this recipe by preparing dried kidney beans using my instructions for cooking dried beans in the Instant Pot. Keep in mind, that you will need to add 1-2 teaspoons of additional salt to the chili if you start with dried beans.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Adding Worcestershire sauce will help to add depth and richness to this chili. Don't overlook this ingredient!
- Cut the Sodium: To reduce the sodium content, use low-sodium beef stock, and no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, and cut the salt in half in the homemade chili blend.
- Start with Frozen Meat: 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 with a natural pressure release.
- Make it Spicy: Add up to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or 1 small minced jalapeno to the chili prior to pressure cooking to really amp up the heat!
- Keep it Gluten-Free: Use additional beef broth or gluten-free beer in place of the beer and be sure your Worcestershire Sauce is gluten-free.
- Thin it Out: For a thinner chili, use up to 2 cups of beef broth. For a thicker chili, use only 1 cup of broth.
How to Make Chili Using an Instant Pot
While this is an incredibly simple recipe, if you are unfamiliar with cooking in an Instant Pot or the functions of your Instant Pot, be sure to start with How to Use an Instant Pot for the best results on this and future recipes. You will find the full recipe in detail in the recipe card below.
Step One: Sear the Meat. To increase the flavor tenfold and also improve the meat's texture, it is best to brown the meat before pressure cooking the chili. To do this, you want to use the saute function and saute the beef along with the onion until browned. Once the meat is browned, it is best to drain off any excess grease, so your chili is not overly greasy.
Step Two: Deglaze the Inner Pot. It is really important to take the time to scrape up the browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot to prevent a burn notice. To do this, simply add in the beer (or broth) and use a wooden spatula or spoon to scrape off the bottom of your inner pot.
Step Three: Layer Ingredients. Add in the beans, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, and both, and stir to combine. Then top with the tomatoes, but don't stir the chili again. Leaving the tomatoes on top of the other ingredients will help prevent a burn notice from happening.
Step Four: Pressure Cook. Don't be tempted to use the Chili function on your pressure cooker. As I have shared in Instant Pot 101 and my guide to Instant Pot Functions, your pressure cooker has no way of knowing if you used dried beans, canned beans, or frozen meat. It is best to default to cooking on high pressure for 15 minutes using the manual or pressure cook button.
Step Five. 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. Once the cooking time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes, a full natural pressure release is best.
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 Homemade Cornbread is never a bad idea.
- Refrigerate: Leftover Instant Pot Chili should be cooled and then transferred to air-tight containers. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: Allow the chili to cool then place the cooled chili into a freezer-safe container, leaving a bit of room for expansion. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: If needed, defrost the chili in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat individual servings in a heat-safe bowl and warm up in the microwave in 30-second intervals until heated through.
More Cozy Instant Pot Comfort Food Recipes
- 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 85/15 ground beef or ground bison, turkey, or chicken
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup light lager beer such as Coors or Corona
- 1-1½ cups low-sodium beef stock see recipe note
- 2 tablespoons Chili Seasoning Blend
- 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- Turn your instant pot to the saute function and allow it to heat up until it reads "Hot." Once heated, 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 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 beef broth, chili seasoning, beans, and Worcestershire sauce, and stir well to combine. Pour the crushed tomatoes on the chili, but do not stir in. They will naturally mix into the chili and that is okay.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, being sure the venting valve is locked or pointed to "sealing." Set to cook on high pressure for 15 minutes by selecting manual or pressure cook and using the +/- buttons to adjust the time.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes. Remove the lid, stir, and dish up as desired.