This Instant Pot Chili is a hearty meal made in one pot, with lean ground beef, beans, tomatoes and chili spices. An easy make ahead and freezer friendly meal!
See the step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.
Table of Contents
This post is sponsored by Canola Eat Well and I was compensated for my time in creating this recipe. Thank you for supporting those that make The Recipe Rebel possible!
Chili is one of our favorite meals, and we enjoy it in all seasons!
I confess, it took me a while to try making chili in the Instant Pot.
I’d heard too many stories of getting the burn message, because chili is thick and tomato-based — two things that often don’t go well under pressure.
But I’m glad I did, because this Instant Pot Chili is now a family favorite! I love that it cooks quickly and is mostly hands off.
Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Canola oil: Canola oil is our oil of choice! It is made in Canada by Canadian farmers, and provides more good fats than most other popular plant oils. It is a good source of Omega-3 and monounsaturated fatty acids. It’s also inexpensive, neutral-tasting and can handle high cooking temperatures. In our books, it’s a no-brainer!
- Onions: You can use any type of onion for this recipe, but I usually opt for yellow or red. If you don’t have any, a small amount of onion powder (½ teaspoon or so) can be substituted.
- Peppers: Bell peppers add such great flavor and nutrition to this chili, and you can use any color of bell pepper. For extra kick, add in a chopped jalapeno pepper (leave the seeds in for even more spice!).
- Lean Ground Beef: I use lean or extra lean ground beef in this recipe, because that’s usually what we have on hand. I like to brown it with the vegetables (the canola oil the vegetables are cooked in ensures that our lean meat doesn’t stick!) before adding the seasoning and the rest of the ingredients.
- Seasoning: the seasoning in this chili is on the mild side, since we have a range of spice tolerances in this family, and spice is easy to add in to individual bowls with a splash of hot sauce or sriracha. If you want extra spice, you can easily adjust this to your tastes!
- Beef broth: I use low sodium options whenever possible so that I can adjust the salt to our tastes. If you are using regular beef broth, you may want to omit the salt and adjust the seasoning after the cook time.
- Crushed Tomatoes: I’ve made this recipe with diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes, but I prefer crushed tomatoes as it helps to thicken the chili once it is stirred in. You could substitute for tomato sauce if you don’t have crushed tomatoes on hand.
- Beans: I use a combination of red kidney beans and black beans in this recipe. Any canned beans (not dry) will work, or you can omit them if necessary.
Tips and Tricks for making Instant Pot Chili:
- Turn your Instant Pot to saute and wait until it says “hot”. Then add your canola oil and let it heat for a minute or two before adding your vegetables.
- Saute your vegetables for a few minutes until crisp-tender, but they will continue to cook under pressure so they don’t need to be softened completely.
- Add your ground beef and allow to brown with your vegetables. Again, it doesn’t need to be cooked completely since it will easily cook while under pressure.
- Stir in dry seasonings before adding liquid: this helps to “wake up” the spices after a long time in the cupboard.
- Add the broth and beans and stir well, scraping the button to remove any stuck on bits on the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes on top, but do not stir. This will help to prevent a burn message during pressure cooking!
- After the cook time is up, allow at least 10 minutes for the pressure to release on its own. If you open it too soon, you may end up with your chili splattered all over your kitchen cupboards!
What if I get a burn message on my Instant Pot?
A burn message can be common when cooking chili because of the thickness of the recipe and the acid from the tomatoes.
To prevent a burn message, be sure to scrape the bottom well with a wooden or metal spoon to remove any bits before pressure cooking.
Also make sure you do not stir in the tomato sauce — we want thin liquid on the bottom of the pot.
If you do get a burn message, turn the Instant Pot off and gradually release the pressure.
You can try to scrape the bottom and add a little more liquid, but if there are burnt bits on the bottom you may not want to do that.
The best option might be to pour the chili into a large pot and simmer on the stove for 15-20 minutes.
Optional chili toppings:
Chili toppings are half the fun of making chili! Here are some of our favorites:
- sour cream
- sliced green onions
- tortilla chips or tortilla strips
- shredded cheese
- sliced jalapenos
- fresh diced tomatoes
- fresh cilantro
How to freeze leftover chili:
Instant Pot Chili is the perfect recipe to make ahead and freeze for later! Small bags or containers are great for individual servings, topping potatoes or stirring into pasta.
Simply divide chili between freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, seal and freeze up to 3 months.
To serve, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator or, if using a freezer bag, you can place in a small amount of cool water for 30 minutes to thaw.
More Instant Pot recipes you’ll love!
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Instant Pot Goulash – another ground beef dinner!
- Instant Pot Brown Rice
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Instant Pot Chili
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium onion (finely diced)
- 1 red pepper (finely chopped)
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 2 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cups low sodium beef broth
- 540 ml canned black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 540 ml canned red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
- 798 ml canned crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/3 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute. When it reads "Hot", add the oil and let heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the onion and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling, until mostly browned.
- Stir in chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin, and salt and cook for 1 minute.
- Add beef broth and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to remove any stuck on bits. Stir in black beans and kidney beans.
- Turn the Instant Pot off. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste but DO NOT stir.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the valve to sealing. Select Manual or Pressure Cook, and set the cook time to high pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and begin counting down.
- When the cook time is up, turn the Instant Pot off and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then open the valve to release the remaining pressure.
- Stir the chili well and add ketchup or barbecue sauce (a little acidity at the end of the cook time really bumps up the flavor!). Taste and adjust seasonings to your preferences, adding additional spice if needed.
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