Instant Pot Beef Chili

StewInstant PotChili

Instant pot beef chili recipe is ready in under an hour! This version is 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!

Video! How to Make Instant Pot Beef Chili

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.

The biggest difference? Start to finish, this chili is ready in under an hour — compare this with stove-top chilis that take twice as long!

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.

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.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

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.

Easy Ingredient Swaps and Additions

Since first posting this recipe, so many of you have made it and shared your success stories! You’ve also shared ways that you’ve adapted or swapped ingredients, which all sound so great. Here are some of favorite ideas:

  • Add an extra can of beans for more protein
  • Add a cup of frozen corn
  • Swap the ground beef for finely-chopped flank steak or ground chicken
  • Add cumin!
  • Use fire-roasted tomatoes
  • Add sliced mushrooms
  • Some BBQ sauce adds extra depth

instant pot chili recipe in single bowl with spoon

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.

More Favorite Instant Pot recipes!

Our Favorite Videos

Updated January 12, 2020 : We spiffed up this post with a brand new video! 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

7 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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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

67 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Elodie

    I have only used my instantpot a few times and unfortunately I got burn food warning so I panicked and have moved it to a conventional saucepan

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  2. Amine

    Very yummy thank you !!!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Brianna

    I replaced the ground beef with flank steak that I cut into tiny cubes – talk about delicious! I now want to make this for a party – but need to double the recipe. Do you think the cooking time should stay the same?

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  4. April

    I added two cans of beans to bulk it up a bit, and next time I will add 3! I also added a cup of frozen corn. This was great and so fast and easy!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. 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

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Pressure Cooker Chili with beef in bowlInstant Pot Beef Chili