December 10, 2022

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Instant Pot Chili Recipe - Love and Lemons

Instant Pot Chili Recipe – Love and Lemons

If you love recipes that are as simple as they are delicious, then you have to try this Instant Pot chili. It’s smoky, spicy, savory, and SO easy to make!


Instant Pot chili


This Instant Pot chili delivers everything you love about regular chili–a smoky tomato broth, tender peppers, and hearty beans–but it has the added bonus of being a set-it-and-forget-it recipe. I won’t argue that regular chili is difficult to make (I call my recipe Easy Vegetarian Chili, after all), but it does require you to stay nearby the kitchen if not in it, close enough to adjust the heat of your stove from time to time to maintain a lively simmer.

For most of my life, I loved that aspect of making chili or soup. I wanted to hang out in the kitchen, enjoying the smells and sounds of the bubbling pot. But now that we have a kiddo in the house, I’ve found a new appreciation for recipes like this Instant Pot chili. I am thrilled that once I secure the Instant Pot’s lid, I can walk away, stealing a few moments outside as a family before the sun sets or reading a book before we sit down to dinner. Maybe you can relate?

In any case, this Instant Pot chili recipe is a great way to enjoy a flavorful meal on a busy night. I hope you love it as much as we do!


Diced and halved bell peppers on a cutting board next to canned tomatoes, beans, diced onion, dried chiles, tomato paste, and spices


Instant Pot Chili Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this Instant Pot chili recipe:

  • Onion and garlic – They create the chili’s flavorful base.
  • Bell peppers – A chili essential! I use one red and one green, but feel free to experiment with any colors you like.
  • A jalapeño – For heat.
  • Chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano – They add earthy, aromatic flavor.
  • Fire-roasted diced tomatoes – Along with a little water, they create the chili’s tangy broth.
  • Avocado oil – It adds richness and brings the flavors together. No avocado oil on hand? Olive oil works too.
  • Tomato paste – It thickens the chili and enhances its savory, umami flavor.
  • Pinto and kidney beans – Or any beans you like! I prefer to use dried beans in this recipe because we’re cooking them in the Instant Pot, but I offer instructions for making it with canned beans too.
  • A dried Guajillo chile – Optional, but highly recommended. With a mild-medium spice level, the chile adds a distinct smoky flavor and a bit of heat to this recipe.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.


Sautéed peppers and onions in Instant Pot with wooden spoon


How to Make Chili in the Instant Pot

It’s so simple to make chili in the Instant Pot! Here’s how I do it:

First, sauté the veggies. Select the Sauté function on your pressure cooker. Set the heat level to medium and the time to 10 minutes. Add the onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 8 minutes. Then, stir in the spices and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for the remaining 2 minutes.


Beans, tomatoes, and sautéed veggies in Instant Pot


Next, pressure cook. Add the garlic, beans, tomatoes, water, and dried chile to the pot, and give everything a good stir. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook on high pressure for 45 minutes if you’re using dried beans or for 20 minutes if you’re using canned ones. When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally.

That’s it! When you’re ready to eat, stir the chili again, pressing the dried chile against the sides of the pot to release its flavor. Remove the chile, then season to taste and enjoy.


Chili in Instant Pot with wooden spoon


Instant Pot Chili Serving Suggestions

Like any chili recipe, this Instant Pot chili is best with toppings! Here are some of our favorites:

  • Avocado slices
  • Sliced radishes or jalapeños
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Green onions
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • A dollop of sour cream or vegan sour cream

Load up your bowl, and dig in! Enjoy this Instant Pot chili as a meal on its own, or pair it with jalapeño cornbread or regular homemade cornbread, a baked potato or sweet potato, or tortilla chips.

Leftovers keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. For longer storage, freeze the chili for up to 3 months.


Instant Pot chili recipe


More Favorite Soups and Stews

If you love this Instant Pot chili recipe, try one of these soups or stews next:

Instant Pot Chili

Serves 4

This Instant Pot chili recipe is a quick, easy, and flavorful meal! Filled with beans, tomatoes, and veggies, it’s great for game day or busy weeknights. Dried and canned beans both work well here. If you’re using canned beans, find a few tweaks to the instructions in the notes below.

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • ½ cup dried pinto beans, or 1 (14-ounce) can, drained and rinsed*
  • ½ cup dried kidney beans, or 1 1 (14-ounce), drained and rinsed*
  • 1 cup water*
  • Dried Guajillo chile, optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Serving options:

  • Avocado
  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced radishes
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Select the Sauté function on your Instant Pot. Set the level to medium and set the time to 10 minutes. When the Instant Pot is preheated, drizzle the avocado oil into the pot and add the onion, red and green bell pepper, and jalepeño. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the vegetables soften.

  • Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, salt, and tomato paste and sauté, stirring, for the remaining 2 minutes.

  • Add the garlic, tomatoes, pinto and kidney beans, water, and dried chile, if using. Stir, then secure the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally. This will take 20 to 30 minutes. When the float valve drops, remove the lid and stir, pressing the dried chile, if using, against the sides of the pot to release its flavor. Remove and discard the chile. Season to taste and serve with desired toppings.

*If using canned beans, reduce the water to 1/4 cup. (The pot might seem dry at first, but the vegetables will release moisture as the chili cooks.) Reduce the pressure cooking time in Step 3 to 20 minutes.