Instant Pot chili is rich, beefy, and full of bold TexMex flavor. With the perfect blend of spices and bean to meat ratio, it's simple to prepare and cooks quickly thanks to the pressure cooker!
When it comes to chili, there's no such thing as too many recipes, correct? From spicy chickpea chili to Instant Pot white chicken chili, there are so many options out there, yet I find myself coming back to classic beef chili time and time again.
Rich, comforting, and so flavorful, this Instant Pot chili has a ton of flavor. It's a very similar recipe to this Instant Pot turkey chili, but with worcestershire sauce to enhance the beefy flavors! Serve it with avocado, cheese and sour cream.
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Reasons you'll ♡ this recipe
- it's the perfect blend of spices and meat to bean ratio
- the Instant Pot means no stirring or babysitting the pot
- it's got amazing flavor that gets even better on day 2
See exactly how to cook Instant Pot chili by watching the video below! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
- ground beef- I've used lean ground beef, but you can use any type. If you find the beef you are using is letting off a lot of grease, you'll want to drain it off.
- kidney beans- I find that kidney beans compliment the beef really well, but you could swap for black beans, white beans, and even chickpeas
- tomato sauce- is a pureed tomato sauce, not to be confused with ketchup! It can sometimes be called 'passatta'
- worcestershire- in testing, I found the worcestershire sauce to really enhance the beefy flavors in this chili. I don't recommend skipping this ingredient!
Step by step directions
1. Sauté onions- Select the 'sauté' function of your Instant Pot. Into the stainless steel insert, add olive oil and onions. Cook for 5 or so minutes, until onions are soft and translucent.
2. Cook beef + spices- Add the beef to the Instant Pot, and cook, using a spatula to break it up into small pieces. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until beef is cooked through and no pink remains. Add worcestershire sauce and the spices (chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne). Toss to coat, then make a space in the middle of the pan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add remaining ingredients- After a minute, add the stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure nothing is stuck. Add (in the following order) corn, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
IMPORTANT- do not stir the tomatoes into the pot as this can cause a burn warning and potentially prevent the Instant Pot from coming to pressure.
4. Cook- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the steam release handle to the 'sealing' position. Pressure cook for 5 minutes.
When the Instant Pot completes its cooking cycle, allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes (just let the pot sit without touching it). After 10 minutes, carefully transfer the steam release handle to the 'venting' position to release any remaining pressure.
Adding the spices
You'll notice in the directions above that we specifically toss the beef/onion/garlic mixture in the spices and worcestershire. The reason for this is that it helps infuse the meat with the flavors while it cooks. When the chili was cooked skipping this step, the beef noticeably lacked flavor.
To make this step go seamlessly, have all your spices measured out into a small bowl. This way you can add them all at once, and not worry about the spices sticking to the pot and burning.
Avoiding a burn warning
This is a thick chili, so we need to be careful to avoid the burn warning. When adding the stock to the pot, take the time to scrape the bottom of the pot, ensuring that nothing is stuck.
Tomato products are notorious for triggering a burn warning, which is why we add them last. Do not be tempted to stir them in!
10 minute natural pressure release
When cooking soups or stews in the Instant Pot, I like to give them a 10 minute natural pressure release. This helps the liquids settle, preventing them from spurting through the valve while the pressure releases.
What a 10 minute natural pressure release means is that we will let the Instant Pot sit for 10 minutes after the timer beeps. At this point, you can release any remaining pressure.
For more information on quick versus natural pressure release, check out Instant Pot 101.
Instant Pot models that work
This Instant Pot chili recipe was tested in both a 6 quart Instant Pot and an 8 quart Instant Pot and it works great in both. I have not tested in a mini, and believe that you would need to cut the recipe in half to get it to fit. If you try, leave us a comment below so we know how it goes!
This button defaults to high pressure for 30 minutes (1). This is unnecessarily long for this recipe and you risk overcooking your chili, so instead we are using manual/high pressure for 5 minutes.
This is not a huge batch of chili; it serves 6 hearty portions. You can increase the serving size by dragging the number beside "servings" in the recipe card. You shouldn't need to change the cook time.
Sautéing the ground beef improves both the flavor and texture. While I haven't tested this specific recipe, I think you could get away without sautéing in. I would suggest using lean ground beef, breaking it into small pieces using a spatula, and tossing it well in the spices. I would try adjusting the cook time to 10 minutes. Let us know in the comments if you give it a try!
Here are some 'secret ingredients' you can add to improve the flavor (note that I would try one of them, not all!)
*1 tablespoon cocoa powder- adds a deeper flavor to the spices; tastes best after sitting 1 day
*1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar- add after cooking through
*1 teaspoon espresso powder- similar effect to cocoa powder; adds depth to the spices
- green onions
- sour cream or greek yogurt
- tortilla chips or strips
- shredded cheese
Storage and meal prep
After cooking Instant Pot chili, allow it to cool before portioning out. I like using these plastic freezer jars to store chili.
- fridge- store in the fridge for up to 4 days
- freezer- freeze for up to 6 months
- thawing- allow to thaw in the fridge for 48 hours; you can speed this process by immersing the jar in a bowl of water
- reheating- heat in a pot over medium heat for 20 minutes or until steaming hot; reheat individual portions in the microwave until steaming hot
More Instant Pot recipes
- Instant Pot Fried Rice
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
Thick & Beefy Instant Pot Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder note 1
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 cup stock
- 12 oz can corn drained
- 19 oz can kidney beans drained & rinsed
- 15 oz can of diced tomatoes including juices
- 15 oz tomato sauce note 2
- Sauté onions- Select the 'sauté' function of your Instant Pot. Into the stainless steel insert, add olive oil and onions. Cook for 5 or so minutes, until onions are soft and translucent.
- Cook beef + spices- Add the beef to the Instant Pot, and cook, using a spatula to break it up into small pieces. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until beef is cooked through and no pink remains. Add worcestershire sauce and the spices (chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne; see note 3). Toss to coat, then make a space in the middle of the pan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add remaining ingredients- After a minute, add the stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure nothing is stuck. Add (in the following order) corn, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce (see note 4).
- Cook- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the steam release handle to the 'sealing' position. Pressure cook for 5 minutes.When the Instant Pot completes its cooking cycle, allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes (just let the pot sit without touching it). After 10 minutes, carefully transfer the steam release handle to the 'venting' position to release any remaining pressure.
- Serve- Enjoy chili topped with shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream.
- fridge- store in the fridge for up to 4 days
- freezer- freeze for up to 6 months