Instant Pot Chili that is award winning and bringing home cook-off victories across the country. You don’t want to miss diving into a bowl of our best chili!
If you want from scratch, our traditional chili is your answer. It took us 10 years to discover an award winning recipe and this is finally it, plus it’s an instant pot recipe which means it’s all done in less than 1 hour (with instructions for cooking on the stove top or crock pot as well)!! It is full of bacon, ground beef, beans, classic chili spices and all the toppings you want!
Let’s talk about how to make this homemade chili step by step, and discuss what goes well with it, and how to freeze it to eat later. So much to talk about, so let’s get going!
We attended a chili cook-off and brought this awesome Cheesy Ground Beef Enchilada Chili. It was so good, but soooo many arteries were clogged that night. It’s pretty unhealthy, but I heard a rumor that if you don’t eat it alone the calories don’t count.
Pretty sure that’s true.
If you want a healthy chili recipe, you should definitely try our award winning healthy turkey instant pot version, which uses ground turkey instead of beef. And imho, all chili, healthy or not so healthy, should be accompanied with a side of cornbread or our crazy easy 7-Up biscuits!
Chili Cook-Off Idea!
Oh! And listen to this, at the chili cook-off a couple of people brought muffin tins and then placed a sample scoop of each kind in the well so they could try them all and vote without going back or over eating. GENIUS. That’s seriously the smartest thing ever.
Next to figuring out this award winning instant pot chili recipe, right?! 😉
We hurried and made you all a video to help with the questions. Thank you for all of your love and support with making this the #1 chili out there!
Ingredients for Instant Pot Chili
- Meat: Ground Beef and Bacon
- Beans: Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, and Black Beans
- Tomatoes: Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Paste
- Vegetables: Red Onion, Red Bell Pepper, Garlic, and Jalapeño
- Broth: Beef Broth and Worcestershire Sauce
- Spices: Oregano, Ground Cumin, Kosher Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Smoked Paprika, Chili Powder
- Toppings: Sour Cream, Cilantro, Cheddar Cheese, Corn, Limes, Chips, Green Onions, etc.
The measurements and all the details for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to Make Chili in an Instant Pot
Making this recipe in an instant pot is really easy because there’s an actual setting for chili and beans (if you don’t have that setting, you can totally use “manual”). That pretty much takes all of the thinking out of this, and everything can be done in the instant pot, which means only one dish to clean!!
Let’s go through it step by step:
- Turn your instant pot to “saute” and cook the bacon until crispy.
- Remove the bacon and saute the bell peppers and onions until tender.
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned and drain any excess grease.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and stir everything together
- Place the lid on the instant pot and set to “chili” mode (“manual” can be used too).
- Cook for 18-20 minutes and allow a natural release for 10-15 minutes. If you get the burn notice, please see the section below.
- Once it is cooked, serve it up and top with all your favorite toppings.
All these instructions can also be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Watch How this Chili Recipe is Made…
What to Eat with Homemade Chili
Really any sort of bread will get the job done beautifully, but if you are making this in an instant pot, then you probably want dinner done in a hurry, so these 1 Hour Rolls are your answer! I often like something light and fresh with my chili like this garden balsamic avocado salad. I’ve also heard that people eat cinnamon rolls with chili, and I fully endorse this! Try our World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls!
Burn Notice on Instant Pot
We’ve had a lot of questions, comments and concerns about the burn notice on the instant pot. We really think it just depends on your Instant Pot. Some are more sensitive than others. We have not ever had a burn notice on ours, but if you are getting them, here are a few tips and tricks…
Cooking the Bacon Burn Notice
- Is your bacon extra thin or lacking fat? Both of these can cause the bacon to stick to the bottom of the pot and cause a burn notice. Those browned bits stuck to the pot because of the lack of fat can make the pressure cooker think that you’ve walked away and left meat to burn.
- To counter this, please use a good quality bacon and stir often to keep it from sticking. You can also add a little oil to the pot if not much fat is rendering off the bacon.
- Prior browned bits on the pot- If your pot had previous food stuck to the bottom of the pot it will continue to cook and confuse the pot to thinking that something is burning. Clean your pot well after every use. Bar Keeper’s Friend is my go-to cleaner for browned bits in pots and pans.
Burn Notice After the Chili Has Been Combined
- If your chili has been combined and then you get the burn notice you probably didn’t thoroughly stir everything together or something is stuck to the bottom of the pot. This is why that bacon step is important. If you added those heavy ingredients and added the lid something will probably stick and burn. Stir well, make sure you measured properly.
If none of these tips work, you should contact instant pot as you may have a model that needs to be replaced.
This recipe is too big to be doubled in both a 6 qt Instant Pot and an 8qt. It can be one and a halved in an 8qt Instant Pot. We also been told you can double it in an 8qt Instant Pot if you take out 1 or 2 cans of beans.
1. Alright, start with your bacon. Always.
Whenever bacon is going in a dish we crisp it first, drain the fat and leave the browned bits in the pan. All it does is add extra flavor to whatever comes next.
Start by pressing the “saute” button and once you can feel the heat, add the chopped bacon, stirring occasionally until crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and drain the fat.
2. Next, grab your ground beef. Any kind is fine for chili since other flavors are in there, but there’s more flavor in an 80/20 versus 90/10, though you will need to drain out the fat before continuing on.
Make sure you stir occasionally in order to crumble the meat instead of having big chunks. Chili shouldn’t be big and chunky. Leave that to the hippopotamuses. (Totally had to spell check that one. Who knew hippos could be so difficult.)
To make slow cooker chili (I linked up to the brand and model we prefer) or of course make chili in a crock pot if that’s what you have, you’ll need to cook the bacon and ground beef in a pan, then add the peppers and onions to sauté them all nice and tender.
Then dump it all in a slow cooker and we prefer 5-6 hours on low or 3 hours on high, though I have probably only used the high function twice.
Low and slow really allows the spices to bloom, or in other words to open up and really do their thing.
Toppings for Homemade Chili
The toppings you choose for your chili is totally up to you! You can add more crunch, creaminess, heat, freshness, acidity…really anything that makes you happy! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Sour Cream
- Sliced Jalapenos
- Green Onions
- Tortilla Chips or Fritos
Leftover chili should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 5 days.
If you want it to last a little longer, classic chili is really easy to freeze. Cool your chili completely and store in ziplocs with all the air pressed out, or we prefer to use our Food Saver. You can store individual servings to eat for lunch or larger portions to feed the whole family later. They will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat the chili, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then warm it up in a pot on the stove top.
When it comes to classic chili, I want it to be full of flavor, bold and comforting! Friends, this recipe is the result of me making dozens of recipes in order to find the greatest of all time. So I tell you hands down this is the VERY BEST CHILI!
P.S. Have you seen our Instant Pot cheat sheet? Head there are all our tips for cooking all the basics in your Instant Pot!
Here are some more CHILI RECIPES that you’ll love:
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?
Instant Pot Chili that is award winning and bringing home chili cook-off victories across the country. You don’t want to miss our best chili recipe ever!
- 1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef
- 6 Strips Bacon, good quality, chopped
- 1 Can Kidney Beans, 15 ounces, drained
- 1 Can Pinto Beans, 15 ounces, drained
- 1 Can Black Beans, 15 ounces, drained
- 1 Can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, 15 ounces, with juice
- 1 Can Tomato Paste, 6 ounce
- 1 Red Onion, chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 Jalapeño, seeded and minced *optional
- 2 Cups Beef Stock
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
Prevent your screen from going dark
Turn your instant pot to sauté and add the bacon.
6 Strips Bacon
Cook until crisp, stirring often to cook evenly.
Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
Add the onions and peppers and cook until tender.
1 Red Onion, 1 Red Bell Pepper
Add the meat and cook until browned.
1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef
Drain off any excess grease, we just tilt the pot and use a large spoon.
Add all of the remaining ingredients and 3/4 of the bacon and stir to combine.
1 Can Kidney Beans, 1 Can Pinto Beans, 1 Can Black Beans, 1 Can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, 1 Can Tomato Paste, 1 Jalapeño, 2 Cups Beef Stock, 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano, 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin, 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt, 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper, 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika, 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, 1 Tablespoon Garlic
Turn the instant pot to chili (if you don’t have a “chili” setting, use the “manual” setting) and cook for 18-20 minutes*. Allow pressure to release for 10-15 minutes or quick release with the vent.
Serve with limes, sour cream, cheese, and a little bacon!
Sour Cream, Cilantro, Cheese, Lime
For the slow cooker: Cook the bacon and set aside on a plate. Cook the onion and peppers and set aside on another plate. Drain any excess grease and add the meat, cooking until browned. Add everything into the pot, leaving out a little bacon for garnish and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3 hours. Most batches will be done after 18 minutes, however we’ve had a few times when the flavor just wasn’t there yet, so feel free to pressure cook a little longer for more flavor or if your beans are not as tender as you’d like. To freeze, cool the chili completely. Place in a large ziploc bag or FoodSaver, removing all air and freeze by laying flat for up to 2 months.
If you are still looking for another excellent chili recipe, this Old Fashioned Chili Recipe, this All Beef American chili recipe, and this 5 Ingredient Crockpot Chili Recipe have been some of our favorites!
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