Instant Pot Beef Chili

StewInstant PotChili

Here's a pressure cooker beef chili recipe that's ready in 30 minutes! It's made with green peppers, onions, celery, ground beef, and tomatoes. Top with shredded cheese and sliced green onions, and serve some cornbread on the side!

Photography Credit: Coco Morante

A warm bowl of chili is such a comforting meal on cold nights. Beef chili usually takes at least an hour and a half to simmer on the stove, but you can cut that time down by half when you use a pressure cooker!

New to Pressure Cooking?

Electric pressure cookers are having a renaissance these days. The newest models, like the Instant Pot, are programmable smart appliances that are safe and easy to use. They’re completely different than the traditional stovetop models many of us grew up with.

The pressure cooker I use is an Instant Pot. I have both the 6- and 8-quart models, and I find that the 6-quart size is plenty big for most meals. It handles recipes making 4 to 6 serving recipes easily, including this beef chili.

instant pot chili recipe in single bowl with spoon

Making Instant Pot Chili

Using an Instant Pot to make chili isn’t any harder than cooking a pot of chili on the stove. You can sauté and simmer right in the appliance, just you would when cooking on the stovetop. The only difference here is that instead of turning a knob on the stove, you press a few buttons on the Instant Pot.

Using a Different Pressure Cooker

If you have another model of electric or stovetop pressure cooker, the sautéing instructions might be slightly different. Just check your user manual for guidance.

The most intimidating aspect of pressure cooking is probably releasing the pressure once your food is cooked, but it’s really not so tricky. There are two different ways to release the steam.

Instant pot pressure release valve showing steam

Releasing The Steam

The quickest way to release the steam is with the “quick release” method. For this, protect your hand with a heat-proof oven mitt or use a pair of long-handled tongs, and nudge the pressure release knob on the top of the pressure cooker from “Sealing” to “Venting.” As you do this, a big plume of steam will issue from the pot, releasing the pressure.

The second way to release the steam is the “natural release” method. For this, just let your pot sit on the counter and do nothing. The pressure cooker will slowly depressurize on its own in about 20 minutes (you’ll see the float valve next to the pressure release knob go down), and you will be able to safely open the pot. Use this method if you’re scared of that plume of steam.

Whichever method you choose, you’ll know that the pot is depressurized when the float valve on the lid (right next to the pressure release knob) returns to its lowered position.

I’ve included stove-top instructions as well, in case you’d like to make this chili without a pressure cooker. No matter how you make it, serve the chili piping hot, with plenty of grated cheese and green onions on top.

What to Serve with Chili

One of the best parts about chili is all the ways you can top your bowl! Cheese, sliced green onions, crushed tortilla chips, and a dollop of sour cream are all great options.

What about a batch of Southern cornbread or garlic knots to serve on the side? Chili is also great served over cooked rice.

How to Store and Freeze Your Chili

This chili will keep in the fridge for at least five days, or frozen for up to three months.

To freeze, transfer the cooked and cooled chili to freezer containers or bags, press out as much air as possible, and freeze. Thaw overnight in the fridge, or heat while still frozen. The best way to reheat chili is in a sauce pan over low heat on the stove top.

More Favorite Instant Pot recipes!

Updated February 1, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the recipe itself.

Instant Pot Beef Chili Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

If you have leftover tomato paste after making this recipe, you can freeze it in tablespoon portions for another recipe.

Stovetop Instructions: In a medium saucepan or soup pot, cook the bell pepper, onion, celery and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until the onions are softened and translucent. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add the spices, tomato paste, tomatoes, and beans, along with a cup of water or broth. Bring to a simmer. then turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and let simmer for one hour.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • Water or broth, as needed to make 1 cup liquid with the tomato juices
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, any favorite mix, to serve
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly, to serve
  • Rice, cornbread, or garlic knots, to serve

Special equipment:

Method

1 Cook the vegetables: Select the “Sauté” program on your pressure cooker and add the oil to the pot. (If you are using a stovetop pressure cooker, heat the oil over medium heat.) Add the bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the onions are softened and translucent, about five minutes.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

2 Cook the ground beef: Add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it up in small pieces. Cook until no longer pink, about five minutes.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

3 Stir in the spices and tomato paste. Add the chili powder, salt, oregano, and tomato paste to the pot. Stir until the tomato paste is evenly mixed into the other ingredients and no clumps remain.

4 Add the tomatoes and beans: Strain the tomatoes, then add enough water or broth to make 1 cup total liquid. Add the liquid, the strained tomatoes, and the beans to the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

5 Cook the chili: Place the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure the pressure regulator is set to the “Sealing” position. If you are using an Instant Pot, select the “Chili” program, then adjust the time to 20 minutes. If your pressure cooker does not have a “Chili” program, set it manually to “High Pressure” for 20 minutes. For stovetop pressure cookers, cook for 17 minutes at high pressure.

It will take about 10 minutes for your pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then the actual cooking will begin. Total time from the time you seal the pressure cooker to the finished dish is about 30 minutes.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

6 Release the pressure after cooking: When the timer goes off, you may either perform a quick pressure release by moving the pressure release knob from “Sealing” to “Venting,” or let the pot depressurize naturally on its own (this takes about 20 minutes; open the vent to "Venting" when you’re ready to serve the chili.) For stovetop pressure cookers, perform a quick pressure release.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

6 To serve: Top bowls of chili with shredded cheese and green onions, if desired. Serve alone, over rice, or with cornbread.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

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beef pressure cooker chili in bowl by instant pot

Coco Morante

Author of The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook and The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook. A self-taught cook and classically-trained soprano, Coco Morante writes and sings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their beagle. For more recipes, visit her blog, Lefty Spoon.

More from Coco

57 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Donna Turner

    Easy recipe. Really like how you separated the Steps. Great Taste! I typically serve topped with shredded cheddars and plain Greek Yogurt. yum!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Susan

    Love this recipe and have used it many times! I add some cumin and extra beans (just my preference). Otherwise, this is the perfect chili!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Jenny

    I used to make this chili all the time without problems but now every time I try I get a burn notice. Do you know what could have changed? Does the inner pot need to be replaced at a certain point? This recipe is my go to chili recipe besides my recent setbacks!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Peter

    I made this, I added green beans, next time I plan to add sliced mushrooms. Instead of store bought chili powder, I used dried Chili Arbol that I ground to a powder, it really added the heat. Also instead of using sour cream, I substituted plain greek yogurt. It came out really nice. Thanks for the recipie and directions.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. [email protected]

    So stinking easy and super tasty!!! Will use again a and again!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Pressure Cooker Chili with beef in bowlInstant Pot Beef Chili