This Instant Pot Chili with ground beef, canned or dried beans and a few pantry staples is thick, hearty and flavourful. A reader shared this recipe with me and now it’s our new favorite. It is called Two Day Three Bean Chili but thanks to magic Instant Pot it is ready in 1.5 hours.
Want leaner chili? Try our Instant Pot turkey chili that is chock full of veggies, flavour and we love just as much as this beef chili stew.
The Best Instant Pot Chili Recipe
I got this amazing Instant Pot chili recipe from a reader the other day. Laurel says it has won 4 cook-off competitions. Of course, I had to try. Plus it is SO refreshing to cook someone else’s recipe. 🙂
This chili turned out wonderful! When you open the lid, chili is thick with tomatoes, different size of beans and there are even small pockets of flavorful fat on top. I am just not used to that with turkey chili. My family really enjoyed beef chili for a change as well. Kids said it tasted more “sour” and reminded a chili from Canadian fast food chain we eat at sometimes, Tim Hortons. Real life. 🙂
Ingredients You Will Need
- Ground beef: I used 97% lean ground beef. You can use any fat %, ground bison or any game meat like venison, moose etc.
- Beans: 3 x 15 oz can red kidney, cannellini and black beans. Always drain, rinse and I highly recommend to buy low sodium (and BPA free if budget allows) for health reasons. Please see how to make this chili recipe with dried beans below.
- Salsa: Salsa has to be thick and chunky. You can also use picante sauce which I have never heard of because I grew up in Ukraine . But I am sure you are familiar with it.
- Diced tomatoes: Do not drain diced tomatoes. And again I recommend low sodium. If your prefer the texture of crushed tomatoes – go for it.
- Tomato paste: 6 oz can of low sodium (again!) paste makes this chili thicker, hearty and with a deeper flavor.
- Spices: Usual suspect is chili powder. That’s it! However, if you like more spice and smokiness, add chipotle powder or chipotles in adobo sauce.
Tip: If your meat is frozen, follow my Instant Pot frozen ground beef recipe and be ready to make this chili in 30 minutes.
How to Make Instant Pot Chili
If you are new to Instant Pot, check out my Instant Pot guide.
- Brown ground beef until it is in small pieces, about 5 minutes. Please note, meat can be pink and if necessary deglaze the pot with stock. Drain fat, if desired (I do). If tilting the pot to drain, make sure to flatten the meat after.
- Combine all ingredients in the following order: canned beans, stock, salsa, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili and chipotle powders. Do not stir to avoid the dreaded Burn.
- Pressure cook for 40 minutes by pressing Manual or Pressure Cook on High pressure. Please ignore Chili/Stew button if your Instant Pot has it. Even if you use canned beans, this long time is necessary for the depth of flavour. Beans won’t fall apart.
- Release pressure after 15-30 minutes by turning valve to Venting. You can also let chili release pressure naturally and then sit on Keep Warm even entire day – more flavour.
How to Make Instant Pot Chili with Dried Beans
- Rinse and drain dried (dry) beans. No need to soak.
- Skip 3 cans of beans and 1/2 cup broth.
- Add instead an equal mix of 2 cups of three kinds of dried beans: red kidney, cannellini and black.
- Also add 4 cups of low sodium stock.
- I recommend to add up to 1/4 tsp salt as dried beans are salt free.
If You Don’t Have Instant Pot…
Stove: If you don’t have Instant Pot, I am not sure how you function. Just kidding but check out which one I recommend to buy (if you are thinking). I am sure you can brown meat and then simmer this chili for hours on the stove, stirring occasionally. Easy-peasy.
And if you have a slow cooker, this is the cooking method original recipe uses. You have to cook chili low and slow for 8 hours after browning the meat. Then you let it sit overnight for flavors to “marry each other”. Then reheat for 2 more hours and chili is ready to serve.
See, why I love my Instant Pot so much?! This type of stew really benefits from days of flavors blending together. And Instant Pot does it in a few hours.
How to Serve Beef Chili
I am sure you have your favorite way to eat chili. I will share my favorite toppings:
- Red onion adds a nice zing without being too spicy.
- Green onion – same thing just really fresh.
- Cilantro is a staple in chili. Fresh herbs elevate any dish.
- Shredded cheese melts and becomes gooey in a bowl of hot stew.
- Sour cream or yogurt depends on a day, personally for me.
There is also diced avocado, freshly squeezed lime juice and crushed tortilla chips. I like to keep my toppings to 4-5 to get a proper taste of everything and not overwhelm the taste buds. But it’s all up to you!
Another good one is fresh buttered bread. Why not?!
How to Store, Freeze and Reheat Chili
Refrigerate chili in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Chili is like fine wine or borscht that only gets better the next day. You will be amazed for like a week.
Chili freezes beautifully! Freeze in same container with limited air access to avoid freezer burns. Then thaw on a counter for at least 6-8 hours.
Reheat chili in a pot by simmering on low until warmed through, stirring occasionally. Chili will thin out a bit as it becomes hotter and hotter.
More Instant Pot Chili and Stew Recipes
- Instant Pot turkey chili
- Instant Pot white chicken chili
- Instant Pot beef stew
- Instant Pot chicken and potatoes
- Browse 45 more healthy Instant Pot recipes.
Instant Pot Chili
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup low sodium broth stock or water
- 15 oz can low sodium black beans drained & rinsed
- 15 oz can low sodium cannellini beans drained & rinsed
- 15 oz can low sodium kidney beans drained & rinsed
- 24 oz jar picante sauce or thick + chunky salsa
- 15 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes undrained
- 6 oz low sodium can tomato paste
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper optional
- On 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, press Sauté and let appliance preheat until display says Hot.
- Add ground beef and cook for 4 minutes, breaking into small pieces with spatula often. Meat doesn't have to cook through.
- If you see bottom of the pot has stuck browned bits of meat, add 1/2 cup broth and deglaze the pot. Hasn't happened to me.
- Press Cancel and drain the fat, if you wish. I did but more fat - more flavor.:) If you are tilting the pot to drain, make sure to flatten the meat after (to avoid Burn).
- Add canned beans (please see notes for dried beans), salsa, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder and chipotle powder. Do not stir to avoid Burn.
- Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 40 minutes.
- After allow pressure to come down naturally for 15-30 minutes and release remaining pressure using Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 2 minutes.
- Open the lid, stir and serve hot with your favourite toppings. Chili thickens with time and tastes even better the next day.
How to Make Chili in Slow Cooker
- Brown ground meat in a skillet.
- Combine all ingredients in large slow cooker, stir and cover.
- Cook on Low for 8 hours.
- Turn off slow cooker and let sit covered overnight. It allows chili to blend spice flavors naturally.
- The next morning, reheat chili on low setting for 2-4 hours and then stir well.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.
- To make chili with dried beans (no soaking): Replace 3 cans of beans + 1/2 cup stock with 2 cups dried beans (equal mix of 3 kinds) + 4 cups low sodium stock + 1/4 tsp salt.
- For 3 quart Instant Pot, cut ingredients in half but keep same cooking time.
- If your meat is frozen, quickly thaw it using my Instant Pot frozen ground beef recipe.
- If you like spicy chili, add more chipotle powder to taste. 1/4 tsp makes mild chili perfect for kids.
- Instead of chipotle powder, you can use finely diced chiles in adobo sauce from a can. Then freeze leftovers. See how here.
- Don't use Chili button, if your Instant Pot has it. Manual set time is the best.
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