Instant Pot chili with ground beef, fresh jalapenos, bell peppers, and bold spices for a southwestern kick of flavor. Pressure cooking dried beans make them tender in a fraction of the time.
A good chili is often made on the weekends when there’s time to soak the beans overnight, and you have a few hours to cook on the stove top. With this recipe, you can cut the prep time down significantly using a multi-cooker device like the Instant Pot. All in one vessel you can saute the ingredients, and pressure cook the beans in just under an hour.
What makes this the best chili is the combination of chunky beef, savory and spicy seasonings, and a mixture of three types of beans. Sauteeing the meat, vegetables, and spices enhance the flavor of each ingredient.
How Do You Make the Best Chili Ever?
The secret to my chili recipe is using the right combination of smoky, savory, and spicy seasonings. I use a blend of chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, salt, and pepper. I like using dried spices because of their concentrated flavor and intense aroma. That means, a little goes a long way, but we don’t want to be shy with our chili.
Blooming the spices in olive oil and beef drippings draws out more fat-soluble flavors that have been locked in during the drying process. I also use fresh chopped jalapenos to add more heat. Then for depth, I use brewed coffee to add a slight bitterness and roasted flavor that complements the savory ingredients. If you’re not a coffee fan, beer works too, or you can use beef stock or broth.
Use a Trio of Beans for Chili
To add a variety of colors and textures to the chili, use equal amounts of red kidney beans, black beans, and beige speckled pinto beans. Dried beans can take hours to cook, to adequately soften the skins and create a creamy center. Using the pressure cooking setting on the Instant Pot offers up a quick solution.
How Long to Pressure Cook Chili in the Instant Pot?
The high pressure elevates the cooking temperature, making for a more rapid tenderization of the beans. No pre-soaking is needed, just around 33 minutes and soft legumes that hold their shape are ready. When testing the recipe, I noticed the larger kidney beans require a few additional minutes otherwise they tasted slightly underdone compared to the other varieties.
What About Canned Beans?
You can substitute canned bean for dried beans. Although I recommend draining the cooked beans and adding them in after pressure cooking the ground beef. This process allows the beans to simmer on the saute setting until warmed through. Canned beans will disintegrate if pressure cooked for too long, creating a mushy texture, so it’s best to add them in after.
Affordable and Nutritious
Instant pot chili is not only a comforting meal, but it also provides balanced nutrition that doesn’t cost a lot to make. Dried beans are cheap, have a long shelf life, and are a great pantry staple when you need to add a vegan source of protein and fiber to any meal. This chili uses lean ground beef, but ground chicken, turkey or even crumbled firm tofu can be swapped to change up the flavor.
More Chili Recipes
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #jessicagavin on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
How Can I Thicken My Chili?
Both beans and tomato paste can help to thicken chili. As the beans cook they release some of their natural starches into the simmering liquid. I also found that as the chili sits before serving, the beans absorb more moisture from the liquid in the pot. Adjust the consistency as needed adding more beef broth or heating up the chili when ready to serve.
Instant Pot Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, (30ml)
- 1 cup diced yellow onion, (135g) 1/4-inch dice
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic, (20g)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, (681g) 80% lean
- 1 tablespoon chili powder, (7g)
- 1 tablespoon cumin, (6g)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, (4g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, (9g)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, (2g)
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, optional
- 6 tablespoons tomato paste, (90g, 3 ounces)
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper, (140g, 1/4-inch dice)
- 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper, (18g) seeds and membrane removed
- 1/2 cup dried kidney beans, (85g, 3 ounces) rinsed
- 1/2 cup dried black beans, (100g, 3 1/2 ounces) rinsed
- 1/2 cup dried pinto beans, (93g, 3 1/4 ounces) rinsed
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, (15ml)
- 2 cups unsalted beef broth, (480ml) or beef stock
- 1/2 cup coffee, (120ml)
- Select "Saute" on the Instant Pot. Allow pot to heat, it will indicate "Hot" on the display when ready.
- Add olive oil to the pot, once hot add onions and garlic, saute for 1 minute.
- Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, make sure to break the beef into smaller chunks, 6 to 7 minutes.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste, stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add bell peppers and minced jalapenos, cook 1 minute.
- Add rinsed kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and coffee, stir to combine.
- Press "Keep/ Warm/Cancel" on the Instant Pot. Make sure that the release valve is in the "Sealing" position. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn and lock the lid.
- Press "Manual" button on the Instant Pot on high pressure, and then set the timer to 33 minutes using the "+" or "-" buttons. It will take about 15 minutes for the pot to heat up and build up the pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display.
- Once cook time is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes.
- Use an oven mitt or towel to slowly and carefully twist the steam release handle on the lid to "Venting" position. The initial release will spray some moisture around the pot so be careful.
- Carefully remove the lid, opening the top away from you as steam will be released from the pot.
- Stir the chili and taste. Season with more salt, pepper, chili powder, or chipotle chili powder as desired. Add more beef broth for a thinner chili consistency if desired. Serve with desired toppings.
- Serving Size: 1 cup, 9 ounces, 250g.
- Suggested Topping: Sliced chili peppers, sour cream, cheese, sliced green onions, avocado.
- Canned beans can be substituted for dried. Add in a total of 4 1/2 cups of cooked beans after you pressure cook the meat for 15 minutes instead of 33 minutes. Select "Saute" and cook until the beans are warmed through.
- Decaffeinated coffee can be substituted. Instant coffee can also be used, follow rehydration instructions from the manufacturer.
- For a spicier chili add in more minced jalapenos or chipotle chili powder. I like to add the chili powder after it's cooked to gauge how spicy it is.
- Ground turkey, ground chicken, or crumbled firm tofu can be substituted for ground beef.
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