Creating chili in the Instant Pot gives you great flavors in just 1 hour. You can enjoy this homemade version with dried beans or use your favorite recipe. It’s so good, you may never go back the slow method.
I’ve had an Instant Pot for a while now, but mostly just use it to make chicken broth. I really didn’t want to take the time to learn how to use a new gadget so I just hadn’t gotten around to experiment with it. But when I heard that Melissa Clark had a new cookbook focusing on the Instant Pot, I thought it was time to move into the next century.
If you’re not familiar with Melissa Clark, let me tell you, some of my favorite recipes are ones she has published in the New York Times, or in her cookbook In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite. You can trust her recipes to be fabulous every time.
I am a novice with the Instant Pot, but after making chili using her method, I am sold on it for bringing out flavors quickly in food that would otherwise need to cook all day. The prep time for chili is going to be the same as if you were making it on the stove, it’s just the simmering that you can cut down on.
If you are a bit nervous about settings and how to use the Instant Pot in general, I found this great article with a cheat sheet from Oh Sweet Basil’s site.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really picky when it comes to beans in chili. I like them, but I don’t want to feel like I’m eating a bowl of beans with meat being a second thought. The Instant pot was perfect for giving this chili perfectly cooked beans. and the recipe has the perfect balance of ingredients. If you want a healthier Instant Pot chili, then substitute ground turkey or chicken in place of the beef.
Why you’ll love this Instant Pot Beef Chili
- It saves time
- You don’t have to hang around the house for 4 hours while it simmers on the stove
- Great flavor in just one hour
- The beans cook perfectly and will not be mushy like canned beans
While the prep time is the same as for chili you would cook on the stove, it’s ready to serve in just one hour. Just add your favorite chili toppings and serve. The beans give the chili a creamy texture and the seasonings Melissa used were just right, I really liked the addition of coriander. With this success, I’m gong to be more adventuresome and experiment a little more.
Instant Pot Chili Dry Beans Ingredients
- Dried beans: By starting with dried beans you get the flavor without them turning to mush. You’ll need to soak them overnight in water.
- Ground Beef: If using ground chuck, you will need to drain the grease. I prefer to use 80% lean and cook it in a little bacon grease to add some flavor.
- Vegetables: For flavor use onion, garlic and a bell pepper. For some spice, use poblano peppers and a jalapeno.
- Spices: Chili powder, oregano, cumin and coriander.
- Beer: You can leave this out and substitute chicken or beef broth or water.
- Tomatoes: You need canned chopped tomatoes.
- Toppings: Add your favorites like cilantro, cheese, sour cream and more jalapenos if you really want it spicy.
How to make Instant Pot Chili with Dry Beans
- You need to start by soaking the beans overnight, but that’s not a big deal.
- When you’re ready to start prepping the chili, the first thing you will do is add the beans with water and a little seasoning to the Instant Pot and let them cook all by themselves for 30 minutes. While they’re cooking, you can complete the prep for the rest of the chili.
If you want the chili to have all those wonderful flavors, it helps to cook things in stages.
- You will start by browning the meat in a separate skillet, remove it from the skillet and then sauté onions and peppers, remove those from the pan.
- Next add garlic and jalapeños and after a minute add the seasonings.
- To that you add some beer and finally canned tomatoes.
- Now that you’ve gotten everything started in the skillet, you add it all to the cooked beans in the Instant Pot and cook for 30 minutes.
How long to cook Chili in Instant Pot
This chili recipe will need to cook in the Instant Pot for one hour. The first half hour you will just cook the beans and the second half hour will cook all of the ingredients.
How to serve this Chili Instant Pot Recipe
Since this chili recipe has beans, it’s best served by itself rather than over rice or pasta. Since it’s spicy, some sour cream helps to cut the heat. It’s great with homemade cornbread or buttermilk biscuits.
Favorite Chili Toppings
My favorite chili toppings are sour cream and cheese to cut the spice from the jalapeno peppers. Cilantro sprinkled on top adds a punch of fresh flavor at the end.
Storage for Chili in Instant Pot
Once the chili comes to room temperature you can store it in the refrigerator for 5 days or in the freezer in an airtight container for 3 months
More Fantastic Chili Recipes
- Short Rib Chili for those days when you’re not in a hurry.
- For a healthier version, Chicken chili is my favorite.
- Use the slow cooker for Chicken Salsa Chili.
- Try something a little different and add sweet potatoes and pumpkin to Apple Cider Chili.
- If you love chocolate then you have to try Chili with Kahlúa and Chocolate.
If after experimenting with the Instant Pot you find yourself needing some more recipes, then try Corn Chowder or BBQ Chicken made in the Instant Pot. Now you have the perfect excuse to make a pan of skillet cornbread or a batch of homemade biscuits.
Slightly adapted from Dinner in an Instant
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Instant Pot Beef Chili
- 1 lb dried pinto beans rinsed and soaked overnight
- 2 ¾ teaspoons salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-4 tablespoon bacon fat/olive oil
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 onions diced – 4 cups
- 1 poblano chiles seeded and chopped – or 1 green pepper
- 1 red/orange pepper seeded and chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and chpped
- 3-4 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- small bunch fresh cilantro leaves and stems separated
- ¼ cup beer pilsner or lager
- 28 ounces canned tomatoes with juices diced
- Drain beans and add to Instant Pot. Add 6 cups of water, 1 ¼ teaspoon salt and bay leaf and cover. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
- While the beans are cooking, cook the meat and vegetables.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of bacon grease or oil and cook beef, half at a time adding ¾ teaspoon salt to each batch. Remove when browned to a large bowl.
- Add additional oil to skillet if needed and add onions and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Next add pablano chilies and bell pepper and a pinch of salt and saute until tender, about 10 more minutes. Add these to the bowl with the ground beef.
- Add more oil to the skillet if needed and saute garlic and jalapeños until tender, 1-2 minutes. Add the seasonings and cook for an additional minute. Add the chopped cilantro stems and saute until the chili powder darkens. Add the beer, scraping up the browned bits in the pan and let it reduce for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and simmer until slightly thickened about 5-7 minutes.
- Add everything to the Instant Pot with the cooked beans and their liquid and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Stir in cilantro leaves and serve with your favorite garnishes.