If you don’t have hours to spare but you’re craving a bowl of comfort, Instant Pot Chili is the dinner recipe for you! This chili recipe may be quick and easy, but don’t worry – we’re not sacrificing any flavor here. Chili powder, jalapeños, crushed red pepper flakes, and SO much more make each bite of this easy to make chili even more delicious than the last.

A bowl of chili is topped with fritos, sour cream, and green onions.

Instant Pot Chili

As much as I love a good slowly cooked chili, some days, I just don’t have 8 hours to wait around! Plus, the pressure cooker is pretty magical. It accomplishes what a slow cooker or stove top can do in just about 20 minutes, as opposed to half the day! When making Instant Pot chili, you get all of the flavor and tender consistency you would in a slower chili recipe.

No matter what time of year it is, I always find myself craving some homemade chili. Whether I need it to warm up during the snowy season or to enjoy around a summertime campfire, chili always just seems to hit the spot! And now that the Instant Pot has become a pretty permanent fixture in my kitchen, it’s easier than ever before to make my favorite dinner whenever I want.

If you’re a new Instant Pot owner, no worries! I’ve simplified the steps here so that even the most novice of pressure cooker owners can follow along with ease. I remember first plugging in my Instant Pot and being all kinds of confused, so hopefully this easy to follow recipe doesn’t leave you with too many questions. This recipe will also make you LOVE your Instant Pot – what else could give you perfectly cooked chili in such a short amount of time?!

A ladel is scooping out a serving of chili from the Instant Pot.

How to Make It

Cook the ground beef. Using the saute function, cook the ground beef in the Instant Pot until cooked thoroughly and no longer pink. Remove the beef from the pot using a slotted spoon and drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat.

Sauté the onion. Add the onion to the pot and sauté until softened.

Make it flavorful! Return the beef to the pot and stir in the bell peppers, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, crushed red pepper flakes, sweet peppers, pepper juice, sugar, tomato sauce, and tomatoes. Stir to combine. 

Cook. Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to sealing. Select Pressure Cook (or manual) and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. It will take approximately 10 minutes to come to pressure before cooking.

Release the pressure. Once the cook time is finished, allow the pressure to release, naturally… DO NOT TOUCH IT. This will take an additional 10 minutes.

Enjoy! Remove the lid and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, corn chips, diced onions, jalapeños and more!

Two full, garnished bowls of chili are placed next to a tea towel and the Instant Pot.

Is Instant Pot chili spicy?

While it certainly has spicy ingredients in it like cayenne powder, crushed red pepper flakes, and fresh jalapeños, I wouldn’t label this as a particularly spicy chili. However, you can certainly make it spicier by doubling the amount of those spicy ingredients!

Also, a great way to add more heat to this chili is to include the jalapeño seeds instead of tossing them out.

How long will this chili stay fresh?

In an airtight container in the fridge, this chili still stay fresh for up to 4 days. To reheat your leftovers, simply toss it into the microwave, or better yet, on the stove top in a small pot.

What should I serve Instant Pot chili with?

First things first – all chili must be served with Buttermilk Cornbread! I feel like that’s just the rules of chili, right?

Oh, and don’t forget to garnish your chili with a dollop of sour cream, chopped green onions, and plenty of crunchy Frito’s. You can also feel free to add a sprinkle of shredded cheese or a drizzle of your favorite hot sauce!

Two white bowls are filled with chili and placed on a white countertop.

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A ladel is scooping out a serving of chili from the Instant Pot.

Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Chili

Based on my award winning chili recipe, this easy Instant Pot Chili recipe cuts the time dramatically so you can enjoy the slow simmered goodness any night of the week!
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large jalapeño, minced (seeds and veins removed for less heat.)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne, use less for a tamer chili
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper, add more for spicer chili
  • 1/2 cup chopped jarred sweet peppers and juice
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 15.5 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Instant Pot

Instructions 

  • Using the saute function, cook the ground beef in the Instant Pot until cooked thoroughly and no longer pink.
  • Remove the beef from the pot using a slotted spoon and drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat.
  • Add the onion to the pot and saute until softened.
  • Return the beef to the pot and stir in the bell peppers, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin, cayennes, crushed red pepper, sweet peppers, pepper juice, sugar, tomato sauce and tomatoes.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to sealing.
  • Select Pressure Cook (or manual) and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. (It will take approximately 10 minutes to come to pressure before cooking.)
  • Once the cook time is finished, allow the pressure to release, naturally….DO NOT TOUCH IT. This will take an additional 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, corn chips, diced onions, jalapeños and more.

Notes

Leftover Instant Pot chili will stay fresh in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Freeze leftovers in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months.
Calories: 328kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 935mg, Potassium: 1464mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 4063IU, Vitamin C: 89mg, Calcium: 131mg, Iron: 8mg