Instant Pot Beef Chili

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.

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

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.

raw chopped vegetables in instant pot

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.

Raw Ground Beef and Vegetables in Instant Pot

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.

Hot Cooked Chili in a pressure cooker

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.

Instant pot timer interface Birds eye view of Instant pot pressure or steam release valve

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.

using tongs to twist instant pot release valve

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

Fully cooked instant pot chili recipe in pressure cooker