Make Easy Instant Pot Chili in 45 minutes! This chili recipe is made with colorful bell peppers, onion, garlic, corn, and tomatoes. Ground beef and beans give it a hearty and protein-packed nutrition profile. While it's made with a low-heat chili powder so kids can enjoy it too, it's packed with intense flavor from 4 flavor-elevating ingredients. This Instant Pot Chili Recipe is a great meal for a crisp fall evening. Serve chili with toasted cheesy tortilla chips, cheese, and green onions for an even more fantastic meal!
Are you ready for one of the best chili recipes? With this Easy Instant Pot Chili recipe you not only get a perfectly seasoned and flavorful chili in 45 minutes, but a kid-friendly chili that's low on heat and high on taste.
This Easy Instant Pot Chili recipe is something that people who live and die for their annual chili cook-offs need to watch out for! It is seriously good and seriously easy. It is scrumptiously flavorful and includes secrets to making it so from some of the best chili chefs out there.
This chili recipe takes only 45 minutes and requires minimal prep and active cooking time on your part. The Instant Pot does most of the work, giving you a perfect chili recipe for your family on a chilly fall evening.
This Easy Instant Pot Chili is kid-friendly because I left out the cayenne pepper, making it an optional add on to individual bowls. But if you don't have kids or don't want to leave out the heat from the entire recipe, add in that cayenne pepper!
I still use lots of chili powder in this recipe, so there is some spice. But I would not say it's spicy. It's more of a zesty taste on your tongue after every bite, which is really fantastic!
I use a few ingredients in this chili recipe that really bring out the flavors of the spices, vegetables, and beef. These ingredients are: cocoa powder, red wine, red wine vinegar, and tomato paste.
Why do I use these and how they do make one of the best chili recipes out there? Let's keep reading...
⭐️ Instant Pot Benefits
Before we get to those "secret" ingredients, let's talk about the Instant Pot. There are many reasons why I love mine.
I have the Instant Pot Duo Nova 7 in 1, 6-Quart Pressure Cooker. It is big enough to make a full dinner for a family of 6 or side dishes and snacks for large parties. But it's not too big that it's hard to store or that it takes too much room on the counter while in use.
With school back in session the Instant Pot is a must have! Just like my favorite kitchen gadget the Crock Pot, the Instant Pot can be left on in the background while you work from home, school your kids, or otherwise enjoy your day.
The Instant Pot is also awesome when you have small kids, especially ones like my toddler who love to watch what's going on in the kitchen. When I cook on the stove, she likes to reach up and touch and grab pot handles. She loves to put her hand on the oven door to see if it's "hot".
These are all very dangerous things for a toddler with no fear to be doing! But if I use the Instant Pot, I can move it back far enough on the counter so she cannot reach it.
It's also very sturdy. It would be much harder for her to yank on and knock down, like she could easily do if she grabbed a long pot handle on the stove. Because the Instant Pot is deep, I don't need to worry about hot sauce, broth, or oil splattering out and burning her.
I was able to make this easy Instant Pot chili with her fussing at my feet, because the pot was doing most of the work for me and my hands and mind were free!
And of course, what the Instant Pot is widely known for: cooking foods in much shorter times by using the pressure cooker feature.
I've cooked chicken from frozen in my Instant Pot in only 20 minutes. Rice comes out perfectly every time, and you don't have to worry about it sticking to the bottom of the pot or it boiling over the side.
👩🍳 Best Chili Secrets
Classic chili combines beef, beans, tomatoes, onions, and tomato juices. It is traditionally spiced with chili powder and cayenne pepper, among a few other spices. There are thousands, if not millions, of chili recipes that break these norms (like turkey chili, vegetarian chili). There are white chilis and red chilis! The best chili recipes leave your mouth watering for more. So what are the secrets of creating a mouth-watering, flavor-packed chili recipe? Let me tell you...
To make Instant Pot chili that's packed with amazing flavor:
- Ditch the garlic powder and use real garlic. Substitute any chili recipe that calls for garlic powder with finely minced garlic cloves. 2-4 cloves of garlic should be enough, depending on how much of a garlic lover you are. Add minced garlic a few minutes before the onions, beef, and peppers are done cooking.
- Deglaze the pan with red wine. If you've got bits of beef and onion stuck on the bottom of your pot, don't let them go to waste! These bits are incredibly tasty and will add kick to your chili. Use an alcohol to scrape them off, which will add even more flavor to the recipe. My favorite deglazing alcohol is Merlot, but you can use beer or any other red wine. Keep in mind that the Instant Pot is great for not having food stick to the bottom, so you may not have brown bits to deglaze. But you should still keep the deglazing step in your recipe to enhance it's flavor.
- Add a "secret ingredient". To elevate the meaty flavor of chili, add cinnamon, espresso, dark chocolate, or cocoa powder. Pick one of these and add 2-4 tbsp with the spices.
- Add tomato paste. Tomato paste is concentrated so it enhances tomato-based dishes, especially when you don't have time to let the pot simmer for a lengthy duration. To elevate the richness of the tomato base in your instant pot chili, add 3-5 tablespoons of tomato paste along with the spices.
- Add a splash of an acidic ingredient at the end. Even after spicing your chili just right and adding all of the special ingredients above, your chili still might taste like it's missing something at the end. If so, a splash of something acidic should do the trick. Add red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or some more red wine.
- Cook the chili a few hours or the day before. Letting the chili sit for a while before eating allows the flavor of the spices, veggies, beans and meat to "marry". The longer it rests, the longer those flavors get to enhance each other, and your tastebuds!
These are the 6 tips I have for making a hearty and mouth-watering chili. Check out these other options for some more helpful guidance.
🧒🏼 How To Make It Kid-Friendly
There are 2 things I do with this Instant Pot chili recipe to keep it kid-friendly.
- Use McCormick Chili powder. This brand is a mild version of chili powder and is a safe choice to use for kids, or adults, who are sensitive to the heat of some chili powders.
- Eliminate the cayenne pepper. Save the cayenne pepper for use at the end, when whoever wants a spicy chili can add the pepper their individual bowl.
These are the ingredients I use to make this easy Instant Pot chili recipe as delicious as it can be:
- yellow onion
- fresh garlic
- ground beef
- tomato paste
- bell pepper: orange, yellow or red are the sweetest and best in my opinion
- diced tomatoes: make sure to also use the juices
- corn: sweet corn is ideal
- kidney and pinto beans: use canned for ease
- red wine: Merlot is my favorite, but you can use any
- red wine vinegar: just a splash of this is necessary, but you can also use apple cider vinegar or regular red wine
- beef broth: or water + beef bouillon
- unsweetened cocoa powder: you can also use a few tablespoons of brewed espresso or strong coffee or cinnamon
- chili powder: for a low heat variety, use McCormick's
- cayenne pepper: an optional ingredients for those who want spicy chili
- onion powder
For serving, jalapeños, sour cream, green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese are always winners. The kids love cheesy toasted tortilla chips for dipping. They think it's fun to use the tortilla chips as spoons!
🔪 Step-By-Step Directions
Here is how to make this Instant Pot chili in the easiest and quickest way.
- Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function. Dice the onion and pepper. Add oil, onion, pepper, and beef to the pot and sauté for about 8 minutes. You want to sauté everything until the beef browns. When there are about 2 minutes left, add the minced garlic. Time Saver: while the beef is browning, prep the beans, tomatoes, corn, and spices.
- Once the beef browns, add the red wine to the pot. Keep on the sauté function and cook for 5 minutes. Scrape the brown bits from the bottom, if there are any.
- Then add all spices, beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato paste, and cocoa powder. Mix well, close the lid, and set to pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. Time Saver: while cooking, prep the toppings.
- Do a quick release of the pressure. Stir, taste, and add additional spices if desired. Add a splash (usually about ⅛ cup) of red wine vinegar. Stir, and if possible let chili sit for a few hours before serving.
And that's how easy it is to make Instant Pot chili! There are no tricks and no complicated steps.
When ready to serve, toast tortilla chips and cheese for dipping into the chili. Serve chili with shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, chopped green onions, jalapeños, and sour cream.
Easy Instant Pot Chili
- pressure cooker
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can corn, drained
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp pepper
- splash of red wine vinegar
- ¼-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- Set the Instant Pot to saute. Add the oil, onions, peppers, and beef. Saute until beef browns, about 7 minutes. Add garlic the last 2 minutes.
- Add red wine to deglaze, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any brown bits. Saute for 5 minutes to allow liquid to reduce.
- Add beef broth, tomatoes and their juices, corn, and beans. Mix well.
- Add tomato paste, cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, onion powder, and pepper. If using cayenne pepper, add it now.
- Stir well, close lid, and set to pressure cook on high for 20 minutes.
- Manually release the vent when finished pressure cooking. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and stir.
- If possible, let chili sit for 20 minutes to 2 hours before serving. Serve with sour cream, cheese, green onions, and jalapenos. If desired, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to individual bowls to increase spiciness.
🍽 Serving and Storing
Chili is one of those meals that always tastes better the longer it sits. It is especially delicious the day after it's made. Instant pot chili is no different. If you can make your chili in the instant pot and then let it sit for a couple hours before enjoying it, please do! You will find the flavors get to settle in and "marry", making your dinner even more delicious!
Translate that to storing instant pot chili: store it in the fridge for many days, up to 1 week, and you'll have absolutely fantastic tasting chili. Chili is also very freezer-friendly. It can be kept in freezer bags or containers for around 6 months.
I hope you enjoy this delicious and easy instant pot chili recipe!