Down Home Instant Pot Chili–a fast and easy chili recipe that has lots of flavor but isn’t too spicy! Perfect for any night of the week or for the chili cook-off contest.
Down Home Instant Pot Chili
There are a million chili recipes out there. Maybe more. Chances are you already have a “famous award-winning” chili recipe in your recipe file. But in case you don’t and want to try my version I decided I finally needed to come up with one.
I combed through about 20 different chili recipes and looked at all the recipes that you recommended on the FB group. I considered my family’s taste preferences as well as my own. I hemmed and hawed about whether to use chili beans or kidney beans or any beans at all. I wondered if I should use ground beef or chunks of beef. I thought through the pros and cons about adding in green peppers. I wondered if I really should follow one reader’s advice about adding in cinnamon.
After all the thoughtful consideration I came up with a recipe I’m quite proud of. My son said, “It has the perfect amount of spice, it’s doesn’t have too much of a kick but it has enough to make it good. I like mine with Fritos and sour cream.” Greg who isn’t usually a huge fan of chili even had two bowls. I liked the chili the night I made it but LOVED it the next day even more. In fact next time I compete in a chili cook-off I am going to make this chili the night before and then reheat it the next day. The flavors get better over time.
With so many chili recipes out there you’re probably wondering why you should make my version. Here’s why:
- It’s made in the Instant Pot. So it only takes about 60 minutes from start to finish.
- My recipe calls for easy-to-find ingredients and the process of making it is simple and easy.
- Even though it doesn’t take a lot of effort my chili is very delicious and has depth of flavor.
What Pressure Cooker Did You Use?
To make Down Home Instant Pot Chili I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
Should I use the Chili/Beans Button on my Instant Pot?
The buttons on your Instant Pot, like Beans, Rice, Soup, etc., are for your convenience. They store a time, like 30 minutes. You can then use the + and – buttons to adjust the time to your preference. I almost exclusively use the manual button (it’s also called pressure cook on some models). I always use high pressure. The preset buttons are really just the same as the manual/pressure cook button only they have a preset amount of time.
What are “chili beans?”
Chili beans are found next to the regular canned beans at the grocery store. Some common brands that sell chili beans are Bush’s and S&W. Chili beans are pinto beans that are canned in tomato sauce and have seasonings added. I found that the use of these beans gave the chili an extra boost of flavor.
What should I do with my leftover canned chipotles in adobo sauce?
Since you’ll only need 1 chipotle you’ll have extra if you open a brand new can for this recipe. I like to store my leftovers in a ziploc bag in my freezer. Then whenever a recipe calls for a chipotle in adobo sauce I have some ready to go. I just use a knife to cut the frozen block of chipotles/sauce. Some recipes that call for chipotles in adobo sauce are:
What should I serve with my Down Home Instant Pot Chili?
I like to serve my chili with cornbread. Lately I’m in love with this cornbread recipe and make it quite often. It is the best.
Can I make this chili in the crockpot instead?
Yes! You can. I’ve included the crockpot instructions in the recipe card below.
You’ll also like…
White Chicken Chili Recipe in the Instant Pot–I won my church chili cook-off with this recipe!
Instant Pot Cowboy Casserole–beefy and hearty
Instant Pot Chicken Chili Mac–for chicken and pasta lovers.
Down Home Instant Pot Chili
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes (plus 15 minutes NPR)
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: Makes around 7 cups of chili 1x
A fast and easy chili recipe that has lots of flavor but isn’t too spicy! Perfect for any night of the week or for the chili cook-off contest.
- 1 piece of uncooked bacon
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp Better than Bouillon Beef Base
- 1 chipotle pepper canned in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 2 (15.5 oz) cans chili beans
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- Toppings: Fritos, grated cheese, sour cream, diced green or red onions
- Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. When the display says HOT add in the piece of bacon and the onion. The onion will cook in the bacon grease. Stir for a couple of minutes and then add in the beef. Break up the beef and brown it for 5-10 minutes. If there is excess grease spoon it off and discard. Leave the bacon in there for added flavor.
- Add in the kosher salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, Better than Bouillon and adobo. Stir to really coat the beef in all the seasonings.
- Pour the water into the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot so that it’s clean. Turn off the saute setting.
- Next layer the following ingredients on top of the beef and do not stir: chili beans and juices, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste (in dollops). Lastly sprinkle in the cinnamon and cocoa powder.
- Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 20 minutes on high pressure. When the time is up let the pot sit for 15 minutes and then move the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Stir the chili really well. Then ladle into bowls and serve with toppings. If desired refrigerate the chili and warm up the next day and serve for even better flavor.
Crockpot instructions: Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add in the bacon and onion. Saute the onion in the bacon grease. Then add in the ground beef and brown for about 5-10 minutes. Spoon off any excess grease. Add the beef into the slow cooker. Add in the kosher salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, Better than Bouillon and adobo. Stir to really coat the beef in all the seasonings. Add in the water, chili beans with juices, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, cinnamon and cocoa powder, Stir well. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the lid. Stir the chili really well. Then ladle into bowls and serve with toppings. If desired refrigerate the chili and warm up the next day and serve for even better flavor.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Mike Pallone says
If one wanted to use 2 pounds. Of cubed pork or beef roast, would the pressure cook time be the same. I would cut the roast into 1-2 inch cubes and brown it first.
Love your recipes and pork shoulder roast is often on sale in my area much cheaper than ground beef. Love your recipes!
I would pressure cook for 20 minutes with a natural pressure release
I just made a batch of this and it’s better than the recipe I had been using. I like to take chili to work in a thermos when I work night shift. This is perfect for that and I have the Souper Cubes I got from Amazon so I can freeze what I don’t use.
Thanks Ricardo! I’m glad you are eating good at work! Thermos is a great idea.
I may have made a mistake making this X2
While adding the second can of crushed tomatoes I noticed that it wouldn’t all fit and it was overfilled. I tried to cook it anyway but I got a burn notice warning. I cleaned up what over flowed and took half of the chili out and added a little chicken broth and tried to pressurize again. I got another burn notice… and this time it was sticking on the bottom of the pot.
I finished cooking it on the stove because I just couldn’t figure out what to do. Help! I’m a beginner, so please ba kind 🙂
Hi there, you’ll need an inch or two of space at the top of your Instant Pot in order for it to be able to reach pressure. When doubling recipes this article might be helpful to you: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/how-to-double-instant-pot-recipes/
And here is info on the burn message: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/the-instant-pot-burn-message/
Michelle Ramirez says
This turned out great. I left out the cinnamon and coco powder just because I don’t care for the flavors.. I added pinto beans instead of chili beans and used fresh garlic but the house smells wonderful and this was super quick! I thought the spices wouldn’t be enough and expected bland but even with my changes it was perfect! Thank you!!
Sounds like a winning dinner!!
What are Chili beans
They are canned beans in a chili seasoned chili-style sauce. You can find them next to the other canned beans at the grocery store.
Linda White says
I made this recipe and won first place in a chili cookoff. Everyone wanted the recipe.
Wow that is so fun! How awesome. Thank you for sharing that 😊
i am trying to make this recipe, i added everything just like the recipe says but my issue is w my instant pot, about 5 minutes. after setting the 20 min timer i get an error saying “food burn”. i’m not sure what i’m doing wrong
Hi Penny, read this article: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/the-instant-pot-burn-message/
Did you stir the chili? That might cause the burn message.
Oh my gosh! I was leary about the cocoa powder and cinnamon, but the flavors are perfect! I love how thick it is, too! Awesome recipe! Thank you!
Marnie, I’m so glad you tried it! I liked it a lot too and want to make it again soon.
how’d you do this with dried beans instead of canned?
I would cook the beans separately and then cook them with the chili as stated in the recipe. Dried beans don’t get soft when acidic things like tomatoes are in the sauce so they can’t soften up and cook with the chili. That’s why I would cook them first by themselves.
Will beef broth work in place of bouillon beef base. I’m not familiar with this product and can’t say that I’ve seen it in the store.
Sure thing. Instead of the water use the broth.
I made this for Halloween supper tonight! The house smells heavenly, and I’m pretty certain it’s going to be a hit!
Awesome! I hope it is!
Where do I find the chocolate pepper canned with Adobe sauce?
Lois Love says
That was supposed to be chipolte
Hi Lois, you can find them in any grocery store. Look in the International aisle of the supermarket, along with other Latin ingredients. Less frequently, I’ve found them stocked with canned tomatoes. They usually come in short, 2-inch-tall (or so) cans, similar to the size of most tomato paste cans.
Jim Schooler says
I have to say, if you can’t follow the recipe, don’t comment please! I love to follow new recipes, if I have to change anything, it’s not the recipe that’s printed. Maybe if you have to change it, don’t post it in the comments. I’d rather hear about the exact recipe than your changes. Sorry, just my thoughts.
Actually, I read all the comments, including those that make some changes. Then you get more than one recipe. Some people don’t like certain item and substitute something their family likes, and it works. Nothing wrong with that. If you try the original recipe and don’t like it and give it less stars, I want to hear about that also. Recipes are not Commandments, their cooking ideas. Thanks Karen for the recipes, I love your site and found some real winners. Thanks to to those who offer suggested changes, since it may give me different options. 🙂
I used Ground turkey for this recipe and added 1 C of Chopped red and yellow pepper. Delicious! I took it to work and my coworkers broke into the refrigerator!