Instant Pot Chili- Big Flavor, Little Effort!

Instant Pot Chili- Big Flavor, Little Effort!

This traditional chili comes together in a SNAP in the Instant Pot. Made with all of the classic chili ingredients we know and love, plus a few extra ingredients that give this quick and easy chili a depth of flavor that will have everyone fooled, thinking you’ve had it simmering for hours and hours!

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A couple of years ago I hosted a Chili Cook-Off party at my house with a few families from my son’s football teams. We had ice-cold brews, gorgeous autumn weather, Red Zone going on the TV, and more cornbread than you could imagine.

For the winner of the chili competition I bought a shiny new trophy, and even more coveted than the hardware were the bragging rights! Now despite me being the gracious host, let me be honest and tell you that I WANTED THOSE BRAGGING RIGHTS!

I researched chili for weeks, scrolled through at least 25 different recipes. Read about all different kinds of chilies, fresh and dried, how to incorporate them to make the most flavorful chili paste. I bought fresh spices; ground them up with my mortar and pestle. Made the beans from scratch, used homemade stock, went to a specialty market to find a Mexican bitter chocolate to enhance my flavor profile.

I’m telling you I TRIED, I tried really hard. But despite my painstaking efforts… I DID NOT take home the gold! I handled it gracefully, but when the party was over a great deal of reflection began. Bouncing ideas off my BFF, it dawned on me- CHILI ISN’T PRETENTIOUS! It’s supposed to be EASY! I spent so much time trying to fix something that was never broken! {Insert palm to face emoji here}

Since then, I’ve followed the K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple … Sweetheart) model for making chili and honestly- I think I’m ready for a rematch!

This chili recipe is so easy, it’s a weeknight wonder! I use one of my favorite kitchen essentials- the Instant Pot- and besides a little searing and sautéing in the beginning, once you got that done, it’s pretty much a stroll down easy street from there.  My kids and husband were very enthusiastic about the results, telling me it’s my best ever… Clearly the sting of defeat is not still looming over their heads!

instant pot chili


Brenda Lanzilli
This traditional chili comes together in a SNAP in the Instant Pot. Made with all of the classic chili ingredients we know and love, plus a few extra ingredients that give this quick and easy chili a depth of flavor that will have everyone fooled, thinking you've had it simmerinng for hours and hours!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 362 kcal


  • lbs ground beef 85/15% or 80/20%
  • 5 bacon slices diced
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno seeds or no seeds according to spicy preference (chopped)
  • 2 cans cans of red kidney beans drained
  • 1 can cans of black beans drained or 2 cups of leftover “Instant Pot Black Beans”
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • ½ cup beer
  • 2 tbsp chipotle chili in adobo chopped and 2 tbsp. of their canned liquid
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp brown sugar


  • Set instant pot to sauté mode. Add ground beef to pot and sear until meat is browned.
  • Remove beef with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • Empty drippings (fat) from the pot.
  • Add bacon and continue to sauté until crisp. Remove bacon from the pot using a slotted spoon and place it on the same plate as the ground beef.
  • Keeping 2 tbsp. of bacon fat in Instant Pot for flavor, add the onions, garlic, and jalapeno and sweat the veggies for 5 minutes.
  • Add beer to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the instant pot to remove the brown bits.
  • Press the cancel button. Add all remaining ingredients, as well as beef/ bacon.
  • Press the “chili/bean” setting, seal the lid making sure that the release valve is “sealed” and not venting”.
  • It will take about 30 minutes to come to temperature, and then another 30 minutes to cook.
  • When mode has ended, let it natural release for at least 15 minutes before manually releasing the pressure.


Serve with your favorite toppings- ours are cheddar cheese, greek yogurt (or sour cream) and scallions (or chives)


Calories: 362kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 21gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 763mgPotassium: 519mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 591IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 3mg
Keyword beans, beef, chili, comfort food, fall foods, instant pot, one pot dinner, one pot meals, soup recipe, stew, winter recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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2 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chili- Big Flavor, Little Effort!”

  • After multiple attempts at making chili with seasoning packets I all but gave up. My husband begged me to take chili out of our dinner rotation. Then I stumbled upon this recipe and OMG all I can say is amazing. The only thing better than this chili, was this chili for lunch the next day. It’s safe to say it is now back in our dinner menu rotation. Can’t wait to try some more of your recipes!

    • Thank you so much for your comment Anne! That is really exciting to hear!! Your right, how is it that leftover chili is even BETTER than same day chili!?! I’m so happy your chili creds have been redeemed!


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