When it comes to cold weather comfort food, chili is hard to beat in my opinion. And at my house, a large gathering — or game day party — isn’t complete without a pot of chili. This Instant Pot chili recipe offers all the flavor of our favorite beef chili recipe with an added bonus of being fast to make.
Try this super easy 6-ingredient white chicken chili, too! (It’s one of our favorites!)
I love my Instant Pot. There, I said it. But I love it in large part because it’s so good at cooking dry beans. No longer do I cook a recipe only to find that the beans are still a little bit crunchy. (What a disappointment that is!) That has never happened — ever — when cooking beans in my Instant Pot.
The other thing I love about it? The sauté setting. I can brown ingredients in the same reservoir that I pressure cook them in. (It’s always bothered me that when I use my slow cooker, I have to dirty an extra pan to sauté ingredients.)
To Soak or Not to Soak?
The Instant Pot makes quick work of dried beans. Pressure cooking beans allows you to fully cook dry beans quickly, even if you opt not to soak them. This means less time to a ready-to-serve dinner!
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That said, soaking beans for eight hours or overnight is a good idea when making most bean recipes. Soaking beans helps eliminate some of the phytic acid in beans. Phytic acid is considered an “anti-nutrient.” You can read more about that here.
To soak beans, cover them with 2″ of water and allow to sit for 8 hours or overnight. Drain, discarding the water. Add the soaked beans to the recipe according to the instructions.
Dried kidney beans — Dry beans are one of my favorite pantry staples. I love how economical dried beans are, and they store for a good long time so you can always have some on hand. Red kidney beans are delicious in this recipe, but you can certainly make it with dry black beans or pinto beans.
Ground beef — Select a lean ground beef, though you do have the chance to drain excess fat as we will brown the beef before proceeding.
Diced tomatoes — You can use a can or dice some fresh. Tomatoes are the perfect base for a chili.
Beef broth — Heighten the flavor of the entire meal by selecting a high-quality low-sodium beef broth or stock. No beef broth? Chicken broth or vegetable broth is a perfectly fine substitute.
Making This Pressure Cooker Chili
Brown the beef and onion using the sauté function, stirring to prevent the bottom of the pot from scorching. Drain excess grease.
Add all remaining ingredients and give a quick stir to combine.
The cooking time will vary a bit based on whether you opt to soak your beans or not.
How can I lighten this meal up?
Feel free to use ground turkey or ground chicken in this chili instead of beef. You can also use any game meat you might have in your freezer. You can still use beef broth to increase the flavor when using chicken or turkey meat.
Do I need to soak my beans first?
It isn’t a requirement, since we are using the Instant Pot. However, it can aid in digestion and will also decrease your cooking time. It’s quite easy to soak the beans all day and then drain and use them in this chili recipe at dinner time.
Serving Instant Pot Chili
Serve this budget friendly beef chili recipe over rice (that’s island style!) or bake up a batch of homemade cornbread to go with it. And be sure to offer everyone’s favorite chili toppings like sour cream, cheddar cheese, jalapeno peppers, hot sauce, and organic tortilla chips! Fresh cilantro is delicious, too, but not everyone thinks so.
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- Brown ground beef and onion in inner reservoir of Instant Pot using the sauté setting. Drain excess grease.
- Add all remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and turn pressure valve to seal. If you've soaked your beans for 6-8 hours, cook on manual high pressure for 22 minutes. If you have not soaked the beans, cook on manual high pressure for 28 minutes.
- Allow beans to sit under pressure for ten minutes, then use a manual pressure release to release the rest of the pressure; remove the lid. Stir the beans and serve.
Serve this homemade Instant Pot chili with your favorite toppings such as sour cream, cheese, jalapeno peppers, and organic tortilla chips.
To soak or not to soak?
The Instant Pot makes quick work of dried beans. This electric pressure cooker can fully cook dry beans quickly, even if you opt not to soak them.
That said, soaking beans for eight hours or overnight is a good idea when making most bean recipes. Soaking beans helps eliminate some of the phytic acid in beans. Phytic acid is considered an “anti-nutrient.”
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 870mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g
What to serve with your homemade chili
Originally published in December 2018; this post has been updated.