The Best Instant Pot Chili

The Best Instant Pot Chili

All the flavor of a long-simmered competition style chili, the Best Instant Pot Chili is going to blow you away. Start with soaked & cooked beans or canned beans.



Hint: Roast the jalapenos as you brown the meat and cut the vegetables.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 to 4 jalapenos, roasted & seeded or not, finely diced (see note, below)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder
  • a good pinch of oregano, preferably Mexican
  • about 1/2 beer; drink rest
  • 3 cups of cooked pinto beans along with the broth they were cooked in or 2 cans (15 1/4-ounce each) pintos
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes in sauce, pulsed in blender
  • 2 tablespoon Masa Harina mixed with 1/2 cup of the liquid in the chili, optional
  • Garnishes: Sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, chopped green onion


Heat Instant Pot with 1 tablespoon of oil in the inner liner on Saute until pot is hot. Add in the ground beef, breaking down as it cooks until it has lost its pink color.

Add in the onions, bell pepper, and jalapenos and continue to cook, stirring now and then, until vegetables have softened. Add a lid, partially ajar, to speed up the process. (Do leave the lid ajar; you should never fully cover the instant Pot in the saute function.)

As the ground beef mixture cooks, to a small bowl add the spices, the chili, cumin, salt, paprika, cocoa & oregano. Mix together.

When the vegetables are tender, drain the mixture, if desired. Add the garlic, stir, then all the spices and herbs. Stir, let toast for a few minutes until spices become fragrant. Deglaze with the 1/2 beer. Add in the pintos, then without stirring them in, add the tomatoes on top.

Cover with lid fitted with liner, seal and set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 35 minutes. When done, allow to sit for 10 minutes on the Keep Warm function, then release the remaining pressure manually.

If a thicker chili is desired, mix the Masa Harina with 1/2 cup of the liquid in the chili. Set the Instant Pot to Saute and when it begins to simmer, stir in the mixture. Simmer for several minutes, paying special attention to the bottom of the pot; a plastic spatula works well for this. Turn off the Instant Pot, but continue stirring until the chili is no longer simmering.

Garnish as desired with Sour Cream, Cheese and/or Green Onion.

Note: to roast jalapenos:

  • Arrange jalapenos in a row on a foil lined cookie sheet, just touching each other. Place about 4 inches under the broiler. Broil until blistered, two to three minutes, then remove sheet and turn the jalapenos, broiling again until blistered. Repeat until all sides are blistered and slightly charred.
  • Place in a small paper bag or a small bowl, sealed with plastic wrap and let sit for about 10 minutes to steam. When cool enough to handle, remove the majority of the charred skin. Roasted jalapenos freeze well and a great shortcut is to make more than needed, then divide in small portions and freeze.

Keywords: Alcohol, Beans, Beef, Beer, Bell Peppers, canned beans, canned tomatoes, cheddar, Cheese, Chili, Hot Peppers, Instant Pot, masa harina, pinto beans, Sour cream, Soup

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