How to Cook Chili in an Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) – Foodal

Electric pressure cooker chili recipe

Video Electric pressure cooker chili recipe

Say hello to a bowl full of comfort, friends, all done in a pot.

Vertical image of a black bowl filled with a thick red stew next to a bowl of nachos, with text at the top and bottom of the image. Er, on an apparatus insert,

ie. Because we’re talking about making chili in the electric pressure cooker, whether you have an instant pot at home or some other make and model.


love using my pressure cooker regularly to make rice, but lately, I’ve also been excited about this touching dish of comfort food.

Can you blame me?

This type of recipe is perfect for easy meals during the week, or for when the tailgating season arrives. I mean, when you can prepare a giant tub of stew and a ton of ingredients to keep your friends and family fed on a busy night or throughout the game, it’s a sure win.

I also love how plentiful this type of food is, full of meat (if you like), beans and thick tomatoes. When you eat it, starting with the first tablespoon, you may feel yourself warming up from the inside out.

Making this recipe in my electric pressure cooker is actually my favorite way to cook it.

I used to use the stove method, but it would take me hours to cook everything together to create a tasty mix with a nice, thick texture. As much as I love to fill my house with the smell of a tasty meal like this, I rarely have several hours in a row available to prepare it.

If this sounds like you, let’s dig into the details! Here’s what comes in this practical guide:

Pro tips for making chili in an electric pressure cooker

To start, be sure to use lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken if you’re making a meat-based stew – I prefer 93% lean ground beef to make this particular recipe in my Instant Pot. Since you’re doing everything in the same pot, this is key. You’ll still be able to impart a lot of flavor without creating a dish that’s too greasy.

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Vertical image of a black bowl filled with a thick red stew with a metal spoon and garnished with sour cream and chips, with an appliance in the background.

You can also make the recipe without beans with this cooking method. Just be sure to increase the number of tomatoes you add, along with their juices, to make up for the decreased amount of liquid.

Alternatively, you can make a meatless vegetarian version, only with beans and vegetables, using the same method. All you have to do is skip browning the meat and sauté the onion on its own.

Note that you can also make white chili in the electric pressure cooker with this method. Use precooked shredded chicken or golden ground chicken the same way you would prepare with ground beef, plus white beans and salsa verde, and skip tomatoes.

Serve your stew with a variety of ingredients. Grated cheese, sour cream, green onion, and avocado are some of my favorites, but there are endless options. Play with the combination of textures and flavors on offer, and have fun.

Spicy seasoning suggestions

Want to make your food spicier?

Vertical close-up image of a black bowl filled with a thick red stew garnished with sour cream, chips, and fresh herbs on a brown napkin next to a metal spoon and a bowl of potato chips.

I recommend starting with the recommended amount of spices for any recipe you’re working with. When everything is finished cooking, this is the time to play with the heat level.

I usually like to add 1/4 teaspoon of extra cayenne pepper at a time, and flavor it after each addition, until the heat level is to my liking.

If you are

not a fan of excess heat, or you are preparing this food for children with sensitive popsicles, I recommend starting small and increasing the spice factor gradually. You can always make the whole batch smooth and serve sliced jalapeños, sauce, or hot sauce on the side for spice lovers to add whatever they want.

Increasing the heat level gradually is always the way to go because it is easier to add more than to remove too much spicy, but it is not impossible. If you find that you made your dinner too spicy, read our guide for tips.

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Can I freeze this?

Chili is very easy to freeze, because there is no dairy in the mixture to mess with the texture or flavor when you freeze it.

Vertical image of a hearty tablespoon of a thick, deep red stew in a black bowl garnished with sour cream and chips in front of a metal kitchen appliance.

First, let the entire batch cool completely. Once it has cooled, store the stew in tightly sealed bags with tight seal, pressing as much air as possible.

I like to freeze mine in individual portions to eat for lunch, but you can also spread them out in larger quantities to feed your whole family for the week’s meals.

To defrost, simply stick the zippered bag in the fridge the night before to thaw overnight. When ready to eat, add it to a bowl and reheat in the microwave for about 2 minutes, until hot. I like to stir mine after a minute so that it reheats evenly at all times.

How to cook chili in an instant pot or electric pressure cooker

Ready to get started? It’s going to be time to eat before you know it!

Step 1 – Measure the

ingredients To begin,

be sure to thaw any ground beef that is frozen

. Next, you’ll

measure and prepare all the ingredients you’ll need for the recipe before you start cooking.

Wash any product, cut any ingredients that require it, such as onions and peppers, and chop the garlic.

Horizontal image of beans, tomatoes, seasonings and onions chopped in bowls on a gray surface.

Measure all your spices. I like to use a variety of spices like ground cayenne, garlic powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, and a hint of cocoa powder, for example.

Open cans of beans and tomatoes. I use hot chili peppers and beans, and diced tomatoes roasted over the fire are best, if you ask me!

Keep in mind that canned cooked beans are the best option to use when you’re making this recipe in the electric pressure cooker. If you prefer to use dried beans instead, cook them first in the pressure cooker before proceeding with the recipe.

Step 2 – Brown the meat and sweat the onions

Activate the Sauté function on your device. Add ground beef, as well as chopped onions, if you are using them.

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This should take about 4 to 5 minutes per pound of ground beef. You’ll want to use at least a 6-quart pressure cooker (that’s what I use) since the mini versions are too small to sauté a pound of ground beef at a time.

Horizontal image of cooking ground beef and chopped onions in a pot.

If you have a larger appliance, it will work fine. Or if you’re making a recipe that calls for more than a pound of meat, you can divide the meat into batches to brown evenly.

Once the meat is browned, turn off the appliance.

If you are making a vegetarian version, sauté the onion in about 1 teaspoon of olive oil until it has softened and becomes translucent, stirring occasionally for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 3 – Deglaze and pressure cook

Add your liquid to the inner pot. This is usually about 1 to 2 cups of meat or vegetable broth, depending on the recipe, but you can also use chicken broth or water.

<img src="" alt="Horizontal image of a pot full of piles of beans,

tomatoes and seasonings.” />

Use a wooden spoon to scrape off any tasty golden chunk at the bottom of the pot


Add all the remaining ingredients: seasonings, beans (canned or cooked), tomatoes with their liquid, and any other ingredients you are using. Seal and make sure the valve is set to the “seal” setting.

Horizontal image of a wooden spoon stirring a thick mixture of chili in a pot.

Set to Manual and cook under high pressure for 20


Let the pressure release naturally, for about 15 minutes


Manually release any remaining pressure before opening the lid. Stir well, test and adjust the seasonings as you wish.

Step 4 – Serve or cool and store Serve


all your favorite ingredients.

Top-down horizontal image of a black bowl filled with a thick, deep red stew garnished with nachos and sour cream next to a bowl of nachos on a brown striped napkin.

If you are not ready to eat right away, you can keep the stew warm by using the heating settings on your appliance, or let it cool completely before refrigerating or freezing it.

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